AutoDesSys form•Z Pro v8.6




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AutoDesSys form•Z Pro - featured

The Fastest, Easiest, Most Flexible 3d Modeling Software Available

form•Z is the most versatile and powerful 3d modeling software available. It offers a form generating environment that is much more powerful, dynamic, intelligent, yet easier to use than any of its previous editions. Not only can you build any 3d form you imagine with form•Z, it can also ignite discoveries of forms that you may not have thought of otherwise.


What’s new in form•Z 8 Pro?

form•Z 8 introduces subdivision modeling as a new personality to form•Z's diverse modeling capabilities. Subdivision modeling is a method for creating unique organic forms. These organic models start from a simple base cage that can be dynamically manipulated and reformed with a new suite of tools that provide operations like grow, stretch, bridge, squeeze and offset. Subdivision models are parametric allowing for continued manipulation as well as dynamic control of the surface resolution.

Pitcher Correct

The subdivision tools are also useful for quickly smoothing or softening a facetted model. Subdivision objects can be converted to NURBS for additional manipulation and evaluation using form•Z’s extensive NURBS tools. Subdivision objects work great with 3D printing as they produce regular meshes that tend to give excellent results with popular 3D printers. Useful for tensile structures, organic surfaces ranging from exotic roofs to character meshes, these new tools make form•Z more versatile than ever before!


The new Round to Holdline tool generates a round between two (or more) faces of an object. The object can be a surface or a solid object. The round is defined with a holdline curve that lies on the surface. The variable radius of the round along the edge will be determined by the holdline, see example below.

guitar body

buildingThe form•Z interactive display modes have been completely rewritten to take advantage of modern OpenGL capabilities. This is most noticeable in Shaded Full display mode with new real-time ambient occlusion, bump mapping, soft shadows and multi sampling features. These improvements aid in real-time visualization and design evaluation as they yield better depth perception and spatial definition. The image to the right illustrates the effect of these new features.

Sketchfab.com is a website that allows you to share your 3D models so others can view and navigate around the model in real time. You can publish your models through Sketchfab.com, or you can embed them into your own web pages. There is a new Sketchfab upload option in the Extensions menu that allows for uploads to Sketchfab directly from form•Z.

form•Z for OS X is now a native 64-bit application making it possible to work with projects that need over 4GB of memory. 32 and 64 bit versions continue to be supported for Windows.

There are a numerous improvements throughout form•Z 8:

  • The sweep tools have a new option to use NURBS control points instead of a strict path. This enables smooth sweeps with lower numbers of control points.
  • The Cross Skin tool now handles smooth sources.
  • The Tight Lofting option of the NURBS by lofting tool now supports the Closed in Depth (V) option.
  • Layout improvements include a new option to keep the contents of a frame centered in the frame and better linkage to the model file associted with a frame.
  • spaceshipThe Offset Outline tool can be applied to multiple outlines in a single operation. This makes it possible to offset multiple outlines on different objects the same distance simultaneously. A new option has been added to apply the offset at preset numeric distance in addition to the existing dynamic method
  • The Shift key now disables guide snaps in the Cone Of Vision making it possible to make subtle changes to view parameters.
  • Components can now be viewed by name using the new List view in the Component Manager. The new Component Information button displays information about a component including how many times the component is placed in the project.
  • Materials can now be organized into groups making it easier to organize projects with many materials.
  • The Materials palette has been updated to be consistent with all form•Z palettes including control items at the top of the palette and a context menu for quick access to features.
  • The form•Z 8 .fmz file format has been optimized to make files more compact. A new File Optimization option has been added to the Project Settings allowing for even smaller project files. Files saved with Auto Save feature use the smallest size to improve performance.
  • Workspace settings can now be saved and reloaded in the Tool Manager making it possible to share custom layouts between machines and colleagues. The size of tool icons can be set without entering the tool manager by right clicking an icon and selecting Settings from the context menu.
  • The accelerator keys (accessed by pressing the space bar and typing) now work more logically by typing the name of the desired tool (or at least enough unique characters). The option to use the previous method remains in the Tool Manager.
  • The DXF/DWG translators now support the AutoCad 2014 format. Export of DWF and SVG have been added.
  • ACIS support has been upgraded to r24.
  • RenderZone now uses Lightworks 9.1 which includes a number of performance improvements.
  • The Windows versions use a new installer making installation easier and better integrated with the Windows operating system.
  • Many additional performance and stability improvements.


Features & Benefits of form•Z

  • You start with a smart interface that senses what you intend to do and protects you from unwanted actions. This includes automatic picking and automatic guides that assist you in drawing accurately.
  • Fully parametric and dynamic generation of 3D forms that can be further manipulated at any time after their initial generation.
  • A Reshape tool that, by capitalizing on real time Boolean operations, offers more sculpting actions that produce robust solid models that can easily be fabricated.
  • Totally overhauled suite of NURBS tools combines unprecedented ease of use and power. The new NURBS analysis features aid in the evaluation and refinement of your design.
  • Powerful formula tools create complex curves and surfaces based on mathematical formulas with ease. The included predefined library of shapes is a launching point for a whole new method of form creation.
  • Components are enhanced symbols that include the ability to edit the component directly where it is placed. Components are also embedded in project’s making them less dependant on external library files.
  • The complete interface and the tool palettes are fully customizable, including the newly introduced favorites palette, where you may place the tools you use frequently for instant access.
  • Formz 8Newly introduced workspaces group related tools and palettes together making it easy to switch between tasks. User defined workspaces allow for creation of custom workspaces.
  • The traditional form•Z drafting and modeling environments found in previous versions have been merged combining the power of both in a unified environment. This powerful combi-nation yields long desired features such as dimensions, hatching and line styles to 3D.
  • willowLayout sheets can be used to compose different views of a model and/or sections and/ or construction details together with notes and dimensions and have it printed to send to the construction site.
  • The modeling interface has been enhanced with a new shaded working environment. Traditional wire frame, hidden line, shaded full and doodle rendering are included. Photorealistic, global Illumination and sketch rendering is available with the optional RenderZone plug-in.
  • Dynamic clipping planes allow for non-destructive cutting of models. This real-time dynamic interface allows for complete inspection of a design.
  • villaThe new Sun Palette enables the quick evaluation of natural light in a building on any given day or time. Quickly create animation of the sun light through a day or an entire year.
  • Present your designs interactively on line with the new VR creation features. These allow you to create web ready interactive panoramic and 360 object movies of your design.

Interoperability, a traditional strength of form•Z, has further been enhanced with updated translators and a new Rhino import feature.

“We re-developed form•Z based on our knowledge of 25+ years in the 3d industry, but most importantly, on the feedback our users gave us, and with the tasks they wish to accomplish in their work-flow on our mind. The result is sketching, sculpting capabilities, and NURBS modeling superior to those offered by other popular programs.
– Chris Yessios, President of AutoDesSys.

When the software engineers tackled the job at hand, they had three premises in mind: ease of use, speed, and design flexibility. We wanted to give the users of form•Z an application that, unlike other ones on the market, does not limit their design creativity with software limitations. An application that allows them to extend their imagination on the screen but also go beyond, to explore and bring to life unthought of forms before. We believe we accomplished our goals and invite designers to articulate their thoughts in 3D with the most powerful tool they can wish for!
– David Kropp, Senior VP of Project Development

Metro Rail

A comparison chart of the form•Z pro and form•Z jr features can be found here.

What's new in Version 8.6?

form·Z 8.6 is an update to v8.5. v8.6 uses the same installation codes as v8.5.

  • Product updated to use ACIS 2018.
  • STEP file translator improved (better support specially on OS X).
  • SKP file translator updated. Now supports skp 2016 and 2017 files.
  • SAT file translator updated. Now supports 2018 files.
  • DWG/DXF file translator updated. Now supports 2018 files.
  • FBX file translator updated. Now supports 2018 files.
  • FMZ files saved with versions prior to v6 can now be opened directly.
  • Performance on Mac Pro models using ATI graphics cards has been improved.
  • 3DS export now handles objects with more than 65535 faces or 65535 points efficiently.
  • Deleteing layer groups from the layers palette now works properly.
  • Hatches now work properly on shapes with co-linear points.
  • Zoom Options "Zoom Frame By Center" and "Zoom Frame By Corners" restored for the Zoom Frame tool.
  • Materials palette context menu now has an option to select All Objects/Faces that are assigned a the selected material .
  • Transform options now work properly.
  • Clone options restored to the Transform and Replace tools. Unclone tool restored.
  • 3DS export no longer fails when an object contains a degenerate 2 sided face.
  • The context menu invoked by right-clicking on objects now has options to Select Clone Families, and make the object's Material, Layer, Line weight or Line style active.
  • Undo/Redo now work properly on OS X 10.13 (High Sierra).
  • Auto Save by time interval now works properly.
  • SketchUp Materials now import properly.
  • SketchUp 2017, 2018 Now supported.
  • Export DWG/DXF speed improved.
  • Import KMZ files now works properly.
  • The Reduce tool no longer stops when encountering an object that can not be reduced (when multiple objects are selected).
  • Landform tool now works properly with grouped contour lines (keep same height).
  • Dimensions and text import properly from DXF/DWG files.
  • Certain 3DS files now open properly.
  • Text imports properly from DXF files.
  • Tool names no longer be truncated on certain OS X systems.
  • UI elements are now sized properly on OS X.
  • Section tool now works in Wireframe.
  • Importing certain 3DS files no longer crash.
  • Numerous stability and performance improvements.

What's new in Version 8.5.7:

Highlights of improvements in this version include (but are not limited to):


  • Sub-d Objects now support face colors.
  • Copy/paste now perseveres layer groups.
  • DAE import improved.
  • Opening and saving files to DropBox locations with long path names no longer crashes.
  • Layer groups are maintained with copy/paste operations.
  • DWG/DXF/DWF plugin updated (OpenDWG 4.2.2)
  • Stream Line tool icon now shows properly.
  • Billboard tool now displays properly when changing image files.
  • Define Arbitrary Reference plane tool now works properly in Wireframe.
  • Edge Color Layer override now works with the Material Average option.
  • Show/Hide edges Layer override and Render as Shaded Surface now work as expected.
  • Hide ghosted rendering options now work for dimensions and notes.
  • Redo of Draft Angle operation now works after an undo.
  • High facet count subdivision objects now work properly on Windows.
  • The derive face tool now works properly on faces of subdivision objects.
  • Hide ghosted rendering options now work for dimensions and notes.
  • Various stability and performance improvements


  • Improved display efficiency of files with a lot of dimensions/notes/leaders.
  • Improved efficiency of updating frame data from modeling.
  • Resizing frames no longer leads to crashes in certain files.
  • Printing no longer drops lines from frames.
  • Layers now transfer in the order they appear in modeling.
  • Layer groups now transfer from modeling.
  • The frame parameters now has a larger list for selecting layers.
  • Frame dialog has been adjusted to list layers in order of modeling and the layer list has been expanded and a button added to view the layer the list.
  • Export defaults to polylines (higher order levels now disabled).
  • The line tool now appears in the tool palette.
  • Hide ghosted rendering options now work for dimensions and notes.
  • Line tool icon now shows properly.
  • Various stability and performance improvements.

OS X Specific:

  • Palette positions are properly maintained on OS X systems with a second screen positioned above the main screen.\
  • The Favorite tools window now works properly on all screens on OS X (not just the main screen).

Whats New in Version 8.5:

form•Z pro v8.5 introduces a new suite of creative design tools to enhance form generation. These tools offer a variety of ways to create new and interesting forms especially when combined with each other. These tools also work well with many existing form•Z pro tools like subdivision surfaces and deformations to make even more interesting forms. These new tools suite includes:

  • The Voronoi diagram tool creates a formation of cells from a set of points.
  • The Point Scatter, Surface Scatter, and Volume Scatter tools create formations by distributing copies of objects on or inside of other objects.
  • The Parametric Map tool allows 2D objects to be mapped onto a surface or face of another object.
  • The Wrap tool creates a new object from the 3D spatial boundary (or convex hull) of a set of objects or the 2D boundary of a planar set of points.
  • The Delaunay Triangulation tool creates robust triangulated meshes from a set of points on a surface or plane.

The form•Z pro Layout environment has been migrated to its own app. The new form•Z Layout app includes numerous improvements plus a title block feature including a library of ready to use title blocks. Commonly used title block text can be auto filled from a user-defined dictionary.

form•Z pro v8.5 includes an interface for the Augment reality app. With Augment, you can visualize your form•Z models in real world settings, at real size, in real time on OS X and Android mobile devices.

The Hidden Line rendering in form•Z pro v8.5 has been improved to allow interactive view navigation and can optionally show hidden/back edges as dashed lines.

form•Z pro v8.5 also includes:

  • ACIS r25 and (ASAT r25 file format) support for improved smooth modeling
  • Improved display performance for layout files and complex 3D model files.
  • Enhancements to the Bend Along Path tool and Align/Distribute tools.
  • Improved numeric input.
  • New High Quality smoothing export option.
  • A variety of improvements and enhancements throughout.

What's New in Version 8.0.2:

  • Hidden Line Options
  • Wireframe and Shaded Work new interactive options
  • Layer palette context menu
  • Layout Display Options
  • Layout Image and Image Fit

A full description of new options and bug fixes can be found HERE.

What's New in Version 8.0.1:

  • Automatic Updates fixed
  • Maxwell Render no longer causes RenderZone Materials to change to Plastic Reflection
  • Cancel Generation of Sun Animation enabled
  • Improvements to NURBS objects
  • Improvements to Controlled Rounding
  • Improvements to Workspaces and Tool Dock
  • Palettes now update their visibility / locked / snap-able status when multiple entities are toggled
  • Improvements to Components stored in external libraries
  • Excessive Ghosted Operand crash on certain windows fixed
  • Radio button issues on certain Mac Palettes fixed
  • Import / Export format improvements
  • Missing image map files no longer prevent other maps from being saved when using the Save A Copy As command
  • Network Licensing improvements


Minimum: 1 GB
Recommended: 4 GB+

* Note that complex models or large texture maps may require additional memory.

Macintosh OS X:

Macintosh computer with Intel processor.

OS X 10.7.5 or later.

* Note that the latest updates are recommended.

* OS X 10.9.2 ( or later) may be required on machines with ATI Video Cards.


Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, or Windows 10.
* Note that the latest service packs are recommended.

See Microsoft’s web site for available service packs.

Hard Disk Space:

Minimum: 2 GB
Recommended: 5 GB+

* Note that complex models or large texture maps may require additional hard disk space.

Internet Connection:

Required for product activation, software updates and access to on line manuals and tutorial videos.

DVD Drive:

Required for software installation for orders delivered on DVD disc.


A video card that supports OpenGL version 3.2 or later is required. For best results, a video card with a minimum benchmark score of ~1500 is recommended, and for larger files, ~3500 or better is preferred.

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