In this success story, we delve into the journey of an individual who found their passion for 3D printing and modeling after a serendipitous encounter on YouTube. Frustrated with the laborious process of building plugs and molds in the composite industry, they were inspired by a video showcasing the potential of 3D printing molds. Intrigued, they embarked on a quest to learn Fusion 360, a powerful CAD software that would enable them to bring their ideas to life.
Through the guidance of Product Design Online (PDO), they unlocked the ability to model intricate airplane designs and revolutionized their approach to composite manufacturing. This story highlights the transformative power of Fusion 360 and how learning this skill opened doors to boundless creativity and increased efficiency.
Having now acquired proficiency in Fusion 360, our learner’s enthusiasm is boundless. They have successfully 3D printed molds, designed intricate RC airplanes, and even collaborated with clients on patent-worthy projects. Their future plans involve expanding their modeling repertoire to encompass cars and other complex objects. Encouraging others to embark on the Fusion 360 journey.
Check out our full interview with Tony Watkins (below) to hear his advice to those just getting started with Fusion 360.
Join the PDO Academy and start learning Fusion 360 today.
Cad Build Fly RC
Tony makes 3D-printed molds and produces RC plane parts using composite materials. After learning Fusion 360, he started his own YouTube channel – Cad Build Fly RC – where he shares his journey on going from CAD to 3D print to final product.
- What led you to learn Fusion 360? Can you give some insight into your background/story?
In the past, I worked in the composite industry but hated building plugs and molds. I saw a person on Youtube 3D printing molds, and I thought, “What a wonderful idea.” – and I had to learn how to do it.
Once I started learning about 3D printing, I realized that I had to learn Fusion 360 to model plugs and molds. By learning Fusion 360 from Product Design Online (PDO), I’m now able to model just about any airplane I see.
By learning Fusion 360, I have cut down all the work that goes into building a plug from scratch and am saving a lot of money.
- Before learning Fusion 360, did you have any experience with other CAD/3D Modeling packages? If yes, which software package(s)?
I had no experience with CAD whatsoever before contacting Kevin at PDO.
I thought the learning process was going to be long and boring and very confusing. With PDO, the lessons were direct and to the point.
I was able to model things the very first day, and it brought a sense of accomplishment and pride knowing I was actually learning CAD.
- How/where did you discover Product Design Online (PDO)? Are there any things that make PDO tutorials/courses unique over others?
I was searching YouTube to find lessons on how to learn Fusion 360.
I watched several videos, but none really stuck out and they were a little difficult to understand.
I eventually ran across PDO with the learn Fusion in 30 days lessons. The lessons were bite-size lessons and easy to digest.
- What is your favorite PDO tutorial/course and why?
Learn Fusion 360 in 30 days, and the lesson on making 2 part molds was the icing on the cake.
Building molds takes a lot of time and can be very expensive. Learning how to model the molds in Fusion 360 to 3D print them saves me a lot of money and time.
My other favorite tutorial is, modeling the Lego block on Day #1.
- What advice would you give someone else looking to learn Fusion 360? What challenges did you face and how did you solve them/learn to get past them?
Start with Learn Fusion 360 in 30 days.
Watch the lesson all the way through first. Do not try to model with the lesson when you first watch the video.
Try to understand what is going on in the lesson. Then, the second time, model the object along with the video.
This helped me learn Fusion 360. If you get stuck trying to do something, walk away from it and take a break. When I took a break and went for a walk, the answer always came to me. Also, reach out to PDO for help as well if you need it.
- With your new Fusion 360 (and related skills), what sort of projects do you work on?
I can now model airplanes in Fusion 360.
I 3D print molds and I am currently building them.
I designed an 8-foot RC A-350 airbus and I am building it. I can modify existing STL files in Fusion 360 which is a bonus if you purchase an STL file for 3D printing.
- What is your outlook on Fusion 360? Do you intend to use it for a long time?
I plan on using Fusion 360 a lot. I like modeling jets with it and will learn how to model cars next.
I have a lot to learn in Fusion 360 and with PDO I am learning at a very fast rate.
I have been able to model a tool for a guitar luthier that my client is acquiring a patent for, and I got paid to model it.
- What inspires you to keep making ‘things’ and learning new skills (such as Fusion 360, CNC, etc)?
I have always been fascinated with technology. It is making things easier to do and make.
Any skill I acquire that will cut down on work and time, I am all for it. I like so many jets and want to model and build them all. When I look at a jet or a car or just about any object, I am thinking, “How would I model that in Fusion 360?“
- Is there anything else you would like to share with those looking to learn Fusion 360?
Just start the 30-day lessons and do not give up. One day it will just click and you will be 3D modeling. Do not give up. Do not be afraid.
To ask for help. People learn at different rates, so do not compare your learning time to others.
If you do not understand something, do not move on until you grasp the concept. Having a strong foundation will make modeling in Fusion 360 much easier.
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Got a story to share? Please contact us if you’ve got a story about how Product Design Online has helped you learn and utilize Fusion 360 to finish your projects.Contact Us