Autodesk Forge Hackathon 2020

Nov 17, 2020 | forge, hackathon

Because of 2020’s pandemic, most events take place online, including the
very first Autodesk Forge™ hackathon as part of
Autodesk University 2020 (AU2020).

A hackathon is a “hacking marathon” on a specific topic,
this particular event focused on Autodesk Forge, a developer
platform designed and ran by Autodesk®,
it was very intensive and lasted 5 days.

At Camilion, we decided to participate in this hackathon and use
the time and special 24h/5d availability of Autodesk® developers to bring an
idea forward.
Here, we’ll elaborate a bit further, but you can also watch our “live”
presentation (starts at 1h 11m 10s) featuring questions by
Autodesk developers, and even Jim Quanci, their CTO.

What is Autodesk Forge?

Forge is a set of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that allow
developers to automate tasks and create previously unthinkable applications
that take advantage of industry standard products and protocols.

What did we decide to do?

Bear in mind that, everything we showcase here was developed within the 5
of the Autodesk Forge hackathon!

We wanted to explore the idea of running standard, consistency and any kind
of tests on design files in order to ensure compliance, and we wanted to do
it in a seamless fashion that does not get in the way of actually working.

We wanted to support both .dwg and .rvt design files, Inventor could be
supported in a future stage.

Have no User Interface

Since we design the software to works seamlessly, there is no User Interface.

Well, there is one, but it is merely for informational purposes.


Running standards automatically

In order to achieve this, we hooked our File Server to the software we
developed in 5 days. This way, the File Server contacts this software
whenever there is a change on the origin files.

When a change is detected, we run the configured tests automatically
on Autodesk Forge.


This was quick enough, that between adding the files and checking the site,
usually some files had finished being processed already.

Catch things going wrong early

Something is unavoidably going to go wrong, since we know who last modified
things, we decided to hook our software to our Instant Messaging platform.


This way, drafters, architects and engineers can quickly correct mistakes as
they happen, not many days/weeks down the road when it might be more difficult
or they might not have the mental context as to why something happened.

Useful information about errors

When things do go wrong, we offer both a quick overview and more detailed
information allowing people to address issues as they are detected.


In a future version, we’d like to fix some of these issues with a click.

What happens now?

We would like to keep developing and exploring this idea,
if you think this concept could be of interest to you, please do
reach out to us.
We want to make sure we support real-life scenarios and take actual business
needs into account.

If you have other particular needs and like the way we address problems and
design solutions, we’d also love to hear from you!

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