Autodesk announced a significant rise in the pricing of their key 3D CAD tool, Fusion 360.
Fusion 360 is a cloud-based, subscription service that provides a wide array of functions for those creating 3D objects. Fusion 360 provides not only parametric solid modeling, but also sculpting, mesh handling, generative design, simulations, CAM functions and much more. It’s a very comprehensive and powerful product, available at relatively low cost.
Well, it was available at relatively low cost.
Autodesk announced a significant rise in pricing to come into effect August 7, only a month away.
The current annual price of Fusion 360 is US$495, and after August 7th, the price rises to US$545 per year, a jump of ten percent. However, Autodesk currently has a subscription sale available where the annual cost is only US$396. If you were to take that deal, the price rise is almost 38%!
Similarly, the three year subscription cost is currently US$1410, and it’s heading to US$1555, a ten percent rise. Again, they currently have a sale on with the three year price at only US$1128, meaning one could save almost 38% before August 7th.
Autodesk also announced price increases for “extensions”, which are extra pieces of function that are subscribed to on an adhoc basis as users require. Evidently these prices are to rise approximately 30% each, which in some cases can be significant.
One thing to note is that once you’re in a pricing tier, Autodesk seems to allow you to stay at that level, regardless of future price increases. My “legacy” subscription to Autodesk Fusion 360 apparently doesn’t change as a result of this latest price increase.
That’s likely why Autodesk is offering the current sales: it could be quite attractive to anyone considering picking up a subscription, and may cause many to become long-term Fusion 360 subscribers.
For some, the price increase may push Fusion 360 into the unaffordable range, particularly if several expensive extensions were being used. However, similar alternatives, such as SOLIDWORKS, can be significantly more expensive than Fusion 360. There are open source alternatives, such as FreeCAD, but they simply don’t have all the functionality offered by Fusion 360 and other commercial alternatives.
Fusion 360 is a good tool; it’s quite powerful and is relatively easy to learn, although there is a LOT to learn. While its subscription price is definitely not free, it does provide reasonable value for the money.
For those unable to afford Fusion 360 at any price point, I should mention that Autodesk does provide a subscription program for students, hobbyists and small startup businesses that is entirely free. You must apply for the program, and business use must be for operations generating less than US$100K in annual revenue. Autodesk explains who qualifies:
“Venture, angel-backed or bootstrapped startups under 3 years old. Startups with 10 or fewer employees generating annual gross revenue below US$100,000 (including parent entities).
Startups must design or manufacture original physical products and be willing to share your story with a valid website, transact on social media or a digital platform.”
For those that wish to take on a Fusion 360 subscription, we’ve arranged to provide a discount of US$50 on your purchase if you use this link.