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April 26, 2013

Pioneering drawings on iPad - Autodesk Formit

Most of the drawings on this blog have been created using SketchUp, a great, cheap 3d modeling program for Windows and Mac. There have been a few attempts to make an equally intuitive modeling app for tablets, and I think Autodesk have something very capable in their new app, Formit. First released in November 2012, it is now onto version 3.0, and has some great features.

Formit uses Autodesk's 360 cloud platform, so you have the option of creating a 360 account when you first load the app. Drawing is by means of primitives ( basic shapes such as cubes, cylinders, prisms and domes) that can be scaled and altered, or by sketching and extruding 2d shapes. I have set up a basic set of pioneering poles, boards and barrels which I have shared on the 360 service, available here.

All of the images in this post are straight screenshots from the app, and it has a very clean interface that shows only what is needed for each drawing function. The help built into the app guides you through the basic functions, and there are a series of online tutorials and videos on using some if the more complex features.

The app has some features missing, notably the following:
- no annotation or dimension tools
- no image export (this can be solved by taking screenshots, holding down the home and power buttons together on an iPad)
- no Android support (Autodesk have hinted that this is coming at some point) update- Android version is now available.

Judging by the speed at which features have been added, these might follow soon.

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