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Thread: Helical staircase handrail

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Helical staircase handrail

    Does anyone know how to create a handrail to a helical stair which remains horizontal as it spirals down? Hope this makes sense. I have been sweeping a rectangle along a spine but it does not remain horizontal

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England


    Most 3D modelling systems will twist a profile when swept around a path that changes directions in all 3 axes (e.g. a helix.)

    MicroGDS is no exception, and there is no chance that this is going to change.

    I have developed a method to overcome this using a workflow that takes the helical path into Sketchup, uses a Sketchup plugin to generate the profile, then brings the competed profile back into MicroGDS. This is not a perfect solution as this process relies on the profile being kept upright as it is swept, so if the path becomes to vertical, some distortion will occur.

    I have posted an example of the method on the forum.
    Life's a reach, and then you gybe - pixelorchard - smugmug - LinkedIn

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Thanks for your help

    Thanks for this it is a much better fix than the solution I’ve been using, which is to use the mesh command to create the faces of my helical handrail then assembling these together, but you end up with lots of polygons to avoid leakages around the joints


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