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Modeling and drafting in Archicad. (Example: How can I model a Roof soffit/fascia?)

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

By TheresaAPD
We are having lots of problems with the railing tool in AC 22. We are currently trying to modify a railing that is already placed in a file. We open the settings, modify the baluster dimensions, hit OK, and nothing happens. When we open the settings again the change hasn't been made and the dimensions are reset to what they were before. We also cannot pick up and inject properties of railings.

A quick search on the forum led me to a board that said there is a known glitch that certain changes could not be made while in the 3D window. I cut a temporary section and was then able to change the baluster settings of one railing. When I tried modifying a second railing it went back to not working.

This tool is very glitchy and I have spent countless hours trying to help my coworkers make simple railings. Does anyone have any tricks to make the railing do what you want it to do?
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By Barry Kelly
Is there a little yellow warning triangle next to any of the rail parts in the settings?

rail_warning.jpg (16.52 KiB) Viewed 1159 times

If so that is why your railing is not changing when you modify the overall settings.
Your railing has been 'split' into separate segments - you will need to go into EDIT mode and select each segment to modify it.

Changing the overall rail settings should still change all of the non-modified segments, and these settings should remain in the overall rail settings - so I am not exactly sure why it is not happening for you.

As soon as you select and edit any individual elements in the railing, you will activate this warning and the segments will become individual.
You can reset the warning, but this will obviously affect any of the custom changes you have made.

By TheresaAPD
Thanks, Barry. I saved a copy of my coworker's file and that seems to have fixed the problem. Any tips on how to reset the custom segments/nodes? I am clicking the reset button but the warning will not go away. I have opened the railing settings both in and out of edit mode but it doesn't seem to make a difference.
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By Barry Kelly
TheresaAPD wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 6:00 pm
Any tips on how to reset the custom segments/nodes?
The only way I know is selecting the segment/node heading and pressing the reset button at the bottom.
Sounds like you were doing that.

By Haiku
I really don't understand where AC is going, but surely the railing tool is the most overcomplicated tool ever existed in Archicad. :cry:
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By ejrolon
Haiku wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:08 pm
I really don't understand where AC is going, but surely the railing tool is the most overcomplicated tool ever existed in Archicad. :cry:
Point being? This comment has nothing to do with the thread.
By rick
We are having railing display problems - cannot get the top rail to display on guard rails and cannot get posts and balusters to turn off at railings that are to be handrails only. we are also having railing insert points being at the wrong Z height and cannot correct a single point without the entier rail moving

At this point we are finding it faster to draw in 2D in plan and section than to to use the stair tool in design mode.
I don't understand why archicad cannot make a stair tool that is simple and straight forward to use. We typically need simple double back stairs 2 runs and a landing, steel or concrete. When designing we need to be able to adjust floor to floor height, width, tread depth riser height, and landing height quickly with out havig the stair reset itself. We create a 'Favorite' then next version comes out and the favorite nolnger works.
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By Steve Jepson
ejrolon wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:36 pm
Haiku wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:08 pm
I really don't understand where AC is going, but surely the railing tool is the most overcomplicated tool ever existed in Archicad. :cry:
Point being? This comment has nothing to do with the thread.
His point is perfectly clear, well founded, and the thread is titled AC 22: Railing Tool.

As for the railing tool, I don't find it useful at all. The thing is, stair railings these days are most often an assembly of manufactured parts. Quite often constructed from a railing kit. Modeling the railing with those individual objects/parts (groups of parts) is better than what you can almost do with the railing tool.
And it is also a more convenient way to generate the necessary parts list and price for the railing. All things considered for what I find necessary for documentation, illustrations, material lists, pricing...the Railing Tool and the Stair Tool for that matter) are not very useful to me. Modeling with pre-assembled railing and stair objects that can be tweaked for each unique situation is far more efficient (for me).
Need .gsm parts to model you railings with? Get them from the manufactures website or make them your self.
Last edited by Steve Jepson on Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
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By Da3dalus
I have to agree with the complexity comment.

I've not seen any of the bugs questioned here, but it's sometimes hard to tell if you have a bug or if you just can't find something. There are so many places for settings to hide that affect a Railing (or Stair) that it's very time-consuming to make a simple adjustment. If it doesn't look right, the problem could be in the main Railing settings, or one of the many sub-elements (each has several panes of parameters), or one of 3 different panes of the Model View Options, or even an On-Screen View Option (and that doesn't even include the usual Renovation Filters, Trace Reference, Layer combinations, Graphic Overrides, etc.).

The extreme granularity of the Railing (and Stair) makes it nearly unusable for all but the most technical designers. The key so far is to have really good Favorites for each component, but that has taken me (a part-time BIM Manager and Architect) months to figure out, and I still have a very limited library. Our AC21 Template never really worked, and I'm just now getting the AC22 template so it can draw a decent Railing. Still, every time someone uses it, they find another way to make it wonky.

There is simply no need for many of these parameters. It has 10 separate Pen settings for each of the 9 sub-elements, so that's 90 selections just to get the line weights right! Then you have Fills, Materials, Line Types, etc., and I haven't even started on the Geometry. It's absurd to have different line settings for every one of these items (especially when you find little additions like Fixings and Plates), and no unified Preview. There should be ONE pane for the WHOLE railing with 2D and 3D appearance settings. It is just too much. It has to be culled back, or at least provide an "Easy" button!

Most of my stairs are all steel, with concrete treads. Though the old StairMaker was less than perfect, I could get a close approximation of a custom Stair in less than 30 minutes. Now it takes DAYS. For something that the Fabricator is going to change on their shop drawings to match their company standard, anyway.

I guess, as a Commercial architect, I just don't care about the intricacies of Railings enough.

So, my recommendations:
1. "Easy" button that consolidates all Attributes in one place (or make that default, with the option to Override a specific element).
2. Provide ONE preview window to show what the WHOLE assembly will actually look like together in plan/elevation/3D (like Objects).
3. Consolidate the 3 MVO panes into one, and make the icons more clear (they are way too small with no explanation). Organize it to be graphically self-explanatory, like many tools in ArchiCAD.
4. Provide more Favorites, either in the Template of available to download online, for various region-specific common Rail or Fence types.
5. Figure out how to insert schedulable gates into Railings (perhaps the Door and Railing could interact). I'm writing another thread on this.
6. Play-test the interface with an average Architect.
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By Mats_Knutsson
It's not well known but it was the railing tool that got the better of Pyrrhus after defeating the Romans.