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AC 22: Railing Tool

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

Erwin Edel
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

Windows 10 Pro
Adobe Design Premium CS5

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

I would agree 100%

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