Can Fusion 360 Run on Mac? (Guide)

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Last update on 2021-10-21 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

Have you ever wondered how designers and engineers create and visualize their creations?

Have you ever thought about how companies model intricate devices like phones and laptops before production?

Designers use CAD or Computer-Aided Design. One of the best CAD software in the market right now is Fusion 360 by Autodesk.

Autodesk’s Fusion 360 is a cloud-based software tool that designers use to develop products while collaborating with others.

With Autodesk’s Fusion 360 you can explore, change and iterate product designs while you cooperate with your team members distributed across the world. You can model products using organic shapes, use mechanical design techniques and manufacture your product, all while using this software.

In this article, we’re going to look at how this cloud software works. We’ll also look at which devices you can use it on, how to set it up and how to update it.

One of the most common questions people ask.

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. Because Autodesk has to comply with Apple tools and the versions those tools support, older versions of Macs cannot support Fusion 360.

For example, as of May 2020, Autodesk announced that they no longer support devices with macOS 10.12 (Sierra).

Therefore, if you’re running this version of macOS or lower, your device will no longer access or download Fusion 360 from the Autodesk website.

Also, if you already have Fusion 360 installed, you will no longer receive updates for this product, and it will eventually cease to work properly.

To download Fusion 360 and keep it functional, please update your device to the latest compatible macOS version.

You might be interested to check Can Fusion 360 Run On Chromebook?

Which Mac Is Best for Fusion 360?

My recommendation is that you use a MacBook Pro. The more recent the model, the better.

Other Mac devices offer mixed reviews, with MacBook Air performing the worst. You can install Fusion 360 on an iMac but for better performance, you might have to reduce your screen resolution from 4K UHD to Full HD.

Meanwhile, users of older MacBook Pro models (like the 2012 model) still report stable Fusion 360 performance. This should tell you how robust these machines are.

Does Fusion 360 Need a Graphics Card?

No. Fusion 360 does not need a graphics card to run properly.

This software leans more towards better CPU performance because most of its operations are single-threaded.

Many of Fusion 360’s time-based operations require more floating-point calculation, a task that a decent CPU will do efficiently. This means any computer that meets the recommended specifications should do just fine.

This doesn’t mean that your graphics card is useless. Fusion 360 still uses Video RAM and any GPU that offers about 4GB of VRAM should work fine with your computer.

Most CPUs can handle this need, and this makes your GPU is a bonus, not a requirement.

Check more on that at GPU for Fusion 360.

Is Fusion 360 Free for Personal Use?

Absolutely. You can get Fusion 360 for personal and non-commercial use for free. All you have to do is to create or sign in to your Autodesk account to proceed.

Before that, however, you must be a qualified user to get the free license.

The Fusion 360 license is also valid for a full 1-year period, and you must generate less than $1000 USD in annual revenue from home-based projects to maintain it.

How Do I Install Fusion 360 On Mac?

Installing Fusion 360 to your Mac is straightforward.

  • First, Go to the Fusion 360 Product Page. Choose between the Premium and Personal/Hobbyist versions of the Fusion 360 software. This will lead you to the product page of the product version you chose.
  • Next, click on the ‘Sign In’ button.
  • When the account portal opens, sign into your account with your email address and password. If you don’t have an account, click on the ‘Create Account’ button, which will walk you through the sign-up process.
  • Once you sign up, you’ll receive an activation email that you must open to confirm your email address. Once you open the activation link, your Autodesk account becomes active.
  • Open your Autodesk account, access the menu bar on the left of your screen, select ‘Products and Services’ and find Fusion 360.
  • Click on the ‘Download Now’ button. Once you do this your download will begin.
  • Once this download is complete, open the file and right-click it to install.
  • This will open a dialog box with options and when you click on the ‘open’ button, Fusion 360 will install onto your computer from the internet.

Once you’re done, you can run Fusion 360 and take part in projects with your other team members.

Where is Fusion 360 installed on Mac?

Fusion 360 installs directly into the user profile of your mac.

This installation location is fixed and you cannot change it, for example, by moving the installation files to another drive on your computer.

How do I update my Fusion 360 on my Mac?

Updating your version of Fusion 360 is quite easy. When you’re working on your project, Fusion 360 will stream updates automatically. To check for updates and apply them to your software version:

  • Connect your Mac to the internet and start Fusion 360
  • On the top right corner, select the Clock (or Job Status) icon and make sure you’re working online. Without this permission, updates will not take effect.
  • If there’s an update available, a ‘1’ will appear on the Job Status icon.
  • Once the download is complete, you’ll get a ‘new version’ prompt.
  • To complete this update, Restart Fusion 360.

You can also check your software version by clicking on the ‘Help’ menu and selecting the ‘About’ option. Another way to keep track of new updates is to follow Fusion’s What’s New Blog.

How Much RAM Do I Need for Fusion 360?

For your Fusion 360 installation to run smoothly, you’ll need at least 4GB of RAM. If you’re using a device with Integrated Graphics, 6GB of RAM should do the job efficiently.

Can you run Fusion 360 on a Chromebook?

Yes, you can, but you’d have to either be a student or an educator. Those are the only users who can access Fusion 360 from a Chromebook. Also, they can only use the Fusion 360 suite online, they cannot make a local install on the Chromebook device.

Check out more details on that at Chromebook for Fusion 360.

As a personal or commercial user, you can only access Fusion 360 from your Windows or Mac computer. Currently, ChromeOS does not support Fusion 360.

What Computer Should I Get for Fusion 360?

Before you go get your computer and install Fusion 360, make sure that it meets the minimum recommended specifications required. Here they are:

  • Apple macOS High Sierra or Higher/ Microsoft Windows 8.1 or 10.
  • x86 based 64-bit processor with at least 4 cores and 1.7GHz speed or higher. Fusion 360 does not support 32-bit processors.
  • 4GB RAM
  • DirectX 11 or higher
  • Dedicated GPU with more than 1GB of VRAM
  • Integrated graphics with 6GB or more of RAM
  • 3GB storage space
  • 1366 X 768 or greater display resolution
  • Internet speeds of 2.5Mbps or faster for downloads or 500Kbps or faster for uploads

If your PC meets or exceeds these requirements, you should be fine. If not, take a look at these laptops below:

Apple MacBook Pro

2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage,...
  • Ninth-generation 6-Core Intel Core i7 Processor
  • Stunning 16-inch Retina Display with True Tone technology
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID

Last update on 2021-10-21 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

Apple always makes some exciting devices, and the MacBook Pro is the ideal device for all your CAD needs.

It has a 6-core Intel Core i7 processor that runs at over 4.5GHz, perfect for complex modeling and processing.

It also has 16GB RAM and 512 GB SSD storage that you can upgrade up to 2TB. For impeccable visual performance, the MacBook Pro features a 4GB AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU, sufficient to run Fusion 360 at high levels of performance.

Aside from all these gizmos, it still maintains its sleek and stylish construction.

HP Omen

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Hot on Apple’s heels is the HP Omen. It also features a 9th generation Intel Core i7 processor that can clock up to 4.5GHz for incredible performance.

It also comes with a 15.6-inch Full HD display with a 144Hz refresh rate, impressive enough even for gamers.

32GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage make this laptop a titan that can handle Fusion 360 without a sweat. It uses a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 GPU, which helps produce complex models.

Not an Apple lover? Get the HP Omen.

MSI GS66 Stealth 036

MSI GS66 Stealth 10SGS-441 15.6' 300Hz 3ms Ultra Thin and...
8 Reviews
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SGS-441 15.6" 300Hz 3ms Ultra Thin and...
  • Processor Manufacturer: Intel
  • Processor Type: Core i7
  • Processor Generation: 10th Gen

Last update on 2021-10-11 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

The MSI GS66 Stealth gaming laptop is more than capable of handling Fusion 360 tasks. It features a 10th generation i7 10750 CPU with 2.6GHz speed. Combine that with 32GB RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, and you’ll get one of the fastest laptops out there.

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card and 8GB of VRAM bring the laptop to the level of  Apple Macbook Pro and HP Omen.

A 15.6″ FHD Anti-Glare Wide View Angle screen at 1080p resolution can make any designer happy. The ultra-thin and light design of the laptop makes traveling easy, as well. 

This laptop packs some extra features, too, like an anti-ghost per-key RGB keyboard and a 720 HD webcam.

The MSI GS66 comes with Windows Pro installed, which is excellent for business. You’ll get a free upgrade to Windows 11 when available and a 1-year warranty on the device. 

Final thoughts

We’ve looked at whether Fusion 360 can run on a mac. We’ve also looked at other features and requirements you need to set up Fusion 360 on your mac.

Finally, we’ve looked at the MacBook Pro and two alternative laptops you can use. Always make sure that you have a stellar device before you run Fusion 360 on it.

Make sure that you keep your Fusion 360 installation up to date and enjoy designing the next big thing!