At Trazza we are always on the lookout for resources for small shops doing digital fabrication – resources that will help these shops operate profitably by improving communications with customers and improving collaborations with partners working on the same project. For small shops doing CNC, 3d-printing, laser cutting, and applying other digital fab technologies, I think of these as essential platform tools for leveraging our digital production technologies. Such tools exist for those working within a corporate environment, but there are fewer resources available for small shops to use when working with individual customers or for interacting with others such as designers and collaborative partners.

Fusion 360 is a new cloud-oriented design resource from Autodesk. It is well-suited to the small shop and could become a supportive platform tool. I’ve been following it for a while and have recently described how it works on the 100kGarages blog. If you are new to the idea of cloud-based resources for design project work, you may want to go have a look on the Fusion 360 website. Fusion 360 is free for a trial month and for students and hobbyists remains free.