- PRO100 – simple visualization
- Online services for obtaining drawings
- Features of work at Staircon
- Calculation of physical and mechanical parameters
- Is it worth learning CAD and 3D modeling
No matter how imagination builds the appearance of the stairs, calculating its structure according to the required type and load is a task of a completely different class of complexity. In this matter, all kinds of calculators and programs for designing stairs help well, we will tell you about them today..
PRO100 – simple visualization
Almost any staircase, no matter how complex it is, can be represented as a set of simpler steps, bowstrings, railings and risers – boards, in other words. Therefore, it will be most simple to draw up a staircase project for those masters who have experience in furniture creation programs. The well-known PRO100 is well suited for these purposes: you can sketch the design of the simplest staircase in it in 30-40 minutes, even a beginner will not be difficult to get used to in this program.
Of course, furniture programs mainly work with primitives – parts in the form of a parallelepiped. It can be very difficult to display carved handrails and posts, specially shaped steps and other artistic delights. But if the goal is to determine general parameters, such as the height, number and layout of steps, then tools for furniture and general-purpose programs for three-dimensional modeling will be more than enough.
Of course, not in the event that you undertake an independent preparation of a project, the implementation of which will be carried out by another master. Here you need to pay attention to detail and, in the end, the customer gets exactly what he could portray, but no more..
The main disadvantage of the PRO100 (as well as the majority of furniture “constructors”) is the lack of any automation for working with stairs. It is not possible, for example, to specify the dimensions of the span, the step and height of the steps, so all work is done from scratch. However, for most amateur projects, standard means of manipulating objects are quite enough: grouping, copying, moving and others like them..
It should be agreed that the goal of designing a staircase can be either only a general idea of \ u200b \ u200bthe structure and the main parameters, or complex visualization with all the curls and carvings, the shape of turning and the details of fastening all the elements into one beautiful solid product. In the latter case, you must have practical experience with stairs, otherwise the project may not be feasible in principle..
Online services for obtaining drawings
You should start acquaintance with programs for designing stairs with all kinds of online services and calculators. Their capabilities are severely limited by the web platform: although there are ways to carry out detailed calculations and high-quality visualization of the product “without leaving the Internet”, the development of such software is too expensive and is almost never justified.
And yet, such programs have one plus: they provide the user with the opportunity not to install additional software, but to carry out preliminary calculations on the go. One of the popular sites lesenka.com offers a schematic representation of a staircase – a plan and a section of steps – according to the set of parameters you entered. It is possible in just a couple of minutes to generate ladder schemes, both simple single-span and spiral, and with platforms, and with run-in steps.
Another popular site is lascalagrande.ru. Free input of parameters is not available here, but the parameterization form is quite “smart” and will itself offer valid options for the user to choose. It is possible to choose one of six types of stairs (including multi-flight, turning and with a complex shape of steps), as well as to calculate the railing and balustrades, resulting in a drawing with the main dimensions and an isometric sketch. The website stairshop.ru is almost a complete analogue of the previous one, but it has a rare opportunity for a three-dimensional view of the designed stairs, albeit with a very primitive display quality.
Sites of this kind have a number of nice features. Most of them are owned by companies that professionally manufacture and install stairs. Therefore, it is possible to get acquainted with the photo gallery of finished products and approximately estimate the cost of the project.
Features of work at Staircon
Online design tools severely limit the freedom to design unique stair designs. If you need a more individual approach, you will have to use either CAD programs (Autodesk, SketchUp), or pay attention to specialized software.
The Staircon program is a very, very good option, even for a one-time use. Despite the abundance of functions, this product is quite easy to learn, even when using the non-Russian version. Almost each of the settings windows has a small preview, where the nature of the changes being made is clearly displayed, plus all adjustable parameters are immediately applied to the main scene. All work is carried out by parametrizing either the staircase as a whole, or individual platforms and spans, or even each step separately.
There are three main views in the program: general plan, sketch and three-dimensional model. Moving sequentially from one to the other, the user first configures the parameters of the ladder pocket, then the general configuration of the ladder, for which there are several dozen built-in templates. Finally, the work is completed by the elaboration of small details such as railings or handrails, and the choice of materials (including metal and glass).
As a result, the user receives design documentation, a list of parts and materials, or a render of a visual scene with quite acceptable quality.
Calculation of physical and mechanical parameters
Many people are interested in the question: how to calculate the load ladder using programs. On closer acquaintance with Staircon and similar means, it turns out that the calculation of technical parameters for the load is already built into the bowels of the program, and it simply does not offer to use the cross-sections of materials and the structural design of nodes that do not correspond to at least the average level of throughput.
As with everything, an individual calculation may be required here, especially when fixing steps to the wall on one side only, when working with suspended ladders or calculating concrete spans with a large unladen weight..
Unfortunately, these calculations have to be done manually: no matter how perfect the program is, you should not rely on standard algorithms. No design tool can take into account the bearing capacity of the walls, as well as the strength of individual materials for the execution of the staircase itself..
Is it worth learning CAD and 3D modeling
If you do not have experience in development in Autocad or 3ds Max, you should not pay attention to this class of programs only for designing stairs. The only exception is when you need to create a really high quality visualization or fit a staircase into the general plan of interior visualization, which is quite rare in amateur practice..
But if you are already familiar with 3D modeling and blueprinting software, familiarity with special staircase software can be a waste of time. As we said, CAD programs cannot position steps at the same distance or automatically adjust the railing line to changes in the span configuration..
However, in reality, such capabilities are needed when developing only very large projects. In other cases, you can use the standard snapping and grouping tools, or find the appropriate plug-in for working with stairs.