PSA: Fusion360 free getting a major nerf
 

PSA: Fusion360 free getting a major nerf  

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vintagepc
(@vintagepc)
Noble Member

I guess it was inevitable... Saw this today, so seems like now is a good time for folks to start preparing to jump ship.

https://www.reddit.com/r/prusa3d/comments/itydd6/big_changes_to_fusion_360_coming/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=190&v=5EOiuTu14tI

(Sorry - tried to embed but keep getting blocked by wordfence)

This topic was modified 1 week ago 2 times by vintagepc
Posted : 16/09/2020 5:31 pm
charles.h13
(@charles-h13)
Famed Member

I don’t get the change.  

Posted : 16/09/2020 6:04 pm
vintagepc
(@vintagepc)
Noble Member

I'm guessing they're trying to annoy established free users enough to either cough up cash or go away. 

Given the price point, I suspect a mass exodus; $400/year is not sustainable for more advanced hobbyists, especially with the economy what it is.

If I could buy a version once and future updates for features I want/need at a reduced price they might have a sale, but out of principle I refuse to be repeatedly separated from my hard-earned cash for the same thing over and over.

Software as a service is the devil incarnate and needs to die, but it's too much of a cash cow for companies; you just sit back and watch the profits come in, even if you don't make any changes. 

Posted : 16/09/2020 6:17 pm
charles.h13
(@charles-h13)
Famed Member

@vintagepc

Adobe has a similar exodus.  I think you are probably write.  Hopefully, it will generate a quality contributor,  

Posted : 16/09/2020 6:38 pm
vintagepc liked
nikolai.r
(@nikolai-r)
Noble Member

Thanks for the update. Time to get the projects exported then ...

Often linked posts:
Going small with MMU2
Real Multi Material
My prints on Instagram...
Posted : 16/09/2020 6:54 pm
vintagepc liked
bobstro
(@bobstro)
Illustrious Member

I can understand some of the advanced features (simulation) shifting to pay as they gain capabilities. The big change for a hobbyist like me is the limitation of 10 active documents. You can still have unlimited archived documents, but I recall it can take a while to "unfreeze" archives. One complaint is that some users have multiple assemblies that must be separate active documents... though that sounds a bit beyond hobbyist to me.

I am alarmed, just not panicking. I'll keep my eyes open for something better (ideally with a one-time purchase price). Much like alternatives like Affinity Designer ($50 one time) have been developed to compete with Adobe Photoshop (pay forever) for the hobbyist, I hope someone does the same for 3D design and can do so profitably.

I'm not exactly happy about this, but seeing some of the bitching and moaning about free software like PrusaSlicer and Cura certainly helps me understand Autodesk's position. Support and development are not free, even if Prusa manages to cover those costs with printer and filament sales. Autodesk has to weigh the drag of the free against their need to generate a profit (especially these days) without (so far as I know) anything but development sales. While I'm sympathetic, I'm not sure what impact any "mass migration" of free users is expected to have, particularly considering Autodesk having to deal with the same conditions.

I do wish they had a one time purchase option... but low end users certainly aren't going to pay for software maintenance, so future upgrades can't be free (see Simplify 3D). A one-time $5,000 solution probably isn't what most hobbyists want either.

I do wish they had a more reasonable entry level subscription price. I easily get $15/mo. value out of the software so might swallow it if it's priced more like NetFlix as entertainment.

My notes and disclaimers on 3D printing and miscellaneous other tech projects
He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking. -- Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan...
Posted : 16/09/2020 7:35 pm
vintagepc
(@vintagepc)
Noble Member

Part of the issue is a lot of companies view the "free" product as direct competitors to sales. 

In this case, it was purely targeted at hobbyists not making a profit. In other words, people that probably wouldn't pay full price for it anyway given how infrequently they use it.

Those numbers don't magically convert to sales when the free option goes away...

Call me cynical but I believe this isn't the first time they've done this with products, and I view this purely as a "now we've baited you, pay up or get out" move. Once this happens I'm ditching it on principle as I had a more complex project planned that would definitely hit this document limitation.

This post was modified 1 week ago by vintagepc
Posted : 16/09/2020 8:06 pm
kevin.k49
(@kevin-k49)
Eminent Member

I can live (I think) with the 10 projects limit since I generally don't have that many things actually going on at once.  As a side note it is odd that you seem to be able to have an arbitrary number of designs within a single project so in some sense it looks like this might just drive folks to have some mega projects with lots of little things in it.  Don't get why Autodesk would want that.  If they started limiting designs within a project that would really hurt.  E.g., I have a pegboard project that has a ton of individual designs within it for different brackets etc.  Ultimately, though, since you can always put lots of components in a single design even limiting designs would just make project organization more annoying rather than impossible.  So, mostly, this part looks like simply creating something that looks like a big differentiation on the data sheet.

The change that does really worry me is getting rid of export of step files or other design tool neutral files.  This means that in the future designs done in Fusion won't be movable in any reasonable way to other systems.  This gives Autodesk extreme power over users in the future.  E.g., wait 2 years then kill personal entirely.  What would someone do at that point with no exit ability?  This one scares me given the propensity of companies to try to screw their users.

Posted : 16/09/2020 8:12 pm
vintagepc liked
nikolai.r
(@nikolai-r)
Noble Member

The thing in Fusion360 is that all projects are in the cloud. If you don't have access to your account for whatever reason, your projects are gone/not accessible. You also not allowed to sell any of the stuff you've made with the free license. First I had the startup license which was turned off over night without any notification. I had to activate the personal license. So I know how it feels to get cut off.

I'm still using Fusion360 for small stuff because it's fast with a tool you got to know. But after that happened, I started looking for alternatives. Once Blender released their version 2.8 with redesigned interface, I started slowly the migration. It's completely different approach how to design, but it's still possible and not more time consuming once you've learned how to do certain things. There are also a lot of tutorials out there.

Monthly subscriptions for such tools is kind of no-go for me. It's too expensive for hobby use. I need them, if I have a project. Sometimes it's maybe 10 times a year but sometimes it's only once because other stuff happened in my live. And you have to keep your account active, if you want a read access to your projects. So ... perfect time to make a local backup and switch.

Often linked posts:
Going small with MMU2
Real Multi Material
My prints on Instagram...
Posted : 16/09/2020 8:38 pm
nikolai.r
(@nikolai-r)
Noble Member
Posted by: @bobstro

I'm not exactly happy about this, but seeing some of the bitching and moaning about free software like PrusaSlicer and Cura certainly helps me understand Autodesk's position. Support and development are not free, even if Prusa manages to cover those costs with printer and filament sales. Autodesk has to weigh the drag of the free against their need to generate a profit (especially these days) without (so far as I know) anything but development sales. While I'm sympathetic, I'm not sure what impact any "mass migration" of free users is expected to have, particularly considering Autodesk having to deal with the same conditions.

For such big products profit is usually being generated by sales to companies. With free/educational licenses you get people trained at no costs. So the companies make a decision towards using i.e. Fusion360 because more people are available on the market (and maybe in-house) who can use this tool. They don't have to pay (or pay less) for training. Such a move to cut off the functionality on the free license is usually being done by sales people. Their thinking is always short-term: We have one million free subscribers. We change the terms, maybe 1000 will pay -> profit increase over night. Nobody cares about losing bigger sale to a company because they switched to alternatives because of missing knowledge. And that's not easy to measure anyway.

This post was modified 1 week ago by nikolai.r
Often linked posts:
Going small with MMU2
Real Multi Material
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Posted : 16/09/2020 8:49 pm
nikolai.r
(@nikolai-r)
Noble Member

@bobstro

And no need to panic. Just be prepared. If that happens once, it will happen again. Whenever Autodesk will need a short term profit increase or cost-cut, they will update the free license terms again. Because this method works and it looks like people in charge @Autodesk agrees to that approach.

Often linked posts:
Going small with MMU2
Real Multi Material
My prints on Instagram...
Posted : 16/09/2020 9:01 pm
vintagepc
(@vintagepc)
Noble Member

Yup, not necessarily these changes, but what they represent and mean for the future. 

Posted : 16/09/2020 9:06 pm
bobstro
(@bobstro)
Illustrious Member
Posted by: @nikolai-r

[...] Once Blender released their version 2.8 with redesigned interface, I started slowly the migration. It's completely different approach how to design, but it's still possible and not more time consuming once you've learned how to do certain things. There are also a lot of tutorials out there.

I've actually got Blender on my to-do list for modeling. My understanding is that it won't do any of the parametric designs, which is a drawback. It is the obvious winner for sculptures and "artistic" shapes IMO. Am I missing something regarding Blender's technical modeling capabilities?

Monthly subscriptions for such tools is kind of no-go for me. It's too expensive for hobby use. I need them, if I have a project. Sometimes it's maybe 10 times a year but sometimes it's only once because other stuff happened in my live. And you have to keep your account active, if you want a read access to your projects. So ... perfect time to make a local backup and switch.

I'm definitely torn. $30 per month definitely seems too high. But then again, I'm paying similar amounts for digital entertainment monthly, and I do find designing entertaining. I'll drop $30 on an arbitrary filament to try it out. I do hope they still provide a cheap/free student/learner option for those just starting out.

I know a lot of the clone printer manufacturers are benefiting by directing customers to use Cura and PrusaSlicer, then shifting the support burden to the open source developers. Some fee to weed out this attitude (no free support for 3rd party sellers) makes sense. A quick check shows that purchasing a full version of Photoshop once cost $700 when it was an option, but that $10/mo. now gets access to their full suite of cloud services. I'd be OK with $10/mo., especially if it was an "all you can eat" plan with all the features.

Interesting to note that the validated Startup free license is not impacted. They do want you to certify as an actual startup and potential future customer though, so it weeds out the hobbyists.

This post was modified 1 week ago by bobstro
My notes and disclaimers on 3D printing and miscellaneous other tech projects
He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking. -- Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan...
Posted : 16/09/2020 9:18 pm
nikolai.r
(@nikolai-r)
Noble Member
Posted by: @bobstro

I've actually got Blender on my to-do list for modeling. My understanding is that it won't do any of the parametric designs, which is a drawback. It is the obvious winner for sculptures and "artistic" shapes IMO. Am I missing something regarding Blender's technical modeling capabilities?

That's correct. Full parametric modelling is not really supported. Although there are some tricks how you can still do that to certain extend:

From my first steps in Blender I can tell that it's still possible to modify the objects afterwards. Like making holes smaller/bigger, moving objects by fractions of mm. Maybe if more 3D printing people will use Blender, more tools for that will come. There are already a lot which makes the live easier.

For full parametric designs, I would still go with OpenScad. Even with Fusion360 something breaks always as soon as you modify the parameters. (looking at chamfers and projections ...)

Often linked posts:
Going small with MMU2
Real Multi Material
My prints on Instagram...
Posted : 16/09/2020 9:29 pm
nikolai.r
(@nikolai-r)
Noble Member

And I liked this tutorials for precision modelling in Blender:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6Fiih6ItYsX3qdwhEyd77zy82bM-I8t1

This post was modified 1 week ago by nikolai.r
Often linked posts:
Going small with MMU2
Real Multi Material
My prints on Instagram...
Posted : 16/09/2020 9:42 pm
bobstro
(@bobstro)
Illustrious Member

The Autodesk refers to 10 active "documents", with more needing to be archived. Looking at the interface, I see "projects" (which can be archived) which contain "designs" (which cannot be individually archived). Considering that a project can contain a very large number of documents, if I can have 10 active projects, this is manageable. [Edit: re-reading the announcement, it looks like designs inside projects will be limited to 10 and the rest will be newly archivable. That hurts.]

Can anybody point to a good overview and comparison of OnShape's free offering?

Will stop procrastinating on learning Blender and check out FreeCAD in more depth.

Looks like Photoshop is more like $20 per month for basics, more for the full suite. Sorry about any confusion.

 

This post was modified 1 week ago by bobstro
My notes and disclaimers on 3D printing and miscellaneous other tech projects
He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking. -- Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan...
Posted : 16/09/2020 9:52 pm
nikolai.r
(@nikolai-r)
Noble Member
Posted by: @bobstro

Will stop procrastinating on learning Blender and check out FreeCAD in more depth.

I'm glad to help you make decisions 🤣 

Often linked posts:
Going small with MMU2
Real Multi Material
My prints on Instagram...
Posted : 16/09/2020 9:58 pm
vintagepc
(@vintagepc)
Noble Member

Someone in the Reddit post also mentioned Seiemens SolidEdge, also free for hobbyists/makers

Apparently it's local, no cloud BS either- so once you have it, you should "have" it. 

https://solidedge.siemens.com/en/solutions/users/hobbyists-and-makers/

 

Posted : 16/09/2020 10:08 pm
bobstro liked
Neophyl
(@neophyl)
Noble Member

Yeah you can use non destructive modelling techniques with Blender and still get a lot of flexibility, even with the stock software.

If you are willing to spend a bit for some of the add ons then a lot of hard surface modelling tasks become massively easier.  HardOps/Box Cutter combo and MeshMachine being the main ones.

Posted : 16/09/2020 10:23 pm
kevin.k49
(@kevin-k49)
Eminent Member

@bobstro I also found the whole 10 limit confusing since currently you can only archive projects and they can have more than 10 designs in them.  This would sound like it would make it impossible to every unarchive such a project.  So I asked in the Autodesk blog for some clarification and got a slightly clearer answer (but one that still leaves me a bit unsure):

Today all your designs and documents are active by default. You can open any design no matter how old or new and they will open. You can have as many document tabs as possible. 10 active documents means that you have 10 spots for any document to open and be editable at any give time. All your other documents will be stored in your projects in a new archived state. They will remain yours, saved in your projects. You can have unlimited number of archived documents (designs) as well as projects (top level folders in your data panel) in your account. If you are at your 10 document capacity, and at any point you want to revisit an older design and open it up, you can do so by archiving an existing active document and activating the archived one to swap places.

This makes it sound like they are adding a new feature that allows archiving on a per design basis.  If this is what they are doing then it may be ok since it should be somewhat easy to switch among 10 active things.  What I am unsure about is how this relates to links/references.  If I have a design in edit can it have references to a design that is not activated?  Seems like it should since links only update when you manually request it so the design you are editing doesn't actually reach into the inactive design to use the reference.  Still - not really clear.  If this all does work and the only real impact is that I have to nominate up to 10 designs that I am currently dealing with then that would be ok since I can't remember actually ever hopping around more that a few designs at a time anyway.  But it sounds too simple - I wouldn't think this would filter pro users unless I don't understand their workflows that would require large numbers of designs in simultaneous active use.

If this is ok, then for me the real hit is losing step file export.  It means no way to share a design with a friend who isn't also a Fusion user (if they are a Fusion user I could share via an f3d file.)

Posted : 16/09/2020 10:38 pm
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