What does it take to invent something new?

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Where should I begin with my invention process?

This is the typical process: Ideation, Design, Build, Test, Iterate

“My favorite part of design is the ability to be creative.  How amazing is it to design and build things that are your own creations and can’t be found or bought in the market?” -- Justin Chambers

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What’s your design process like? How are you using design thinking in your process?

"Whether working on mechanical components or code, I tend to focus on understanding the problem as well as the constraints I am working within, whether they are technical, market, or even budgetary concerns." --Daniel Myers

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Dream big, and think outside the box

CUC Racing is a Falmouth and Exeter University collaboration, to design, build and race a prototype vehicle at the Shell Eco Marathon in Olympic Park, London 2016. Watch this video to learn how they did it.

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Invention doesn't come easy

"I am most influenced by my parents, who always encouraged me to work hard going after my dreams. My mother, a highly educated Filipino, to this day says, 'Persistence, persistence, persistence, is the key to success.'” -- Yana DeMyer

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What skills do I need to be an inventor?

Problem solving
Persistence
Design Thinking
Communicaiton
Sales
Money management
Passion

Who are some inventors I can follow for inspiration?

Jeremy Carter is a trained luthier who has been building custom guitars for over 20 years.

Builder. Artist. Musician.

Jeremy Carter serves as a Design Education Evangelist for Autodesk Education. Though he now works in tech, he’s passionate about music, and has been building custom guitars for over 20 years. Jeremy also believes that if you’re passionate about music, it can be a gateway to design. His passion for design, music, and guitar building led him to create a guitar component CAD-sharing resource on the Autodesk Fusion 360 gallery. “Designing a guitar body is fun, but creating the standard components might take a little longer.” If you're a music lover looking to invent something new, leverage Jeremy’s designs and visit Instructables’ Design and Build a Custom Electric Guitar to kick start a new musical instrument design. 

What tools can help me innovate?

Fusion 360 can help you innovate

Whether you’re a designer or an engineer, Fusion 360 can help you innovate. Download the software today, then take your ideas and make them real.
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How can I learn about invention? Where can I take free online courses that focus on innovation?

Product Design: Form and Ergonomics

This course introduces you to the importance of product form and ergonomics, which are central to the professional practice of product and industrial design. Focusing on manufacturing for mass-production and ergonomics in design, this course explores the impact of design decisions on the mass manufacture of a modular, on-ear headphone product. Using Fusion 360 as the 3D CAD/CAM tool to model, test, and visualize new headphone components, you will be able to quickly generate a range of new headphone concept designs for mass manufacture.

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Product Design: User-Centered Design Course

One of the most important dimensions of being an inventor is learning to design for users.

This course introduces you to the user-centered design process, a process typically used in product and industrial design. The user-centered design (UCD) process focuses on gaining a deep understanding of who will be using the product throughout all phases of the design and development process, from user research and empathy to defining design criteria, idea generation, prototype development, testing, refinement, and final presentation. Your goal is to model a lunch box. Using Fusion 360 as the 3D CAD/CAM tool, you will quickly generate sketches for user review and feedback, streamline the design reiteration process, and inform design choices based on user needs. Let's get started!

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Product Design: Innovative Packaging Course

Sometimes, inventing something new means recreating something that already exists. That's called "second life" design.

The Product Design: Innovative Packaging course introduces you to product packaging design and sustainable design principles using Fusion 360 CAD/CAM software.

With a focus on improving an existing product form, function, and sustainability, this course explores leading edge opportunities for the design of a new second-life detergent packaging solution. In this course, we'll develop a deep understanding of how second life packaging innovation can be achieved from the design and development process, to materials choice, manufacture, and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Your goal is to quickly generate photo-realistic digital prototypes for a new innovative second life packaging solution for presentation and review. Let's get started!

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Product Design in Fusion 360: From Idea to Prototype Course

Do you have an idea for an innovative product, but don’t know how to make it come to life?

In this course, we teach you how to use Autodesk Fusion 360 to turn your ideas into 3D designs that are ready for manufacturing. In this course, we'll conduct two hands-on projects, with the goal of translating ideas into reality:

First, we'll design a utility knife (as pictured here); and then, for parts modeling and assemblies, we'll work on a bicycle frame.

This course is good practice if you're looking to learn not only how to innovative -- but also how to make your innovation into a reality.

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Where can I attend a live training to help me innovate?

Design Now Webinars

Learn to innovate with Fusion 360 by joining a Design Now Webinar. These webinars introduce students to Fusion 360 with presentations centered around real-world concepts, skills, and projects. Register for a live session or watch a recording. 

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How can I earn recognition for my inventions?

Design for Industry

Earn recognition from industry pros through Autodesk Design for Industry challenges. These competitions challenge you to design a project in Fusion 360 based around an industry theme like home & office, automotive, or audio technology. Take your skills to the next level in support of your future career and share your designs with industry professionals.

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Additional resources for inventors who are just starting out

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Making the Most of an Industrial Design Career

As a founding partner at Hack Rod and a former vice president of design at Mattel, Holst has made that car-designer dream a reality. But his hasn’t been the most straightforward industrial design career.

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Blur the lines between art and science to create beautiful, functional products

As Sam Birchenough tells it, his affinity for industrial design sparked in early childhood when playing with radio-controlled airplanes and helicopters. That passion ignited an education rich in design and engineering techniques that led to Birchenough founding the Los Angeles-based BRCHN Design House in 2015.

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Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Ari Horowitz is a senior studying Industrial Design at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). Ari was the winner of the 2015 Autodesk Connected Future Innovation Challenge. He’s interested in design entrepreneurship and creating innovative products.

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Innovating for Social Impact

Dennon Oosterman is co-founder of ReDeTec (Renewable Design Technology), a company committed to making Making sustainable and affordable. Oosterman took Engineering Physics at University of British Columbia, and increasingly found himself spending more time in the lab working on projects such as a wall climbing robot, long range UAV, and high gain guitar amplifier. He has always loved making things – he makes his own beer, heavily modifies his own guitar, and is currently working on making his second wooden boat.

Learn more about our free online courses