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Moderators: Barry Kelly, Karl Ottenstein, LaszloNagy, ejrolon, gkmethy

Please GS, revise the Railing Tool and make something like a "Post Tool"

Essential in making custom stairs work better
3
60%
Nice idea, but not priority
1
20%
Not a good idea
1
20%
Not important to me
No votes
0%
#306693
The Railing Tool is a difficult tool to master and to model exactly what you want in a design. Every designer has different ideas and each project has different demands, Thus, every stair is unique and the Tool needs to have that much flexiblity. So one tool tries to be all things to all people. It is useful and I would like to suggest a way in which it could be even more useful and easier to use for all users.

Currently, we first have a stair tool that I think works fairly well with predictable results after spending the time to learn and work with it. Second, we have the Railing Tool that interacts with the Stair Tool, but also works independently from the Stair Tool on Slabs, Roofs and can be used for complex wall trim like wainscot panels or even roads on a Mesh. However, the Railing Tool is just a little too complex as it tries to be all things for all projects. It seems to give the user a lot of options if the user can spend the time to master the tool, but no one has been able to create and completely control railings on complex stairs. Maybe the Railing tool needs to be broken into two parts?

I would like to propose a new way for Graphisoft to make the Railing Tool more useful to the user. Rather than having complex algorithms that control the placement of post (newel & corner posts), where the user has to struggle to learn multiple and subtle controls that move post where they want. Give the user the freedom to place post manually. Then those post control the railing and not the other way around. Let the user take the lead and the Rail tool should follow. Take the complex computer guess work out of the equation. Make the tool simpler.

For example, the user could place a column or an object or a morph on a stair, landing, floor slab or floating in space, exactly where the user wants. Each object or column could be completely unique and independent from each other. Then the user would be given the option to select, in a specific sequence each object, column or morph to become the posts for a railing. The posts would not move unless the user chose to move them and the post would control the railing. The railing would then span between each post with the option of designating within each post, the railing insert points (height & angle).

Maybe the posts can respond to each step or not at all in terms of snapping to a base height. If three post do not align, let the rail follow the miss alignment. Each post would be created from the column tool or objects or a Morph and each could be unique. They become posts by the user selecting them in sequence.

We have the Stair Tool.
We have the Railing Tool.
I would like to propose a new tool that works to tie the two together, the “Post Tool.”

The current Railing Tool would need to be simplified to not have post, but with the option to reference selected post that that control railing endpoints and corners. The inner posts are not removed from the Railing Tool, because they do not control railings. So the Railing Tool might have the option to:
automatically add posts as it does now.
Leave posts out as it does now
Let the user define posts with a “post tool”, which one the post define the rail placement

What do you think? Could this make life better? Other ideas?
#306695
Railing Tool user poll that supports the need for a change of he Railing Tool.

viewtopic.php?f=20&t=68908&p=306694#p306694
#306714
Hi Todd, I share your frustration. Lets look at the problem in a more concise way and see how this might be resolved. The stairs & rails are working but they don't provide the ability to assemble a solution in an adaptable way that retains user control. You want to be able to assemble and create the stair & railings using other elements and have the ability to move those components after assembly but I assume still keep them "locked" together. I take it you also want the ability to model each post as a unique object without resorting to GDL.

Well, what about a solution that allows you to collect all these components together, into a super component. Allow it to be exported and used in other files, but more importantly be able to open and edit it in place, allowing you to change and move the components and if needed make a unique copy that can be edited to fit other locations in the same file. I am sure there is a wish for such a solution somewhere but I can't post it just now, maybe Laszlo can find & share the link.

I would be interested to hear if you think this sounds like an answer to your design frustrations?

Trevor.
#306738
DGSketcher wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:28 am
Well, what about a solution that allows you to collect all these components together, into a super component. Allow it to be exported and used in other files, but more importantly be able to open and edit it in place, allowing you to change and move the components and if needed make a unique copy that can be edited to fit other locations in the same file. I am sure there is a wish for such a solution somewhere but I can't post it just now, maybe Laszlo can find & share the link.

I am not sure there is an existing wish for such a solution, at least it does not ring any bells for me at the moment, since what you are suggesting consists of multiple ideas, like sub-components/super-components, saving/creating library parts/components without GDL, and in-place editing.
#306749
LaszloNagy wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:34 pm
I am not sure there is an existing wish for such a solution, at least it does not ring any bells for me at the moment, since what you are suggesting consists of multiple ideas, like sub-components/super-components, saving/creating library parts/components without GDL, and in-place editing.
Let me think about this, perhaps the components could be considered with a different name, perhaps blocks or possibly even modules. Hmm, that last one seems familiar but I think it is reliant on external files. If only we could create a module without having to export it, and also have the ability to edit the module in place much like we can with the Curtain Wall tool, then perhaps many of Todd's complex stair assembly problems might be solved.

Laszlo - My previous post didn't consist of multiple ideas; as you well know it was a proposal for the simple evolution of the existing Hotlink Module tool that already allows the secure grouping & nesting of elements. The only difference would be the ability to edit modules in the host file without having to launch a second copy of AC.

We don't need more tools, we need the tools we have to work smarter.

Oooh look I found a seventeen year old wish which has been regularly bumped for "In place module editing" ... viewtopic.php?p=4766#p4766
#307034
DGSketcher wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:13 pm
LaszloNagy wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:34 pm
I am not sure there is an existing wish for such a solution, at least it does not ring any bells for me at the moment, since what you are suggesting consists of multiple ideas, like sub-components/super-components, saving/creating library parts/components without GDL, and in-place editing.
We don't need more tools, we need the tools we have to work smarter.
I am not sure that what you are talking about relates to the railing tool idea that I presented, but I am willing to take a revision of the railing tool over a new post tool if this can be accomplished. I really don't care how the posts are created. All that I want to see is full control by the user to set posts in any location the user desires. And that those post then become the defining element of the railing.

I was thinking that it would be nice to include columns as a post definition because they often are in real life. A column may become part of a stair with the railing tying into it. I was also thinking that it would be helpful to allow to define multiple styles of posts in a railing system, because sometimes in renovation work or simply the by whim of the designer.

But how does an entity get defined as a post? I don't know. Can a column remain a column after becoming defined as a post? I would hope so. After all Walls, Beams and Railings are defined by lines. One wall type can be interchanged with another.

I know that I can define each railing segment to run between columns and custom objects now as long as the Railing runs parallel to the floor slab. But the sticky issue all users is to the same thing on a stair (simple or complex).

Whether the solution results in a new tool or not, does not truly matter to me. And I hope that the title of the post does not "derail" this attempt at solving the problem all users have with putting railings on stairs, just because someone is opposed to adding another tool.

Thanks for the discussion.
#307040
@Todd: What I picked up from your OP was the need to break down the stairs into manageable parts but also keep them together. If the module tool allowed for in place editing this would be easily achieved, you could build your stair in sections but then all the parts are wrapped up in the module. The other point regarding the creation of posts could be treated in a similar way, yes you could possibly use columns but what if you could also use a module as a post (or newel) definition? You could then model any shape you required and simply trim / merge your railings to the posts.

I think we have the same objective, just coming at it from different directions.
#307046
I am a little confused by this wish.
Already the railing tool allows you to place nodes exactly where you want the posts.
You don't have to associate to any elements if you don't want to, you can manually place each node.

The railings then run from post to post and the connections at each post for each railing (there can be multiple railings) can be controlled independently.
Likewise each post and railing can be different, even custom profiles.

If you want 'Inner Posts' between the main posts (nodes) you can have these place themselves by distance or a fixed number, or you can turn them off completely.

Anything can be saved as a post (trees, light poles. bollards, etc.), and these can be used in the railing tool without the railings to create a string of trees or lights than can associate to elements (or be completely un-associated).


Barry.
#307123
Barry Kelly wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:32 am
I am a little confused by this wish.
Already the railing tool allows you to place nodes exactly where you want the posts.
You don't have to associate to any elements if you don't want to, you can manually place each node.
I have never been able to control exactly where I want a post to go and stay even if I get close. They move around and take hours of manipulation of settings, which gets even more inconsistent the more you try to use adjust it. I am not sure what your experience has been Barry, but most users experience has been extremely frustrating. The key word is "Simplify" the Railing Tool. If you can use it and create any stair and railings that you can dream up, you need to reveal the mystery for everyone else. I am confused by your claim, even if you do have many stars by your name.
#307169
I am not saying the railing can't be frustrating,and they have many, many settings that sometimes seem to do nothing.
But you can certainly add a node (post) exactly where you want it.
If it is a static node, it will stay there until you move it.

In this image I just added a rail to random height columns.
The top rail connects best when all in a straight line (top rail in the image).
Adding corners and changes in heights complicates the connections and you will have to adjust the settings (added a goose-neck connection in this case (lower rail in image).

railing_node_placement.jpg

Railings on stairs do add another level of complication when you have associated rails.
Then you need to offset nodes to manipulate the post position.
But you can still add the rails statically and place the nodes exactly where you want them.

It is very easy for me to talk in general terms though.
If you have specific examples of what you want I'll be happy to look at it.
I'm not saying I will be able to do it but I'll certainly have a look.
I love a challenge.


Barry.