Using FormIt?

Hi forum,
Is that FormIt is really useful for BIM? It seem like hard to develop complex model, simple function but its good to baker the model from Dynamo. Any one use it for work? Better than Sketchup?

Hi @ngochungwru,

FormIt was designed from the ground up with BIM workflows in mind, and has built-in features like Levels which translate automatically to Revit levels when converting FormIt geometry to Revit.

FormIt has a very powerful suite of solid modeling and repair tools that SketchUp can only dream of (videos below). FormIt is inherently a solid modeler, which is critical when creating geometry intended for downstream apps like Revit, 3D printing slicers, or video game engines that require solid/manifold geometry. In FormIt, you can still model in 2D/non-manifold shapes just as you can in SketchUp, but when it can, FormIt will repair geometries into proper solids, and it has built-in diagnostics to show where your model has solid fidelity issues that the app cannot solve on its own.

Here are some of the solid repair and diagnostic features FormIt offers, some awesome solid extrusion capabilities, and Smart Selection features. Also, we added an amazing tool called Flatten Faces that can repair faces that are unexpectedly faceted, and can also be used to “align” faces of different geometries to the same plane. Super powerful. Try doing that in SU! :slight_smile:

FormIt can also natively open SketchUp models, and maintains SketchUp data like materials, layers, scenes, and components (Groups in FormIt), allowing you to open your own SketchUp models or any models on the 3D Warehouse, as if they were FormIt files. With FormIt v17, we’ve added things SketchUp users would appreciate, like more control over Visual Styles, non-uniform scale, 2D orthographic elevation views, and the ability to adjust the placement of materials on faces. FormIt also has built-in Mesh objects to maintain fast performance with high-polygon geometry like furniture, trees, signage, and DWG files.

In terms of the Dynamo connection, it’s gotten much more robust in recent releases. Dynamo is now built-in to FormIt, so you can edit your graphs directly, see changes in both apps simultaneously, or just edit slider values in FormIt to create complex or rule-driven geometry without ever seeing the “spaghetti” of Dynamo graphs.

Dynamo objects also use FormIt Groups, so you can have many instances of Dynamo-generated geometry, and each can have unique slider/input values, but all be based on the same graph. Compared to something like Rhino/Grasshopper, baking from Dynamo to FormIt doesn’t just create a 1-way geometry pipeline - instead, Groups generated from Dynamo in FormIt have the Dynamo graph embedded in them, so after baking, the graph can be infinitely modified either via slider inputs or by editing the actual Dynamo graph logic that underpins the geometry. Here’s more on how Dynamo works in FormIt.

All in, the solid modeling tools, plus Revit and Dynamo integrations really set FormIt apart from the competition, not to mention built-in Energy Analysis, Solar Analysis, and BIM 360 Docs for cloud storage. It’s worth checking out.

Hope this helps!

5 Likes