A major update to FormIt Web and iOS

We are happy to announce a new version of FormIt Web beta (http://beta.autodeskformit.com) and FormIt for iOS. The entire team has been firing on all cylinders this summer to prepare for the biggest update we have ever had. This new version represents a major re-thinking of how you create and modify objects in FormIt. The list of new features is after the break.

NCAR Building

NCAR Building by I.M. Pei – modeled in the new version of FormIt Web

  • 3D Snapping! You are now no longer constrained to sketching in one plane
  • Move objects more accurately by first selecting the point you wish to snap with
  • Sketch Lines with local and global axis alignments and snapping options
  • Select and modify individual vertices – on both 2D lines and 3D objects
  • Double tap now selects an entire object. Single tap selects faces, edges
  • New context menu tools: Tilt face and Offset face
  • Completely new help system
  • Sketch a circle
  • Snap to levels when sketching or dragging face
  • Android updates coming soon!

Here is a video overview

and another video outlining what’s changed in the iOS version

A FormIt Success Story from a-lab

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.

New update for FormIt for Android

Our Android client has just gotten much closer to true feature parity with the iOS client. A new update went live on the Google Play Store today. Here are the significant updates in the update:
  • Real-time tracking of gross area and floor area ratio
  • Import and edit image layers (transparency, vertical order)
  • Save images of your sketch to your device photo gallery
  • Import existing 3D models (OBJ) from other programs into the sketch
  • Save OBJ files to Autodesk 360 so that you can share them with others
  • Editable dimensions to create more precise geometry
  • Fixed bugs in gallery and in sketch area

Check out the videos highlighting the new features. And as always, follow us on Twitter @FormIt3D and post any bugs or requests at our GetSatisfaction site.

FormIt at RTC and AIA 2014

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

…then…

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 !

Happy #FormItFriday the 13th!

Practical Design with FormIt

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.

Outhouse Design

The first ever outhouse designed with FormIt (that we know of)

Finished Outhouse

That is going to be a chilly user experience!

New updates for FormIt

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.

formit_appstore_05

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.

FormIt Web Start up Screen

The new FormIt Web startup screen

We look forward to hearing your feedback!

Autodesk University 2013

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…

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