Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on February 7, 2019
Fusion 360 is an excellent CAD program for designing stuff to make on your 3D printer. Many people begin Computer Aided Design with a simple program like Tinkercad, because it can be mastered in a weekend, but because of that it is extremely limited, and because relatively simply tasks, like rounding the corners of a box (filleting edges), can be quite labor intensive. Fusion 360 is a huge leap forward. It is complex and powerful and the most difficult part is simply getting started. Once you get a foothold into how the software operates, then you can happily build on your ever expanding experience and become proficient. (Rather like learning organic chemistry, if you don't grasp the first few lectures, don't ever expect to catch up!)
Fortunately, Lydia Sloan Cline's book begins slowly, so you can begin to make headway with Fusion 360 quite quickly. Also, she makes a commendable effort to define terms that are used throughout the book early on. The problems really show up later in the book when the explanations for some of the commands are so vague that it is almost impossible to learn how to use them. For example: The Sweep Command (page 69), is relegated to three and a half lines and 3 diagrams that are so indistinct as to be practically useless. After a couple of hours of frustration with not getting the command to work, it came to me that the two main parameters (profile and path) had to be on different planes. Naturally, once I saw this, it was obvious. But would it have been too much effort to mention it? Which brings me to my next point: the book is filled with blank spaces. At a guess I would think that 25% of the book is empty space. What a perfect opportunity to add boxes of tips, such as: "Be sure to have the Profile and Path parameters on different planes or the Sweep Command will not work". (I use the blank spaces to write my own notes from tips gleaned from YouTube videos that are often excellent).
Hopefully the book will be revised before the next edition. A little effort could turn a somewhat useful book into a worthwhile volume. In its present state it would be overly generous to give it even a B minus grade.
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