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So, what is this Fusion 360 thing I keep hearing about?

If you follow our blogs and interviews on Design Academy, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about Autodesk® Fusion 360™, and may be wondering, what makes it so special?  Why do these people at Autodesk keep talking about it?

Fusion 360 is a single, cloud-based tool that connects the entire product development process, from sketching and sculpting models, to creating engineering drawings, to setting up CAM toolpaths and producing beautiful, high quality renderings.  Because it’s cloud-based, users can collaborate on the same designs from all over the globe.  Plus, it works for Mac and PC.  And, as always, as a student or educator you can download it for free.

Pretty cool right?  But what’s even cooler than Fusion 360’s features, is what it represents.  You may have heard the statistic from the U.S. Department of Labor that 65% of today’s students will be employed in jobs that don’t yet exist.  Yikes.  How can you learn skills in school to prepare you for a job if no one even knows what that job is going to be?  Talk about post-graduation anxiety.  

The truth is, you’re never going to be fully prepared for the challenges of the working world.  Take it from me—I graduated with a double major in English and Hispanic Studies and now work for a company that makes 3D design software for engineers, digital artists, and architects.  A complete 180.  Did reading both volumes of Don Quixote in the original Spanish prepare me for the challenges of a real-life job?  No.  What did prepare me were the other skills I learned in college.  Skills like working collaboratively and critical thinking.  It’s these skills that are important in the workplace now, and will become even more important in the future.  These types of skills allow you to be agile and creative, so you can tackle new challenges and solve problems no one has really addressed before.

And Fusion 360 will help you do it.  Sure, you can use Fusion 360 to do traditional parametric modeling, but you can also use the Sculpt workspace and model in a completely different and new way.  You can collaborate with designers across the world to improve your designs, and you can easily create beautiful renderings to make your concepts come to life—all in a single tool.

So, open your mind, grab a buddy, and start designing.  To learn the basics, try our project, Product Design in Fusion 360, and use our how-to videos for extra practice.  When you’re feeling confident, sign up for Design for Autodesk to earn $250 for your designs.  Then, show us what you’ve done by sharing your designs in your portfolio.