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AC 22: Railing Tool

TheresaAPD
Newcomer
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?
Versions 11 to 22
Dell Precision T1650, i7-3770 CPU @ 3.40GHz, 16GB RAM, Windows 10 64-bit
12 REPLIES 12

Barry Kelly
Moderator
Is there a little yellow warning triangle next to any of the rail parts in the settings?


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.

Barry.

One of the forum moderators.
Versions 6.5 to 25
Dell XPS- i7-6700 @ 3.4Ghz, 16GB ram, GeForce GTX 960 (2GB), Windows 10
Dell Precision 3510 - i7 6820HQ @ 2.70GHz, 16GB RAM, AMD FirePro W5130M, Windows 10

TheresaAPD
Newcomer
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.
Versions 11 to 22
Dell Precision T1650, i7-3770 CPU @ 3.40GHz, 16GB RAM, Windows 10 64-bit

Barry Kelly
Moderator
TheresaAPD wrote:
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.

Barry.

One of the forum moderators.
Versions 6.5 to 25
Dell XPS- i7-6700 @ 3.4Ghz, 16GB ram, GeForce GTX 960 (2GB), Windows 10
Dell Precision 3510 - i7 6820HQ @ 2.70GHz, 16GB RAM, AMD FirePro W5130M, Windows 10

Anonymous
Not applicable
I really don't understand where AC is going, but surely the railing tool is the most overcomplicated tool ever existed in Archicad.

I would agree 100%

Eduardo Rolon
Moderator
Haiku wrote:
I really don't understand where AC is going, but surely the railing tool is the most overcomplicated tool ever existed in Archicad.
Point being? This comment has nothing to do with the thread.
eduardo rolón AIA NCARB
Another of the forum moderators.
Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram
OS X 10.XX latest
AC25 US/INT -> AC08

Anonymous
Not applicable
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.

Steve Jepson
Advisor
ejrolon wrote:
Haiku wrote:
I really don't understand where AC is going, but surely the railing tool is the most overcomplicated tool ever existed in Archicad.
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. https://www.screencast.com/t/AbHxq7xiQl5

ArchiCAD 25 5005 USA - Windows 10 Pro 64x - Dell 7720 64 GB 2400MHz ECC - Xeon E3 1535M v6 4.20GHz - (2) 1TB M.2 PCIe Class 50 SSD's - 17.3" UHD IPS (3840x2160) - Nvidia Quadro P5000 16GB GDDR5 - Maxwell Studio/Render 5.2.1.49- Multilight 2 - Adobe Acrobat Pro

Da3dalus
Booster
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.
Chuck Kottka
Orcutt Winslow
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

ArchiCAD 25 (since 4.5)
Macbook Pro 15" Touchbar OSX 10.15 Core i7 2.9GHz/16GB RAM/Radeon Pro560 4GB

Mats_Knutsson
Advisor
It's not well known but it was the railing tool that got the better of Pyrrhus after defeating the Romans.
AC 25 SWE Full

HP Zbook Fury 15,6 G8. 32 GB RAM. Nvidia RTX A3000.

Da3dalus wrote:
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.
I feel your pain and share some of the sentiment, but I think all of this could've been fixed (along with the stair tool) with a set of 'fire and forget' favourites that at the very least offered a close approximation of the old railing objects as a starting point. You'd still have all the detailed options for when you want to dive in, but at least you have something close to begin with.

It feels sort of like the Curtain Wall tool: you can sort of get a quick thing going in early design, if you're not too picky, but then it throws a lot of detailed model stuff at you that doesn't quite match up to what you need and you end going back to rudimentary combinations of the other tools.
Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten
www.leloup.nl

ArchiCAD 9-24 NED FULL
Windows 10 Pro
Adobe Design Premium CS5

Da3dalus
Booster
Mats_Knutsson wrote:
It's not well known but it was the railing tool that got the better of Pyrrhus after defeating the Romans.
And that is why ArchiCAD-Talk needs a Like button
Chuck Kottka
Orcutt Winslow
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

ArchiCAD 25 (since 4.5)
Macbook Pro 15" Touchbar OSX 10.15 Core i7 2.9GHz/16GB RAM/Radeon Pro560 4GB

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