I set up a model in ArcGIS 10.4.1 ModelBuilder to use the Eliminate tool. Searching around to do it led me to Select by Attributes in Model Builder and Eliminate in Arcpy, but it just wont work.

I'm doing the following:

This is a snapshot of the model I set up:

Each time, the model stops when trying to start Eliminate, saying:

Failed to execute. Parameters are not valid.
ERROR 000156: Input must be a feature class

The tool needs a feature class with a selection, so I think I'm missing something when trying to select the features.

I use an iterator to run this without letting the intermediate products load into ArcGIS.

Is it possible that this causes the problem, since ArcGIS is not aware of the layer?

SOLUTION: That was it. Must add Make Feature Layer without any parameter, followed by Select Layer By Attribute.

2 Answers 2


You can use SelectByAttributed in ModelBuilder as follows:


add Make Feature Layer and just define the input shapefile, don't define the other parameters.

Add select by attributes and define your size enter image description here

Result of selected attributed: enter image description here

It works perfectly, the result:

enter image description here

Also, if you want to get a shapefile with your selected attributes only; you can use the Select tool to your Model, then you define your shapefile and size required, and the result is a new shapefile with the selected attributed only. Which you can use it further in your Model.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • Does the shapefile need to be loaded into the TOC when starting the model?
    – s6hebern
    Feb 15, 2018 at 14:25
  • Yes in case of select by attribute tool
    – Moh
    Feb 15, 2018 at 14:30
  • I will update my answer if your shapefile not in TOC
    – Moh
    Feb 15, 2018 at 14:35
  • please re-check the edited answer, now it works even your shapefile not in TOC
    – Moh
    Feb 15, 2018 at 14:45

I replicated your setup in Model Builder. I have a polygon with areas I would like to incorporate into larger Polygons. Using the Selected Layer By Attribute Tool I set the expression to the area criteria I wanted and Used the Eliminate Tool to perform the operation.

Here is the model view:

enter image description here

Here is the "Select by Attributes"

enter image description here

Here is the final step, the "Eliminate"

enter image description here

The model ran and the output was as expected.

I think for your model you won't need the "Make Feature Layer" Tool.

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