Fusion 360 Consolidates Standard and Ultimate Tiers

On October 7, Fusion 360 will be offered in a single version for all subscribers.

Simulation workspace in Fusion 360. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)

Simulation workspace in Fusion 360. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)

Autodesk has announced a forthcoming change to its cloud-based CAD platform, Fusion 360. The two variants of the program currently available will be consolidated into one as of October 7, 2018.

Until October 7, Fusion 360 will still be offered in two variants: Fusion 360 Standard and Fusion 360 Ultimate. Though they share all the same core modeling features, Fusion 360 Ultimate adds advanced simulation, advanced manufacturing, and generative design tools (at a rather hefty price bump):

Comparison between Fusion 360 Standard and Ultimate. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)

Comparison between Fusion 360 Standard and Ultimate. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)

Now, in a move reminiscent of its One AutoCAD campaign, Autodesk is consolidating both versions of Fusion 360 into a single offering. The consolidated version of Fusion 360 will include all the features of the former Fusion 360 Ultimate, meaning every subscriber gets advanced simulation, advanced manufacturing, and generative design.

As for the price of the new Fusion 360? At $495/year, it’s something of a mixed bag. While the consolidated version raises the entry bar for Fusion 360 by a couple hundred bucks a year, it’s also a significant drop from the $1,535/year price of the Fusion 360 variant formerly known as Ultimate.

However, current subscribers of Fusion 360 Standard needn’t worry about getting charged extra when their subscriptions come up for renewal. Autodesk is allowing anyone who has subscribed to Fusion 360 Standard before October 7 to maintain the current subscription price ($310/year) indefinitely, provided they remain subscribers. They’ll even get the extra features when the single version of Fusion 360 rolls out. This is clearly the right PR move on Autodesk’s part, and perhaps is some learned wisdom from its previous subscription debacles.

The new subscription model also gives Fusion 360 a big edge in the cloud-CAD arena, which currently consists of two players: Fusion 360 and Onshape. The latter platform is offered in three tiers—Standard, Professional and Enterprise—but the lowest tier of that product is priced at $1,500/year. This was previously on par with Fusion 360 Ultimate. Now, with a price differential of more than $1,000 between the two competing products, users may find themselves pulled more strongly toward Fusion 360.

Onshape also doesn’t have any native simulation, manufacturing, or generative design tools, though there are several third-party applications that can be used with the software. Fusion 360 clearly has the edge in terms of such features, though there is one big asterisk worth noting: Fusion 360 users will need to purchase cloud credits to run advanced simulation and generative design studies. If you plan on using these tools, you’ll be shelling out much more than $495/year.

For more information about the change coming to Fusion 360, including how it impacts subscribers of every type, visit the Autodesk website.

Written by

Michael Alba

Michael is a senior editor at engineering.com. He covers computer hardware, design software, electronics, and more. Michael holds a degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Alberta.