Thursday, April 25, 2013



Put 10 industry experts in a room & ask them what BIM is & the chances are, you will either get at least 20 different answers or it will end up as a punch up as nobody can really agree. So, following on from my last post about BIM docs, how about images & diagrams? With so many people trying to explain the “process”, over the last few years diagrams of all sorts of shapes & sizes have appeared. With this in mind, my colleague Josh Draper has put this site together to show case BIM images & diagrams!

Check it! Some priceless diagrams here.

BIM Docs!


BIM Documents; we just you can’t live without them. If you are starting to delve into BIM they can be a useful resource to understand what it all means, what others are doing & the implications to your business. As you can imagine, with so much focus on BIM “globally”, a plethora of documents have been created in recent years. These are often scattered across multiply websites & locations, or in my case, my many portable hard drive! So I was pleased to see that Ben at BIMopedia had taken the initiative to collate all these, post them to a Google docs site & then share them with the community. Check them, some really useful documents here. Some you will be aware of, others such as the Singapore BIM standard may not be as obvious to find.

Monday, April 15, 2013

FormIT 3.0 AT-AT shared on A360


In the true vision of collaboration & sharing, I have made my AT-AT created in FormIT 3.0 free for to download from Autodesk 360. Go get it from here & do some fun stuff with it.…

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

FormIT 3.0

Sporting a new startup screen and a funky new icon, FormIT 3.0 has been released on the Apple App Store. So lets quickly take a look at some of the enhancements.
Starting with view functionality; you now have the ability to view and navigate your model from a top view. This is particularly useful when needing to sketch in plan. The ability to import a site plan or even a scanned floor plan and start to trace over the top is made a lot easier with this view. During my experimentation, I found this to be a very valuable improvement. Don't forget, if you are doing shadows studies, this can be helpful to get a sense of the impact of over shadowing on surrounding buildings.
We can now toggle the display grid on or off. This is achieved via the settings icon. Another huge enhancements which I believe designers will appreciate is the visual styles. Again, accessed from the settings menu.

These styles can include any combination of sketchy lines, hidden lines and extended lines. In this example, I have just displayed as hidden lines only.
This example is a combination of all three styles applied to the view.
Since its inception, we have been able to import images from our photo library as well as images from Google maps. In FormIT 3.0 this functionality has been extended further, as we can now control the transparency of images. To do this, just tap and select an imported image; go to the properties dialogue, which will slide out from the right hand side of the screen. There you will find a new transparency slider, which will allow you to control the transparency of an image. You will also notice something called vertical order. With this you can control the stack order of images. Simple drag one image above another in the stack, to sort how they stack above one another.
Painting geometry has seen some further improvements. As well as using solid colours, FormIT 3.0 includes a small number of bitmap textures, which allows us to improve the graphical display of our designs further. You can override the texture colour, but right now we can't use custom bitmap materials. Playing with these, dd yield some pleasing results.
You've probably worked out by now that I like FormIT. Whilst it does have some limitations when it comes to modelling, for instance I would love to see a mirror feature and better precision input would help, it's brilliant fun. In the right hands, you can produce some really cool models. Now, I am not suggesting that modelling Star Wars AT-ATs or AT-STs is something that you should rush out and copy; this is just me dorking around. But typically, I do these types of exercises to better understand the tool set, technology limitations and how you have to apply some lateral thinking to produce results.
I have been reading a lot about Start-ups recently. What I now recognise is that the FormIT and Vasari team are exactly like a Start-up, yet they sit within the larger Autodesk machine. They push things to market very quickly to gauge market feedback. Particularly FormIT, which is going through a rapid development / release cycle. FormIT also addresses and engages execs or senior designers who typically prefer tablet technology compared with say a desktop pc or a laptop. I have observed that the more "mature" designer can quickly jump in and be up and running, producing designs without any serious training or technical know how. This is exactly the intention of FormIT.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Mac user & use bootcamp?


imageI can’t take full credit for this, as Phil Read pointed me in the direction. But if you are a Mac user running Revit under Bootcamp & you flip backwards & forward between Windows (Bootcamp) & the Mac OS, then you are going to appreciate Bootchamp! Check it out. It will speed up the process of booting into Windows from the Mac OS.

More AT-AT fun


So I have been fooling around with FormIT a lot, gives me something to do & actually is a great de-stress app! So over the weekend I knocked this little beauty up.

Oh yes, another couple of AT-AT's, this time modelled in FormIT. This got me thinking even more, if I sync'd these to my Autodesk 360 account, this will get converted to a SAT file. At which stage I could then download the SAT file into Revit 2014 & try the new explode feature on the SAT. Apart from a rather cranky scale, the SAT file seem to import fine, however, I was missing some faces.


When I tried to the explode to objects, that wasn’t so successful as most of the geometry disappeared! However, a quick import into AutoCAD yielded more promising results.


Then I tried an IGS out from AutoCAD, then an IGS into Rhino 5. BTW by no means am I a Rhino expert! Again, a lot faces again seemed to be missing, so some work still to do to get this workflow to be completely fluid. The AT-AT was a very complex form & I suspect there is some fine tuning which needs to happen in the cloud conversion process; certainly on more basic forms this will work as you can see from this example.