CAD Requirements?

I downloaded fusion 360, but when I run it on my computer, it says my graphics card is not good enough and I need to run it on a lower resolution.
On top of that, the program lags when there are a lot of pieces in the program(my guess is 50), and sometimes, fusion crashes when I boot it up.
I’m using an Acer touchscreen laptop, with i7 core and an integrated GPU. I think it has 3 or 4 gigabytes of RAM.
As a result, I’m looking at a 600$ external graphics card to help boost performance. I really dont want to get another computer, and I would like a portable setup, so pcs or kind of out for me. :frowning:

What kind of setup do you use to run CAD? Are there any cheaper options?

You definitely shouldn’t need a $600 graphics card.

Right now, I have a desktop I built for around $1000 total (because I needed the power for 3D rendering). It has a $200 graphics card (GTX 1060) and Fusion runs extremely smoothly. This is overkill for Fusion, you can get away with much lower specs and still have a smooth experience.

Could you give more info about the computer you’re running this on? There are tons of factors that play into how Fusion will run, and graphics card performance is just one of them.

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Got it, I fixed the original post

I am going to say this is a decently old laptop, you are probably running into a RAM issue since it is so low, and then depending on the GPU it could essentially just be Intel HD which is not dedicated and part of your older cpu.

Its 2 or 3 years old.
Also, can you please speak in English? I’m not particularly a computer geek. :upside_down_face:

Unless you bound-and-determined to use Fusion, take a look at Onshape. It is a CAD package as powerful as Solidworks, but runs on the Onshape server, not your local system. More details about all commercial CAD software here: CAD for VEX Robotics.pdf (299.7 KB)


Man I wish, but everyone on my team is using fusion, and we need to share files. :frowning:

Your computer is going to be to slow to run it, you will either need to buy RAM, or buy a better laptop.

As @kmmohn unless you are determined Onshape is really good.

Laptop recommendations from me are: T490 They are great laptops.


Do you think I could just add RAM into my laptop? I want to go cheap, but I’ll consider buying it if there’s no other way.
Also, since an external GPU has it’s own RAM, would I get enough performance by using that? That way it wouldn’t eat off the laptops ram

Depends on what specific laptop you have and what you already have in it, possibly.

Nope that is not how that works.


@Railgunawesome See if you can find an actual model number for your laptop. Acer touchscreen laptop with Core i7 and no dGPU is not very much to go off of, as there are probably many different laptops meeting those criteria.

Usually the model number is printed on a sticker on the bottom of the laptop. If your laptop has a removable battery, the sticker may also be underneath the battery.

If you can’t find a model number sticker, then find “My Computer” or “This PC” in the Start menu (depending on your version of Windows), right click on it, and select “Properties”. You should find a model number there.


I’ll do that when I get home, I dont have my laptop now so I cant check.

The Quadro series would be more efficient for CAD usages compared to GTX series

Quadro’s are also exorbitantly more expensive and their extra performance will not be noticeable for VEX purposes.


If you’re looking for a cheap laptop that’s able to run CAD software, I’d recommend older thinkpads. for a long time I used a thinkpad x230 with for CAD until I got a good pc, and It did alright, but was so cheap. you can definitely scoop a used one off of ebay for less than $500. It could handle inventor fine mostly, if you kept the fancy graphics settings off, but couldn’t handle solidworks. I’ve never ran fusion on it so I have no idea whether or not it would run well, but if you’re willing to switch to inventor it may be a good choice.


you can make a team on onshape so all files will be accessible to all your teammates.
Detailed description of the onshape team stuff


I’m looking at being in at around $200 for an x230 with 16gb of ram and a 240gb ssd.

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Wait you can get a computer that’s able to run CAD for only 200?
Sign me up!

The X230 or any refurbished Thinkpad’s are amazing.

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So in general any thinkpad would work?
What are the minimum specs that a computer needs in order to run CAD smoothly and quickly?
(I’m so bad at this stuff lol)