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Monday, September 18, 2017

Easing selections using the "Select Other" tool in Fusion 360

In my last post, I mentioned changing the opacity of a part in Fusion 360.  The intention was to make it easier to transfer geometry from one part to another. 


This part is giving me a lot of mileage! 
I also mentioned that it can make it easier to select a part laying underneath another.

But the reality is I only told a part of the story.  Just being able to see an underlying part, step two is being able to use that part's geometry.

Three holes to be projected.
For example, if I want to transfer the holes from the ribs to the skin of the tab, I can activate the sketch in the skin, and project geometry from the rib to the skin of the tab using the Project tool.

The Project tool is your friend!

But those are some tiny holes under some thin sheet metal!  That means that I only have a small target to hit with my cursor, with lots of other geometry that can get in my way.

The trick, with Project tool active, left click and hold the left mouse button down.  After a moment, a list of geometry that can be projected will appear.

The options to select various geometry.
Just choose from the list!


All that's needed is to choose the desired geometry from the list.  The geometry, in this case a hole, can be used to create the needed cutout.

Extruding the projected geometry
So give select other a try.  And it's not just for sketches.  It can be used any time selecting from multiple pieces of geometry is needed!


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Creating a Part by Projecting Geometry from Another Part in Fusion 360

One of the goals I set  for myself is to try to spend some time every week to build something in Fusion 360.  Sometimes, all I can do is create a patter of holes, or build a few sheet metal flanges.

But I always tell myself I'll try something new in Fusion 360.  

So far, so good!

One thing I've been trying is making different parts, some of which have been sheet metal.

I've got ribs that will support a sheet metal.  The component is an aircraft trim tab.  There are two ribs at each end of the tab.

The sheet metal forming the tab will wrap around the ribs and attached via rivets.  That means that the sheet metal will be following the ribs, so why not reuse that geometry instead of trying to recreating with a lot of "measuring and calculating".

The first thing to do is to assemble the ribs in their final position and orientation.

The ribs place and oriented, ready for sheet metal.
The next step is to create a new component in the Fusion assembly and activate it.  Select it as a sheet metal part and set your sheet metal rules.

If your not sure about creating sheet metal rules, my previous post here may help.


Create a new component

Now, create a sketch, and being projecting geometry from the existing parts.  


Now project the geometry that will be used to help define the new part.  I'd recommend making it construction geometry to make sure it doesn't accidentally add itself to your part. 

Creating construction geometry to build a part.
Now sketch out the profile required.  In this case, it's the shape of the sheet metal part. 

Projected geometry to form the sheet metal profile.

Now it's a matter of creating the sheet metal flanges to the distance needed to define the part.

The sheet metal part extruded.
Now continue the process of defining the part.  This includes other features, such as extrusions and holes.

Additional features can be created by projecting from another part.
Give it a try, it can make creating another part much easier than transitioning measurements! 

Bonus tip! 

Change your part opacity by right clicking on a component and choosing "Opacity Control".  You can make the part semi-transparent and make it easier to see underlying geometry! 

Try changing Opacity to make selecting through parts easier.
Acknowledgements: 

Trim tab created from drawings accessed via my subscription to Air Corps Library.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

I've Got Great Designs in Fusion 360! But How Do I Find Them?

A valve housing I built, I'd hate to lose this! 
Lately, I've been posting about building models in Fusion 360, especially with the addition of sheet metal tools.  (Yay!)

But the most stunning Fusion 360 file in the history of stunning Fusion 360 files does no good if you're not able to locate it in the sea of slightly less stunning Fusion 360 files.

As I've started accumulating models, I found myself thinking; "How to I find a given file as I create more designs?" or, "What happens, if I misplace one?!?"

I haven't yet misplaced a file yet.  But it will happen some day, and I'll have to make sure I can find it again when I do.

Thus, I was led to the Data Management side of Fusion 360, to try a little simple searching.

The first thing I had to do was log into my A360 hub here.  That opens up the A360 hub, where I was greeted with a list of the projects I've created over my time using Fusion 360.

From there, it was a fairly simple matter of locating the search icon, typing in a file name, and letting the search tools do their job.

In my case, I picked a valve housing I had worked on.

Searching for the housing


When the file opened in my dashboard, I could see a thumbnail, what other designs this housing used, and where this file was used.  In my case, I'm not yet using this design elsewhere.  I can also access drawings created from this part.



Now there's quite a bit that can be done from this screen, so I'm not going to go into it all in this post. I'd be typing forever!

But I will point out two icons that are well worth looking at.

The first, is the View icon, which will open up the file in a viewer, the other is the Edit icon, which will open the file in Fusion 360 desktop, and the browser if available.



Just these functions alone helped as I was exploring alone, and there are more functions in the viewer. But like I said, I'm going to save those for later!  It's getting late, and I have to sleep sometime.



But remember to take advantage of the hub if you're using Fusion 360!

I think it'll help you out!





Sunday, August 27, 2017

Restarting a Line in a Fusion 360 Sketch

My story of late has been building a few parts in Fusion 360 over the course of a few evenings.

Another sheet metal part I'm working on.
And with that practice, comes a few simpler tricks to help models get built a little bit more efficiently.


It's been a series of sketching, extruding, and now that Fusion 360 has a sheet metal module, it's included adding flanges.

Making these parts means drawing a lot of lines to build parts.  But part of drawing these lines sometimes means creating a line in one place, completing it, then creating another line in a different place on the sketch.

If I were using Inventor, I would right click and choose the "Restart".  That would finish the line being drawn, but remain in the command so another line could be started elsewhere.

It's a simple command, but one that I know I've found helpful.

But looking at Fusion 360 there is no repeat command.  At first blush, it would appear that it isn't possible.

But before wishing an overworked programmer a pox upon his soul, I thought I'd see if another tool might give me the behavior I was looking for.

And I found it!

All I had to do was right click and choose Repeat Line.  It's a slightly different command, but it did exactly what I was after.  It gave me the ability to finish the line command where it was, and restart it in a new spot.  And I didn't have to exit and restart the command.

It's a workflow in just about every CAD program that will allow me to use it.  I'm big on placing holes on lines and vertices of rectangles.

So if that's a workflow you're also used to, give it a try in Fusion 360!  It might be a way to make things run a little smoother!

Creating holes using lines, a trick I like using.