RTV Tools

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Convert All Masses (including in-place Mass) to Generic Models via IFC

Quite simple really.  These steps were tested using Revit 2013.
  1. Select all masses, Group, and then Save as Library - Group
  2. Open the RVT from step 1
  3. R button - Export - Export Options - IFC Options
  4. Set Mass and sublevel Form to IfcBuildingElementProxy (copy-paste from another field)
  5. Ok
  6. R button - Export - IFC
  7. R button - Open - IFC
  8. Your new file has all the same Forms, but instead of being Masses, they are now of Generic Model category.  You can copy-paste them back into the original file, and either delete or hide the original Masses.
You could vary some of these steps to change the target category.   But once you have the in-place Generic Models, you can switch them to basically any Category you like.


  1. Excuse the ignorance, but why would you want to do this? What are the advantages of generic models over a mass? Just curious...


  2. In my case, the problem was that I started working on a model in which an inexperienced Revit user had modelled Casework as Masses - so it needed a bit of a fix-up.

  3. Great post.

    Kdjanz the Mass family is only for massing buildings conceptually. It is not for any other type of element. Revit imposes this upon you, such that if you made a bench, trim, etc. as a mass family initially, you are not allowed to switch it to another family. The Mass family is unique in this way. Other families can be switched back and forth. I'm sure Autodesk has reasons for this; what, I don't know.

    In any case, I too had a novice user model a bunch of benches as a Mass family, which means that in order to see them in any view, I have to see all my other masses ... not good. This post saved me a lot of re-modeling!


  4. Thanks for the how-to,

    I had a problem however. My newly created IFC mass/generic model was created with a bunch of facets rather than a sloped/angled surface. Any idea why this is happening or how to get rid of all these planes? The intimal mass did not show all these lines.


    1. This is a function of IFC itself. From IFC4 onwards, there is better support for solids, but prior to this other IFC versions essentially created triangulated surface approximations.

  5. When I go through this process, I am able to create the generic model geometry, but it loses the internal geometry. I am creating twisted wrought iron bar. When I export to IFC, and open the .rvt file, the geometry simplifies itself and the generic model is just a straight parallelepipedal...having lost the twists. Ideas?