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- The anatomy of a stair
- Creating a basic staircase
- Drafting stairs with model lines
- Creating a bullnose family
- Adding a landing
- Creating railings
- Specialty stairs
Skill Level Beginner
In this lesson, we're going to create a nosing profile family from scratch. The objective is to create a basic profile, that can be applied to three sides of the stair's treds, giving your stairs a more residential look. Although this profile is basic in nature, it can be used in many different applications within the model. The process is to find the correct template, add some reference planes, and then draw the profile to the nosing. This profile is later loaded in your model and added to the stairs. Once applied to your stairs, it becomes transformed into a 3D extrusion. To get started, click on the Application button.
It's that little purple R in the upper left-hand corner. Go to New, and go to Family. This will bring you into the default English Imperial select template dialog. Scroll down until you find Profile-stairnosing. Once you find this, Open it up. The first thing you'll see when you jump into a family of this nature, are two reference planes. These reference planes are fixed and cannot be moved. They serve as your guiding point or your starting point, for your profile. They tell you where the tread surface is, the riser face, and even where they draw the profile in this quadrant. The next step is lay out the actual framework for our profile. What we're going to do, is add additional reference planes, and then we're going to draw our profile within it, kind of like temporary lines or construction lines. To get started drawing reference planes, go to the Create tab and click the Reference Plane button on the Datum panel.
Let's give it an offset of three quarters of an inch. On the Draw panel, click the Pick Lines button, and let's offset a line to the left three quarters of an inch. Don't be afraid to zoom in, move your cursor over the vertical line, and you'll see a temporary line appear to the left. Once you see that temporary line appear to the left, go ahead and pick the vertical line. This will serve as the reference plane for the depth of our bull nose. Let's draw another reference plane down to an inch and a half. In the same manner, using your Pick Lines button, offset a line straight down from the top reference plane.
We now have two reference planes, one at three quarters of an inch, one at inch and a half. Let's do one more, and offset it all the way down two and a quarter inches. I type in 2.25. Let's off set this all the way down from the top line, like so. Since we're going to add some dimensions to this profile, it would be good idea if we bump the scale up a little bit, so we can see what we're doing. I'm going to change my Scale to three inches equals a foot. It kind of makes the text small, but that's OK, it won't show up when we load it into the model. I'm going to zoom into my reference planes now, and I'm going to go to my Create tab.
On my Create tab, I'm going to pick Aligned. We're putting dimensions in, to simply discern between the different reference planes, so we don't get too confused when we start drawing our profile. Rule of thumb, is you always start from the first reference plane, then resolve at the second. So in this case, I'm going to go from right to left, and put in a three quarter inch dimension. I'm going to pick my first reference plane I'm going to pick my second reference plane. Then I'm just going to pick a point off of the reference planes, to place my dimension. I'm going to repeat the procedure moving downward.
So I'm going to pick my top reference plane, pick my second reference plane, and find a spot to put my dimension. I'm going to add one more dimension. I'm going to grab the top reference plane. I'm going to grab the very bottom reference plane, and I'm going to nest that dimension. Once your dimensions are in place, hit the Escape button twice. It's time to draw the profile. To do that, go to the Create Tab, and click on your Line button. The first line I'm going to draw is at the top. I'm going to go from inner section to the intersection.
My second line is going to be actual bow nose. So on my Draw panel, I'm going to click my Start and Radius Arc button. I'm going to draw my second point down an inch and a half. I'm going to move to the left, until I see that three quarter inch tip show up. Once I see the tangency, I pick that point. On the Drop panel I'm going to move back to my Line button, and just draw a short line, one quarter of an inch down from that bullnose. I'm going to hit Escape twice. On the Create tab, I'm going to click Line again, and I'm going to draw another line all the way down to two and a quarter inches from the top most intersection.
I'm going to pick that point, I'm going to draw another line in one quarter inch. Then the last line I'm going to put in, is going to be an arc. I'm going to select my Start and Radius Arc my from Draw panel, and pick my last line right here. I move my cursor over to the right, and I pick the last point. Hit Escape a couple times. The last thing I want to do, is physically Save this somewhere. If you go to the Windows Application button, go to Save As, and Save As Family.
What I like to do, is just put this in a directory where you know you're going to be able to find it. I'm going to call mine Bull Nose. I'm going to click my Options button, and I'm just going to put one for maximum backups. The reason I do this, is, I don't like to have a lot of backups kicking around. Sometimes I accidentally open the wrong one. One backup is typically plenty. I click OK and hit Save. So that wasn't so bad. Right? Families aren't all that intimidating. This one was simple.
But the basic concept is there. By drawing reference planes, then drawing the profile of the nosing, you've done nothing more than you would have done in a 2D CAD environment. Only, this time, you can use it over and over.