FormIt Friday Webinar! How to Visualize your Design in FormIt 360

Tom and Tobias will be hosting the #FormItFriday webinar on Friday the 13th! Spoooooky! Register Here


We’ll cover the in’s and out’s of the latest features we just released last week!

Of course this will be recorded for future viewing reference like our other #FormItFriday

General Outline will be..

  • News and updates from the team
  • Get the NEW FormIt 360 Converters – including the Revit 2016 add-in!
  • How to Import Materials and How to adjust our new Material parameters
  • How to use Layers and our select by layer shortcut
  • How to create and update Scenes properties
  • How to use Layers and Scenes to study design options like the picture above
  • …and if there’s time… How to use Layers and Scenes for Shadow Studies

Thanks and talk to you on Friday. Here’s the registration link one more time for those who read our entire blog posts!

Visualize your design in FormIt 360

Today the FormIt team is happy to announce our latest update, with a major focus on visualization! Here’s a short (2 minute) video walking through the 4 major enhancements… read on below for more details.

Layers to Control Visibility

Select lines, objects, groups, or images – assign them to a layer… then turn that layer on or off! Simple. Powerful. Necessary. Obviously, this is handy when you want to create a more complicated model, or work with interior spaces. Layers also enable you to create design options in the same file. (TIP: We hooked up an especially handy shortcut to layers as well – select all objects on the layer – selection sets?!)

Save your Scenes

What’s the use of Layers without Scenes? or Scenes without Layers? Luckily, you don’t have to live in a world where that question matters. Scenes in FormIt let you save your viewpoint, layer state, sun, shadows, and visual styles. Set up shadow studies at major solar milestones! Or generate presentation images from a key perspective as the design evolves! (TIP: Turn down the edge and silhouette contrast for a soft, pencil rendering!)

FormIt 360 Pro Feature: Import Materials from the Autodesk Library

FormIt 360 Pro subscribers now have the robust Autodesk Material Library at their fingertips. Filter, search, and preview the materials available, then import to your FormIt sketch. Apply the material as you normally would – even edit the material’s texture, color, transparency… gloss and reflection! Enhance the quality of your design visualizations with an amazing array of options. (TIP: Pro users can import materials on iPad as well!)

FormIt 360 Converter available for Revit 2016

We’ve been improving our FormIt to Revit conversion with each release, making the translation of level and location data, mass geometry, Revit families, and imported components with categorization. Now you can use our powerful swiss army knife of a Revit Add-in from Revit 2016 as well as Revit 2015! This must be the #1 request from our forums… so thank you all for your patience, we are listening, we have delivered!

We’ve also made many small improvements to Energy Analysis, image import, and performance in general… Learn more and see these features in action at our next FormIt Friday… the 13th! Sign up here 

Smarter BIM – from day one

I get this question quite a bit these days: what makes FormIt 360 different? Is it just like SketchUp running on an iPad and in the browser? There are so many ways that sets FormIt 360 apart, I thought it was a good time to address them one by one:

Design any time, any where

Yes, FormIt 360 runs on tablets as native iOS and Android apps and inside modern web browsers so you can access you design projects on any operating system on almost any machine (even your kid’s Chrome book!) We made this choice because tablets provide so many opportunities to bring the “hand” of the designer back to design work. Web-based delivery allows us to release new functionality and updates whenever they are ready. And yes, we are as excited about the iPad Pro as many of you are and we are working hard on getting FormIt 360 ready for this exciting new device.

BIM Intelligence – From Day One

From the day we shipped the first version almost three years ago, FormIt 360 has had a killer feature that remains one of the most popular: level datums and gross area tracking. Want to quickly find out how much floor area is being used by your design? No problem, we provide that automatically.Doing this in other non-BIM modelers will require a lot of time manually measuring each floor plate. I thought computers were supposed to save us time!

FormIt 360 Space Usage

FormIt 360 speaks Revit fluently

FormIt 360 creates a native Revit file every time you save. So while Revit users have been able to import SKP files for many years, it just brings in a single mesh-based import that is completely un-editable. FormIt 360 creates a Revit file with:

  • Levels: Remember the level datums I mentioned above? These are translated into real Revit level elements.
  • Location: When you set location in FormIt 360, the location data transfers so continue to do deeper shadow, solar and energy analysis in Revit.
  • Smooth surfaces: Splines, arcs and curves surfaces come into Revit smooth, not faceted.
  • Editable Mass Families: Each solid object in FormIt 360 becomes an extruded mass family in Revit that can be edited, moved, and used as the basis for more detailed modeling. Furthermore, Group instances become Family instances, maintaining their parent/child relationship – even through multiple levels of nesting!
  • Categorize Elements: Beyond just massing, FormIt 360 now allows you to assign grouped objects to a select number of Revit categories, including Furniture and Generic. These objects maintain their categorization when translated to Revit. This requires the cumbersome use of an intermediary IFC file if you want to do something similar in SketchUp.

Work with your existing content

You have existing content from another application that you want to use with FormIt 360? That is no problem! Our FormIt Converter add-in for Revit allows you to convert SKP and Revit family files (RFA) and place them right into FormIt 360 using our Content Library.

Cloud services for analysis, collaboration, materials and more

Last, and definitely not least, by subscribing to our optional Pro offering, you are connected to a myriad of Autodesk’s cloud services to provide additional advanced functionality.

  • Analysis: With FormIt 360 Pro, you can understand performance from day one with energy and solar analysis. FormIt utilizes Revit’s groundbreaking method for automatically creating ASHRAE 90.1 compliant thermal zones from either massing or detailed Revit models.
  • Collaboration: Need to collaborate with colleagues around the globe? FormIt 360 Pro allows multiple people to view and edit the same model simultaneously. You have to try it to understand how cool this is.
  • Autodesk Materials Library: Coming soon!

“But I really need layers and saved scenes!” We heard you, and many other users. In just a few days we will be releasing a new version of FormIt 360 with these features. Stay tuned and follow us here and on Twitter @FormIt360.

FormIt Friday #8: How to Start a FormIt 360 Project

We have posted the entire FormIt Friday #8 video on our YouTube channel (remember to subscribe!) Also, sign up now for our next webinar, this time on THURSDAY OCT.22 at 12:30PM ET. We will do a deep dive into all the ways FormIt 360 is different than all of the other conceptual design tools on the market. Not to be missed!

Join us October 2nd for FormIt Friday #8

Hello FormIteers! Thank you for the great attendance at the last 2 FormIt Fridays with Jarod Schultz and Anthony Caputo. It’s exciting to see familiar names each time and keep a conversation going between sessions. Thank you.

We’ll keep the momentum going this Friday October 2nd as we spotlight how to Start a Project in FormIt 360. Register here!

We’ll go deep into these areas… so you can lead your team into a FormIt project.

  • FormIt 360 fundamentals
  • Best practices we’ve developed and learned from others
  • Share the best workflows between FormIt mobile, FormIt web, and Revit
  • We’ll also reveal a few of the new features we’re working on for our next release!

Talk to you all soon – Here’s the link again, so Register here!

A method for importing DWG into FormIt 360

A common question we receive is “Can I import a DWG file into FormIt 360?” While we do not yet have a DWG import feature, I thought of a bit of a workaround: fill regions of your DWG so that they can be exported as surfaces. This method will work well for site plans where you want to extrude areas of the site. There are two ways, depending on your approach and which platform you prefer to use (tablet or web.)

1. 2D Surfaces

This method requires use of the iPad version

  1. Open your DWG in AutoCAD
  2. Select a portion or the entire drawing
  3. Run the REGION command – which will fill in all enclosed regions
  4. Save as > Other CAD Formats > SAT
  5. Upload the SAT file to your A360 Drive
  6. open FormIt on your iPad and import the SAT file. Boom! you have a site plan with all of the filled regions as 2D Surfaces

2. 3D extrusions

Assuming this is a site plan where you will want the regions to be slightly extruded anyway, you could replace step 3 above with the EXTRUDE command, give a specified thickness, and then export a portion of, or the entire, drawing to STL. STL files can be drag n’ dropped right onto the Web app to import them.

Extrusions imported as STL

Give this method a try and let us know on our forum how it works for you.

Tony Caputo on FormIt Friday episode 7

This past Friday, we had the pleasure of hosting Tony Caputo, Principal at Array Architects for our FormIt Friday webinar series. Tony is one of our early adopters, a great speaker and all-around great guy. He re-presented his talk from the 2015 North American Revit Techology Conference: The Early Stages – Concept Design through Schematic Team Workflows and Inference Analysis. If you are wondering how to integrate FormIt 360 into a mature BIM workflow – this is a must-watch!

Course Description:

This session outlines and demonstrates how a design team uses Autodesk Formit and Revit, in the real world on active projects, for conceptual design and analysis and how it helps amplify the effectiveness of an 8-office nationwide architectural firm. We will dive into how these tools significantly aid design synthesis and how the products of these efforts translate into production models, documents and presentations, while allowing and fostering the iterative process common in architectural practice.  We will highlight how multiple workflows improve early design decisions, enable communication amongst design team members and allow for maximum continuity of design intent throughout the process.



FormIt Friday – Bridging the Design Gap

After a bit of a summer hiatus, FormIt Friday has returned! This time Jarod Schultz of initial.aec re-presented his popular RTC NA class: Bridging the Design Gap. If you missed the webinar, we recorded it for you! See below. Jarod has also been kind enough to make his deck available here.  Do not forget to join us on Friday September 18 for our next installment. Tony Caputo of Array Architects will share his RTC NA presentation. This is not to be missed. Tony will share some tips he has found while developing the robust FormIt to Revit workflow they use at Array. Register now!


FormIt into September!

Hello Everyone! We hope you’re enjoying the beginning of the end of summer as much as we are! We spent part of the last month recording, polishing, and preparing for September – so we have a few NEW things to share with you – and even bigger things still to come…


FormIt Fridays are BACK!

We were able to connect with a few of our friends who taught these great presentations at RTCNA – they’ve agreed to re-present their high quality FormIt classes for a wider audience. We’ve nailed down dates, and set-up the goto webinars, so please register NOW for the following FormIt Friday Webinars!

  • Sept 4: Jarod Schultz – FormIt: Bridging the Design Gap – registration LINK
  • Sept 18: Tony Caputo – registration LINK


FormIt Snippets are POSTED!

We recorded 18 2 minute videos to get you started using FormIt. Since we can’t be with every single person to teach you how to use FormIt 360 at the ‘picks and clicks’ level – we’ve produced a getting started video series to reach the many of you itching to start a project in FormIt. Expect more videos like these in the future!

  • Introduction – LINK
  • 3D Sketching and Snapping – LINK
  • Edit Tools – LINK
  • Groups – LINK


Revit 2015 FormIt Converter is UPDATED!

We fixed a bunch of bugs, and improved a bunch of workflows (some that Jarod will share in his FormIt Friday!) to help you make the most out of your SketchUp to FormIt to Revit conversions! We will be posting the Revit 2016 version of the FormIt plug-in shortly (like in the next few weeks)…

  • Updated Revit 2015 FormIt Converter Plug-in – LINK
  • Our A360 conversion from FormIt to Revit is updated too!


Our next release…

Will be full of our MOST REQUESTED FEATURES and will be coming along very soon as well. Look for specific updates during our FormIt Friday Webinars! Thanks for your ongoing support and feel free to reach us in the comments, or on our Forums!