The Magic Powering Autodesk and Graphisoft’s Stair Wizard Tools > ENGINEERING.com

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When most of us are trudging up or down a flight of stairs, we
seldom stop to think about who designed the stairs, how they
were built and why those particular stairs were chosen for that
specific location. In the world of building information
modeling (BIM) and 3D CAD, however, engineers often face the
challenging task of designing, implementing and creating just
about every component of a building, including the structure’s
all-important staircase. After all, stairs fulfill many vital
roles, from simply granting access to additional floors to
providing escape routes in case of an emergency.

With that in mind, two new stair creation programs have
recently surfaced, each with their share of useful and
intriguing features. The first is Autodesk’s Revit 2018. The latest version
of Revit includes improvements to the user interface in the
form of streamlined toolbars and a better file management
system.

One of the most significant architectural advancements in Revit
2018 is the addition of a Multistory Stair feature. Stairs
spanning multiple floors can now be easily snapped into place
and altered to conform to specific angles and building
parameters. Furthermore, railings can be hosted to topography,
providing better control over the start and end point of
railings. 

Depiction of the new Multistory Stair tool. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)

Depiction of the new Multistory Stair tool. (Image courtesy
of Autodesk.)

Revit 2018 allows users to utilize the coordinates from a
linked DWG file. CAD files are georeferenced and linked, with
host models employing the same coordinate system. The host
model coordinate system is empty, and users can choose to align
the link’s system with the host model’s shared coordinates.
Revit can also read the new AutoCAD 2018 format (updated this
year from the 2013 format).

The second stair creation program that we’ll be examining is
GRAPHISOFT’s ARCHICAD 21. ARCHICAD 21’s most
important update is the implementation of an algorithmic stair
creation tool. The complex nature of railings and stairs—which
must comply with many stringent safety and structural
regulations—can slow down the design phase considerably, often
requiring that architects generate several iterations of the
same models in a largely manual workflow.

Thankfully, the new Stair Tool in ARCHICAD 21 helps…

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