Creating sheet metal assemblies in Fusion 360


If you are familiar with the sheet metal workflow in Autodesk Inventor, you’ll know that it is usually not that different from the regular workflow – that is – design parts, make components, and create your assembly. In fact, Inventor offers a single click feature to switch between the sheet metal and solid part *.ipt file, which can be really helpful in certain scenarios.

However, with Autodesk Fusion 360, things are a little different and the switch between the two isn’t so seamless. If you have been following the regular workflow of creating sheet metal bodies and then try to create components from them (right-click>create components from bodies) , you will encounter this nasty-looking error:

This is because the sheet metal environment employs a rather different workflow in Fusion 360. So, what is the correct way to create a sheet metal assembly in Fusion 360? Follow the steps in the example below to create your sheet metal assembly:

Creating a sheet metal assembly

  1. In your Fusion 360 Design workspace, Click the Sheet Metal tab and select “New component”.

Create new sheet metal component


2. Give the new component a name and select the material from your library. I’ve named mine “Box”. Ensure that you have “Sheet Metal Component” ticked and choose “Empty component”

New Component Settings


3. Now go in and create your sheet metal part as per the usual steps – Create a sketch, add flanges etc. Notice, that in the above dialogue box, we have the “Activate” option selected. This is means that upon creation of your part, it will be set as the active part and as a result, all new sketches, bodies, constructions and sections will belong to that component and not the main design.

4. Once you have created your sheet metal part as desired, make the main assembly active again and then repeat the “New Component” process as described above. In my example, my main assembly is named “Micrographics Blog” and as shown below, I have made it active again. Failure to do this will create your subsequent components in the wrong place.

5. Now go ahead and add as many components as you need to finish off your design. Be sure to always be mindful of the current active component.