Being one of the be-all and end-all applications for designing, Autodesk is expanding its Fusion 360 repertoire by adding extensions. Much like paying a premium subscription for a video streaming service, this feature will provide Fusion 360 subscribers access to more specialized tools which not everyone may need on a daily basis.
Using Cloud Credits you can purchase from the software itself, you can enable these extensions for however long you may need them. Say you’re working on manufacturing a product. By subscribing to the Manufacturing Extension (which just so happens to be Fusion 360’s first extension), you get access to features which let you orient objects for printing, set their printing parameters, create toolpaths, and export your files in 3MF form or straight to specific powder bed metal AM machines.
This is on top of the base Autodesk Fusion 360 features which let you do basic manufacturing, toolpathing, and post processing. According to Senior Marketing Manager Sam Sattel, there is no way Autodesk will isolate the base features of Fusion 360 behind a paywall. The company is still working on improving and adding new features to the base Fusion 360 on top of their new extensions.
While you can activate the Manufacturing Extension for a short-term project, you currently can only do so for a minimum of one month. This will change soon according to Sattel, as Autodesk plans on letting users finely tune their subscriptions according to the months, days, and even hours that they need the extra tools.
With more extensions and improvements on the way, Fusion 360 looks like it will continue being the go-to software for any designer. You can read more on Fusion 360’s upcoming extensions on their official blog post.