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Unleash the Custom Stair Tool

Anyone who has used ARCHICAD for any length of time will be more than familiar with StairMaker and the bewildering array of Stair (or Ramp) shapes that are possible. These are often difficult to configure and require lots of to-ing and fro-ing from plan to section to StairMaker to get all the necessary dimensions required. Surely there must be an easier way!

Well the good news is, there is - all thanks to this little button that most people overlook...

If you access StairMaker using the Stair Tool> Create Stair as shown below you will only see the standard Stair type options:

However, custom Stairs can be created from 2D elements that are used to represent the plan (footprint) of the Stair you require. All you need to do is create the shape required with a Fill then place Lines or Arcs to represent the line of travel.

Here are some examples of the 2D geometry:

The lines have been drawn ending with an arrowhead to demonstrate the direction of travel - you do not need to do this, but ARCHICAD will use the direction the Lines / Arc's were drawn to determine the direction of travel on the Stair. This can be changed later in the StairMaker dialog if necessary.

Once the 2D elements have been drawn, simply select them and choose Design> Create Stair Using Selection...

The Stair Type Selection dialog will launch and this time you will see only the Custom Stair option is available (unless you have one of the other standard shapes):

Clicking OK will then take you into the main StairMaker dialog where you can continue to modify the settings as with standard Stairs. However - some of the basic parameters are not available and the story height is locked by default. You can continue to modify the stair shape parameters, the number of treads etc and the handrail settings.

When you have finished editing the Stair, click OK to exit StairMaker and save the new custom Stair to the Embedded Library.

Here is an example of the previous 2D elements converted to custom Stairs:

You can see we have non-rectangular flights (including curves) and non-parallel directions of travel as well as shapes 'cut in' to the footprint as with the third example.

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