What's new
What's new

Replacing model in fixtures with new model - updated tool paths - Fusion 360

Fal Grunt

Titanium
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Location
Medina OH
I've seen numerous people on the forum that they can drop a part into fusion and Fusion itself does the programming and they can be making parts in 10 or 15 minutes. I have never been able to figure this out, my Fusion is just as dumb as I am. It doesn't recognize or do anything unless I click through all the menu's and select the features. I've made templates and tried numerous different approaches, but have never been able to get Fusion to "auto" anything.

I have a family of parts that I make for a company that is constantly changing. They send me a step model of the part, as well as sketch geometry (because again, Fusion is dumb) so that I can program some of the features. The problem I have, is next month, the part will be similar, very similar, but different. I pull my fixture and the new parts into a new file. Copy and paste my tool paths from the previous batch and then spend... a couple/few hours re chaining tool paths.

Is there any way in Fusion to replace the existing step file with a new one? And everything down stream reassociate (no idea if that is the correct word) itself to the updated step file?
 
I have a family of parts that I make for a company that is constantly changing. They send me a step model of the part, as well as sketch geometry (because again, Fusion is dumb) so that I can program some of the features. The problem I have, is next month, the part will be similar, very similar, but different. I pull my fixture and the new parts into a new file. Copy and paste my tool paths from the previous batch and then spend... a couple/few hours re chaining tool paths.

Is there any way in Fusion to replace the existing step file with a new one? And everything down stream reassociate (no idea if that is the correct word) itself to the updated step file?
I don't know about Fusion, but there are CAM systems that can do this very easily. If this is a thing you deal with on a regular basis, an upgrade might be worth looking into.
 
Which systems would those be?
Topsolid is one that plays well with imported data. The example shown in this demo is several years old, and the feature has been enhanced since then. I've used it successfully on something as complicated as a monolithic rifle upper receiver. If similar geometry isn't detected automatically (which sometimes happens, because no software is perfect), similar geometry can be manually selected during the replace process:
 
the problem is you are using imported data not native Fusion files, if they were fusion it might go faster if it is parametric changes as the CAM would remember the face and geometry if it was just dimension changes, if new features those would have to be selected.

I use SW\HSMWorks and have no problem with family of parts aka configurations, drop new config in assembly copy setup and then edit to new part and regen path, sometimes 100% somethimes 10% depends on how much was added or suppressed
 
Topsolid is one that plays well with imported data. The example shown in this demo is several years old, and the feature has been enhanced since then. I've used it successfully on something as complicated as a monolithic rifle upper receiver. If similar geometry isn't detected automatically (which sometimes happens, because no software is perfect), similar geometry can be manually selected during the replace process:
Topsolid looks really nice, how many organs and children would I need to sell to afford it? Do you know a ball park price?
the problem is you are using imported data not native Fusion files, if they were fusion it might go faster if it is parametric changes as the CAM would remember the face and geometry if it was just dimension changes, if new features those would have to be selected.

I use SW\HSMWorks and have no problem with family of parts aka configurations, drop new config in assembly copy setup and then edit to new part and regen path, sometimes 100% somethimes 10% depends on how much was added or suppressed
I've found even with native Fusion files, unless I modify the original existing file, Fusion will not recognize and update. I've never been able to substitute a similar part for the original and have it recognize any geometry.
 
Topsolid looks really nice, how many organs and children would I need to sell to afford it? Do you know a ball park price?
That depends heavily on what all you need. Getting started with one user of Design Pro (base of everything, which includes full-featured CAD and PDM and is every bit as good or better than Solidworks and Fusion), Milling 2.5D (which includes 3+2 positional on any machine, and some limited 3D surfacing) and one 3-axis post, you're looking at a ballpark of about USD $14,000. The first year of maintenance is included, and it's only 15% after that, so all things considered it's probably the most affordable of the high-end packages over the long term.

More detail in this post:
 
Last edited:
Part of it might be based on how you have your CAM file setup, and obviously not having a parametric link and configurations inside of Fusion means you lose the associativityness.

You can have a CAM template with parametric stock setup around your origin, and assorted workholding already holding your stock (toggle on/off whatever you need), you should also have an empty part placeholder in your template. Drag you part into the placeholder, align to stock as necessary, adjust stock values as necessary.
You can have an OP1 setup ready that includes your WCS already assigned to your stock, and your workholding. Probe cycles should be predefined because your stock already exists. Also your roughing cycles should be ready to generate because again your stock is present, and your part was recognized automatically (remember the placeholder from before?) when it was added to the file.
Facing should be a no brainer to have setup and ready for generation without selecting geometry.
A few different drill operations can be setup and ready as well. You can even pilot holes you may be interpolating later by setting a range for each drill.
Finishing contours, surfaces and chamfers can be preconfigured (feeds & speeds) they just need to be assigned to your part geometry.
Viola! Your parts is 80% programmed in <60 seconds.
I you have a (growing) family of parts it may benefit you to even predefine your OP2, OP3, etc... setups and stock using the same sort of associations and parameters.

We make a family of parts here (300+ different flavors of the same thing) and 3-ops on a dual spindle lathe are all contained in my template, as well as stock for each op, since parts are all modeled in Fusion they come in aligned correctly which saves a step. There are too many part #s to use configurations efficiently so I do have to reselect some geometry, but I can import, adjust stock and workholding, and complete the program a part in <3 minutes; post it and go straight to the machine confident it will run without blowing up which is pretty sweet for $500 or w/e a license costs these days. I can't even merge and align geometry that fast in MasterCAM.

If you were able to use configurations inside of Fusion it would likely recognize some (not all) changes between parts and keep you from having to relink chamfers, profiles or whatever, but since you get .STEP files you're SOL.

TS looks awesome I just looked into it a while back after reading a few posts about it. I would love to use NX again but I am reluctant to even ask for a quote.
I really want to get away from the constant updating and SaaS model of Fusion, but I'm not ready to pull the trigger on $15-30k software either...
It's $4400 for a basic design seat or $6600 for pro (perpetual license to boot) plus $3600 per CAM module, (2-axis, 3-axis, 4-axis, 5-axis, turning, Boost Milling???, etc...), and posts are $500/axis IIRC.
 
Last edited:
We make a family of parts here (300+ different flavors of the same thing) and 3-ops on a dual spindle lathe are all contained in my template, as well as stock for each op, since parts are all modeled in Fusion they come in aligned correctly which saves a step. There are too many part #s to use configurations efficiently so I do have to reselect some geometry, but I can import, adjust stock and workholding, and complete the program a part in <3 minutes; post it and go straight to the machine confident it will run without blowing up which is pretty sweet for $500 or w/e a license costs these days. I can't even merge and align geometry that fast in MasterCAM.

TS looks awesome I just looked into it a while back after reading a few posts about it. I would love to use NX again but I am reluctant to even ask for a quote.
I really want to get away from the constant updating and SaaS model of Fusion, but I'm not ready to pull the trigger on $15-30k software either...
It's $4400 for a basic design seat or $6600 for pro (perpetual license to boot) plus $3600 per CAM module, (2-axis, 3-axis, 4-axis, 5-axis, turning, Boost Milling???, etc...), and posts are $500/axis IIRC.
New video posted just today about manufacturing a family of parts:
(linking to the other thread, just so the forum doesn't flag this as spam for posting the same link in multiple comments)
 
I've found even with native Fusion files, unless I modify the original existing file, Fusion will not recognize and update. I've never been able to substitute a similar part for the original and have it recognize any geometry.

Fusion now has configurations, so the guys designing the parts can now design that way,
That way all the face and edge data has the same internal callout which should regen the toolpath to the new config.

or have them open what you just did and the save as new name and the toolpath should go along with it, then you get is back and continue CAM
 
Last edited:
Fusion now has configurations, so the guys designing the parts can now design that way,
That way all the facw and edge data has the same internal callout which should regen the toolpath to the new config.

or have them open what you just did and the save as new name and the toolpath should go along with it, then you get is back and continue CAM
To use configurations in CAM in a way it would regenerate everything would require him to have access to his customers actual design file in Fusion, not just the models.

If the parts are all pretty much the same just changing size or some holes moving around then he could program one part, save the file, delete the part out, import part #2, relink whatever can't sort itself out, save as a new file again, delete the part, bring in #3, etc...
That's why I suggest having a placeholder component for the part geometry, and importing the part file into that. You can have all the setups reference the part placeholder so if you are constantly removing and adding parts you aren't constantly having to define new models in your setup. Same goes for stock.
 
To use configurations in CAM in a way it would regenerate everything would require him to have access to his customers actual design file in Fusion, not just the models.

If the parts are all pretty much the same just changing size or some holes moving around then he could program one part, save the file, delete the part out, import part #2, relink whatever can't sort itself out, save as a new file again, delete the part, bring in #3, etc...
That's why I suggest having a placeholder component for the part geometry, and importing the part file into that. You can have all the setups reference the part placeholder so if you are constantly removing and adding parts you aren't constantly having to define new models in your setup. Same goes for stock.
The company can add him since it is cloud, we do that with our students.

Again it could be a work flow that the 2 of them can workout to achive this.

but then again the company would have the CAM and could then not use him anymore......
 
Students sharing files between each other and instructors sure, but between customers and contractors seems like a stretch...
Definitely depends on the type of work and relationship.
 
I've done contract CAM Programming and we used SW\HSMWorks with GrabCAD, which is dead, sharing files and folder structure, worked great always had latest and current versions.

now we use DropBox which sucks. so yes it can work if it is all worked out. been doing this since 2008.
 
The customer is using SW/Mastercam, they supply a step and dxf.

I'm not sure how to setup a template as GiroDyno outlined, but I will give it a whirl.

Currently I have my fixture plate modeled, and when I get a new part, I save it as a new version. Delete the existing parts, add the new parts in, then re attach the tool paths. I will try the idea of using a top level part (not sure if that is the correct term) and substitute the parts inside that and see if it will recognize or retain anything.

I watched a couple Top Solid videos, and I am very interested. I loathe Fusion, and would be thrilled to find another option. I could go on and on with all the problems I have had with Fusion, beating my head against the desk trying to figure something out, only to find out that the feature selection isn't in any of the menu's and you have to go through a convoluted back door to change a setting.

Or like I have found with so many of these parts. They are all basically the same part, just minor variations, longer, shorter, slightly different hole patterns, etc. I'll reattach tool paths that have worked on ALL the previous parts, and magically, now, does not work. Same selections, same settings, delete it all and start over. Same selections, same settings, works fine.
 
Side note, I just spoke to Top Solid. They gave me a $15k price tag for design, 2 axis module, 3 axis module, training and 1 post.

Started downloading the trial. 3 hrs!!! :willy_nilly:
 
Last edited:
Or like I have found with so many of these parts. They are all basically the same part, just minor variations, longer, shorter, slightly different hole patterns, etc.
I import Solid Edge parts into fusion. When there is a minor or only a few changes, I leave the prior part(s) in place and add the changed part. I can hide the first part if necessary, program the changed geometry on the new part only, hid the obsolete tool paths and generate code. Messy in a large organization and impossible to document properly, but it works for us.
I just saw a post on how to make parts associative in Fusion but I can't find it now. Part of the process is to make the part a Team part and insert it. Team will work for single programmers or so it said. If/when I find it again I'll report back.
 
The customer is using SW/Mastercam, they supply a step and dxf.

So why don't you have SW? better CAD than Fusion and then you can use HSMWorks to program as it comes with Fusion. that way you can use clients native SW files, no export importing needed.
 
So why don't you have SW? better CAD than Fusion and then you can use HSMWorks to program as it comes with Fusion. that way you can use clients native SW files, no export importing needed.
Because when I was interested in buying Solid works a few years ago the reseller I am forced to use is a slimy bastard. Solidworks would not let me buy through a different reseller, so I didn't buy.

Autodesk is letting HSM works die as far as I can tell. Last I looked at it, it was nearly the same as when I used it 10 years ago. I was told not too long ago, HSM works is no longer included with Fusion? I have found most of the things they claim are "included" are not. (there was some other design software that was "included" and when I tried to download it and use it, my license would not allow it) I'll have to take a look again and see if HSMworks is still included. I'll also check and see if the reseller is the same.
 








 
Back
Top