Revit Interference Check – What you need to know

Many software options can do an in-depth clash detection of your BIM model, such as Autodesk Navisworks or Nemetschek Solibri. But did you know that you can run a basic clash detection with the Revit Interference Check feature?

The Revit Interference Check can be used to identify intersections (clashes) between various element categories. It is possible to run an Interference Check between selected elements, the current project, and the linked model. However, linked files cannot be checked against each other.

In this article, I will explain how to run the Revit Interference Check, and provide tips on using the Interference Check effectively.

Revit Interference Check

The Revit Interference Check allows you to run a basic clash detection in your Revit project. This check locates invalid intersections between elements you select from a list of categories. Even though Revit offers simple clash detection and doesn’t have many options, it’s helpful for quickly checking the model.

This primary check can be useful before using more advanced clash detection tools, such as Navisworks or Solibri. The Interference Check allows you to choose categories from:

  • ‘Current Project’ you are working on
  • ‘Current Selection’ you make in the model
  • A linked Revit file
  • A linked IFC file

When you select one of the options above, the available categories you can choose from are listed in the column of the Interference Check dialog. If you do not select any elements, the dialog shows all available categories of the current model.

revit interference check
Interference Check dialog

Tip

Did you know you can coordinate your model with the Copy/Monitor tool? Learn more about it with this comprehensive article: How to Use Revit Copy Monitor.

Categories for Interference Check

In the list below, you can find most of the categories available for interference checking inside Revit. Note that, MEP fabrication parts and detailed steel modeling elements are excluded from the Interfence Check.

  1. Audio Visual Devices
  2. Cable Tray / Fitting
  3. Casework
  4. Columns
  5. Communication Devices
  6. Conduit / Fitting
  7. Curtain Wall Mullions / Panels
  8. Data Devices
  9. Doors
  10. Duct Accessory / Curves / Fitting / Insulations
  11. Electrical Equipment / Fixtures
  12. Fire Alarm Devices / Protection
  13. Floors
  14. Food Service Equipment
  15. Furniture / Systems
  16. Generic Model
  17. Girder
  18. Hardscape
  19. Horizontal Bracing
  20. Joist
  21. Kicker Bracing
  22. Lighting Devices / Fixtures
  23. Mechanical Control Devices / Equipment
  1. Medical Equipment
  2. Nurse Call Devices
  3. Pipe Accessory / Curves / Fitting / Insulations
  4. Plumbing Equipment / Fixtures
  5. Ducts / Pipes Placeholders
  6. Purlin
  7. Ramps
  8. Roofs
  9. Security Devices
  10. Sewer
  11. Signage
  12. Specialty Equipment
  13. Sprinklers
  14. Stairs
  15. Stairs Railing
  16. Structural Columns / Foundation / Framing
  17. Telephone Devices
  18. Temporary Structure
  19. Toposolid
  20. Truss Chord / Web
  21. Vertical Bracing / Circulation
  22. Walls
  23. Windows

Run Revit Interference Check

To run the Interference Check, open any view of your choice and ensure that you either select the elements you wish to check or do not select anything to check all elements. Then proceed by following the steps outlined below:

  1. Open the Collaborate tab > Coordinate panel
  2. Click Interference Check
  3. Select Run Interference Check from the dropdown menu > Interference Check dialog opens
revit interference check
  1. In the Interference Check dialog, choose Categories from on the left side by selecting from the dropdown menu (Current Project, Current Selection, or Linked file).
  2. Select the categories you desire to check from the column below
  3. On the right side, choose the second Categories from
  4. Select other categories you desire to check from the column below
  5. Click OK to start the Interference Check
interference check
Example: checking Interferences between walls and floors, as well as walls with other walls

After you click OK to start the Interference Check, there are two possible outcomes:

  • There is no Interference between elements, a dialog in Revit shows up and tells you: No Interference detected! In other words good job.
  • The Interference Report dialog shows up if there are interferences between the elements. This report displays all elements that clash with each other.
no interference detected

Interference Report

If you have Interferences between elements we can continue by managing them from within the Interference Report. Follow the steps written below:

  1. Select an element from the Interference Report to highlight an intersecting element in a view. Selecting the main branch will highlight both elements, or you can select an element individually by expanding the tab.
  2. Click Show.
  3. Now you can modify the elements until they are fixed and not Intersect, while the Interference Report stays active.

Organize intersecting elements inside the Interference Report by using the Group by: dropdown menu [A]. You can choose Category 1, Category 2 (default), or Category 2, Category 1.

revit interference report
  1. When the intersecting elements are fixed, click Refresh in the Interference Report dialog. The elements will disappear from the list if they are fixed successfully.
  2. Continue by repeating steps 1-4 for all elements and Refresh the Report when needed.
interference report

Note

The Refresh button does not restart the Interference Check. It will only review the interferences from your current Report.

Show Last Report

If you accidentally close the Interference Report, you can retrieve the last generated report again. Go to the Collaborate tab > Coordinate panel > Click Interference Check > Select Show Last Report from the dropdown menu.

show last report

Export Interference Report

When you have unsolved clashes or want to share the Report with other project members to fix later on, you can create an HTML export of the Interference Report. To do so, open the last report and follow the steps outlined below:

  1. In the Interference Report dialog, click Export…
  2. Navigate to a folder to save the HTML file
  3. Give the file a proper File name
  4. Click Save > Close the Interference Report
export interference report

After you save the file you can open the Interference Report by clicking the HTML file. The file automatically opens in your default internet browser. The file displays the Project File name, along with the date and time the report was created, and last updated.

In columns A and B, you see the elements that interfere. The elements are described with the category and type name followed by a Revit ID.

revit interference report
HTML version of the Interference Report

Tips & Tricks for Revit Interference Check

Lastly, here are some additional tips and tricks for more efficiency while working with the Interference Check in Revit.

  • When you select an element in the Interference Report, you can click Show multiple times to get the best-fitting view for adjustments.
  • Use the Select by ID function in Revit to find and highlight elements inside the model by using the IDs from the HTML report, for example. Manage tab > Inquiry panel > Select by ID > Enter ID(s) > Show to select and highlight.
  • Use the Selection buttons for enhanced selection of categories:
    • All: Click to highlight all categories and then click one of the checkboxes to select all.
    • None: Click to deselect all categories.
    • Invert: When you click to invert the selection, it deselects the currently selected categories and selects the deselected ones.
  • Use the Shift and CTRL button to select multiple categories for the Interference Check
  • On large projects, choose to select a portion of the building for Interference Checking. This reduces the loading times to create the Interference Report.
selection tools interference check
Left: Selection tools for enhanced selection of categories, Right: Select by ID function

Wrapping Up

The Revit Interference Check allows you to do a basic clash detection within your model. The check can identify intersections between multiple element categories. You can use the check between selected elements, the current project, and linked Revit models. However, you can’t check linked files against each other.

Although the Interference Check doesn’t offer many options, such as tolerances, it is a helpful feature for quickly prechecking your model. You can use other software such as Autodesk Navisworks or Nemetschek Solibri for in-depth clash detection.

I hope this article helped you learn how to run a basic clash detection in Revit with the Interference Check and how to manage the Interference Report. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions, tips, or tricks I did not mention.

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