The fame of Autodesk Forge

Autodesk Forge has long been favored by 3D developers, especially senior 3D developers. Imagine you have a valuable asset of thousands of AutoCAD drawings and you desire to upgrade the way of demonstrating data to your clients. Then you would see the power of Autodesk Forge.

But first it’s good to have a flash on what Forge exactly is. Forge is an Autodesk platform of web service APIs that grants user the ability to integrate Autodesk SaaS products (Fusion Team, BIM 360 Docs, etc.) into your workflows. You can also embed a number of the components used in those Autodesk products into your own web or mobile applications. To put it simple, let’s picture set of web services as Lego blocks that you can choose from. It depends on which block you are choosing; you can build what you like (a plane or a house). With different components that you choose, Forge helps you to select different workflows for yourself.

Think of the old days when developers were locked up with desktop solution. In case of using, they would probably have to go through a bunch of installation steps along with licenses requirement. Forge frees us from all troubles by granting users the ability to access everything through web services and cloud-based services. Thus, developers can choose the components they need and use them in their own workflow.

What is Forge?

 

 

Forge is generally defined as application program interface (API) platform and supporting materials (sample code, manuals) as well as a community of developers who uses those APIs.

Forge APIs

The power of Autodesk Forge lies in the APIs. There is a variety of Forge APIs, however, BHSoft currently uses these APIs:

 Authentication (OAuth)

Oath is the open standard used across the Forge Platform for token-based authentication and authorization. Autodesk Forge APIs support Two-Legged OAuth (2LO) and Three-Legged OAuth (3LO) to authorize API calls coming from external clients.

Data Management API

Data Management API when combining with the Model Derivative API allows developer to complete a number of workflows, including accessing a Fusion model in Fusion Team and getting an ordered structure of items, IDs, and properties for generating a bill of materials in a 3rd-party process.

Model Derivative API

Translating your design into different formats (for example STL and OBJ), especially translating your designs into SVF for extracting data and for rendering files in the Viewer is priority of many 3D developers, yet not so easy to achieve. Nonetheless with Model Derivative API, developer can demonstrate and share designs in different formats (up to 60 file input formats supported). This API also provides the possibility to extract important metadata into a variety of object hierarchies.

Viewer

The Viewer is a WebGL-based, JavaScript library for 2D and 3D model rendering. 2D and 3D model data may come from a wide array of applications, such as AutoCAD, Fusion 360, Revit, and many more.

Before the Viewer is able to render model data in a browser, it is a must to prepare beforehand a file for the Viewer using the Model Derivative API.

Once the original file is translated into SVF format, developers can stream the model anywhere in browser.

The Forge Viewer is using a customized version of Three.js to interact with it in a more effective way. It also uses JavaScript API. On the client side using JavaScript, you will have access to Functions and Properties, which are being used inside the Viewer. The plus is that in case you use A360 based account (A360 products: Fusion 360, etc.), you are free from programming. You will be able to upload models you want to test and view in the Viewer. From there you can access all related information of the models.

The Viewer requires a WebGL-canvas compatible browser:

  • Chrome 50+
  • Firefox 45+
  • Opera 37+
  • Safari 9+
  • Microsoft Edge 20+
  • Internet Explorer 11

Also one thing worth noting is that all service parts of Forge are RESTful!

At BHSoft, we are good with Forge and we are confident with our stamina in working with Autodesk Forge. Check out some of our significant projects that utilize the advantage of using Autodesk Forge here:

https://bachasoftware.com/portfolio/3d-virtualization-with-three-js-reactjs/

https://bachasoftware.com/portfolio/bim-change-of-room-and-floor-color/