Autodesk Forge Platform Gets New APIs
Steve Olson posted on July 14, 2016 |

Over the last two or three years, Autodesk has been embracing cloud computing and has been in the process of widening and deepening its cloud offerings. This past December, the company made a splash by introducing Forge, its version of a cloud development platform. Just last month, it hosted Forge DevCon and used that event as a launch for some enhancements and additions to Forge.

Here’s a look at how it works:

Data Management API

The new Data Management API will grant access to files that are stored in Forge’s cloud storage. It will also allow developers to write code that will connect to a user’s A360 drive storage or Fusion 360—both applications store models and data in the cloud.

Viewer (Formerly Part of the Viewing and Data API)

Autodesk has redesigned the viewer in Forge. Now users are able to view 50 different 2D and 3D file formats utilizing the Forge Viewer.

The Forge Viewer. (Image courtesy of GARQUITECTOS/YouTube.)
The Forge Viewer. (Image courtesy of GARQUITECTOS/YouTube.)

Model Derivative API

The Model Derivative API can translate files, extract geometry and data and more. Models can be converted to STL and OBJ file formats. Developers can also access object hierarchy trees, properties and geometries of selected parts of a design.

Reality Capture API

The technology that allows Autodesk ReCap 360 Pro to turn photos into 3D data is now available on the Forge platform via the Reality Capture API. 

3D Printing API

The ability to add 3D printing preparations, such as slicing and repairing models, can be done by accessing the 3D Printing API. Printer manufacturers can utilize the Forge platform to give their customers a way to manage printers remotely. 

More to Come

Anyone that has been tracking Autodesk’s offerings over the past three years will see how its commitment to the cloud is affecting its portfolio of products. Therefore, this is most definitely not the last batch of new APIs that will be added to the Forge platform. In order to keep developers informed of what APIs are available and what is in the works, Autodesk has launched an API Status page.


Along with all API development, Autodesk Forge is making investments in companies that are innovating using cloud applications. The three companies that Autodesk Forge has invested in are 3D Robotics, MakeTime and Seebo. 3D Robotics is a drone manufacturer that is using reality capture technology in the cloud. MakeTime matches buyers with machine suppliers. And, finally, Seebo provides software for connecting products in the Internet of Things. 

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