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Interview with Kevin Land

Kevin Land is the author of Improving CAD Designs with Autodesk Fusion 360 we got the chance to sit down with him and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.

Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?

Kevin: My story starts back in 2011 when my daughter was born. I knew that I had to do more to take care of my family and I needed a side gig since my wife was a stay-at-home mom. I decided to get my AutoCAD teaching certificate. I then taught for Future Media Concepts based in New York City and traveled around the East Coast teaching CAD at many of their office locations.

I had kept all of my certifications updated on my LinkedIn profile and one day was asked by a Packt editor if I wanted to write a book on Fusion 360. I love working with Fusion 360 and have taught a few classes but ever since COVID happened, I had to stop traveling so I was very excited to write a book on one of my favorite subjects. I have always wanted to write a book and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect for this opportunity

Q: What is the name of your book?

Kevin:  Improving CAD Designs with Autodesk Fusion 360: A project-based guide to modeling effective parametric designs

Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?

Kevin:  I knew the exact type of book that I wanted to create which was a project-based learning for a variety of small at-home projects that anyone can build. Many people have access to technology such as 3D printing that lets anyone be a maker. This is what I based my book on. Being the at-home maker and finding the right software to build your creations.

Q: Do you have a blog that readers can follow?

Kevin:  No blog currently but the best way to know what I’m up to is to connect with me on LinkedIn.

Q: What key takeaways do you want readers to come away with from the book?

Kevin:  A key takeaway would be that anyone can be a maker/creator. You can start from nothing and create a simple object that can be useful for you around the house in a short matter of time.

Q: Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?

Kevin: The best website to learn more about the commands is the official Autodesk Fusion 360 tutorial website. https://help.autodesk.com/view/fusion360/ENU/courses/ This site has everything that you need to take your skills to the next level. The other website that will help you is the Autodesk help forum. Whenever something breaks, this is the place that will have the answer on how to fix it. https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/fusion-360/ct-p/1234

Q. Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?

Kevin: Yes, I had many challenges writing this book. I work a normal day job so writing at night, especially after a long day at work can be really taxing. There were many times that I wanted to give up and stop but the thought of helping my family kept me going and I knew that I had to continue on to show my daughter that when things get tough, try to figure out how to simplify the problem. One problem that I had trouble with was trying to write too much in one night. Separating the info into smaller chunks of data allowed me to think more clearly and work through some of my more challenging times.

Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?

Kevin: I would definitely recommend that my fellow Designers, Engineers, and Architects write their own books. The book writing experience has taught me a lot about how to take a large, difficult project and break it down into smaller, easier-to-work-with chunks of data. You also get a special happy feeling when you know how the person reading your book might go on to create something amazing one day and it was all thanks to you for starting their journey with your book.

Q. Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?

Kevin: The difference between my book and others is that my book was made for beginners who have had no previous experience creating and can use beginner projects to understand how and why certain tools are used for a specific task.

Q. What is/are your specialist tech area(s)?

Kevin: AutoCAD, Fusion 360, Revit, Solidworks, CAD

Q. What advice would you give to readers jumping into this technology? Do you have any top tips?

Kevin:  One top tip that I would say is to be kind to yourself. You’re learning something new and that can take time. You’ll understand it gradually and after a few months, you’ll have the confidence to start creating on your own. Also, play/experiment with the software, this helps to understand how it works and why it works. You won’t break it, I promise.

Q. What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?

Kevin: Fusion 360 was designed for the hobbyist creator who may or may not have abilities to create their own parts. Having software like Fusion 360 that is available for free to use for hobbyists levels the playing field for the normal average person and lets them have the ability to create without the expensive need for a designer or engineer.

Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?

Kevin: I don’t belong to any groups at the moment but I do recommend that you seek out your local Makerspace. A makerspace is a local group of fellow designers who create and share ideas through classes and on-site projects such as creating your own cosplay costume or 3D printing a flowerpot.

Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?

Kevin: I would have struggled a lot with organizing my book if it wasn’t for the help of my editors at Packt Publishing. They did an amazing job to help keep me on track and help me to figure out exactly what information I was trying to convey. A very special thank you to all the Packt team. They are all rock stars!

Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?

Kevin: I usually get my information just like many other people through online sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube. Sign up for companies that you want to follow like Autodesk and follow programs like Fusion 360.

Q. Would you like to share your social handles? If so, mention them below.

Kevin: You can reach out to me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinland/

Q: What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?

Kevin:  One tip that I would like to share is that if you had an idea that you thought would be perfect for the book but then, as you are writing it out, doesn’t sound quite as good, don’t be afraid to change it. Listen to your instincts as you don’t want to create your book and have regrets after the book has been printed.

You can find Kevin’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here

Improving CAD Designs with Autodesk Fusion 360
Full-Stack Flask and React – Available on Amazon.com