Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Autodesk FormIt 2.0

Back in November, we reported on a new iPad app published by Autodesk called FormIt. I installed the free app and did a few form studies with it, including gross floor area calculations, shadow studies, and incorporating a satellite image of an existing neighborhood. Synchronization with my cloud account on Autodesk 360 was pretty seamless and I was able to download my design form in SAT format, and then use that as a basis to create an in-place mass in Revit.

Some of my colleagues claimed they would wait until FormIt would translate directly to Revit before they tried it. Well…that wait is over! FormIt 2.0 is now available and has some really interesting enhancements. Obviously, it now converts automatically to RVT…but it’s a little hard to find.

In your Autodesk 360 account, you need to click on Documents at the top of the page and then go to the folder named FormIt. In that folder you will find RVT files with the same file name as the sketch you created in the FormIt app. Download the file, open it in Revit and you will see an in-place mass based on the forms you created.

In version 2.0, there are many other enhancements around snapping to a grid, using active dimensions, and creating sketch-based shapes. One problem I experienced was when I attempted to draw a curved line on the surface of a shape in order to sub-divide it for additional extrusions (ala SketchUp). This operation wasn’t as simple as drawing one line that bisects a surface. Instead I had to create a fully enclosed polygon that mimicked the shape I was intending to cut. Note that this works as intended with straight lines.

Photo Jan 29, 5 02 24 PM

Photo Jan 29, 5 02 35 PM

Here’s a short video from Autodesk that highlights the new features in version 2.0. They have also established a support forum on GetSatisfaction (my favorite support tool!)

Please feel free to share your thoughts or experiences with us on how you might use FormIt in your design process.