Design and Manufacturing solutions through Digital Prototyping and Interoperability

Design using Autodesk Fusion 360 – Part 2

Last week I talked about how to start modelling using Fusion 360 and achieve a basic shape using T-Splines (see “Design using Autodesk Fusion 360 – Part 1”). In the second post of the series, I will guide you through the next step in the workflow of achieving a finished model of a concept using Autodesk Fusion 360.

Convert

This is the point where things become really serious. No more free-forms, no more bending and stretching. It’s all about precision from now on.
The first step is to turn your T-Spline surface shape into a Solid. To do that, right click on your T-Spline model, go Modify and hit Convert. Select the object, choose the operation mode (New Component in this case) and click “OK”. There, now you have a Solid component with the same name as the source surface, just like that.

TsplineToSolid

Tip: make sure you keep your T-Spline bodies somewhere safe, i.e. in a separate group. To do so, create a component named “T-Splines” (which will act as a folder) and drop your T-Spline bodies there, in case you might need to start over. You cannot convert a Solid back to a T-Spline!

Now that we have a Solid that we can work with, we can start preparing it; it will have to accommodate a few other components.

Solid Modelling

Switch from Sculpt to the Model environment

switch

I started by making some space for the screen of the phone. A screen is a major component of this phone, all the other bits should be placed around it.

This can easily be done in few steps: Create a Sketch, Project the outline onto a plane, and make a couple of Offsets from the body then close the shape. Extrude the closed shape. And this is what I ended up with:

Extrude

This process will be particularly easy and familiar for people who have some Autodesk Inventor experience. So after some more extruding, sweeping, pressing and pulling, the phone finally starts to take shape:

body

This particular model does not require any technical specifications, or sense for that matter, because it’s only a visual concept. Therefore I did not bother making any space for all the internal components.

Now, all we have left to do, is model all the other parts, such as the bracelet, the screen, the buttons, the camera, etc. etc. This basically means repeating the steps mentioned before: Idea, Sketch, Sculpt, Convert to Solid and Tweak. Sometimes, it makes more sense to skip the Sculpting part and start with a Solid from the very beginning.

After several hours of crafting, the model is complete:

Finished Wrist Phone Model

Housekeeping

Remember to keep your Browser tidy. It might take some time arranging the items, but it will be beneficial in the long run. And make sure you name your components as-you-go!

To do so, create a new component in the parent directory (in this case it’s Phone v6), rename it, and drag-and-drop all the components that belong in that section.

Browser

All-in-all, the complexity of the model depends on the amount of time the steps were repeated. Don’t hold back on making your model clean, simple and tidy. Make notes, rename and arrange your components, even rename the sketches. It will become very helpful once the model reaches a certain complexity. Take my word for it!

And that concludes the second part of the set. Make sure to visit D&M for part 3, where I will open the model in Autodesk VRED and show you the basics of making an attractive render!

For free 90 day fully featured trial of Fusion 360, shoot over to this site and hook yourself up to a design revolution.