Simple mass modeling in Revit

From TOI-Pedia


Within Revit, Mass Modeling is a fast way to draw conceptual volumes. There are two ways of creating a mass. The first is by creating a Conceptual Mass Family, which is a mass that is created outside the project. The second is by creating an In Place Mass. This is a mass that is created within the project. In this tutorial we explain how to create an In Place Mass.

Setting up the guidelines

Before actually creating your mass, it's good practice to create some guidelines first. Grids and Levels give you the possibility to snap your geometry to predefined dimensions.

Changing Levels
  • Go to the Project Browser and open an elevation view and create your desired levels, adjust them to the right height and give them a sensible name.

Revit MM 001.jpeg

Adding a Grid-line
  • The second step is to create grid lines. Change your view to a floor plan and create your desired grid.

Creating an In Place Mass

In Place Mass

Once we have our guidelines set, we can start creating our Mass.

  • Go to the Floor Plan where you want to create the mass.
  • In the Ribbon, select the Massing & Site tab and click In Place Mass. When it is the first mass to be created within the project, a pop up will appear stating that Revit has enabled the Show Mass mode. Click Close. (If masses are already visible the Show Mass mode is already turned on and this pop up will not show)
  • Next a pop up will appear asking for a name for the mass. Give it a sensible name.
  • Now we can create the outline of the mass. We can either do this by drawing Model Lines or by drawing Reference Lines. Model Lines will disappear after creating the mass. Reference Lines will remain so they can be used as a basis for additional masses.
  • Draw a closed shape. It can be any shape, just make sure it forms a closed loop.
Create Form
  • Click Create Form to turn it into a 3D volume.
  • Go to a 3D View and select the top of the shape. Sometimes it seems you are not able to select the top surface. By clicking the Tab key on your keyboard, you can cycle through the elements that are possible to select for a certain mouse position, like surfaces, edges and corner points.
  • When the top surface of the volume is selected go to an elevation to move the surface by using the arrows. You can snap to the desired Level. You cannot only do this for surfaces, but also for edges and corner points.
Selecting the Volume and Moving Surfaces, Edges or Corner Points
  • By removing edges and/or corner points, you can create different shapes like a common roof.
  • To stack masses on top of each other, just go the Floor Plan of the level above, and create a new mass.
  • Create all the masses until you are satisfied with the shape of the combined masses and click Finish Mass.

Revit MM 011.gif

Creating a Void Form

Create Void Form
  • Select the Mass and clicking the Edit Mass button
  • Go to the Floor Plan where you want to create the void form.
  • Now we can create the outline of the void form.
Edit Void Form
  • Draw a closed shape. It can be any shape, just make sure it forms a closed loop.
  • Instead of selecting Create Form select Void Form from the dropdown menu.
  • You can edit the void form similarly to the solid forms, to move and/or remove edges
  • Click Finish Mass to subtract the void form from your original mass.

Changing the appearance of an In Place Mass

By default masses are created with some sort of semi-transparent appearance. To change this, we have to change the material settings of the mass. You can do this by clicking the Edit Mass button. By selecting the entire mass you can change the material for all the objects within the mass. If you select individual surfaces (by using the "Tab" button) you can allocate multiple materials within one mass.

  • Once you have made your selection, in the Properties window, behind Material a small button with some dots appears in the upper right corner of the cell. Click this button to enter the Material Browser window.

Revit MM 007.jpeg

  • Select a suitable material, or create a new material by clicking the small sphere under the material list.

Revit MM 008.jpeg

  • Right-click the "New Default Material", select "rename" and give it a sensible name.
  • Under the Graphics tab, set the Color and Transparency to your desired settings and click OK.

Revit MM 009.jpeg

  • Click Finish Mass.
  • Make sure to set the view mode to Shaded, to be able to see colors.

Revit MM 010.jpeg

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