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AU: Autodesk introduces FormIt App for iPad

Autodesk introduces FormIt for iPad…3D modeling tool with real-world site data for architects and related professionals

CAD giant Autodesk has introduced Autodesk FormIt (an App) for Apple’s iconic iPad device at this week’s Autodesk University event in Las Vegas. Autodesk–which is moving aggressively towards the production of cloud-based computing tools for engineers and designers–announced FormIt as a new mobile 3D conceptual modeling tool.

FormIt allows users to capture building design ideas digitally and support a Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflow in the earliest stages of design.

01 - Screenshots of the new Autodesk FormIt from the Apple App Store. As you can see, this app combines a SketchUp-like modeling environment with real-world site data all on your iPad.

“Design professionals are increasingly working on the go and Autodesk FormIt helps them to capture building design concepts digitally anytime, anywhere ideas strike,” said Nicolas Mangon, senior director, AEC strategy and marketing, Autodesk. “Instead of scribbling these ideas and sketches on a napkin, FormIt lets users easily create designs on their iPad and then share them with other users through Autodesk 360 for further collaboration and analysis.”

Real World Site Data

Autodesk FormIt can use real-world site data to create design contexts for architects, engineers and other designers. Key features include:

  • Form expressive design ideas on a mobile device, then continue that design within a larger BIM workflow through Autodesk Revit or Autodesk Vasari
  • Create forms from a gallery of shapes and manipulate them
  • Access site data and set exact project location
  • Make informed early design decisions by studying shadows using the “location aware” sub path tool
  • Store and share design information in the cloud

You can learn more about Autodesk FormIt and see a video here to see it in action. Working with base geometry a user can use Apple’s multi-touch interface technology to manipulate and model basic shapes or building forms for further investigation within the context of a real-life building project and site.

02 - Autodesk FormIt for iPad is a brand new innovative 3D app that combines SketchUp-like push-pull modeling basics and real-world site data.

Autodesk FormIt is free from the Apple App Store. It integrates with those who have an Autodesk 360 account for sharing through the cloud.

Architosh Analysis

We are getting deeply impressed by Autodesk’s commitment to Apple’s mobile iOS platform. No other CAD or 3D company has gone so far this fast in creating a stable of interesting “apps” for Apple’s platform–targeting both iPhone and the newer iPad.

We will definitely be reviewing this app soon. This is the kind of app that many architects–yours truly–have dreamed of seeing on the iPad ever since its introduction. We are surprised that Autodesk got there ahead of the SketchUp folks. What intrigues us the most about this app is the real-world site integration with the ability to do shadow studies. This will be great for urban design professionals and architects doing large-scale campus master planning and city planning. It will be really interesting to see this program evolve and a lot of what can become of it will also rest with what Apple can do with the “multi-touch” interface going forward as well.

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