AUTHOR: Anna Liza Montenegro

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What is Autodesk Forma? Why is it important to the AEC workflow?

Building information modeling (BIM) must evolve from today’s linear development process, with handovers and data loss, to a world of connected software and processes that enable data to generate greater outcomes.

Autodesk has seen how the industry has transformed and adopted new technologies—whether this is the shift from drafting table to AutoCAD, the introduction of Revit, or the extension of BIM to the cloud with Autodesk Construction Cloud.

Forma (formerly Spacemaker) was announced at last year’s Autodesk University 2022 trade show as a standalone cloud that would encompass all of the technology giant’s architecture, engineering, and construction workflows.

Forma will expand Autodesk’s vision to the entire architecture, engineering, construction, and owners (AECO) ecosystem, to bridge software, processes, and teams and ultimately deliver better projects.

See how Autodesk Forma helps planning and design teams deliver projects digitally from day one, and use conceptual design capabilities, predictive analytics, and automation to make solid foundations for your projects.

What is Autodesk Forma?

Autodesk Forma (formerly Spacemaker) helps planning and design teams deliver projects digitally from day one. Use conceptual design capabilities, predictive analytics, and automation to make solid foundations for your projects.

  • Unlock efficiencies with intuitive project setup, design automation, and fluid connectivity with Revit

  • Use data-driven insights in real-time to make fast, smart design decisions that reduce risk and improve business and sustainability outcomes

  • Improve collaboration and secure buy-in by using data and visuals to tell a compelling design story that can help you win more bids

What you can do with Autodesk Forma?

Better decision support with real-time analytics

Uncover greater insights into your site and its surroundings in real-time with AI-powered analyses for key factors such as sunlight, daylight potential, wind, and microclimate. Better insights mean better outcomes.

Make, evaluate, and optimize for better projects

Model complex design concepts in full 3D in just minutes. Test and evaluate multiple design solutions, and optimize for a multitude of constraints.

Bring your data and designs downstream

Connect your favorite design tools to Forma through extensions. Starting with fileless sync with Revit, Autodesk Forma helps project teams fluidly move proposals from planning into detailed design.

Sun analysis using Forma
Sun analysis using Forma

Other capabilities of Autodesk Forma

Automatic datasets

Forma sources specific datasets such as terrain, buildings, and boundaries (select markets only).

Smart design tools

Draw fluidly in 2D and 3D with dynamic tools that automate functions and takeoffs while you design.

Parking design

Rapidly get relevant parking metrics including number of parking spots and access driveways.

Powered by cloud computing

Continue to design while you run analyses in the cloud. See the results in seconds or minutes.

Import and export

With support for file formats, including IFC and OBJ, move your work to and from other AEC software.

Free viewer access

Share your projects in the cloud with team members, regardless of subscription status.

Daylighting analysis using Forma

Discover the power of Forma in the AEC Collection

Video: Interoperability features in Autodesk Forma

Connect your BIM to data-driven design

Connect your design workflow from Forma to Revit and back again, from desktop to cloud.


Video: Demonstrating how to use Autodesk Forma to improve site studies

Revolutionize your site planning

Win more projects by rapidly studying your sites with real-time key figures and design tools.

Get started today with Autodesk Forma

Architects and urban planners can get started today with the first set of capabilities on Forma. Focused on expanding the BIM process into early planning and design, these cloud-based capabilities provide conceptual design tools, predictive analytics, and design automation, empowering planning and design teams to set solid foundations for their projects.

Available to buy an Autodesk Forma standalone, or as part of the Architecture, Engineering & Construction Collection.


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What’s New with Autodesk?

Interested in seeing what the new Autodesk features can do for you? Intrigued by the use of building information modeling (BIM) in your firm?

Microsol Resources hosts these annual webinar series on What’s New with Autodesk that showcase and highlight the newest features of the various Autodesk products on the different versions.

While all these new updates sound wonderful, what exactly does this mean for you? View our annual webinar series videos by following these links.


What’s new with Autodesk 2024?

What’s new with Autodesk 2023?

What’s new with Autodesk 2022?

What’s new with Autodesk 2021?

What’s new with Autodesk 2020?

What’s new with Autodesk 2019?

What’s new with Autodesk 2018?

What’s new with Autodesk 2017?


We focus our webinars on the project workflow and share tips and tricks for the new software features.  With brand new features, the new version offers greater productivity, improved collaboration, and more integrated BIM workflows.

With each new release, Autodesk strives to offer various improvements and new capabilities for their software from AutoCAD to Revit, Autodesk Construction Cloud (formerly called BIM 360), Civil 3D, 3ds Max, and more!

Microsol Resources will bring you the latest information on Autodesk products so be sure to always follow our website, blog, and social networks to stay up to date.

Stay ahead of the curve and see the demos of the new features with our building and infrastructure specialists.

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What are the Differences Between AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT?

AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT are similar but not identical. There are some distinct differences between AutoCAD LT and the full version, AutoCAD. With this article, we have noted the top differences between both.


This article will also include the top features to consider when evaluating the AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT software or check out this comparison chart here.  This list of differences applies to both the Windows and Mac versions.


AutoCAD LT is the more economical version of AutoCAD, and therefore just has all the basic features, like tool palettes, external referencing, and printing/plotting in 2D. It works with layers, and you can create and edit blocks, use PDFs as underlays, and upload documents to AutoCAD WS for mobile viewing. The block creation and editing are only available on the Windows version of AutoCAD and are not available for Macs. Another feature that is only available for Windows is the DWG converter, allowing drawings done in other AutoCAD-based applications to be translated to AutoCAD.


AutoCAD vs AutoCAD LT Comparison Matrix


3D Modeling


The 3D modeling and visualization features may be the most significant difference for some users. If you want to model in 3D, you have to use the full version of AutoCAD. In AutoCAD LT, you can open and view 3D models created in the full version of AutoCAD, though you can’t create new ones or edit them, other than to move, copy, or delete them.


AutoCAD LT is a 2D drafting program, it doesn’t have much visualization or presentation capabilities.  Whereas you can create and edit 3D models with solids, surfaces, and mesh objects on the full version of AutoCAD but not on LT.  You can use 3D navigation (orbit, Viewcube, wheel), display 3D models in several built-in visual styles ranging from a simple wireframe model to full, photorealistic rendering complete with shadows, reflections with a version of AutoCAD which you cannot do on LT.


When you move to AutoCAD, you add a whole new dimension. Literally. AutoCAD has 3D drawing capabilities, enabling camera views, walkthrough navigation, and model documentation. One of the cool 3D capabilities is free-form design, where you can use robust, mesh, and solid modeling tools to investigate and refine your ideas. There is also a context-sensitive press/pull tool, where you can extrude and offset curves, creating surfaces and solids, and select multiple objects within a single PressPull operation. With the Surface Curve Extraction tool, you can extract isoline curves through a specified point on a surface or face of a solid to determine the contour lines of any shape. There are so many things you can do when you add the 3D capabilities of AutoCAD. When you need to, you can flatten your 3D geometry to 2D for easier documentation.


Some of the additional features you get with the standard AutoCAD are pretty important, and AutoCAD users will agree that they use them frequently and make their lives much easier. These tools include AutoLISP and Express Tools and are big time-savers. Access to CAD standards tools is also pretty cool. It is also very important to note that LT is a standalone product, and cannot be deployed on a network as the standard AutoCAD can.



Now let’s talk about rendering. Most people don’t think that AutoCAD is capable of creating presentation-worthy images because Autodesk makes products specifically for visualization. If you are using AutoCAD LT, you can’t do any sort of presentation-worthy images except line drawings. However, in your 3D AutoCAD model, you can add lights, make objects transparent, or add materials and real-time shadows to make your model look realistic. If you do have more advanced visualization products like 3D Studio Max, the great thing about a 3D AutoCAD model is that you can import it directly into Max and add lights and materials to create a photorealistic rendering.


This was just a general overview, if you have more questions feel free to give us a call!


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