Fusion 360 recently announced changes to their free Personal Use license. There seems to be a lot of confusion on what this means to the hobby user. Below I’ll go over the major changes and what they mean.
It’s still free. The Personal Use License is still free and it still gives you access to a very powerful design and fabrication software. That hasn’t changed and Autodesk has been pretty adamant that this is not going away.
The changes only apply to the Personal Use License. The Educational, Startup, and Commercial license remain unaffected by this change.
The Design and 3D modeling tools remain unchanged. You still have access to all the design tools.
You can still 3D print and export STL files.
You can still export DXF files for laser cutting and 2D routing.
The app store plugins are still available
You can still use the Manufacturing Environment for 3 axis milling and toolpath simulations.
3+2 axis, 4 axis, and 5 axis machining will only be available with the paid commercial license.
The drawing workspace will now allow only single sheet print only export.
Rendering will only be local for the free version. Cloud rendering will be reserved for the paid commercial license.
Generative Design will not be available in the free version.
You can still import STEP files but will no longer have the ability to export STEP files with the free version. This goes into effect October 1, 2020 so make sure to export your STEP files before then if this is important to you. You actually have till January 19, 2021 as after October 1st you can still export STEP files via Fusion Team through your browser.
Although you can still have unlimited designs, you will have to enable only 10 at a time to be active and editable. After reaching your 10 design limit, you’ll have to designate one of your active designs as inactive before being allowed to open another one.
Designs used in an assembly only count against your 10 design limit if they are designated as active. You can still open and edit an assembly with inactive designs. Those referenced models will simply be read-only.
I hope this clarifies some of the confusion. The Personal Fusion 360 Use License is still a very powerful 3D design software that allows the hobbyist to create parts for 3D printing, laser cutting, machining, and other fabrication methods.
Here is a link to the Fusion 360 blog post where you can view a chart of the main difference between the old and new license agreement.
A great way to get started with 3D Design is through my free Fusion 360 Quick Start Mini Series.