How Computers Change Business: A Free Professional Design Tool For Mac Users

Times change. There once was a time when a company manufactured and sold a product in exchange for money. Today’s digital world has altered that landscape with many new business models.

For example, Google gives away products for free, but in exchange for information. That data becomes the product that Google uses to make money. Even the world of design has changed and some design and modeling tools are free or quite inexpensive.

Autodesk is a large company that specializes in design applications. Autodesk Inventor Fusion is free. I won’t claim to know or fully appreciate the business model, but Inventor Fusion is a capable 3D CAD modeling app without a price tag. Is it any wonder there are so few jobs for draftsmen? With the right tool, engineers do away with the middleman.

Inventor Fusion

Inventor Fusion starts with simple 2D sketch tools where you can add multiple shapes with a click, using the direct modeling technique.

Add components to a 3D design model and mimi real world assembly. Designs can be stored online using Audodesk’s 360 collaboration service, and viewed on iPHone and iPad with the Autodesk Viewers.

Autodesk built in notifications when files are edited or updated. The app is fullscreen aware and takes advantage of any Mac with a larger, external display. It even works with Airplay Mirroring to share designs in meetings.

As design apps go, Inventor Fusion is not Mac intuitive. It’s actually complex and complicated to use, which makes it an excellent tool if your day-to-day work is product design, as opposed to a hobby.

Still, there’s plenty of design horsepower here, and one of a number of Autodesk design apps with a price tag that all but obliterates competition at the low end of the design spectrum.