Appearances / Materials in Fusion 360

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Making pretty pictures or useful images might involve adding materials for a more realistic look or finish.  Fusion 360 is able to do just that and do it very well.

Firstly to access the materials you need to change the workspace from Design to Render.

Selecting appearance brings up the following dialog box.

The first option to take note of is that you can change the colour of either a face or the whole body.  There are also many sub categories of appearances/materials that come standard with Fusion 360 that make it extremely easy to get up and running and making your designs look realistic.  These materials are the following:

  • Fabric
  • Glass
  • Leather and Cloth
  •  Liquid
  • Metal
  • Mirror
  • Miscellaneous
  • Other
  • Paint
  • Plastic
  • Stone
  • Wood
  • Wood Solid

Now these are not all the materials, there are sub-folders that branch off into the different types of appearances as well.  For instance, in the Other folder  you have different Rubber and Water materials and for Glass you have Color density, Smooth and Textured glass as variants.  To get a better understanding of what you have available, open up the folders and explore.

These appearances are not the only ones you can use, you can also create your own materials either from scratch or by copying an existing material and making modifications to the copy.  I suggest doing it this way as using templates are always a good idea when working in the CAD environment.

Once the materials have been applied to the bodies or components it is as simple as either doing an in-canvas (on the computer) render or you can render in the cloud for faster rendering whilst you go on with some other work.

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