Spitfire76 is learning Autodesk Fusion 360


Well-known member
After building a number of both foam board and 3d printed planes I really have the desire to design my own planes and know that I need to become somewhat proficient in CAD.

I had used Inkscape for 2d and Tinkercad for simple 3d printed parts but to design a complete plane a more professional CAD software was needed. I started with some Fusion 360 tutorials on YouTube and some classes on Udemy but recently stumbled upon these guys that in my opinion really is the ultimate method to learn Fusion 360.

So they have a video course for $400 but their paperback book on Amazon covers the same material for under $40. They even have the PDFs of the book downloadable for free on their website but I am sure a donation would be appreciated. What's really good is they are building a community with their discord server and weekly live YouTube podcast that supports the course.

PS - just adding the link to the free personal (non-commercial) version of Fusion 360 as I found it not so obvious to locate on the Autodesk website.
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Flying Monkey fab

Elite member
I’ve been learning F360 for several years now and appreciate the heads up as I’ve never heard of them. I will check them out.

I’ve designed quite a few things with it but have yet to tackle a full on plane plan. Sure would like to though.


Well-known member
Now that CAD Class does not cover designing model planes although they have mentioned a drone project in their next edition of the book (June 2024). Of course what is unique about planes is their airfoil and I found that there are additional Fusion 360 scripts to help with that. I'll attempt to document them in this thread as I learn myself.

In F360 select UTILITIES from the top menu and then ADD-INS and in the drop down menu select Fusion 360 App Store to open up a browser window to the Autodesk App store. Search for "Airfoil DAT to Spline and download it".

From the download directory run the msi file (windows) and it will install the script into F360.
Select Scripts and Add-ins under the ADD-INS menu (or shift S) and it should now show up under My Scripts


Before ruining the script another file (.dat) is needed that describes the airfoil shape. There are a number of sources for this and links are provided in the script's description on the app store. I downloaded a Clark-Y airfoil from Airfoil Tools as I understand that its quite a common airfoil. Make sure that the file has a .dat suffix and not txt.

Run the script and a parameter window will pop up.


Select a plane (I left the others as default) and another window will pop up to select the airfoil's dat file. You should now have something like this


The trailing edge though has a gap so you will need to edit the sketch and add a line to enclose the shape.


....more to follow as I learn how to now make this sketch into a 3d printable wing.


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Flite is good
You can open the DAT file in notepad and make the last two sets of numbers match the first two sets of numbers. Then give it a name and save the file as a .dat file. Do not delete or add sets of numbers.

Or, like you said, edit the sketch with lines to close up the trailing edge. Either way works.