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Battle of the 3D CAD Systems

Autodesk jiggered the features on their subscription CAD service, Fusion 360. Why did they do so? 

Last year Autodesk released a terrific CAD subscription service, Fusion 360. It was divided into two options: a “regular” Fusion 360 service and an “Ultimate” service that was priced significantly higher than the “regular” version. Four times higher, in fact, with a USD$1,200 per year fee for Ultimate and only USD$300 for the lesser version. 

Now if you head over to the Autodesk Fusion 360 page you see a block of text explaining this: 

We’re rolling all the features of Ultimate into Fusion 360
With the upcoming release of Fusion 360, we’ll be including all the features of Fusion 360 Ultimate in Fusion 360. Features previously available only in Ultimate will be available to all current users of Fusion 360.

Autodesk will continue to sell Ultimate, but it will be more strongly focused at enterprise customers. In other words, they’ve beefed up “regular” for some reason. 

That reason could be the announcement of Onshape earlier this year. It’s a very powerful entirely web-based CAD service that’s quite easy to use. 

Onshape’s price levels may explain what’s going on here. For the full “enterprise” version of Onshape, you’ll pay USD$1,200 per year. What a coincidence! 

For the lesser version of Onshore that doesn’t include enterprise features (like large numbers of documents, shared libraries, etc), Onshape is actually available at no charge. 

This is why we think Autodesk threw Ultimate features into Fusion 360. They’ve had to compete against “free”. 

A troublesome situation for Autodesk, perhaps, but it’s a wonderful time to be a CAD consumer. 

Via Autodesk

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