Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with stairs, part of Revit 2017: Essential Training for Architecture (Metric).
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- [Voiceover] In this movie we're going to begin working with stairs. Revit contains two kinds of stairs, stair by sketch and stair by component. So in this movie we'll start with the stair by sketch and we'll look at the stair by component in a later movie. So I'm in a floor plan here, specifically the Level 2 floor plan and I'm going to create the stair that goes from Level 2 to Level 3. So I'm going to come over here to my Zoom command and I'm going to zoom in down here on this space. This is labeled the South Stair and we're going to create the stair in this general location right here. Up on the Architecture tab, on the Circulation panel, I can click the drop down next to the Stair button and I'm going to choose Stair by Sketch.
Now, the stair by sketch has a few different buttons that we can look at and you can see them over here on the Draw panel, there's a Run, Boundary, and Riser. Now run is typically the button that you're going to want to use and it's lit up by default. If I let the tool tip display, you can kind of see what this tool will do for us. With a simple two clicks, it will create an entire run of stairs including two green lines, which represent the boundary edges of the stair, a blue line down the center which represents the path of the stair and then a series of black lines which represent the individual risers themselves.
So with two clicks, you get quite a bit of information established. Now, let's look at how it actually decides how to create and position all of those elements. If you look over at the properties palette, you can see that my stair type is called 190 millimeter max riser, 250 millimeter going. So we're going to stick with that type. We're also setting our constraints here from Level 2 to Level 3. So we're working on the Level 2 floor plan and we're going to go up to the third floor.
Now, Revit will take that height between those two levels and it will use it to calculate the desired number of risers and you can see that currently that is set to 16. The actual riser height is calculating out as 187.5 millimeters. Now, that's just below our 190 maximum. Now to see that, let's click the Edit Type button here and at the very top of this dialogue, you can see some calculation rules. You'll see that there's a minimum tread depth of 250 and a maximum riser height of 190.
So the way this works is, you can actually change the desired number of risers, but if I try and put in a number that forces the actual riser height to be greater than 190, I'll get this error message which won't allow it. So I'm going to close that. However, I could put in a number greater than what was there and when I enter that, notice that it just calculates the actual riser height to be a little bit smaller, and it allows for that. So this is the maximum riser height, but there really isn't a minimum one. You're just going to have to choose that on your own.
So let's go with 18 risers. Now I also want to increase the tread depth just a little bit so I'm going to go with 275. Now for the width of the stair, set that to 1200 if it's not set that way already. Revit remembers whatever the last width you used was. So the last time I drew a stair, I drew it at 1200, but it will often default to a number slightly smaller than that. So once I have the settings established that I prefer, I'm going to come over here into this space and start drawing the stair. Now, first thing you'll notice is it's trying to snap to nearly everything in sight.
So don't really pay too much attention to that. Don't try and get it exactly the correct location. What I'm going to do is just kind of click in the empty space right here for my first point and that will get me started. Then I can always move the stair into position later. I usually find that a little bit easier. Now I'm going to start moving down from that point I click and there's a light gray message beneath my cursor. When that message says nine risers created, nine remaining, that means I've used up half of my stair. That's when you want to click to create your second point.
Ok, so we want to use up half of the risers. We're going to create a U-shaped stair, and so we're going to have half on each run. Now, you're only creating the runs. So with a U-shaped stair, we're going to have two runs. Revit will create the landing and anything else that's required. So I'm going to move over here and just make sure that I'm lining up with the first run. Click to establish that point. Then I'm going to start moving back up in the opposite direction and when I've exhausted all of the remaining risers, I will click again and create the second run.
Now you'll notice that Revit, in addition to creating the run, also creates a landing for us. The message at the bottom now says that 18 risers were created and zero are remaining. Ok, so that's what we're after. Now notice what we were able to do with just four simple clicks of the mouse. We get this very detailed sketch here. Now, the next thing I want to do is start moving it into position and fine tuning it. So, I'm going to actually use a window selection and select the entire sketch. I'll go to my Move command. I'll snap to the endpoint right here and I want to move it to the endpoint right there.
Now, sometimes your move is forced in either a horizontal or vertical direction only. That's controlled by this constrain check box. So if your check box is checked, you want to uncheck that now so that you have free motion and you can move and snap to this endpoint. Now there's a small gap right here between the wall and the stair. I'm going to use my Measure tool right here and pick the stair and then go to the face of this wall and you can see that's 100 millimeters. I want to match that same distance on this side.
Now the way I'm going to do that is to do another window selection but this time I only want to select the run on the right side and the side of that landing. Ok, so make sure that you've highlighted all of those pieces on the right. Then, instead of using the Move command which would require me to do the calculation to figure out how far to move and I might not get it quite so accurately, I'm going to use this tool here on the Options bar called Activate Dimensions. That's going to activate all of the dimensions on the screen and then I'll be able to manipulate those like any other temporary dimension.
So I'll click this one right here, type in 100, and now I've moved that second run over so that it matches the one on the left. Now you can do additional fine tuning if you like. For example, maybe I want to increase the size of the landing so I'll select this line right here. Drag this witness line grip to here. Then I'll click in the dimension and maybe increase that to 1500. So feel free to do any of those kinds of modifications that you like. So one last thing I want to do is configure the railing that I want to use.
So over here on the rivet on the far right, there's a Railing button and by default, you'll always get a railing when you create a stair. We can use this dialogue to configure what we want that railing to be. Now if you don't want a railing, you can actually choose None or you can just wait until the stair is created and delete the railing it gives you, but in this case I'm going to choose 900 millimeter pipe and I want to set that railing relative to the stringers. Then I'm going to click Ok and then finally I click the Finish Edit Mode button, the big green check box, to complete the stair. Now a warning will appear down here about a non-continuous rail.
We can safely ignore that warning by just clicking anywhere to dismiss it. We'll be talking about railings in a future movie and so we'll discuss the non-continuous rail message at that time. So we now have the stair and you can see it here in the plan but I'm going to open up this section view right here. Now you can right click it right here and choose Go to View or you can double click it on the project browser. Then of course you can see that the stair starts here at Level 2 and goes up to Level 3. Now we need another stair here to go from the first to the second floor.
So to do that, I'll go back down to the Level 1 floor plan. The space that I have available here on Level 1 is a little bit larger so I can actually get away with a straight run stair in this case. Now I'm going to build the stair using the same sketch-based stair. So if I go to the drop down, choose Stair by Sketch, what you're going to notice is that it sets all the same settings. We're in Run, Level 1 to Level 2. If I come down here and scroll down, it did remember my width of 1200, but it did not change the number of risers or the actual tread depth, so just verify those settings.
So in this case I'm going to do 18 risers again and I'm going to set this to 275 again. So once I have those settings established, I'll click my start point and this time I'm going to pull straight up. So I'm just going to use the entire set of risers in a single run. I'll select it, I'll activate my dimensions. Click this right here, make it 100, and then this right here, maybe I'll change that to 1800.
Check my railing. It still remembers 900 millimeter pipe. It still remembers the stringer, so that's ok. Let's finish and then once again, let's reopen the section to see the result. You can see that it went a little bit far over here. So I can actually just move it back using the Move command like so. So as you can see, creating a sketch-based stair is really just a few clicks and like other sketch-based objects that you've have seen, when you finish the sketch, it creates the full 3D object for you.
In this case, the stair complete with its railings.
First, get comfortable with the Revit environment, and learn to set up a project and add the grids, levels, and dimensions that will anchor your design. Then author Paul F. Aubin helps you dive into modeling: adding walls, doors, and windows; creating and mirroring groups; linking to external assets and DWG files; and working with floors, roofs, and ceilings.
Paul also shows advanced techniques for modeling stairs, complex walls, and partially obscured building elements, as well as adding rooms and solid geometry. Finally, discover how to annotate your drawings so all the components are clearly understood, and learn how to output sheets to DWF, PDF, or AutoCAD.
- Understanding BIM and the Revit element hierarchy
- Navigating views
- Creating a new project from a template
- Adding walls, doors, and windows
- Adding plumbing fixtures and other components
- Linking AutoCAD DWG files
- Rotating and aligning Revit links
- Working with footprint and extrusion roofs
- Adding openings
- Adding railings and extensions to stairs
- Creating stacked and curtain walls
- Hiding and isolating objects
- Adding rooms
- Creating schedule views and tags
- Adding text and dimensions
- Creating new families
- Using reference planes, parameters, and constraints
- Plotting and creating a PDF