Can Fusion 360 Run On Chromebook? (Alternatives)

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Whether you’re a student who is delving into the world of engineering, a team hoping to design collaborative projects or a freelancer with a product vision in mind, Fusion 360 is a program that could be appealing to you.  

Fusion 360 is a 3D modeling tool with computer-aided design (also referred to as CAD) software. It’s also a tool for computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and computer-aided engineering (CAE).

Through precise and “organic modeling,” the software helps users create designs that are actually manufacturable. 

Data from your Fusion 360 program is stored in a cloud. You can create designs that are accessible only to you for editing, or you can open projects up to a team of people for group collaboration in real-time. 

The Fusion 360 program assists creators through the entire design process— from their first design iterations to a potential 3D-printed prototype.

It helps blend the divide between creative idea-launching and the actual physical creation of a product. 

As it stands right now, this product is not currently available for every device. We’ll explore who can exactly access it and some of the details behind the program throughout this article. 

Can Fusion 360 Run On A Chromebook? 

In recent months, Autodesk has launched a version of Fusion 360 for Chromebook users. However, this specific program is a desktop version that is intended only for educational use. According to the company, “any student, educator, school IT administrators or design competition mentor” could access this service. 

That individual would need to create an Autodesk account and then subscribe through the company’s Education Community.

That subscription would prove their eligibility and open the door for collaborative, cloud-based 3D designing.

This service was launched around October 2020 and is currently only available for people in the education field. 

If you’re a Chromebook user and do not have an educational background, like a student or teacher, you will likely not have access to the program.

Fusion 360 currently only runs on Windows and Mac OS. It will not download to a Chrome OS.

A brief note; While Fusion 360 access isn’t blocked in other countries, the software is specifically optimized for use in the United States.

Related: Does Adobe After Effects Work on Chromebook

Is Chromebook A Good Choice For Fusion 360?

If you’re a student, teacher, or an education-centric employee, then a Chromebook is not a bad choice for Fusion 360. Your education subscription would allow you access to the fully-functioning program through their desktop service. 

It wouldn’t download and run as it would on Mac or Windows OS computers, but you’ll still be able to design and build projects, collaborate with others, and access the full range of services that Fusion 360 provides. 

If you are an architect, make sure to check Is Fusion 360 Good For Architecture?

How To Use Fusion 360 On My Chromebook?

To access Fusion 360 on your Chromebook, you should tackle a few different steps first. 

To start, you need a compatible educational subscription for the program. It essentially just confirms who you are and that you’ll be accessing the software through a Chromebook.

You can sign up for one of these subscriptions through Autodesk’s Education Community

Once you’ve reached their Education Community platform, click Get Started. You’ll also find a video on that web page that you can watch to understand the extent of their Education subscription fully.

Keep in mind; This educational subscription is free for a year for students and educators. 

After choosing Get Started, you’ll either need to sign in to your Autodesk account or create a new account. The company also advises that you fill out your “education profile” at that time.

Once you’ve built your new profile, select Get Product. (That option will appear on your screen once Autodesk has processed your eligibility as a student or educator).

If, for some reason, you do not see the Get Product option, consider refreshing your tab. The company recommends refreshing your cache by tapping CTRL + REFRESH. 

When you can see the Fusion 360 product option on your screen, click Access

Now that your account is fully set up and your eligibility is confirmed, you can pull up and use Fusion 360 from any Chromebook.

Simply type in the URL: https://fusion.online.autodesk.com. That URL is only accessible with Chromebooks and not from other operating systems. 

You may find that, after finishing this process, that a Fusion 360 download will launch on your computer.

You don’t need to install the program to use the service. You can close the browser instead. 

Is Fusion 360 Free For Hobbyists?

There are two free Fusion360 subscriptions available for hobbyists. The subscriptions are only open for personal use and for new startups that qualify for the service. 

The subscriptions you can try out are “Fusion 360 for personal use” and “Fusion 360 for startups.” 

With the Fusion 360 for personal use program, certain qualities of the full Fusion 360 commercial subscription will be blocked.

For example, you won’t be able to use the collaboration tool. This service is intended just for non-commercial use, and you will have access to the tools you need for design, engineering, and documenting. This service is free for a year. 

Under Fusion 360 for startups, businesses can access the fully-functioning commercial Fusion 360 program, but each company would need to apply and get approved to use this subscription.

You can see if your business matches the eligibility criteria here. This subscription would also be free to users.

How Much Is A Fusion 360 License?

If you aren’t eligible for the free “personal use,” “startup,” or “education” based subscriptions, the full Fusion 360 product is available. 

The software is priced via three different payment plans. For the monthly subscription, you can anticipate spending about $60 per month.

If you opt for the annual plan, the cost is about $495 per year. If you choose to pay for the program every three years, expect a $1,335 price tag. 

Can Fusion 360 Run on Mac?

Yes, Autodesk Fusion 360 can work on your mac. However, this is not always the case, as you’ll soon find out. More in detail about this in this article.

Can You Use Fusion 360 On Two Computers?

Users can access their specific Fusion 360 license from multiple computers. However, according to the company, several people cannot share the same account. You can install Fusion 360 on any Windows or Mac OS computer through your own Autodesk log in. 

All of your data is connected under your Autodesk ID, and information is stored in the cloud. It’s not restricted to any single device. 

What Features Do You Need In Your Computer For Fusion 360?

For a Chromebook, there are a few features your computer would need to properly and fully run Fusion 360. At a minimum, the computer would need to support at least 2GB RAM.

Your computer would need to be running on Chrome OS and using the Chrome web browser to access their desktop program. 

If you’re using an Apple product, then Fusion runs best on macOS 10.12 or higher.

For PC devices, Windows 7 or higher is needed. It’s recommended that your device has a 64-bit central processing unit and a graphics card of 512MB GDDR RAM.

Finally, the company says that a reliable internet connection is vital to properly save and share any edits you make to your project.

Autodesk also recommends that users consider using a mouse instead of their computer’s touchpad. However, an external mouse isn’t required to use the service. 

If you’re a teacher or a student using this service, your school may initially block the Autodesk website on your device. An IT administrator will need to be contacted to allow for the Autodesk domain to be approved.   

What Is The Best Computer For Fusion 360?

Most newer-model computers and laptops will have the proper operating system and capabilities to support the Fusion 360 software. For optimal designing, engineering, and computing, we recommend the following items. 

Apple MacBook Pro

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For Apple loyalists, the best and most reliable option for a 3D CAD-supported computer is the Apple MacBook Pro.

This device has a 16-inch resolution with vivid imaging. The laptop’s CPU has the capacity to handle this specific design software.

It’s a bit larger than its MacBook Air counterpart, but it packs more power, performs faster, and handles large files with ease. 

Asus ZenBook Pro Duo

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For excellent visuals on a high-powered laptop, consider the Asus Zenbook Pro Duo. Its 16GB RAM and CPU capacity make for robust performance levels.

This laptop has a 15.6” 4K resolution, and it’s still compact and lightweight. It runs on Windows 10 OS and is designed explicitly for major multitaskers.

Dell XPS 15 9500

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The Dell XPS 15 9500 laptop is lightweight, runs on Windows 10 system, and has a graphics card RAM size of 4GB.

The screen is crystal clear and 15 inches wide. This laptop is mobile, functional, and will allow for some incredible design creations. The visuals are incredibly vivid, bright, and detailed.

Its CPU is faster than its predecessors, and while it is an investment, it’ll support CAD and 3D modeling well.

Final Thoughts

Fusion 360 is an optimized way for users to centralize their computer-assisted designs.

From engineering to manufacturing, the software helps students, hobbyists, and businesses execute unique designs. 

Students, educators, and people working in education can access a desktop version of Fusion 360 for free through their education subscription on a Chromebook.

If you don’t work in education, your best bet for running the Fusion 360 software is to try it out on a Mac or Windows OS computer.