Course Content
About Lesson

I will use this lesson to insert a proper staircase into my model. Before I get down to business, I would like to have a part of the 3D model displayed on the screen in addition to the plan of the ground floor. To that end, I will look for an item called 3D Stair in the Project Browser and as soon as the corresponding display appears on the screen, go to the View section. It has an option that allows me to split the desktop and show both views at the same time, so I’m going to click on the icon called Tile Window. I could achieve the same effect by pressing the W and T keys because this combination is a shortcut for screen sharing. In the end, I just need to activate the Pan function with the help of the mouse and position the corresponding parts of the drawing more precisely.

With everything now in place, I can activate the segment containing the plan and run the Stair function. At that moment, all the drawn elements will become a little paler, which means that I have moved to the so-called Sketch mode, where to create a new element, not ordinary lines are used, but pre-prepared components. They are normally located in a separate section (Components) and if you pay attention to the first column, you will notice that there are functions that allow you to first draw the stair run and then add the landing and the construction (Support). Although it is possible to define each of the mentioned elements separately, in practice only the first function (Run) is usually used, because everything else can be done automatically. If it suits you, simply turn on the Automatic Landing option and click on the first icon on the left. Before that, I will just mention that in the same section there are also functions that allow you to create different types of stairs, which means that it can have a spiral, angular or spiral shape in addition to a straight one.

In order for the new staircase to have appropriate characteristics, it is necessary to set all its parameters correctly. This can be done in the Properties section, and if I click on the field at the very top, the program will offer me the option to choose one of the pre-prepared types. In order not to waste time, I will immediately decide on the first possibility, which implies the construction of a complete staircase (Assembled Stair), where the height of the stairs will not be greater than 190 mm and the tread less than 250 mm. After that, it is necessary to determine the height difference, and this can be done most easily by choosing the initial and final levels (Base and Top Level). Since this staircase is located on the ground floor, I will keep the offered parameters (Level 1 and Level 2) and thus determine the total height of the future staircase.

If you want to check what the preset parameters include, click on the Edit Type option. At that moment, a new box will appear on the screen, so it will not be difficult for you to confirm some of the basic values. Since I do not intend to make any changes, I will close this box by selecting the Cancel button and check how these dimensions fit the given height. As you can see, the program automatically calculated that climbing to the first floor requires exactly 16 steps and that their height will be slightly higher than 187 mm. If you think it is too much, you can reduce this number at any time, but it can easily happen that you exceed the maximum height of the stairs. This warning appeared for me precisely for this reason, so by selecting the Cancel button I will cancel this change and return to the previous value. On the other hand, if I increase the number of steps, their height will be significantly lower than the default, which in this case does not represent any problem.

In the same way, I can change the size of the tread, but I have to make sure that it does not fall below the given limit. Since I reduced their height by introducing more steps, it would be logical to increase the tread length, so I will enter 275 mm in this field and confirm the new size by pressing Enter.

As you can see, my future staircase will have a total of 18 steps, and their dimensions will be 275 x 187.5 mm. That’s quite enough to overcome the height difference between the first two levels (Level 1 and Level 2) and since I’ve turned on the Automatic Landing option, I don’t have to worry about landings either. To all this, we should add the parameter located at the top of the screen (Actual Run Width). In my case, it is set to 1200 mm, which corresponds to the normal width of the stair run. On the far left is another option that requires further explanation. It is a parameter called Location Line, and with its help, the position of the future staircase is determined. If I click on this field, a menu with five options will appear on the screen, and I will first choose Run: Center. If I then go to the plan and set the start point, it will be placed in the middle of the future stair run, and if I choose Run: Left instead, the entire structure will be moved down. To make it clearer to you what actually happened, I will enlarge this part of the drawing a little more, so you will see for yourself that the line that determines the position of the staircase is now on its left edge. At the same time, it should be borne in mind that the second line indicates the cheek bed, which in this case represents a special element. If that doesn’t suit you and you want to include the entire construction, it would be best to select the Exterior Support Left or Right option from this menu, so the support line will be placed on the outside. I decided to keep this last option, because I would like to have full control over the position of the new element. Before determining its final shape, I would like to draw your attention to the text that appeared just below the future staircase. It is temporary in nature and contains information on the number of stairs that will be part of this segment (Raisers created) as well as the number of remaining elements (Remaining). If I move the cursor a little more to the right, this number will equalize, which in this case means that both runs will be composed of 9 steps each. That suits me, so I will press the left mouse button and thus create the first segment of the future staircase. He will appear in both screenings at the same time, which means that I will be able to follow the progress of the whole process. If you pay attention to the details, you will notice that the first and last steps are marked with ordinal numbers, that there is a unit on the left side, while the number nine is shown on the opposite end. This means that the first part of the job has been successfully completed, so I can move on and complete the entire staircase. To that end, I will move the cursor down and mark the place where the second run should start with one click. Now I just need to move to the left and follow the data indicating the number of new and remaining steps. At a certain moment, this ratio will be 9 to 0, which means that the entire operation can be completed with a single click of the left mouse button. At that moment, the complete staircase will appear on the screen, which is confirmed by the numbers that follow the individual treads, as well as the 3D model that is located on the left half of the screen. Although at first glance it looks like a whole, the staircase is actually composed of several independent components. This means that there are two flights of stairs, several risers and one landing. All these segments are interconnected, so any change will immediately affect the appearance of the entire element. To prove it to you, I will change the distance between these two runs and for that purpose click on the one that is at a higher height. At that point, several temporary dimension lines will appear on the screen, but none of them will help me determine the distance between the two stair runs. That’s why I’m going to add another element like this, and this can be achieved by using the Aligned Dimensions function. Its icon is located at the top of the screen, and if you prefer to use shortcuts, simply press the keys D and I. After that, it is enough to place the cursor in the appropriate position and thereby mark the desired element. In this case, the lines representing the staircase and the construction are located at a very small distance, but based on the description, the corresponding part of the drawing can be precisely selected. In the same way, I can select the edge of the other run, and if it turns out that this is not feasible, I can press the Tab key at any time and thus move to the adjacent element. As soon as a new elevation line appears on the screen, I can cancel this function and reselect the element that needs to change position with one click. This will automatically activate the associated dimension line, so it will not be difficult for me to enter the desired distance instead of the measured value. As soon as I press Enter, the program will automatically adjust all the connected elements, which means that some of the beams will be shortened, and the same applies to the landing that connects the two stairs.

Before I show you what my new staircase looks like, it would be a good idea to check the parameters related to its railing. To that end, it is enough to start the Railing function and select one of the options offered. As you can see, the list includes all the common types of fences, and if you think you don’t need them, you can avoid this element by selecting the None option. I will opt for a standard fence made of metal pipes (900 mm Pipe) and it is better for it to be attached to the edge beam (Stringer) instead of treads. So I will choose the second option and close this box with OK.

Having set all the necessary parameters in this way, I can click the Finish button and finally display the complete staircase. It will, of course, be shown in both projections, but a warning that there are certain problems with the fence will also appear on the screen at the same time. To check what it’s really about, I’ll first activate the box containing the 3D model and zoom in on the problematic segment of the fence. It looks like I didn’t leave enough space at this point for a normal transition to the other side, so I’ll do my best to correct this shortcoming.

If you find yourself in a similar situation and you have no intention of dealing with such little things, simply click on a free part of the screen and the warning will disappear from the screen and all elements will return to their normal color. However, I would like all the elements of this staircase to be properly arranged, so to that end I will first go back to the plan, select the appropriate element and start the Edit Stairs function. At that moment, all the components that make up this staircase will become available to me again, so it will not be difficult for me to make the appropriate changes.

Since I need additional space to solve the problem with the railing, I will simply change the size of the landing and this will automatically affect the other elements that make up this staircase. To that end, I need to select the appropriate component so that characteristic arrows appear on its edges. Dragging them can affect the shape of the whole element, so I’ll take the opportunity to move this set of stairs a bit. So I’m going to click on the arrow at the very top and move it to the left. If I hold down the left mouse button, you will notice how the entire staircase moves in regular steps, but this is not enough for me to position it correctly. So I’ll use a different tactic and simply type in the desired distance (300 mm). In this way, the Listening Dimension function is automatically activated and the appropriate dimensions are taken over. As soon as I press enter, the pod will take on a completely different look, which means I have successfully completed this task.

I can apply the same procedure on the other side, so I will click on this arrow and again directly enter the appropriate distance to determine its new position. If after that, by selecting the Finish button, I exit the mode that allows me to change individual components, the staircase will be displayed again in its complete composition, so I can check what I have achieved. As you can see, now the fence follows the form of the staircase much better, so it can be said that the intervention was successful.

To show you how customizable this system is, I’ll select the same staircase again and select the Edit Stairs button to display its components. If you look a little closer, you will notice that next to the first and last steps on each run is their serial number. This information can be useful if you choose to arrange these elements a little differently, and I will now show you how to do it.

Before that, it would not be bad if I slightly correct the position of the 3D model, because I would like all the elements to be clearly displayed in both projections. With that sorted out, I can click on any element that belongs to the lower run and highlight its characteristic points that way. At the moment, I’m only interested in this small circle and the arrow to the left of it, because they allow me to change the number of steps and thereby affect the dimensions of the entire staircase.

I will first click on the circle and move it to the right. This will automatically reflect the length of the selected element, but the rest of the staircase will remain unchanged. In other words, the program will simply remove several steps, which is also confirmed by the serial number with which the first element is marked. Instead of a unit, there is now the number five at the very beginning, which means that the first four steps are missing here. Since this is clearly not a satisfactory solution, I will press Control and Z to undo the last operation and re-render the entire staircase.

If I click this time on the arrow on the left and move the cursor, you will notice that simultaneously with the shortening of the first run, new elements appear on the other side. This means that the total number of steps will remain the same, but they will be arranged differently. It does not matter whether the excess will be in the first or second end, because everything depends on the direction in which this arrow moves. I’ll take the opportunity to extend the first run a bit and tie its starting point to this vertical line. If I then click on the Finish button, I will be able to see what the complete staircase looks like and make sure that everything is in place.

Before I complete this lesson, I would like to move the completed staircase to its proper location. It should represent a connection to the gallery, and since its beginning is on the opposite side, it is obvious that I chose the wrong direction of climbing. Fortunately, this can be easily corrected, because after selecting the appropriate object, it is enough to click on this small symbol and thus rotate the entire staircase.

I have successfully solved the first problem, but I still cannot determine the exact position of this element. Based on the 3D model, I can conclude that the gallery is located in this zone, but it would be much better if its position was also visible in the background. To achieve this, it is necessary to first display the parameters related to the first level (Level 1) and in this list look for an item called Underlay. After that, it won’t be difficult for me to choose Level 2 instead of None and check if the projection is directed upwards (Look Up). Since that’s OK, a thin line will appear on the plan that represents the edge of the gallery, so I can select the entire staircase with one stroke, start the Move function and change its position by selecting the appropriate points. If it turns out that diagonal movement is not possible, check if the Constrain option is active and turn off this constraint. This was not the case with me, so the staircase will be moved to its final location without any problems.

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