The best part of my job is speaking to our users. Even when someone is frustrated, it means I have an opportunity to listen and hopefully make it better by guiding our development process. Even after almost a decade dedicated to designing tools for architects, I am still constantly impressed by what our users can produce with our tools. During a recent interview with a-lab, a 43 person firm in Norway, I was once again blown away by not only the quality of the design, but also the sophisticated use of multiple Autodesk tools to create a high quality design in, what seemed to me, an insane time constraint!
Angie Arroyo Mendez, the BIM Manager and the rest of the folks at a-lab were gracious enough to allow me to share the story and the images. The firm had entered a competition for a mid-sized housing block – and had two weeks to generate a proposal. Odd Klev, the lead design principal had recently discovered FormIt and had fallen in love with it as a design tool. Angie imported the terrain model as an OBJ into FormIt and Odd spent a few days at home generating up to 20 plus options. Odd used the full FormIt feature set of to generate the options. This included the satellite imagery, imported OBJ files, materials, simple modeling tools, shadow studies, and the space-tracking feature to ensure he was staying within the program constraints.
The team quickly narrowed down the options and began focusing on a design with multiple free-standing structures to optimize open space, views and access to light. These options were imported into Autodesk Revit where Angie began to turn the FormIt massing model into a more detailed BIM. The team then brought the Revit file into Autodesk 3ds Max to create a number of high quality renderings. At the final client presentation, they used Autodesk InfraWorks to display live views of the sight lines from the surrounding park. The best part of all this, they won the competition! Congratulations!
Check out theses images, courtesy of a-lab, that illustrate the FormIt > Revit > 3DS Max > Infraworks workflow.
The FormIt team will be attending the upcoming architectural conferences in Chicago!
Check us out at RTC – Scott D. Davis will be presenting (with some remote collaboration from Tobias Hathorn) a sneak peek at the next evolution of FormIt. The class is scheduled as part of Session 15 on Saturday, June 21st at 2:30. Check out the class description here: LINK
Check us out at AIA – Tom Vollaro and Lilli Smith will be presenting a BIM-based Conceptual Design workflow using Formit. This session is already sold out! Read about it here: LINK. You can track down the team to learn more about FormIt before or after the session at the booth 2266. Look for us at the Autodesk booth !
Let’s face it. Design is not always sexy. Sometimes you just need to get the outhouse built. Markus Bonn, one of the Principal Software Engineers (and former architect) on our team used FormIt to design and build this very practical piece of architecture. It is interesting to note that he used OBJ import feature to bring in some elements from another 3D modeling app that he is very familiar with.
The first ever outhouse designed with FormIt (that we know of)
We released new updates to FormIt yesterday. First, the Android version has a complete user interface overhaul with user-defined materials, multi-select, and other new features.
the iOS version has some bug fixes and a new feature which allows you to export OBJ files along with texture maps! You use the Send To menu, choose Export to OBJ and then a zip file will appear in your Autodesk 360 account with the OBJ, MTL and any relevant PNG textures.
And last, but surely not least, we have been incrementally updating the web beta with a lot of new functionality and a new look and feel.
After a weekend of recuperation, I can now reflect a bit on the past week at Autodesk University. Overall, it was an exhausting yet rewarding few days. I had many conversations with people either learning about – or already passionate about – FormIt! I am amazed by the breadth of ideas for the future of the FormIt platform. Everything from private clouds for government charrettes to structural steel layout tools to construction pre-modeling! I came away from AU thinking of FormIt more as a platform and not just a collection of products. It is going to be an interesting year. Keep an eye out for many more classes on FormIt next year…
After a ton of work by our wonderful development team spread out all over the globe, we have our biggest updates yet! So here is what we have in the iOS update:
Complete overhaul of the user interface to fit the new iOS 7 look and feel.
Swipe to the left of the right screen edge to access object properties and the materials library.
The Building Program provides key design information used to provide a range of potential annual energy cost based on climate zone, building type, and target building area. See the Building Performance Analysis Group’s blog for more detail on this exciting new feature!
Draw more curvilinear forms with the spline tool.
Rotate the grid by tapping and holding on the grid.
Swipe on a thumbnail in the gallery to delete, duplicate or access sketch properties.
Share images of your work on Facebook and Twitter.
Print images of your work directly to AirPrint enabled printers.
Share FormIt sketches with others using AirDrop enabled iPads.
Note: iOS 7 is required for this update.
And our Android version has also been updated! We have added the material library – your most requested feature. Custom materials and many more updates are coming soon.
Watch our new slate of help videos in our Playlist:
Greetings FormIteers! The blog has been quiet of late (I really need to grow a new set of hands so I can blog and tweet WHILE getting a new version ready for release!) I am happy to announce we have submitted our new version to Apple and are eagerly awaiting approval. Here is a short video outlining some of thew new goodies.
Happy Halloween from the FormIt team! My friend and colleague Zach over at BuildZ hosts a parametric pumpkin contest every year. So why should all the Revit and Dynamo heads have all the fun? Here is my “entry.”
I also 3D printed the little bugger just for fun. If anyone is interested I will do a longer post about how I made the pumpkin and printed it.
This past June at the AIA conference in Denver we announced that we were working on a web-based version of FormIt. After a lot of work We are really psyched to launch our first beta of FormIt Web! Check out the video and more details after the break.
While FormIt Web does not have all of the features of the iOS version (yet) we still could not wait to get it out there and get your feedback. Here are some details:
Runs in the latest stable builds of Chrome and Firefox on Windows or Mac.
Modeling operations including: place primitives, extrude polygons, modify faces and edges, boolean operations
Import satellite images
Metric or Imperial units
Apply default materials
Opens and saves FormIt sketches created on iOS or Android by logging into your Autodesk 360 account.
We also just released minor updates to the iOS and Android FormIt to support reloading sketches that have been saved from the web (and between the two mobile platforms)