Being an unrepentant capitalist, I must admit that commercial software
has much to recommend it.  There is money to pay programmers to develop
stable and feature rich software, and market forces keep the product
customer focused so the market gets the features that customers want. 
When Fusion 360 launched, I signed up on the AutoDesk forum to ask for a
native Linux version.  The AutoDesk administrator told me that despite
not being too much effort given the cross platform development tools
they use to make the Windows and Mac version, there would never be a
Linux version because Linux users won't pay for software.  That was an
odd thing to tell me, given that I had long ago paid $1250 for Eagle
electronic CAD software, specifically because they offered a very good
native Linux version, and I paid annual maintenance fees for years after
the initial "purchase."  Do we ever really own software?

I wasn't impressed with the AutoDesk attitude, which was slightly less
offensive than Microsoft's "Linux is cancer" public statement on open
source software.

Part of me was relieved.  Even though I wouldn't have the advantage of
the rich features and rising industry standard that Fusion 360
represented, I wouldn't be setting myself up for another proprietary
software ambush.  AutoDesk had done that to me before.  They sold me on
AutoSketch which, as an electrical engineer was all of the mechanical
CAD software I'd need.  Then they discontinued AutoSketch at the moment
that I learned enough to be productive and unilaterally converted my
license to an AutoCAD Lite license.  AutoCAD Lite required a completely
new learning curve, so I was forced to start over.  They charged me the
higher AutoCAD Lite maintenance fees while constantly nagging me to
upgrade to the complicated and expensive full blown AutoCAD that I
didn't want or need.  None of the drawings that I created in AutoSketch
could be used.  There was no import or conversion to AutoCAD Lite.  The
hundreds of hours I spent in AutoSketch was a completely wasted effort. 
I got the impression that AutoDesk viewed their entry level products as
marketing tools to hook new users so they could be up sold on their more
expensive CAD software.  It was a marketing approach that was not
customer oriented.

At the time, AutoCAD was still a 2D CAD package, but they had tacked on
some kludge 3D features.  Meanwhile, smaller and leaner software
companies had introduced true 3D CAD.  Many still exist but SolidWorks
emerged as the big winner.  AutoDesk was suddenly at the back of the
pack and disappeared in the rear view mirror for a few years.  Fusion
360 is their attempt to recapture the market they lost through
complacency.  I can't help but feel that once AutoDesk has herded the
majority of the CAD market back into a near AutoDesk monopoly, they'll
start putting the screws to the users again.

I have no interest in AutoDesk's proprietary Fusion 360 file format that
uses the files that I create to hold me hostage.  I have even less
interest in sharing my data on their cloud.

I use FreeCAD, mostly for 3D printing.  It's still not ready for prime
time and doesn't have a usable CAM system so it's not a possible
replacement for Fusion 360, but it's a viable CAD option for me when
Fusion 360 isn't.

If there was no FreeCAD, I'd use OpenSCAD long before I'd use Fusion
360.  Free Open Source Software for the win.  I wish there was some
effective method to leverage the advantages of commercial software and
FOSS.  I'd like to be able to pool my financial donations with those of
other users to encourage open source software developers to implement
new features.

On 3/22/2019 5:14 PM, Jeff Johnson wrote:
> Anyone on here have opinions on Fusion 360 Cad/Cam by Autodesk?
> Using  ShopCam for simple 2.5D work, VisualCam for 3 or more axis work,
> using Alibre Cad for 3D Drwaing and creation as well as ProgeCad for 2D
> Drawings.
> With this combo there is not much we can't handle but maintenance
> agreements
> and updates do get cumbersome.
> I am worried about moving to the cloud based system but I guess it's the
> future.
> What are this groups thoughts if any?
> Jeff Johnson
> Superior Roll & Turning
> 734-279-1831

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