Autodesk fusion 360 for education is undoubtedly one of the best 3D modelling packages to use in the classroom. In schools across the world students and teachers are embracing Fusion 360 in their studies like no other CAD package. There’s a simple reason for the popularity of Autodesk, it’s free for teachers and students, and it’s user friendly to learn. Why pay for a CAD package when there are free copies available? In the world of CAD there is a vast amount of choice for teachers, but when the best choice for education doesn’t cost anything, teachers can stretch their budgets further.
Why use Fusion 360?
Fusion 360 for education is a cloud based program. This has great advantages in education as students can save their work to Autodesks online storage and then access it at home. This means the learning from the lesson can continue outside of school. This is vitally important in education, whilst the bulk of the learning takes place in teacher led lessons, for students to really extend their learning, they have to be able to build on it in their own time. From a teachers point of view, this means that they can actually set CAD modelling tasks for homework. As long as the student can access a computer with an internet connection then there is the opportunity for this to take place. This is precisely the reason why we have chosen to build out curriculum around the Autodesk suite of CAD packages. TinkerCAD is a great starting point for young children, and our beginners lesson pack is built around this. Our intermediate lesson pack is designed around Autodesk Fusion 360, reflecting the current needs of middle and high school classrooms. Fusion 360 can also be used on a Windows PC and on a Mac, further more there is the option of ‘edit in a browser’ so you can continue modelling in any web browser. Another great feature is the ability to model on a tablet or smart phone, by downloading the app. You can CAD model where ever you take a tablet or phone.
As part of the learnbylayers curriculum we have created video tutorials to help the teaching of the design challenge lessons. This means that if the teacher is new to CAD modelling, the videos can be played to the class in place of ‘teacher demonstrations’. Also students can watch the clips and replay them to help them with the design challenges. One of our most recent adopters of our curriculum explained the benefit of the video clips. John Donnelly, Head of Technology at St James School, Bolton, explained the benefits to his class;
“I’m no novice to teaching CAD or 3D printing, but the quality of the resources available from learnbylayers is second to none. I have used the lesson plans and resources in lesson observations with fantastic results, the videos included in the lessons really enable pupils to work at the own pace which leads to a perfect differentiated lesson.”
Autodesk and teacher training education.
Another reason to embrace Autodesk Fusion 360 is the support network they have. Autodesk are working in collaboration with some of the UK’s top educational teacher training providers. The UK National STEM Learning centre are rolling out a nation wide training programme for teachers/technicians that is free to attend. Over the past 9 years the centre has trained over 19,000 teachers who have then taught over 2 million children. When the number one provider of training teachers in the UK has embraced Fusion 360 then this is a clear winner for education. Our founder Phil Cotton has worked with them over the past two years setting up and running 3D printing courses for teachers around the UK and is a leading advocate of what Autodesk have to offer.
How to get Fusion 360?
As mentioned Fusion 360 is free for education. To get a site license just visit the Autodesk website here and register your school. Then you can download the software onto the schools computers. As most schools have a network, this task would be best completed by IT technicians. Once you have it, registration for students is easy. If you are going to start teaching any kind of CAD then we recommend using the Autodesk CAD modelling packages. Our design challenges are based around them and it is by far the most popular software used in education.
To contact us about anything 3D printing related or to enquire about our curriculum use the contact form below.