Solidworks vs. Autodesk fusion for complex assemblies

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Hi, seeking insights from the community: What are the notable differences between SolidWorks and Fusion 360 in terms of their capabilities for designing complex assemblies? Thanks

Solved by Anton Huryn

Hi all, I partially support the opinion that Solidworks is better suited for large assemblies.
In my experience I can say that when designing a Fire Truck with about 10,000 parts Solidworks is much faster than Fusion.

By the way Solidworks has a special option “large assembly”, I hope I spelled the name correctly. 🙂

This command makes it even easier to work with the assembly. As far as I understand during the work (rotation, Zoom in, Zoom out, etc) the program simplifies 3D models to primitives and reduces the load on the computer.

Of course the main question is the price. But in my opinion it is justified if we are talking about speed and convenience of work.

I do not think that for educational purposes are used large assemblies (more than 500 elements), so for sure for educational purposes is suitable Fusion, but if you are a professional in a large enterprise I think Solidworks is your choice.

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      Hi, seeking insights from the community: What are the notable differences between SolidWorks and Fusion 360 in terms of their capabilities for designing complex assemblies? Thanks

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    • For complex designs/assemblies, I rely on Solidworks. It’s the gold standard, really precise and reliable for detailed projects. Been using it for many years, and it’s solid for heavy tasks with many components. One feature I find very useful is the “Advanced Mate”—this allows for creating more complex and controlled assembly relationships, very specific to SolidWorks. The depth of tools, such as simulating real-world physics within an assembly, is something I appreciate.

      Fusion is good, but when it comes to the engineering depth and precision need, SolidWorks, with its unique capabilities, remains my choice. Maybe it’s a matter of taste, but still!

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        Andreas

        Just talked with my colleague a few days ago on this topic. We both agreed that while Solidworks has been the go-to for precision and heavy-duty tasks, Fusion 360 is really starting to shine. Its “Joint” feature is pretty comparable to Solidworks’ “Advanced Mate,” offering a lot of control for complex assemblies. And the integrated simulation tools? Super handy. The cloud-based nature of Fusion 360 really simplifies collaboration too. Honestly, with all the updates and new features being added, Fusion 360 is quickly closing any gap with Solidworks. It’s becoming a serious contender, especially for those of us leaning into the latest in CAD/CAE tech.

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        Tilmann98

        I lean more towards Fusion 360 for designing complex assemblies. Its integrated workflow and innovative features like generative design make it ideal for handling intricate projects. Plus, Fusion 360’s cloud-based collaboration ensures smooth teamwork. And yes, the more accessible pricing is definitely a bonus for me.

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        Tilmann98

        Thank you

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        Andreas

        valuable points, thank you Andreas!

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      Hi, I would mention the following. SolidWorks: More mature, robust for complex assemblies, better suited for large-scale projects, higher learning curve, requires powerful hardware. Fusion: Cloud-based collaboration, easier learning curve, integrated CAM and simulation tools, suitable for startups and smaller teams.
      Additionally, when we look at the cost, SolidWorks generally costs more because it’s made for experts and big companies that need its detailed tools for complicated work. On the other side, Fusion 360 has pricing that’s easier to get into. It even has a free option for people doing it as a hobby, new companies, schools.. Plus, its pay-as-you-go plan is liked by smaller companies and individual workers

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        QuantumQuest

        In general, I agree – good summary! 

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        QuantumQuest

        thanks, the price would also be the deciding factor for me

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        QuantumQuest

        Hi all, I partially support the opinion that Solidworks is better suited for large assemblies.
        In my experience I can say that when designing a Fire Truck with about 10,000 parts Solidworks is much faster than Fusion.

        By the way Solidworks has a special option “large assembly”, I hope I spelled the name correctly. 🙂

        This command makes it even easier to work with the assembly. As far as I understand during the work (rotation, Zoom in, Zoom out, etc) the program simplifies 3D models to primitives and reduces the load on the computer.

        Of course the main question is the price. But in my opinion it is justified if we are talking about speed and convenience of work.

        I do not think that for educational purposes are used large assemblies (more than 500 elements), so for sure for educational purposes is suitable Fusion, but if you are a professional in a large enterprise I think Solidworks is your choice.

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    • I agree with the comments already made about when/how Solidworks is used vs. Fusion on assemblies. Solidworks definitely has more mature tools available and is typically more responsive when you’re spinning the integrated assembly. It also has great tools specific to using profiled structures and weldments.

      Fusion’s advantage is in accessibility and price. It is still a robust CAD platform that is often an order of magnitude cheaper to access. I can’t use it for our work because it’s cloud-based, and we work on export-restricted projects with strict IT limitations (I’m in the US, so ITAR, for example). I have worked with collaborative projects with Autodesk and like their sharing options for viewing, commenting, and editing. Being invited to a project is great and allows you to dive in with others quickly. I don’t feel those collaboration tools are as convenient with Solidworks.

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Solidworks vs. Autodesk fusion for complex assemblies
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