We have some exciting stuff coming soon…
Following David Light’s lead, I have shared the Villa (Carpa) Rotunda model that has been profiled on this blog and in our videos. To access the shared model in FormIt:
- first download the newest version from the App Store
- Log in to, or create, a free Autodesk 360 account
- Then click on this link: http://a360.co/11hBk5a
- From here click on “Copy to My Cloud Documents.” A copy will be placed in your FormIt folder (assuming you have logged into your account at least once from FormIt on the iPad.)
- Open FormIt, log in to A360 in the Gallery, and “pull down” to refresh the gallery.
- Have fun modding the model!
Share your results with us on Twitter with #FormIt or in the comments here.
A brand new MakerBot Replicator2 showed up at our office recently. Of course we started thinking about what we could print from FormIt. I started printing out pieces of the Villa Rotunda model that I posted back in March. But I wanted to print something useful – you know, something that solves a problem. I own an old Oyster acoustic guitar pickup, which I like very much. However, it suffers from a design flaw. The method for attaching the pickup to a guitar is this putty that dried up and fell off years ago. So I fired up FormIt, modeled a clip to hold the Oyster in place, brought it into Vasari, exported an STL file, sent it to the printer and (just about an hour later…yawn) I had my clip!
Postscript: My colleagues in San Francisco have a fancy Objet and were able to print a proper model of Villa Rotunda:
Congratulations to Jeff Cramer, the winner of the DesignByMany “FormIt University” challenge! I thought Jeff did a fantastic job using all of the FormIt features. Modifying edges and faces can create some strange tessellations, but Jeff was able to wrangle them into some really compelling forms. The landmark is also a great use of the booleans.
From the DBM site:
We are pleased to announce the winner of the the FormIt University Challenge is FormIt University (Tessellations) by JEFF CRAMER.. The challenge asked professsionals and students in the architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) community to design a school campus in Mumbai using the new Autodesk FormIt iPad App.
How did FormIt come to be? It started about a year ago while doing user research for Autodesk Vasari. We were talking with a lot of architects about conceptual design and observed a common pattern: mobile devices (specifically iPads) were everywhere. Designers were (and still are) using a variety of sketching and paint tools to capture ideas. But like 2D CAD, these ideas are disconnected from the BIM design workflow. So we asked ourselves: what if we made a 3D modeling app where you could sketch ideas wherever and whenever inspiration strikes?. The next logical question: what if these sketch models could seamlessly flow into the BIM workflow? The majority of the senior designers we met with never touched Sketchup or Revit. This was due to the fact that many did not grow up with these technologies and feel more comfortable with their Moleskine sketchbook. More practically these designers are always on the go – to the site, client meetings, etc. – and simply do not have the time to keep up with fast evolving modeling technologies. So while the accepted wisdom was “no one wants to model on a tablet”, we questioned that wisdom. Why not make an app that could support what Matt Jezyk, our Product Manager, called “a 10 minute model.”
So we started sketching, prototyping, and coding. Less than a year later, we are pleased to launch version 1 of Autodesk FormIt. Below are images that show some of the process of how we go from an idea to app in 11 months.
The first step in this process was what we call a User Experience Storyboard. Like storyboards in film, we use this low cost format to tell the story of what the user experience will be like. This particular storyboard, which we named “Napkin Sketch 2.0” portrayed Simon, a senior design architect, traveling between his office in Chicago and a customer visit in Seoul. He used the long flight home to sketch out ideas and share them with his design staff.
The idea took on legs and we quickly assembled a team to start laying out a plan. First step was to assemble a “story map,” a planning method which allows us to map out potential features into a map that would ultimately guide us through the entire process.
Across the top of this white board above are architectural sketches we used as inspiration – but also to keep us grounded and focused on the end product we were striving towards. The following Pinterest board has these sketches and more. I’m partial to Steven Holl watercolors:
The next steps were key. First: what kind of look and feel should this app have? What should be the first experience like? What about the 10th or 100th experience? These mockups then became more and more detailed as we worked out the user interface scheme for the 3D world and the gallery.
Second, was to figure out how to actually modify the objects. This turned out to be the most challenging and rewarding aspect of this project. Here we also used story-boarding to figure out the gestures we would need to create an manipulate forms.
In just a few weeks after starting the planning process, we had a working prototype – shown in this shaky video.
By four months we had already established a lot of the core app framework and model interactions, shown in this video.
Of course, we followed this with a lot of user testing, white board and Skype discussions, and tweaking before arriving at version 1. FormIt is under continued development, so we will continue to refine and tweak based on your feedback. Please submit feedback at our support site.
We are officially launching FormIt here at Autodesk University today. Members of the team are here to give hallway demos, answer questions, and gather suggestions for future releases. Here are ways to catch up with the team – here in Vegas and virtually:
- Keen eyes will notice FormIt being featured as part of the Mainstage presentation on Tuesday morning
- Angi Izzi and I will be participating in a Facecast on Wednesday at 3pm PT.
- We will be giving a live demo at THEbar Demo Theater on Tuesday at 1:30 PT
- Team members will be hanging out for most of the week in the Autodesk 360 Lounge. Keep an eye out for people in the t-shirts shown below (a lucky few will get their own!)
- Grab a drink with us at the @case_inc Tweetup at Ri Ra Irish Pub on Tuesday at 10pm PM
- If you are not attending AU, I will be blogging on this site and tweeting @AutodeskVasari. #FormIt !