Shapeshifter to Revit: Conceptual Modelling in a Browser

Workflow between Shapeshifter and Revit 2015
Workflow between Shapeshifter and Revit 2015

Autodesk Shapeshifter to Revit 2015

I was excited to see that Autodesk has released a new conceptual modelling tool, especially as it is available from any web browser. I got the initial impression that it’s purely for basic modelling, product design, manufacturing perhaps.  But I wanted to see how far I could take it, with the intention of getting it into a Revit environment.

Autodesk Labs: Shapeshifter

Autodesk Labs: Shapeshifter []

At present (and I hope this changes) you can only export to either .OBJ or .STL from the website, so this is where you might tune out if you don’t have the Building Design Suite. Firstly open up 3ds max and import the .OBJ file. We need to get it in a DWG format so that Revit massing can utilise the geometry. I’ll keep it to simple shapes for this tutorial, but as you can see on the image above the possibilities are (almost) endless.

.OBJ into 3dsMax

.OBJ into 3dsMax



Once in a DWG format from 3ds max, I struggled to get Revit to see the geometry. Eventually I realised I needed an extra step in the workflow – AutoCAD. Just select your geometry and explode as many times as required until you’re able to select faces and points.

11 White

Once exploded, link the DWG into Revit and set your levels up around your geometry.


When you have the geometry imported, you’ll need massing to snap to the DWG and convert into a solid form. We will need the solid form later to create walls, floors, roof and curtain systems from the faces. Following the basic principles of massing, combining with a little advanced knowledge around adaptive components, it’s time to create a basic adaptive family that will link to the different points on the edges of my DWG.





As required, combine the adaptive families together to create a solid form geometry.  It’s from this you can now mass floors and level heights, create walls/roofs/curtain systems from faces – all of which can be updated as you update the mass.


From there… it’s time to add system families and content. Model making time!


I’d like to think that there is an easier way to get the Shapeshifter models into Revit, so get in touch at either @AaronPerryArch or @Cadassist if you have a suggestion.

My feedback for this Shapeshifter . . . add some friendlier file formats please!

4Main Building [Windows] - 3D View - Site 3D

Shapeshifter to Revit: Conceptual modelling in a browser


Instruction on conceptual massing and adaptive components in Revit can be found in Cadassist’s Revit Architecture Beyond the Basics and Revit Advanced Weekend Bootcamps.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s