Autodesk Forge is our collection of Application Program Interfaces (APIs), documentation, sample code, and a community of customers and partners who develop customized solutions suited to their workflows. Forge allows our customers and partners to derive more value from their design and engineering data.
One of the most used parts of Autodesk Forge is the Viewer. Internally, the viewer is referred to as LMV (Large Model Viewer) because it handles models larger than the ones that can be viewed using its predecessor, Autodesk Design Review. Autodesk Design Review required that the original design data, (e.g., AutoCAD drawing, Inventor file, Revit model), be published to the Design Web Format (DWF) for sharing. It was a challenge for project teams to ensure that DWF files were up to date with their latest source drawings.
Using the Autodesk Forge Viewer is based on a different approach. Project teams collaborate using web services that consume original design data, and another part of Autodesk Forge, the Model Derivative API, handles the translation from the original source files to a file suitable for viewing, i.e., Simple Vector Format (SVF). SVF is suited to viewing because it can be consumed by most modern browsers across a variety of platforms. Autodesk customers and Autodesk Forge development partners can create solutions, customized to their workflows, where the design data is viewable on most PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets without having to handle all of the peculiarities of various operating systems and environments. This makes the Autodesk Viewer very attractive from a development standpoint.
So the release of the updated LMV is a BFD — a big freakin' deal. Check out its release notes:
So if you haven't checked out Autodesk Forge yet, you should. Visit forge.autodesk.com to get started.