Introduction to 3D Modeling

Good designers and engineers know how to explore and iterate their designs. Thankfully, computer aided design (CAD) allows you to do just that—explore and iterate your design—until the model suits your needs. However, this iteration process isn’t as easy as it sounds. It requires you to move quickly and seamlessly back and forth from 2D sketching to 3D modeling—and so, that’s the primary skill we’ll be practicing in this course.

This course covers 2D and 3D workflows, through a series of short lectures and hands-on exercises. In the first part of the course, we’ll start with 2D sketching in Autodesk® Fusion 360™, and we’ll review the various Fusion 360 workspaces, including: sketching and parametric modeling, free-form modeling and sculpting, and direct and assembly modeling. You’ll learn the skills necessary to use CAD from the start, applying its full capabilities when exploring and changing your designs. Then, in the second part of the course, we’ll transition from 2D to 3D modeling. And finally toward the end, we’ll explore and apply various 3D modeling techniques that can be used to create models that can be easily changed and experimented on.

Take the next step in preparing for your future career and become a certified user. This course is aligned to the Autodesk Fusion 360 Certified User exam and will help prepare you for the exam.  For more information on the Fusion 360 Certified User exam and skills covered, go to

By the end of the course, you will be able to 

  • Create cloud projects, manage, open and save models in Fusion 360.
  • Create and edit 2D Sketches and 3D models using Fusion 360 parametric tools to add constraints, dimensions, and control geometric relationships.
  • Sculpt and freeform 3D models using Fusion 360 T-Splines technology and import a sketch or image to use for reference.
  • Use direct editing tools in Fusion 360 and rapidly modify the design of existing and imported 3D CAD models.
  • Use Fusion 360 assembly modeling tools and features, to create and drive working joints for parts in a product assembly.
  • Apply physical materials and assign appearances to your 3D models.
  • Use the Fusion 360 documentation environment to create technical drawings, parts lists, and other documentation for your 3D models.

This course was revised in 2018 to include the following changes:

  • Updated lesson in parametric modeling from 2D to 3D.
  • Updated lesson in freeform modeling and sculpting.
  • Updated lesson in direct modeling.
  • Additional lessons to align with the Autodesk Fusion 360 Certified User exam.
  • Revised quiz questions to reflect updated lesson content.
  • An instructor guide for educators and course facilitators. 
  • Course challenge assignments to test your skills. 
Does anyone know why the practice problems beginning in Lesson 5 ask for an updated version of Fusion 360 to open? I have the latest version installed on ,y machine and cannot get them to upload to Fusion and open in my version. Thanks!
This Course is very easy & useful to learn Fusion 360 within a hour.
great course
Great work team Autodesk! I enjoyed the course and learned a lot. I found some sections were a bit fast paced. Joints in assemblies could be expanded. I'll figure it out but for instance a threaded rod transmitting motion is still giving me trouble. Thank you for the knowledge!!
I learn the importance of autodesk and new things that are required for designing a product.
This was my first completed course at Autodesk Design Academy and the quality of the lessons and instructors is top notch. Already looking for the next one
Perfect tutorial. Thank you !
@3:18 (Projecting and and including Sketch Geometry), Sketch 8 (9 pattern circles) completely disappear as though they were deleted... What the....???! I've tried it like 6 times now, once I started way back in the last lesson where we were instructed to open the "Projecting" File. (Solution: After attempting to select the face countless times, I left clicked and held mouse button to assure the the face was being selected... Somehow before I was selecting what is called a "Profile" in that menu with no knowledge of its existence.)
@4:23 Toggling off component visibility, only removes sphere in the "Projecting" file that I downloaded and uploaded for this course... (Solution: Ensure bodies menu above component is deactivated from viewing).
Step 6: How to obtain mass and volume in a CAD model.... I got a glass material for a moment, and then it just returned to whatever it was before... It didn't stay clear like the example.... What's the deal?