Mobile smartphones and tablets carved their original market niche as consumer-focused technology. With its increasing ubiquity and power, mobile technology is now transforming business and professional design for almost every modern industry – from how movies are made to how bridges are built. The architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) sector is especially suited to take advantage of cloud and mobile technology, expanding the capability to model and test ideas from the very earliest stages of design.
FormIt, Autodesk’s latest offering for the AEC sector, is a mobile, cloud-based tool for architectural and building designers. Available exclusively for Apple’s iPad (a point of contention for Android users), FormIt extends Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflow to the field – to virtually anywhere that ideas may strike – allowing designers to capture and manipulate their ideas and share them with colleagues through Autodesk360, the company’s cloud-based service, for further analysis and modeling on desktop applications like Autodesk Revit or Vasari.
Users begin with a gallery of predefined shapes from which structures are designed and molded using typical iPad gestures. FormIt’s “geo-aware” capabilities can access detailed site information to allow designers the ability to test their designs in context, track shadows, and model building footprints, easements and property lines.
“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, Autodesk’s senior director, AEC strategy and marketing. “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.”
FormIt bridges the 3d modeling gap between an initial spark of a great idea to a fully-modeled and tested design. Who knows how many great ideas started out on the back of a cocktail napkin? With FormIt the napkin is digitized and the scribbles can be shaped and molded into a brilliant design like no paper napkin ever could.
FormIt is available as a free download from Apple’s App Store.
Image courtesy of Autodesk