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Revit Tip: Save Time Converting Revit Families

By: Advocate | Posted ‎01-24-2017 05:18 PM , edited ‎01-25-2017 08:44 PM |


Revit - Convert from wall to face families2.png


In this topic, I will be addressing some amazing functionalities that can be done with the Revit families.


Changing the hosts of Revit families without having to re-create them, and keeping all the parameters working perfectly,

It's like adding super powers to a family!


Now, here's the thing.
When it comes to situations where you need to convert a family from (Wall, Ceiling, Roof) -based into something like Face -based family,


You either re-create that family, OR

You use the Copy/Monitor trick (a bit tedious) and may cause some problems as the following family broke due it’s high complexity and relations with the host:1 - KConvert - CopyMonitor.jpgNow, I had this situation with a pretty complex family I created as a Wall based, then I decided to make it a Face based and a Ceiling based family.


Here’s a snapshot from its parameters:2.jpgOf course, it would take me a long time to recreate that family, 
And copy/monitoring didn’t work out as it broke, as shown in the beginning


So, I had to move to another SOLUTION:Revit KConvert Family.pngHere comes the KCONVERT Family: A family I have created that can capture anything, and change it into anything

Examples below show what I mean.


-A Lighting Fixture Family Ceiling-based converted into an Adaptive that contains a Face-based exact lighting fixture Family, while keeping all of its parameters functioning perfectly!


-A complex Lighting Family (Wall based) family converted into a Face based, and a Ceiling based, with multiple directions, and additions, while keeping all the parameters without the need of re-creation!4.jpg





-Window family that didn’t act correctly to curved surfaces or slanted ones,
Got fixed up and is now working correctly!6.jpg

Here is the link to my YouTube video where I explain it all with two examples (28 Minutes) :

The KCONVERT Family download (Saved in Revit 2014) : *


  1. Download the KConvert.rfa file above (with my permission but please cite me as a source whenever possible)
  2. Open the KConvert.rfa file and load your preferred family inside of it
  3. Now for example you have loaded a Wall-based family, just place that on the wall, make sure you disable the light source of the loaded family -If it was Lighting Fixture- (See How-To in the video link above)
  4. Re-center the reference planes to be in the center of the family or any intersection point you'd prefer, then drive the parameters of the nested family.
  5. Load this into another Generic Model face based family for example.
  6. Change the category if preferred, enable light source if you had a Lighting Fixture family
  7. Create Openings, Constrain them, and drive all the parameters you want and you're done

Additional Notes:

  • When re-creating Lighting families (You would need to remove the light source ability from the family properties in the original one and enable it inside the Face based one after changing the category to Lighting Fixture
  • When re-creating families that do openings to building elements, you would need to re-create the openings and constrain them with the family
  • You can additional stuff when changing it from Wall based into Ceiling based or Face based for better productivity
  • In the video, regarding the lightning fixture example, there was no need to drive Recessed Can Radius nor Inner radius, they are just extra parameters that are created in the original family that reports the radius due to a change of diameter.
    (Driving those parameters can cause troubles; it is a bug in general Family editor of Revit)


Karam Baki, Expert Elite.jpg

Karam Baki is an Architect currently studying in the University of Jordan. He started his Revit journey in 2009 at age 16, and recently when he turned 21, he was inducted as an Autodesk Expert Elite member. He's one of the Top StudentExperts at the StudentExpert Network.

Karam is also considered as a leading expert in Jordan for Revit, an instructor at the University of Jordan while still learning as a student at the same time. Karam has created many projects for various clients as well.

Check out Karam's students' work at this Facebook page:
Check his own work on the Autodesk Gallery page:


By: Advocate ron.allen
| Posted ‎01-27-2017 11:05 AM

Basically an extension to import to a face-based family?


What did you do to the 'placement' families so they don't have a category associated with them?

By: Advocate
| Posted ‎01-27-2017 12:30 PM
Hey Ron, I believe I did reply to you on linked it,
In case you missed it

I will release a video 'Just to explain this step' for Revit geeks to understand how I achieved it,

In this month, and will update you here in a comment, you should be notified by email,

Hope you liked the workflow :)

By: Participant ramon697348385
| Posted ‎01-29-2017 08:28 AM

I like to see the video how you covert them.

I also am looking for the possibilities.


With the copy monitor trick i do not have to connect the parameters 2 times.. but i can convert a wall based template to a face hosted template.

With my work i do not wont to connect the parameters each time.

Connecting the dots two times to me is a disadvantage...
I hope you have a tip for this one.


The only problem with face host based templates and other non hosted templates is that the scheduled level has to been set manually.

Only the face host based placed with the option on vertical plane in a plan view sets it automaticly right..

By: Advocate
| Posted ‎01-29-2017 11:42 AM , edited ‎01-29-2017 11:44 AM |

Hey Ramon,

Thank you :)

Let's breakdown those one by one :


-Copy Monitor trick is not stable for complex families, I have added an example above, Also you may check this conversation about it,

It destroys the groups and the parameters will not function probably, if it was complex enough, as almost all the professional families are, 

That trick works for only "One time usage" I mean you will loose all the parametric abilities, and that's something we agree to not like, 


So, the very stable trick is the KConvert above, I agree it might be a little bit time consuming, but not more than 5 minutes per family, 
Which is much less than copy paste it's elements are reconnecting references and parameters, especially with fairly complex families, 
Also all the parameters are kept safe and fully functional unlike the copy/monitor trick




However, for the connecting the dots, Ron Allen advised me to create a piece of API, or with the help of Dynamo, to achieve that automatically, wish me luck with it :) , but for now, if you want a stable, face based converted family, the above method serves you well, 




Regarding for scheduling, this is how Revit is designed, no way to change it, 

Here is a breakdown to it 


-While in 2D, it automatically sets the schedule level to the associated level of the view you are in, no need to worry about it, 

-While in 3D, just make sure you get the right level, from the option bar, it will set it self automatically in the schedule level

You may tell me that I have to get it right when using it in 3D, 

As for wall based templates, they capture the level automatically, (BUT NOT ALWAYS), that happens with my daily workflow, especially if am messing a lot with the workplane am drawing at, for Model Text and dimensions in 3D, 

This is a trade I accept, will keep up looking for better solutions, but it is as it is now, it is not between my hands,

Hope I understood your comment right :)



By: Advocate ron.allen
| Posted ‎01-30-2017 08:57 AM

@ramon697348385Face based families automatically report their placement level- but can be overridden.


@Karambaki If groups failed - what about assemblies? Do assemblies fail on copy/monitor? May be a bug in revit if that is the case. Have you tried C/M in R2017?



By: Advocate
| Posted ‎01-31-2017 11:53 AM

@ron.allen Assemblies as expected, and no need to worry about them because we are talking about the families, and assemblies are not used in the family environment as you know,

The failure is inside the resulted family if it contained groups and used the C/M method on it,

Revit would give you this if your family contained Array group based on the wall for example, :

An error occurred in family "ANYFAMILY.rfa" and was automatically resolved. Please review changes made to the family.
Error Information:
"Changes to groups are only allowed during Edit Group mode. Use Edit Group to make this change."
Error Resolution: Delete Element(s)

And the result has a broken groups in family, broken parameters, broken life ... 

Using the KConvert method, will preserve that and not break any thing, 

By: Participant ramon697348385
| Posted ‎01-31-2017 12:35 PM

@karam, thanks for the response

@ron, thats right but that is also what I mentioned about face host based .. only in plan view this works not in 3d.

By: Advocate ron.allen
| Posted ‎01-31-2017 01:04 PM
Might be a bug that needs Fixin' by Autodesk ; )
About Karambaki

Karam Baki is an Architect Studying at University of Jordan, He started his Revit trip since 2009, when he was 16 years old, Now when he's 21, he became an Autodesk ExpertElite, He's one of the Top StudentExperts at the StudentExpert Network, Also, Autodesk requested a step-by-step of his rendering technics regarding to 360 Cloud Rendering to be classified as "360 RenderingPro" Karam is invited to participate in the Inside The Factory "Gunslinger" Events for Revit Architecture, to meet and work with the creators of Revit. He's also considered a flagship in Jordan for Revit, instructing at the University of Jordan while still a student in it. Creating many projects for various clients as well, although he's still not graduated. Check his students' work at this facebook page : Check his own work at Autodesk Gallery :

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