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 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!

Another great FormIt 360 Update

Just in time for Revit Technology Conference – North America, the FormIt 360 team has yet another great update to the product! You may have also noticed that our website has gotten a face-lift. Here is a run-down of the recent changes to the app:


First off, just take a moment to look at how beautiful FormIt 360 looks now:

Our graphics wizards have been hard at work to make FormIt 360 look great right on the screen. We now support 2X “retina” style displays on desktop machines. You can also independently control the weight of edges and silhouette edges.

Axes and Work Planes

Instead of just rotating the grid on the ground plane, you can now move and rotate the world axes to change the origin point and to create 3D work planes. The work
plane will stretch out to infinity and provide a plane to sketch on without snapping or inferencing to elements behind it. The main sketch and individual groups have independent axes and coordinate systems – allowing for maximum flexibility. Here is a quick video demo:


Unique Scale for each Group Instance

You can now scale any group instance and maintain the geometric relationship between different instances of the group even though they are different sizes. The scaling also translates to Revit!



Unique Materials for each Group Instance

You now have a quick way to differentiate one group instances from others by painting with a material (if there is not yet a material defined for faces inside the group). This is useful for displaying an instance differently from other instances. The new Material user interface also allows you to manage and apply materials between groups. Here is a quick video demo:

And last, but surely not least, we have updated our FormIt 360 Converter add-in for Revit. It now:

  • Converts scaled and rotated group instances by creating a new family type.
  • Handles offset in z direction by automatically creating levels in Revit
  • Creates mass floors for nested mass instances


Wait…all of that for FREE?

As exciting as FormIt 360 Pro is, you have to remember that most of the FormIt 360 goodness is absolutely FREE! Here are the highlights:

FormIt Converter
We now offer a separate Revit add-in which allows you to move Revit families back and forth between FormIt 360 and Revit. And if that was not enough, we added a little bonus: SketchUp to FormIt 360 converter. Find out more and download here.

Advanced Geometry

  •  Sweep, loft, and cover to create exotic geometry
  • radial array tool
  • multi move tool lets you grab various edges and faces to move at once

Expanded Keyboard shortcuts on Web

Use familiar keyboard shortcuts on the Web app.

Model diagnostics
see non-manifold issues before you export for 3d printing


Introducing FormIt 360 Pro

During the life cycle of a product there are always pivotal milestones: those first shaky prototypes, the first alpha and then beta launches, the first “official” launch, reaching your first X number of downloads/users, etc. Today is one of those pivotal days for FormIt 360. Today FormIt 360 grows up and goes pro! While the core modeling tool on web, iOS and Android that you have come to know and love will remain FREE, we now offer an extra subscription that you can purchase directly from the Autodesk Store. You can also start a 30 day trial from inside the Web or Android apps.

So what do you get with the FormIt 360 Pro Subscription?

  • Solar Analysis. Analyze your design for monthly peak or yearly cumulative solar impact with exact values displayed directly on the surfaces of your model. Available on all platforms.
  • Energy analysis. You can analyze, report, and compare your design’s energy and cost factors – all with a ASHRAE 90.1 compliant energy model created for you in the cloud. See this blog post for more info. Available on Web and iOS only.
  • Real-time Collaboration. The real-time collaboration system that we we have been beta testing for the past few months has been greatly improved. Send your teammates – or even your client – a link and start collaborating! Available on Web and iOS only.

And there is so much more just inside the newly updated FREE FormIt 360. See here for more about the other free features.