Fusion 360

NOTE: I NO LONGER USE THIS AS SolidWorks IS A FAR SUPERIOR TOOL. Update (2023-02-13): I think I am coming back to this.

P Project lines, so you get the purple lines

I had a bit of prior experience withFusion 360 after following a course on Udemy called Designing for 3D Printing with Fusion 360. From there, I learned the basic principles of the software: drawing sketches on various planes and extruding.

I have created various designs, from soap trays to cups to a phone mount. However, there is still a lot I need to learn to master the art of 3D modeling. Here are some of the things I learned from working on my Motorized Toilet Paper Dispenser project.

Gears in Fusion 360


Designing for mechanical load

In my previous designs, I did not need to worry too much about the structural design on my models, since the load that was put onto them was pretty negligible. However, in this project, my design had to withstand the torque of the motor and the weight of the toilet paper. I did not take too much of this into consideration in my v1 design, which resulted in one of the thin arms snapping off completely.

I fixed this in my v2 design by making the arms much thicker to withstand the load. I also printed my design out with 40% infill, as opposed to the regular 10%. My v2 design turned out to be extremely sturdy.

Bodies vs. Components

Through this project, I better understood the difference between bodies and components. Simply put, bodies are simple shapes, that combined, can form components. For instance, my toilet paper roll was a component composed of 3 different bodies.

One of the main reasons you want to carefully think about whether you are creating a body or component is when you need to define the interactions between different objects. You can only define interactions between components, not bodies. I think of components as separate parts that stand on their own. Here is a great tutorial by Product Design Online that explains the difference between Bodies and Components in depth.