Ever had that annoying problem of your entire dwg showing up in Section Views, regardless of where it is cut? If so, check out this tip from Chad at Revit KB:
…if you link the DWG into an In-Place Mass instead, then when the section cuts through the Mass/DWG it will only show just the elements which are being cut by the section.

when placed inside a Mass, that Mass can then be Phased which also means the DWG inside it will too.


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.

In previous versions of Revit, a common workaround to generate some ‘depth’ in elevation views was to use transparent mass planes.  This created an effect like this:

Here is what was actually happening behind the scenes:

However, something has been changed in Revit 2012.  This no longer works properly.  In fact, you CAN open up a 2011 file that has the effect in 2012 – and the effect will remain.  However, if you purge the file, it simply disappears!  See example video of this ‘Disappearing Act’ and file download link below:

Example file download link

The only way I have been able to retrospectively ‘add’ the effect to 2012 is:

  1. Open a 2011 file that has the effect.
  2. Rename any relevant masses or materials in the 2012 file so that you can cleanly ‘paste’ the 2011 mass.
  3. Copy one of the mass planes from the 2011 file and paste it into the 2012 file.
  4. This ‘might’ work for you…
  5. You can’t EVER purge this file in 2012, or the effect will break.

If you want to follow the discussions on this issue, here are some forum links:


Let me know if you have any comments or workarounds for this.

With regard to my recent posts about using legacy mass forms, I would like to let you know how Autodesk responded to some feedback I gave them.
Basically, I used the Feedback Form at this link to make the following suggestion to Autodesk:

The 2009 massing tool should be available in the project environment, as well as the 2010 conceptual massing tool. Although there is a workaround (pasting a 2009 mass into a 2010/2011 project), this is not desirable. Please reinstate an option for the 2009 massing tool, which includes simple sweep and extrusion forms.

A subject matter expert at Autodesk responded with the following:

Thank you for contacting us. Being able to access older massing operations in the project environment as well as the new massing tools could be a valuable addition to help users transition to the new massing tools. In 2011 the massing tools have been updated to give more flexibility in making changes to forms once they have been created. Sketches can be altered using the “dissolve” functionality. This does not totally replace the old massing functionality but does offer some flexibility over the tools in 2010.

I will be sure to pass along your feedback to the development team.

I recommend that you post any sincere feedback and recommendations using this the abovementioned feedback form. Clearly, Autodesk are monitoring and evaluating this feedback.

By ‘legacy mass forms’, I mean the nice, simple kind – sweeps with editable profiles, extrusions with sketches and the like.

The problem with 2010 and 2011 massing is that you cannot create these nice and simple forms in the conceptual massing environment in a project.

The answer? Simply download the file below. It contains a 2009 version mass. Copy this mass to a 2010 or 2011 project and you now have access to the simple sweep and extrusion tools! You can create new sweeps within this mass and have all kinds of legacy mass fun.

Download the file from this link

EDIT the above link will let you download 2009 mass family for Revit