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UPDATE: there's a much easier way to do this than is shown in this article. Check out Fusion 360 Custom Parts the Easier Way first!

Fusion 360 from Autodesk is one of the most popular 3D design and modeling packages available today. A recent poll of Big Blue Saw's customers showed us that it's the 2nd most used CAD package, just behind SolidWorks. It's free for personal use, which makes it very easy to get started.

But once you have created a design in Fusion 360, how can you turn that digital file into a real part from Big Blue Saw made of aluminum, stainless steel, or another material? Let's take a look.

For this tutorial, we're going to begin by assuming that you have some experience designing parts in Fusion 360. Below is a typical bracket created in Fusion 360, the type of part that we create every day here at Big Blue Saw.

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With your design open, click the File icon and pick New Drawing | From Design in the drop down menu.

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This will pop up the Create Drawing dialog. The default options shown below should work for your part. In particular you want the Template option to be "From Scratch". The Sheet Size should be large enough to fit the entire part. In this case, we know that the part is 12.475 x 6 inches, so size "B (17in x 11in)" should be plenty. Click OK to accept these options and close the dialog box.

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Next, the Drawing View dialog will appear. You'll need to pick an orientation such that you can see the entire outline of the part. In this case, the "Top" orientation allows us to view the part's outline. If you choose the wrong orientation, you'll see the part edge-on, which won't give enough information to the online quoting system to make the part.

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Choose the "Visible Edges" setting for the Style to create a drawing that only shows the top face of the part. Again, we don't need hidden lines or shading; the goal is to create a drawing with just the outline of the part to be cut.

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Next, set the scale to 1:1 by entering "1:1" in the Scale field. This saves us from having to rescale the design after uploading to Big Blue Saw's online quoting and ordering system.

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Now you should be able to click in the drawing area of the window to place the outline. As long as it's somewhere in the middle, you're OK.

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Click the OK button on the Drawing View dialog.

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Fusion 360 should show you a drawing like the one below.

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Again, our goal here is to eliminate everything but the outline of the outline of the part. Click the drawing details to select them and press the Delete key to get rid of them.

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There's still a drawing border left. Click anywhere on that and press Delete on your keyboard to get rid of that as well.

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You should now have a drawing, scaled 1:1, containing just the outline of the part to cut.

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Next, we should save the drawing for later access. If we update the part model, this drawing will update automatically. From the menu, choose File | Save or press Ctrl-S.

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The Save dialog will prompt you for a name for the file. Choose a name wisely so that you can remember it later. Click the Save button when done.

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We're in the home stretch here, and ready to save a DXF file for Big Blue Saw's online quoting system. From the toolbar, click on the Output button and choose Output Sheet as DXF from the drop down menu.

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A save dialog will appear which lets you save the DXF file anywhere on your computer. Be sure to choose a memorable name for the file and remember what directory you saved it to.

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The DXF drawing file can be uploaded to Big Blue Saw's online quoting system for an instant quote.

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Need special materials or have other requests for your order? Our customer advocates are standing by to help you. Just email us at info@bigbluesaw.com, call 678-929-7294 (678-WAY-SAW4), or contact us through the website!