ArchiCAD Basic Training – Module 6
6-4. Railings: Placing and Editing in 2D and 3D

ArchiCAD Training –  (Quick Start Course – 6-4)

This 20 minute lesson shows how to select and place a railing or a series of connected railings beside the stairwell and around the balcony.

There are a number of different railing elements available through the Object tool (you’ll need to switch from the Stair tool to see them). To locate them quickly, use the popup in the upper left of the Object Settings dialog and change from Folder View to Find Library Parts. This allows you to type in a keyword or part of a word such as “rail”, then click the Find button, and all objects with names that include that word will show in the preview area below.

Browse through the railings and choose one that works for your design – for example, the Rail Wired object will match the railing type used in the stair. You’ll see that the dimensions and other configuration options are fairly flexible and may be adjusted either before you place it or afterwards.

The first railing is placed near the stairwell edge, then moved into position at one end. The other end is stretched as needed; in this case, the pet palette option for repositioning a single node point of an object (seen at the far right of the palette) is used. It is important to use the correct node point or handle, since (in this case) the center one controls the overall length, while the two corner hotspots are used to set the end angle for possible mitering to fit next to another railing meeting it at an angle. The railing is then dragged away from the stairwell edge one half its width to give a little clearance.

The balcony is viewed in 3D, revealing that a floor has not been modeled in this area. While one could extend the main interior floor to cover the balcony, a separate slab is drawn in order to allow a different material to be used, and possibly a different thickness.

Railings are placed around the three exposed sides of the balcony, and adjusted in a similar fashion as before. This time, the end angles are changed to create mitered corners, and the editable hotspots at the end posts are moved (using the pet palette option to move just that node point) to reduce the overhang to a minimum and put the post at the end of the rail. A final change increases the number of posts for the longer edge of the balcony.

Thank you for visiting the Best Practices Course website. The video lessons are available for members only. If you are an active member and would like to watch the ArchiCAD training video on this page, please login to the website. If you are not currently a member, please visit the following pages for more information and to sign up for the Best Practices Course, the QuickStart Course or for the Best Practices ArchiCAD Coaching Program. Eric Bobrow, Creator of the Best Practices Course

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ArchiCAD Training: Railings: Placing and Editing in 2D and 3D

Let us know how you feel... (3 comments so far)

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  1. Avatar photo
    13 years ago

    Thanks for explaining how to miter railing ends.


  2. WilliamButtmi
    13 years ago

    Excellent guide and tips as usual! Thank you.

    Please continue the stair serie with a guide for custom stairs.

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      William –
      Thanks for taking a moment to post a comment – I appreciate it!
      This lesson is part of the QuickStart Course, which is a “once-over” for newer users to give them a basic understanding of ArchiCAD’s methods and processes. In the Best Practices Course, there will be more detailed instruction concerning stairs (as well as many, many other topics, of course) and this will include how to create custom stairs using StairMaker.