Tech Tip: How to Create Sloped Curved Handrails in Advance Steel

5 June 2023Advance Steel, autodesk, PowerPack, UncategorizedPowerPack for Advance Steel, steel, Tips and Tricks



If you find yourself struggling on modeling sloped curved handrails, following is a general workflow on how to approach it. This will demonstrate a manual process, since there is not a macro that will produce this type of handrail as of the Advance Steel 2023 release and PowerPack for Advance Steel 2023 release.

The main issue most users run into is how to create the curved polyline/beam for the handrail to follow. If you have the Powerpack for Advance Steel, this can easily be done by using the Spiral or Helicoidal commands (follow the prompts for the inputs that are required).

Advance Steel menu showing spiral polyline

Keep in mind that these spiral/helicoidal commands will give you a uniform slope.

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If the elevation changes of your curved handrail will be different in certain sections, it would be best to set up your reference lines at the different elevations, then use the SPLINE command to create a spline that best fits those points (select points and then hit Enter to end command). Once you have the spline created, select the spline >> right click, and select Spline >> Convert to Polyline >> set your precision (if another value is needed), and then hit Enter.

Advance Steel menus of spline with curved line to the left

If you need to create a beam that the handrail will be connected to, you can use the Beam, polyline command under the Objects tab:

Advance Steel objects menu

Otherwise, it is time to create the posts.

Hopefully you know the spacing between posts or the number of posts needed. An easy way to space out the posts is to create points to snap your posts to.

To do this, use the AutoCAD DIVIDE command (if you are only using Polyline). This option only lets you specify how many parts you are dividing the polyline into. If you have converted the polyline to a polybeam, use the divide or measure command under the Advance Steel tool palette (scroll down in the tool palette if you do not see it). This lets you divide the polybeam into sections or by a certain distance.

Advance Steel tools palette

Once you have your points, you can use them to snap to for your posts:

black graphic line with points indicated by circles with crosshairs

From here, you can copy the base polyline up to the top of your posts and then convert that polyline to get your top handrail. If your post heights are not the same, you will need to create another spline (use posts as pick points, convert it to polyline, and then to polybeam).

This would be the same workflow for grabrails, too. You can use the Split Beam command to spit polybeams as needed (ex. midrails) and then create manual cuts/welds to finish the railing.

Advance Steel objects palette
graphic representation in bluish steel color of a sloped curved handrail

Click the following links for more information on Autodesk Advance Steel and PowerPack for Advance Steel.



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