FormIt: Every Project Starts with a Sketch


What’s your process for conceptual design? Every project starts with a sketch, but if you’re sketching on a piece of paper, you’re in a physical realm that you’re going to need to rebuild if you want to turn it into a digital model.

Autodesk FormIt is a tool for BIM-based conceptual design that lets you define and iterate ideas digitally and then pull your sketches directly into Revit.  FormIt is a free web and mobile app available for download.  FormIt Pro is the paid version of the product that includes additional tools to collaborate, iterate, and analyze your designs. FormIt Pro is available by subscription and is also part of the Autodesk Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Collection.  Recently the FormIt product management team worked closely with three local firms who have adopted FormIt to develop the key new features in the FormIt Spring 2017 release. This short video tells the story of how these firms have influenced the development of FormIt and how they have adopted the software in their design workflows.

Thank you Evolve LabStudio Architecture, and 505 Design – as well as to all customers who posted their ideas and voted on the FormIt Idea Station!

If you’re interested in virtual reality (the feature that made Chris from Studio say ‘Wow!’) we hosted a FormIt Friday webinar on how to move your FormIt model to Revit 2018, then to Revit Live for VR – learn more here!

A strong collaboration between the FormIt and Revit software development teams made it possible to take realistic materials from FormIt into Revit 2018. The combination of the flexible 3D sketching of FormIt, and the powerful documentation and visualization tools built into Revit bridges the gap between designers and documentation – with minimal remodeling required.

In addition to material consistency with Revit 2018, the latest FormIt release includes the following features, which you can hear about in more detail in this FormIt Friday webinar recording.

  • Material workflows are smoothed out for fast iteration. You can now paint with a single click, edit materials with a double click, and sample any material in your FormIt canvas with a keyboard shortcut.
  • Section planes let you peek inside your FormIt model to better understand the spaces you’re designing. Customize the slices with six unique planes at any angle and direction, then save the scene with a poche effect.
  • Overall model performance is faster than ever in FormIt – eliminating lags and cutting load times. You’ll feel a difference when navigating, opening files, editing groups, and deleting layers
  • DWG files can be imported as helpful backgrounds that can be snapped to while drawing and placing geometry in FormIt. You can move quickly from 2D layouts to 3D models and reference the work of other disciplines in your model.

FormIt composite

With the Spring 2017 FormIt release, we’re especially pleased to promote FormIt as an empowering tool for the iterative conceptual sketching and design process for Revit users.

Contribute your suggestions for FormIt features to the FormIt Idea Station

Compare FormIt and FormIt Pro

Download FormIt web or mobile for free

Subscribe to FormIt Pro

Tobias Hathorn

Tobias Hathorn is a licensed Architect who has spent the last 10 years with Autodesk doing software development and design. Over the last 3 years he’s been developing FormIt as a mobile, web app, and Windows app that runs side by side with Revit, Dynamo, and Insight to advance the power of BIM as a process. He's now a member of the Quantum team focused on customer workflows spanning a variety of applications with centralized data. He’s written Revit training books, taught Revit and FormIt at universities, and trained various AEC firms.

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