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    How to Level Up from Tinkercad to Fusion 360

    Team Tinkercad
    Published on - January 3, 2022 by Team Tinkercad

    Teachers & Parents, Level Up

    Controller splitSee the difference: A micro:bit game controller designed in Tinkercad and refined in Fusion 360. 

    Ever heard, "This is cool! What's next?" while teaching with Tinkercad? Ever wondered how to guide students when they’re ready for advanced CAD/CAM/CAE software beyond Tinkercad? You'd be in great company!

    As we take stock of learning gains this year and plan for the year ahead, we’re excited to release a new set of instructional videos to guide you through transitioning students from Tinkercad to Fusion 360—so students can take their Tinkercad designs to the next level. 

    Whether your students want to: 

    • Refine their Tinkercad designs 
    • Smooth hard edges 
    • Render their designs 
    • Add joints and motion 
    • Create details for 3D printing 

    Autodesk Fusion 360 offers robust features and advanced tooling for budding designers and engineers to take the leap to lightspeed. After all, it's the same software industry professionals across manufacturing, machining, engineering, and industrial design use to develop flight masks for pandemic safety, NASCAR-winning brake pedals, and even walking cars for the future of mobility. Talk about real-world connections!

    With a pathway from Tinkercad to Fusion 360, students who meet the minimum age requirement have access to the same tools as the pros. What's more, the software is free to all qualifying educational institutions. How cool is that?

     

    When are my students ready for the next step? 

    First, we’ll walk through why and how to give Fusion 360 a trystudent readiness indicators; minimum age requirements; and how to distinguish when it’s better to use Tinkercad or Fusion 360. 

    Watch this series to learn the foundations of this skill development pathway:

    In part 1 of 3, you'll learn how to:

    • Determine whether students meet the eligibility requirements
    • Identify signs indicating that students are ready for advanced 3D design software
    • Guide students through taking the proper steps to transition from Tinkercad to Fusion 360

    In part 2 of 3, you'll learn how to:

    • Follow best practices for sending information and models from Tinkercad to Fusion 360
    • Identify the role that muscle memory plays in working with both Tinkercad and Fusion 360
    • Customize key UI commands in Fusion 360
    • Work with components and bodies

    In part 3 of 3, you'll learn how to:

    • Determine the best time to use Tinkercad or Fusion 360 for your projects
    • Add detail to a 3D design in Fusion 360
    • Render, animate, simulate, and document designs in Fusion 360
    • Follow the proper steps to bring a 3D design to life
    • Access Fusion 360

    After watching these three on-demand tutorials, you'll learn best practices; ways to tap into “muscle memory,” like customizing the Fusion 360 user interface to include some features from Tinkercad’s UI; and how to create components from bodies, use meshes and solids, animate, simulate, and document designs in Fusion 360.

    Pro Tip: Check out our collection of “Quick Tip” videos, too! 

     

    How can my students practice their new skills? 

    If you're looking for an example project that starts in Tinkercad and transitions to Fusion 360, check out our four-part series of instructional videos and step-by-step guide [PDF] that walk you through the steps for creating a helmet design. In these videos, you'll learn how to:

    • Create a simple CAD model of a helmet design in Tinkercad using basic shapes and tools
    • Send a design file in Tinkercad to Fusion 360
    • Explore the Fusion 360 design environment
    • Work with bodies, components, and assemblies
    • Use the Timeline
    • Round hard edges by adding fillets and bevel edges by adding chamfers
    • Change the size or geometry of faces, bodies, and edges using the Press Pull command
    • Add depth using the Extrude command
    • Use the Appearance tool and the Scene Settings tool


    Beyond 3D

    For another application of the Tinkercad-to-Fusion 360 pathway, check out the line-following robot that starts in Tinkercad Circuits and uses Fusion 360 electronics for professional PCB design, simulation, wiring, routing, and milling.

    line following robotMake this! Design a line-following robot in Tinkercad Circuits and Fusion 360.

     

    Don't take it from us

    Here's what educators have to say about using both Tinkercad and Fusion 360 with their students: 

    “Tinkercad is the perfect introductory software for three-dimensional modeling. Along with direct integration with Fusion 360, there is no limit to a student's creativity in solving today's design challenges.” – Steven Szoke, teacher at Dillard High School 6-12, Florida 

    “The transition from Tinkercad to Fusion 360 is the best I have found to learn and teach 3D modeling and CAD, not like before when you had to be in or pursue an engineering career. Combined with 3D printing, the sky is the limit!” – Camilo Parra Palacio, teacher, Czech Republic 

    “Tinkercad is an easy-entry, powerful tool for solid design. Experiences with Tinkercad make learning Fusion 360 easier.” – Michael P. Walker, robotics and computer science teacher, Western High School STEM Academy, Florida 

     

    Who is eligible to use Fusion 360?  

    1. Minimum age requirement. To use Fusion 360, your students must meet minimum age requirements. In compliance with COPPA, this means being at least 13 years old, or at least 14 years old in China and South Korea. We say no to ads, follow security industry best practices, and never sell a single byte of data. Learn more about Autodesk's minimum age requirements for Education access 
    1. Not a student or educator? Not a problem. Hobbyists can qualify for the free personal license for home-based, non-commercial projects. Note that this option does not include the Chromebook-friendly browser access to Fusion 360, which is intended for EDU use only. 
        

    More resources for teachers  

    • Read the latest news from the Fusion 360 electronics blog  
    • Watch Fusion 360 electronics tutorials on demand  
    • Find help files for Fusion 360 electronics  
    • Find a community of practice on the Fusion 360 electronics forum

     

    Share your feedback

    Ready to level your students up from Tinkercad to Fusion 360? Check out our collection of videos, and then let us know what materials, additional learning content, or webinar topics would be helpful for your teaching at tinkercadlearning@autodesk.com. 

    Thank you for choosing to teach with Tinkercad!