Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated 2 months ago

About FormIt

What is FormIt and FormIt Pro?

FormIt is a 3D modeling, visualization, analysis, and computation environment for architectural design.

FormIt features:

  • A robust solid modeling engine, with powerful tools and workflows optimized for for building design

  • Enhanced environmental visualization to illustrate design options, including saved model states using Scenes

  • Location and satellite imagery using Google Maps

  • Materials from the Autodesk Material Library

  • Model organization and visibility tools like Groups, Layers, Scenes

  • Analysis tools

    • Watertight and Back Faces validation for solid model diagnostic and repair

    • Sun and Shadows

    • Solar Analysis

    • Energy Analysis

  • Autodesk product integrations:

    • A360 Drive

    • Insight (Energy Analysis)

    • Dynamo

    • Revit

  • File format support

    • Open/Import

      • AXM, DWG, SAT, STL, OBJ, WSM, SketchUp, Image

    • Export

      • AXM, FBX, OBJ, STL, SAT, DAE, DXF

FormIt is available for free on iOS and in your browser. A FormIt Pro subscription is required for FormIt for Windows, the most powerful and feature-rich FormIt. The subscription also enables additional features on iOS and Web, like Solar and Energy Analysis. FormIt Pro is included in the Autodesk AEC Collection.

What happened to FormIt for Android?

In an effort to streamline the FormIt product offering, we had to make the hard decision to discontinue the Android app. If you have it installed, it will continue to run, but it is no longer available from the Play Store.

How do I get FormIt?

To run the Windows version, you must have access to FormIt Pro, which is part of our AEC Industry Collection subscription. So, if your office has Revit, there is a good chance you have access to FormIt already! You can download it directly from our website or from the Autodesk Desktop App.

The Web version can be run directly for free from our website: http://formit.autodesk.com

The iOS version can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store (iPad only).

If I am a student or educator, can I get access for FormIt Pro for no cost?

Yes! You can access the FormIt Pro subscription through the Autodesk Education Portal.

How do I learn FormIt?

The best place to start is the FormIt Primer tutorial.

There are multiple parts ranging from beginner (creating an entire modern house) to more advanced (working with Revit and Dynamo in more advanced ways).

We also have over 20 videos in our FormIt Friday webinar series. These can be found on our YouTube channel.

Working with Revit

How does FormIt work with Revit?

FormIt is a separate 3D sketching and design application, but it creates data that can be converted easily to Revit, using the FormIt Add-In for Revit.

What happens when you import into Revit?

Starting in 2016, Revit ships with an add-in for working with FormIt data. When you import a FormIt AXM file into Revit, it looks at each object in the file and re-creates it in Revit using the API. By default, everything in FormIt is categorized as Mass.

The FormIt Converter takes each Mass object and creates a Mass family in Revit using the Direct Shape API.

What is Direct Shape? It is a non-editable object used in IFC workflows. Although it is not editable, it has the distinct advantage of transferring full material textures between FormIt and Revit. Here is a tutorial that explains the FormIt to Revit workflow in more detail.

Can FormIt create walls, floors and other Revit system families?

Not directly. As stated above, each object defaults to Mass category. To create walls, floors, etc. you should import the model into Revit using the converter add-in and use native Revit tools to create system families from the underlying mass model.

Can Revit send data back to FormIt?

Yes. To import data back into FormIt, export all, or preferably part of your Revit file to the SAT file format. There is usually no need to send ALL of your Revit data to FormIt. Instead, create a filtered view in Revit that only includes the minimal data (for instance, floors and walls) before saving to SAT.

Working with other apps

Why is the default file format ".AXM"?

The internal codename before FormIt was officially named was XModeler - so the file format we created was Autodesk X Modeler, or AXM for short.

What kind of 3D formats can FormIt import?

  • Windows: AXM, OBJ, DWG, STL, SAT, SKP

  • Web: OBJ, STL

  • iOS: OBJ, STL, SAT

What kind of formats can FormIt export?

  • Windows: FBX, OBJ, SAT, STL, DAE, DXF

  • Web: OBJ, SAT, STL

  • iOS: OBJ

How does FormIt work with Dynamo?

Learn how FormIt and Dynamo work together to create computational design workflows.

How is FormIt similar to SketchUp?

Can I use my SketchUp keyboard shortcuts?

Yes! FormIt for Windows has a completely editable keyboard map. Many common SketchUp shortcuts are already there by default, but you can edit them in the Edit > Preferences menu.

Can I use my DWG files?

Yes! FormIt imports 2D and 3D DWG files.

Common support questions

How do I get support?

You can start with your Autodesk reseller, or find us on the FormIt Forum. It's best to search for the question you have first, and if it hasn't been answered, post a new topic and the FormIt team will respond.

What do I do if I cannot log in?

  • This Forum Post covers common login issues

  • If you have PC with switchable graphics processor (GPU) it is important to ensure that FormIt always uses the higher performance GPU. Here are instructions for AMD and NVIDIA

What do I do if the Insight Energy Analysis seems to fail?

If the Insight Energy Analysis reports and error or fails to return any results, here are a few things to try

  • If you are working on a local version of the file, try to save the file to A360 Drive first, and then try again to Generate Insight

  • If your file is already saved to A360 Drive. Try to re-save with a different file name and then try again to Generate Insight

  • If you are working on the Windows client, try opening the file with Web cient and try again to Generate Insight. The Web client provides better progress feedback about