Autodesk has long been making apps that let users perform professional-level designing tasks on the go. In the past, we have seen releases like Instructables, Pixlr Express and Autodesk FormIt from the vendor. Most apps from Autodesk set themselves apart from the competition by providing users with designing options that feel almost too good for mobile devices. Autodesk Factory Design is a tool that has been available on the desktop for quite some time now, and has managed to garner a fair amount of appreciation because of the way it handles the creation and editing of equipment designs and building plans. The service has just been released on iPad as well, and the great thing is that the app isn’t too different from its desktop counterpart. You can do just about anything on an iPad that is possible on Autodesk Factory Design on your computer.
Autodesk Factory Design is capable of handling all drawings that are in DWG format. There are a few sample designs on the app’s home screen, but you can easily import more files to it by connecting Dropbox, Box.com, Buzzsaw or any of the other supported services. Since Factory Design requires an Autodesk account to work, you don’t have to worry about syncing your work across different devices, as the app takes care of this all by itself.
The editor in the app is extremely thorough. You can’t start creating a plan from scratch, but almost all aspects of existing drawings can be altered. To make changes to a particular part of the drawing, simply tap it once, and select an option from the bottom bar. Objects can be resized, reshaped, or rotated. There are also options that let you get the exact measurements of structures.
When it comes to inserting new items into the mix, it is better to enter grid mode so that the exact dimensions of the design can be taken into account before placing something new. To add a new asset, hit the first button out of the three located in the top-right corner. It is possible to search for parts, or simply browse through different categories to come across the perfect object needed for your design.
Autodesk Factory Design is often used by teams as a collaborative design tool, which is why the ‘Design Feed’ section is an important part of the iPad app. From this feed, users can leave their comments regarding the design, or even open discussions pertaining to specific parts of the whole plan. The feed also supports image attachments, making the whole experience really comprehensive.
This iPad app is available as a free download, and any existing user of Factory Design as well as new users who need to create such designs are sure to appreciate it.