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Interesting news about Fusion 360

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by JST, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. JST

    JST Alibre Super User

    I don't use it, but I am told that a big chunk of the features are being removed from the "free" version of Fusion 360.

    Key among them are an active model limit of 10 models OR drawings, a one sheet limit on drawings, print only output of drawings, and pulling of ALL the useful file format outputs, such as STEP, IGES, etc. NO CAM output at all. There are other things that I do not understand the significance of, because I have never used Fusion at all.

    In other words, Fusion 360 free will be essentially out of the picture as a competitor to Alibre or Atom, with the first stages (quite a lot of the above) happening as of Oct 1 2020.

    The description given to me was that it is being "Nerfed", the new version relates to the prior version as a nerf ball relates to a standard US baseball..... does not much useful.

    While beyond annoying to the Fusion users, it is a plus for Alibre, most likely.

    I expect many saw this coming, but many others likely did not. With the October deadline affecting the allowed file export formats, a lot of folks will probably need to spend a lot of time exporting files pretty soon.
  2. jfleming

    jfleming Senior Member

    The paid version is still very inexpensive for a very powerful piece of software, which still has a large user-base (YouTube Tutorial videos outnumber the Alibre videos by about 1000 to 1).

    I'm sure many will be off-put by these new limitations which basically make the free version useless, but nothing in life is free.
    sbeamers likes this.
  3. oilman

    oilman Member

    I figured this would happen. It was only a matter of time.

    I've seen it way too many times where subscription-based cloud programs change features in a way that hurts their customers. These companies essentially force you to maintain the subscription. As soon as you stop subscribing, you have to pay more to get the same features you had previously.

    Being fairly new to CAD, Alibre was much easier to learn for me anyway. Glad I didn't invest much time with Fusion 360.
  4. HaroldL

    HaroldL Alibre Super User

    Yeah, you just can't trust these companies that start with the "Free" online software. I think in some cases it's called "Bait and Switch". First they bait you with ease of use and all those wonderful free features then they switch to get you to buy a license or subscription in order to continue using the software on designs you've started and saved. Just sayin'.

    Buyer Be Ware.
  5. Drutort

    Drutort Senior Member

    it was a bate and switch tactic, they enticed users, hey look at all you can do, and look its free! then once people got into their ecosystem they nerf the free version. As others said nothing is free, and this is typical

    The other worst part is, since its what clouded based, and its pretty much rent software, users probably can not keep their older versions, so they have 100% control and the user is well just renter
    simonb65 likes this.
  6. jfleming

    jfleming Senior Member

    Same thing with Draftsight.
  7. JST

    JST Alibre Super User

    Well, Alibre did a number of free upgrades (which I benefited from), so "free" is not always bad. And, the upgrades upgraded the annual maintenance, so it's not as if it is totally "free".

    I'm not complaining, Alibre is a good program. It could be better, which is why we pay maintenance.
  8. HaroldL

    HaroldL Alibre Super User

    I did see one nice feature that F360 had and that is state icons in the DE that showed when the sketch was fully defined. AND you could select a Visibility icon to turn on a sketch from a previous feature and reselect it for a new feature.

    But we have Sketch display options and Project to Sketch to access previous sketches for new features so I guess in the long run we get to the same place, just a different path.
  9. MikeHenry

    MikeHenry Alibre Super User

    Anybody here remember if/when an Alibre principle (Paul Grayson?) promised that all existing Alibre licenses would be charged something like $130 per year for maintenance in perpetuity? That didn't last long....
  10. HaroldL

    HaroldL Alibre Super User

    And then he sold it to 3DSystems, rode off into the sunset and we were left with "Geomagic".
  11. JST

    JST Alibre Super User

    I do not think that extrapolates to the current situation. And I doubt that Mr Grayson expected 3DS to drop Alibre like a hot rock with zip for actual support.

    But as it is, despite the claims of "own your software", the software will not activate or work indefinitely without the licensing server operating, as I understand it.

    Oddly, I know of at least one person who has a full copy of Solidworks (with every add-on that existed) from about 7 years ago, who is able to run it without problems despite never having paid a scrap of the "annual maintenance" which is supposed to be required in order to run it. That person acquired it from a non-paying client, in part settlement of debts, computer and all. (I have no idea if it could be moved to a new computer, though).

    With licensed software, these days, it is often the case that if the company goes bust, the software will not work indefinitely. The Geomagic case is one such. The license server was retired, and the new Alibre one IIRC did not handle the old software. I think there was a similar issue going from Alibre to Geomagic.

    I'm not complaining, I pay maintenance to keep the company going so that won't happen (and so that we get updates).
  12. MKR

    MKR Member

    There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.
    Mika and Ydl like this.
  13. HaroldL

    HaroldL Alibre Super User

    I think at this point it may be called "pirated" software. I'd keep a watch over the shoulder in case Dassault/SW comes looking, they've been known to close down companies that are using pirated SW.

    The maintenance will get you support, without it -- no support. Where I worked we were without maintenance for a couple of years. There was no support from the VAR until we started paying the maintenance but the program ran just fine.
  14. JST

    JST Alibre Super User

    That is so. It is not allowed to transfer the software in that way, according to the agreement with Dassault. Therefore that copy is illegal to begin with. I mentioned the various problems, but as far as I know he is still using it. Not my problem now, or then.

    While I was there, I actually used Alibre whenever possible, but I did have to use that install of SWX for modifying assemblies, and got to know the basics pretty well. No chance to ask questions on any Dassault forums, though..... had to learn on my own!
  15. Hunter

    Hunter Senior Member

    I used F360 for a bit, fantastic software, but the 2D environment still needs a lot of work. No welding symbols, for example.

    Constraint system also takes getting used to, and the timeline at the bottom of the screen also odd/unconventional. Prefer Onshape to F360. I use Onshape Public to create surface models for FEA work, sadly not possible to do in Alibre.
  16. JST

    JST Alibre Super User

    Apparently the Fusion folks have walked back their plans a little.... or else they explained it very poorly when the info was released. I am told that they are not going to (or no longer plan to) remove the STEP output. And some other somewhat obnoxious changes apparently will not (yet) be as bad as it seemed.

    Not sure it makes a lot of difference.... As I told the folks on the other forum, I pay a considerable annual maintenance to keep the Alibre program with all features, and get updates, meaning that I do not need to worry about changes of that sort. But then, I would not be eligible for the Fusion free license in any case. I understand that if you are a going concern, not a startup, the license fee is at least as much as Alibre.
  17. MikeHenry

    MikeHenry Alibre Super User

    The current fee is around $300 per year for up to 1-3 years at a time. That's a "sale" price but F360 seems to be available at that price at least once a year. No guarantee for the future, of course.
  18. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    Its Autodesk... surely no-one expected any different. And I have been saying for years that this was coming. So many people (and companies) are totally locked in to Fusion 360 that Autodesk knows they will rather pay than lose all their work and change to a different system.
    sboivin likes this.
  19. KeithH

    KeithH Senior Member

    that isn’t entirely true. A graphic design company called Serif (they now known as Affinity) retired a program they sold and retired the licensing server too. So they gave the instructions on their forum for everyone that had that retired program to unlock the program from the licensing server. Yes it would only work in the computer that the program was currently installed in but they did what was right. Most likely that was what happened to that Solidworks guy you mentioned. Point being: if a company retires the server they CAN still take care of their customers. In the Serif case I mentioned, I know for a fact because I have that software
  20. JST

    JST Alibre Super User

    Perhaps not "always" true.

    In the Geomagic case, the server belonged to 3DS, and they could not be expected to support a program they sold off to a different company. It did not affect me, as I paid maintenance and got the new program from Alibre.

    SWX seems to operate on the annual rental model, which was what was surprising about that copy. It may be that it pre-dated the rental model, and had not been "downgraded" to the version that "knew" it needed to require the payment.

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