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Changes to Fusion 360 Terms

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Clive Foster24/10/2020 10:14:56
2465 forum posts
81 photos
Posted by Emgee on 24/10/2020 09:31:37

Lower cost option would be purchasing a £300 laptop loaded with W10 OS, that would run Fusion 360 and any other FOC CAD program.


Emgee has it.

In old money terms think of it as £300 or whatever for a drawing board and all the bits. If you just run the CAD program and never connect the PC to the internet after the initial download all the "Windows is different" bits become part of "how to run my electronic drawing board".

Major, major advantage of having a second machine is that you can run a third party, you tube or whatever, tutorial on the Mac whilst learning to drive the program on the PC "drawing board".

I have an older Mac Pro and set up a Windows 10 Virtual Machine using VirtualBox to run the free version of SolidEdge. Its likely that your Mac can run VirtualBox but memory may be an issue. Frankly I'm unsure whether all the faffing about was worth it especially as, by the time all was done, it cost around £200.

But I had to buy Windows10 and made some desirable computer upgrades along the way. A KVM switch to share my big desktop monitor, second keyboard and compact PC might have been better overall.

Don't skimp on the program you choose. Even a simple one takes a fair bit of learning and its a pain to have to switch. Again.

SolidEdge is daunting but it has all the pro bells and whistles.

The 2D part can still be got at separately too. Which is where I shall start. Also verify that there are downloadable books to help you. I found a copyright free one for the 2D part of SolidEdge which is very respectable. Spent £60 on a book for the 3D side tho' as what could be found was old.

Not for the first time I found that trying to be too cheap costs more!

An older version of VectorWorks will run fine on your Mac, if you can find one for "££ not very much" but I don't know about installation. A proper professional program but the mechanical design side hasn't been updated for getting on for 10 years now. The 2D side is solid, 3D more arcane than i want to deal with and £1,000 to upgrade if I change my OS is a rip off. Great thing about the 2D is a very useful library of common bits.


Edited By Clive Foster on 24/10/2020 10:15:55

John Rutzen24/10/2020 10:17:41
282 forum posts
16 photos

Thank you, I've been looking at the speeds and the cheap ones are slower than this mac. It is 2.66GHz dual core with 8Gb ram and a 240Gb SSD. To get better than that I will have to spend over £800. And this won't run Fusion 360. Or does it run a lot better on windows?

Emgee24/10/2020 10:46:02
1764 forum posts
237 photos
Posted by John Rutzen on 24/10/2020 09:57:09:

Hi Emgee, Thank you for the reply. Yes I would be prepared to buy a £3-400 laptop but which one? I would want the biggest screen possible.

Sorry about the price John the prices have gone up since I last searched. Found this HP 15-dw1509na 15.6" Laptop - Intel® Pentium™, 1 TB HDD, Black at Currys costing £399


Perhaps smaller screen size than required but it's the size I use with Alibre and Fusion 360 programs, bigger is always better for CAD but surprising how quickly you adjust to the smaller view.


John Rutzen24/10/2020 10:54:50
282 forum posts
16 photos

Thank you Clive. I was thinking a second laptop would make learning so much easier. So what £300 laptop is definitely going to run Fusion 360? I've found that the issue with my mac isn't the speed it's that Fusion doesn't support my operating system which is OSX 10.11.6 and Apple won't let me upgrade it anymore. My son who is into these things says it's the motherboard. I hadn't looked at Solidedge except to find out it wasn't free.

John Rutzen24/10/2020 10:57:32
282 forum posts
16 photos

Thanks Emgee, I hadn't read your post. I was looking at the HP from Currys. Would that run Fusion ok?

Roderick Jenkins24/10/2020 11:46:14
1971 forum posts
510 photos

According to NYC CNC processing speed is more important than multicores for slick running of Fusion 360. So a higher speed i3 is better than a slower i5.



IanT24/10/2020 11:51:53
1677 forum posts
163 photos
Posted by John Rutzen on 24/10/2020 10:54:50:

I hadn't looked at Solidedge except to find out it wasn't free.

Maybe Solid Edge wasn't free at one time John but there is certainly a free version available now.

Solid Edge 2020 (Community Edition) is a free 'lifetime' licence for the Siemens 3D CAD system that installs and runs 'locally'.

There is no 'Cloud' run-time or storage involved and it has all the bells and whistles of the full 'paid-for' versions (which are about £3K per seat I believe). The only limitation that I'm aware of, is that any designs developed on the Community Edition cannot be opened on the Commercial User versions. Not a limitation for me - or most here I would guess.

Personally, I'm delighted with SE and I'm now making good progress with 3D CAD using it.




Edited By IanT on 24/10/2020 11:53:31

David Jupp24/10/2020 12:02:10
757 forum posts
17 photos

3D CAD is generally fairly demanding on the graphics hardware - don't expect really good performance from a basic integrated graphics system.

Display size (pixel count) can make a big difference too - more pixels to manage will demand more of graphics and processor.

Larger and more complex models make more demands on the hardware.

Clive Foster24/10/2020 12:34:24
2465 forum posts
81 photos

Hi John

SolidEdge community edition is a free download and essentially the full commercial version with crippled export capabilities to make commercial use impractical.

My view is that this sort of thing is a job for a decent used computer. KVM switch and MacMini on permanent BootCamp into Windows or one of the similar size PC bricks was what I ought to have done rather than going the virtual machine route.

I always found laptop screens too small for CNC. Tool menu bars get in the way. My Mac laptops have always been 17" but that was never enough for easy working. I use a 24" desktop monitor. With VectorWorks that lets me work on a basic A4 size drawing area with all necessary toolbars and menu items visible. Everything I do prints A4 or A3.

I suspect that when I get to grips with SolidEdge I shall end up going bigger. Got several stuck pixels so monitor is getting past it anyway.

Life is too short for working around undersize screens. My first CAD (sort of) was MacDraw on a Mac SE. CAD on a 9" screen was "challenging". But we used what we had.

Do verify that whatever CAD program you settle on has decent active drawing blow up and fit to screen capability. I've had VectorWorks up past 5,000 times enlargement, and needed it! Also make sure the line joining and object alignment tools are rock solid. If they are not getting things in just the right place is a monumental frustration.

I've always used a trackball. Bigger ball type. Kensington Expert suits me just fine. Silly expensive compared to a mouse but equivalent resolution with a mouse would probably need a yard square mouse pad! The ball just spins for longer moves.

Bottom line is "If you are not comfortable you won't use it.". Better to spend £500 to be a happy driver than £250 to give up in frustration. Or, worse, waste a couple of months trying to get "free" to work and have nothing to show for it. 20/20 hindsight shows I've probably written the book on that.

At least 500 hours to get fully comfortable with exploiting a usefully good program.

Getting to the manage the bits I want to do now stage is much quicker but "Can manage with what I've found out so far. Don't need to know all the clever stuff." Is not a good way to work, Did that for years with VectorWorks and, in retrospect, wasted a colossal amount of time and frustration.


Bazyle24/10/2020 14:37:34
5567 forum posts
207 photos

I've just googled Solid edge community and am seeing several results none of which are a website starting 'solid edge'. I see plm.automation, community.sw, etc.

Seems like a lot of opportunity to download viruses - what is the genuine site?

Raymond Anderson24/10/2020 15:10:35
778 forum posts
152 photos

Bazyle, Just type in Solid Edge community edition and that should take you to the official site. I would have created a link but not sure the procedure for this site.

Clive Foster24/10/2020 15:53:44
2465 forum posts
81 photos


Link to Solid Edge Community Edition :- **LINK**

You will get a coupe of E-Mails a week from Siemens about CNC, CAD & CAM stuff including links to advice article downloads in PDF format. Advice is all seriously above our pay grade but I reckon around one or two a month make interesting reading.


Bazyle24/10/2020 15:55:27
5567 forum posts
207 photos

Thanks, that's what got me to Team.... and a 30 day trial.

However I found the right place


Something to do this wet weekend. Just hope it doesn't turn into a restrictive version down the line.

Edited By Bazyle on 24/10/2020 15:55:42

John Rutzen24/10/2020 16:15:05
282 forum posts
16 photos

Hi Roderick, Ian, David and Clive. Thank you for those inputs. I don't know, as you say if you are not comfortable with something you won't use it. Maybe I should stick with the drawing board which I am comfortable with. It's the rubbing out I don't like. I have already got a 24 inch monitor as it happens, perhaps I could just get a windows box to go with it cheaply enough. It's the space it all takes up that is the problem.

John Rutzen24/10/2020 16:19:24
282 forum posts
16 photos

That' link is helpful Clive and Bazyle. Will Solidedge run on my mac? OSX 10.11.6

IanT24/10/2020 17:16:23
1677 forum posts
163 photos
Posted by Bazyle on 24/10/2020 15:55:27:

Something to do this wet weekend. Just hope it doesn't turn into a restrictive version down the line.

To my mind, it's very similar to my use of TurboCAd Bazyle - I used various versions over the years, some free and some purchased but I only upgraded when I needed to (last time for Win10 reasons).

From the Siemens website:

"This free download:

  • Is available to any active maker, CAD enthusiast, or design challenge competitor interested in using CAD to bring their ideas to life.
  • Is intended for personal use, and may not be used for commercial purposes
  • Has a license that does not expire

Note: Files created in this edition cannot be opened in commercial versions of Solid Edge and 2D drawings are watermarked, but your designed parts and assemblies can be 3D printed so you can easily create prototypes. "

So I'm happy to know that I have this SE 2020 version software for as long as I need it. Whether Siemens will make newer versions of SE available in the future, I don't know but their terms for this version seem fair to me.

Btw - I don't get emails etc from Siemens - I probably opted out of that (there is a tick box to do so).

I also don't know what (crippled?) export file types I might ever need (I'm clearly not a CAD expert) but SE 2020CE seems to have everything I need at the moment.



Clive Foster24/10/2020 17:23:44
2465 forum posts
81 photos


My MacPro runs OS 10-12-6 High Sierra. Solid Edge seems to be fast and responsive using Virtual Box to run Windows 10. But I've only played with it.

However the MacPro sitting under my desk is pretty powerful. Big old lump tho'.

Mid 2010 version with 2.8 GHz Quad-core Intel Xenon and 24 GB memory.

Graphics card is ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1024 MB memory onboard.

Main drive is 1 terabyte solid state, three more spinning drives adding up to around 3 terabytes in the box too.

I think on a laptop integrated graphics and limited memory may be the most likely issues once a drawing becomes complicated. But how complicated ....

The laptop I'm writing this on is a Mid 2010 MacBook Pro 17", also on 10-12-6. 2.66 GHz Core i7 processor but only 4 GB main memory and 288 MB integrated graphics memory. So lots less oomph. SolidEdge would maybe go OK under BootCamp but the extra load of Virtual Box might be pushing it.


Clive Foster24/10/2020 17:31:50
2465 forum posts
81 photos

Further to IanTs comment I think if you made an isolated computer running just windows 10 and SolidEdge it will be safe until the hardware dies,

If you print your drawings to pdf the content should be safe whatever happens.

I imagine that, within my lifetime at least (was 66 in July), a Virtual Machine system to run a dedicated Windows10 - Solid Edge community edition will always be possible.


anthony brooks 324/10/2020 18:51:09
21 forum posts

I am in a similar boat. However being a cunning lad I do have a solution that may work outside the US. As I am not using CAD for commercial purposes I think it is acceptable. My daughter is at university. She signed up for an educational license with Autodesk - 3 years worth.

Raymond Anderson24/10/2020 18:59:41
778 forum posts
152 photos

The newest commercial version of Solid Edge is now 2021 [ which now includes sub division modelling ] will be a few months until the 2021 community edition / Student edition appears.

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