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Fusion 360 has a modern and easy-to-understand user interface that neatly groups similar functions under tabs. However, the user interface can change between versions of the software, since it is still under active development. This can be confusing at times, as some control buttons might be in a different location after an update. 

Onshape offers a smooth user experience. However, the interface can be difficult to get used to when compared to more standard CAD packages like Solidworks®, and even Fusion 360, because all the features are on a single ribbon instead of being broken down into different categories. The icons are also all one color, which makes it difficult to differentiate them from each other. Despite being browser-based, Onshape is responsive, although this responsiveness depends on a stable internet connection.

Learning Curves for Fusion 360 and Onshape

The learning curve for Onshape is somewhat steeper than that of Fusion 360. However, both provide a range of video tutorials to help users get used to how the software works. Onshape’s steep learning curve is due to its product data management system, which is powerful but also complex, in addition to the very nature of its user interface. All the standard CAD features are available on Onshape but the way they are laid out can be confusing for users used to CAD packages like Solidworks®, for example.

Is Fusion 360 Easier to Learn and Use Than Onshape?

Yes, Fusion 360 is easier to learn and use than Onshape. While both of these CAD packages are relatively easy to learn, Fusion 360 has a well-structured learning center that is easy to use and covers a wide range of topics. Onshape has a similar learning center, but ultimately, it is slightly more difficult to get used to. Its learning center also hides some of the higher-quality courses behind a paywall, which can be a bitter pill to swallow considering the price of the Onshape software. 

Fusion 360 vs. Onshape — Application Stability

Both Fusion 360 and Onshape are cloud-based. Any instabilities, bugs, or crashes will very rarely result in data losses as files are stored on servers and can be easily recovered on both programs. Both CAD packages are commercial products. As such, any stability issues can be reported on the relevant forums and are usually addressed in subsequent updates. Onshape does not require a high-bandwidth connection. A stable, uninterrupted connection is all that's required for a smooth user experience.

Fusion 360 vs. Onshape — Customer Support

Fusion 360 and Onshape are both commercial products. They both make formal customer support available. Both also have an assortment of different avenues for searching for assistance, from robust in-app help modules to official forums where users and experts can assist with queries.

Fusion 360 vs. Onshape — Community

Fusion 360 and Onshape both have vibrant communities in terms of official forums, social media, and multiple YouTube® channels (official and unofficial). However, Fusion 360 has a much larger online community due to its popularity and larger user base. 

Fusion 360 vs. Onshape — Price

The Fusion 360 pricing structure is based on a  subscription model. A monthly plan costs $70, a yearly plan costs $545, and a 3-year plan costs $1,555. However, the pricing is more complicated than it might first appear, as Fusion 360 makes use of a token system to access some of its more advanced CAE and CAM features. For example, in terms of FEA, some types of simulations will require more tokens to run than others, and therefore cost more money. Fusion 360 does have free versions, but these are relatively limited in features when compared to the paid versions. 

The Onshape pricing structure is also based on a subscription model. However, Onshape only offers annual subscriptions for its different license types. A standard license will cost $1,500 per year whereas a professional license will cost $2,500 per year. Onshape offers a free version but all designs created with the free version are made public.

Alternatives to Fusion 360 and Onshape

The cloud-based nature of Onshape and Fusion 360 means that they do not have many direct competitors. SketchUp® is cloud-based but is far less capable. The closest comparisons in terms of capabilities would be the desktop-based CAD packages like Solidworks® and Inventor®. 

Fusion 360 has far more features and functionality than Onshape, while also being significantly cheaper.

Summary

This article presented Fusion 360 and Onshape, explained what they are, and discussed when to use each software. To learn more about 3D printing software, contact a Xometry representative.

Xometry provides a wide range of manufacturing capabilities, including 3D printing and other value-added services for all of your prototyping and production needs. Visit our website to learn more or to request a free, no-obligation quote.

  1. Autodesk®, Fusion 360®, and Inventor® are trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates, in the United States.
  2. Windows® & Edge® are trademarks of the Microsoft corporation
  3. macOS® & Safari® are trademarks of Apple Inc.
  4. Onshape® is a trademark of Onshape Inc.
  5. Google Chrome® & YouTube® are trademarks of Google LLC
  6. Opera mini is a trademark of Opera Software ASA CORPORATION
  7. SketchUp® is a trademark of Trimble INC.
  8. SolidWorks® is a registered trademark of Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp.

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Fusion 360® vs. Onshape® - Software Comparison