Monday, September 20, 2010

Back to Basics – Conceptual Masses in Revit 2011


I am still surprised by the amount of questions and queries I get from users who are trying / starting to use Revit’s conceptual massing tools in either RAC 2010 or RAC 2011. The most common queries relate to how you actually create a particular form. I am suppose pre 2010 it was straight forward as we had extrude, revolve, sweep, blend and swept blend. The way you used these form making tools was very explicit; need to create an extruded form? Then use the extrude tool. Revit 2010 changed all that with a far more flexible approach to form making, but to some extent it tossed away the rule book and I believe that is what has confused some users. If you don’t do a lot of massing in Revit, this new paradigm can also lead to confusion and a certain amount of head banging!! I’ve had experienced Revit users get totally stumped when creating even the most basic forms. Once you understand the behaviour and the philosophy to form making, creating complex forms gets a lot easier.

So it made sense to create a series of short videos which explained how to create some common forms in Revits conceptual design environment. Experienced users who use the tools will know all this, but for those that don’t, I hope this is of assistance. I have deliberately avoided any voice over, so you force yourself to review the tools and commands being picked. It is all about creating the forms and I deliberately does not delved into model lines versus reference lines, pure geometry only. I am sure there are many ways to create some of these forms, but these in my view these are the most obvious steps.

You will find videos which you how to…..

  • Extrude
  • Revolve
  • Blend
  • Sweep
  • Swept Blend
  • Cone
  • Dome
  • Sphere
  • Torus
  • Loft 1
  • Loft 2
  • Pyramid


1. Extrude


2. Revolve


3. Blend


4. Sweep


5. Swept Blend


6. Cone


7. Dome


8. Sphere


9. Torus


10. Loft 1


11. Loft 2


12. Pyramid


Dave Baldacchino said...

Awesome post David! This is the goto page for anyone getting familiar with the massing techniques.

Unknown said...

Cheers Dave. Kind of weird, because I got one response to the post that suggested, why bother? You have all these as out of the box mass families. However, what that particular person failed to understand is that whilst the default mass families are useful they don't actually help you to understand the process and techniques for their development. Hey ho, you can't please everybody. :-)

Unknown said...

Hi David, thanks for sharing this information... I am reading "mastering autodesk revit architecture 2011" and studying... good help!! thanks!! Anita

Lens said...

Great post. Really appreciate it.

Lens said...

greAt post. Thanks very much. I really appreciate it

attator said...

re: pyramid-

in r2010 you can do half the pyramid profile swept on a square path - is that something you can't do in r2011 anymore?

Unknown said...

Thank You Thank You Thank you! The little patch of hair I have left also says "Thank You Thank you Thank you!". My Wife get the point ;)

JOMI said...

I am very new to Revit, so Thanks a bunch David! IT Really helped me
-keep posting!

Tim West said...

To create a sphere, you can draw a cirlce and click 'create form' then choose the shpere icon

Tim West said...

To generate a sphere, draw a circle, select it, click 'create form', and choose sphere

Anonymous said...

thinks alot

amazing facts said...

thanks for your share David.. awesome post for Revit Beginners like me..

amazing facts said...

thanks for your share David.. awesome post for Revit Beginners like me..