By Conor Ferguson
You may have come across ‘Autodesk Forge’ or the ‘Forge Platform’ and not be too sure what it is or what it means. In layman’s terms, it is a tool for developers to use in their apps that provides a range of functionality. Signing up to the platform gives you access to a multitude of web service API’s. Developers can then then make http requests to authenticate with Forge and make use of the web services and functionality they provide. The Forge team have also built some SDK quick starts to make using the platform easier, saving developers the need to construct ReST calls themselves.
The API’s themselves are split into the following categories (some are free to use, some are not).
Data Management API – Provides a unified way to integrate with Autodesk’s cloud software (BIM 360 Team, Fusion Team, BIM 360 Docs, A360 Personal). Using this API you can do things such as uploading and downloading files from these environments.
Design Automation API – Currently provides the ability to run scripts on AutoCAD drawings, automating the batch processing of files. This will hopefully be extended to files that are produced by other CAD software in the future. Using this API you could batch convert DWG files to PDF format.
Model Derivative & Viewer API – Provides the ability to view and share design files in different formats as well as extract metadata. Using this API you could embed Autodesk’s large model viewer in your website and display your design files.
Reality Capture API – Provides photogrammetry capability to process digital images into high resolution textured meshes, dense point clouds and orthophotos. Using this API could create a 3D mesh from a set of overlapping photos.
BIM 360 API – Provides resources to develop apps that integrate with the Autodesk BIM 360 platform. Using this API you could automatically create new BIM 360 projects.
Webhooks – Allows your apps to ‘listen’ to Autodesk’s cloud software and receive notifications when certain actions are performed by users. Using this API you could receive a notification when a user has deleted a file from an Autodesk cloud software.
For more information on Forge see https://forge.autodesk.com/ or call the Cadline team on 01784 419922.