Railing Tool


The Railing Tool lets you create any typical or unique Railing, which is a 3D building element. A Railing can be associative to the following 3D elements: Stairs, Slabs, Walls, Roofs and Meshes.

Railing input is similar to polyline input, and consists of Nodes and Segments. Editing of segments and nodes – as when inserting, moving or deleting nodes, or curving a segment – affects overall Railing geometry, and is designed for maximum associativity, preventing the Railing from “falling apart”.

A configurable Railing Pattern makes using the Railing Tool very easy and flexible. The Pattern Editor helps you assemble a unique Railing pattern specific to each segment.

Like the Stair, the Railing Tool is a hierarchical element, which includes sub-elements: posts, rails and/or panels. These are GDL components allowing for versatile geometry types that also use Building Materials and/or Custom profiles. For any Railing, you can edit the entire element as a whole, or any of its sub-elements separately, or in combination, in Edit mode.


Railing Tool Pattern Editor

The Pattern Editor helps you assemble a unique Railing pattern specific to each segment. The Pattern Editor is available at the top of the Railing Settings dialog. It is a symbolic representation of the segment pattern, containing toprail, handrails, rails, inner posts, balusters and panels. The length of the pattern is set by the inner post on the right. The grayed out area on the right reflects the repetition of the pattern.

/Users/jbadcock/Desktop/Railing - Segment.png 

The Pattern Editor is an interactive surface: selection in the tree also selects in the Pattern Editor, and vice versa.

Once you specify a pattern, you can define its position within the segment. It is possible to unify segment patterns.

Railing Input

The Railing Tool input is based on how Polylines work in ARCHICAD, so it will always aim for the highest level of associativity possible. During input, a wireframe preview shows the expected railing layout.

Railings on Stairs follow the Stair Boundary: click on each end of a Stair to create an associative Railing on one side.

Slabs, Roofs and Meshes (unlike Stairs) are polygonal elements, so any Railing between two Nodes can run either clockwise or counter-clockwise around them. During input, after clicking the start and end nodes, the user can decide which direction to create the Railing.


Railing Components

The Toprail sits on top of the segment, so it always moves along with the Railing scheme.

The pattern can contain two Handrails, each of which can be doubled to the two sides of the Railing.

Rails are general horizontal elements. You can offset them perpendicular to the Railing segment or set them at any height. Rail cross sections can also be different for each. There is no limit to how many rails you can add to the pattern.

You can add multiple inner posts to the pattern; the one on the far right defines pattern length.

Balusters are a pattern within the pattern: selecting one baluster selects all its instance copies in the Pattern Editor. First you can set the offsets around the baluster pattern. Then you must choose a distribution option, which is very similar to those in segment pattern settings.

Panels can fill the area between the toprail, rails, inner posts or segment boundaries.

All horizontal elements (Toprail, Handrails, Rails) can have Connections and Endings. There are three different Connection types available: disconnected, gooseneck or direct connection. These can be added to either end of horizontal elements.

All vertical elements can have a special connection to Stairs: Baluster pattern length can be fixed to step depth.

/Users/jbadcock/Desktop/Railing - Handrail.png 

For any of these components, you can choose not just built-in GDL components, but custom ones, saving them from 3D view using a predefined Railing subtype.

Railings use a symbolic 2D display only. These are individual GDL sub-elements, completely independent from the Railing’s 3D parts.

Railing Tool Edit Mode

Use Edit mode and its dedicated sub-element tools to access and change the individual members of a selected Rail (Posts, Inner Posts, Balusters, Top Rail, Handrails, Rails and Panels).

Once you select a sub-element (like inner post, baluster, etc.) all its pattern instances are selected, too. When opening its settings, only the relevant geometry is highlighted and you can edit all instances at once.


Railing Display

Model View Options affect the on-screen and output display of Railings in 2D and 3D. They set the detail level of Railings in Sections, Elevations and 3D views, as well as Floor Plan views.

The three Model View Option for the Railing Detail Level (Full, Simplified and Schematic) affect the display and output of Stairs in Sections/Elevations, the 3D and 3D Document windows (including Stair Edit mode).

In Full mode, the complete Railing appears: all 3D elements can be seen in full details

In Simplified mode, the complete Railing appears: all 3D elements can be seen, but in a simplified view: bounding box of sub-elements are shown.

In Schematic mode, a continuous membrane surface is shown to indicate the path of the Railing.

Show/hide the Railing’s floor plan symbol components using Model View Options.

Model View Options also controls the 2D appearance of the Railings by the detailed level of symbols, which can be set to:


Visible Parts Only

Hidden Parts Only

Visible & Hidden Parts

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