For far too long, Architectural apps have been kept to 2D floorplan stabbing and inventive ways of measuring. You should have known Autodesk would have something to say about that. In the first day of activities at Autodesk University 2012, Autodesk FormIt for iPad was launched. FormIt is a building app sure to make the BIM peeps happy, but also make the manufacturing-minded turn their head.

Autodesk FormIt

When you see FormIt, first you think, “This is freagin’ slick.” Then you try it and think, “Well, more features would be nice.” Then you think, “I’m modeling buildings with my fingers on a tablet.”

This won’t be the last of the fleeting comparisons, but yeah, FormIt looks like what Sketchup could have looked like on the iPad or what SolidWorks Live Building could have been if Dassault had actually launched it and then if they had developed a complementary iPad app. FormIt is very basic in the toolset, but adds in the fancy ability to do sun studies and import satellite images.

YouTube video

Introducing Autodesk FormIt

The last bit where you see the wind flow analysis isn’t part of Autodesk FormIt. That’s Autodesk Vasari, a former labs project gone Beta product, free to download in exchange for registration. So, the idea is that this the FormIt app aids in the BIM (Building Information Modeling) workflow. You can certainly lay out designs. Along with more design tools, import and why not, even some drag and drop architectural features.

You can download FormIt for free on iTunes.


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.