The Fusion 360 manufacturing extension will be the first to enter the line-up. When activated, the extension will act as a hybrid manufacturing environment, letting users perform processes like complex surface finishing, automated drilling, additive manufacturing and automated verification workflows. By using these automation and optimisation tools during programming, users will generate more effective NC programs, faster, yielding time savings across both programming and machining.

With customers in mind, Autodesk is making it easy to activate the extension on a short-term basis.

Users can turn on the manufacturing extension in Fusion 360 for 125 cloud credits per month, per user, and gain unlimited access to its capabilities as long as it is active.

After unveiling generative design for Fusion 360 last year, Autodesk has now partnered with aPriori to integrate manufacturing cost insights for generative design, so users will be able to view cost estimates for every result. aPriori’s costing model accounts for geometry, material and manufacturing method, criteria that Fusion 360 users enter when setting up a generative design study.

“This partnership with Autodesk is very strategic for us,” says Stephanie Feraday, president and CEO of aPriori Technologies. “We’re expanding our footprint into the concept design phase of product development, integrating the power of Fusion 360’s generative design with aPriori’s manufacturing simulation capabilities.”

aPriori will analyse each design variation created with a generative design study to identify its manufacturing cost range. Whereas other product costing solutions on the market require significant manual input by highly trained experts, aPriori says its solution for generative design is entirely automated.

“We’re also seeing future opportunities to extend the insights provided with each generative design study,” says Feraday. “We could potentially include not only cost, but manufacturability guidance, which will make the selection of design direction even more efficient.”

As a further development, Autodesk will be adding two more manufacturing constraints to the workspace. Coming soon as a technology preview, a new die-casting constraint for generative design will bring together next-generation design technology to one of the industry’s most established manufacturing processes.

After casting, Fusion 360 will see the addition of 2.5-axis milling. This constraint will make it even easier to practically manufacture generative design results using existing processes and machinery.