Graitec PowerPack for Advance Steel – Working with the Swan Neck Feature for Stairs and Railings
1 November 2021generalReading time 2MinPost view
Within the handrail configurations in the Graitec PowerPack for Advance Steel a typical feature that is used to change from one rail level to another at a junction in the rail is a Swan Neck. This feature allows the user to change heights and turn corners at the transient points of the railing.
These changes in the rail can be applied at the various rail elements, such as the top rail or the middle rails, and each element can have different configurations during the design process of the railing.
Within the Stairs and Railings macros from Graitec, there are a number of Railing ending types and one of those is the Swan Neck Type.
We can see an example of this as the railing returns around the inside of the Staircase, and the various rail elements have different arrangement types in order to achieve this within the configuration of the Stairs.
These elements are all controlled from within the macro under the Type and Arrangement, and we will expand upon this below with a run through of how to create these options.
To achieve this, within the macro there are dedicated ‘Ending Types’ and then a control tab for the ending arrangement. The ‘Ending type’ tab can be set to Swan Neck, and this is branched down into the different Rail elements via the Tree Structure of the Dialog, so that each rail element at start and finish can be configured.
There is a second part to the set up of the Swan Neck; that is the dimensional configuration which is controlled under the Ending tab of the Macro dialog. Within this tab we again see the use of the Tree to branch out to the various elements of the rail – top and middle rails, then there are several dialog fields to enter. There are also configuration selector menus that can be adjusted to set the arrangement of the Swan Neck.
The user would enter heights and lengths to determine the final arrangement, and they can adjust the selection types for the Corner Types at each junction of the Rail element; these are defined within the panels of the dialog.
The user can configure the side return of the ending via the side bar sub tab within the main dialog panel. In this dialog there are various options to set orientation, corner type and dimensions relative to this element of the Swan Neck.
This allows the user to set various configurations, but as with all things it can be a bit daunting at first. However, there are a couple of handy tips for doing this.
These arrangements are typically driven by Regulations as to the overall height of railing, and for the gaps/spacing between these elements, the user must interpret these and arrive at a basis for the rail according to how they will return the corner. Ffrom this and how the rail is being set out determines a couple of the key dimensions for the user to enter within the dialog. We need a little bit of preparation for that to achieve the correct measurements within the various dialog fields.
By creating a few setting out lines to determine these horizontal and vertical points the user can quickly determine the required distances. The horizontal ones are easy and typically driven by the available space within the stair, whilst the vertical ones sometimes require a checking of the physical points that the rail uses. These springing points are relative to the Centreline of the Rail element, as that is where the dimensions are taken for all rail elements, so knowing the gaps and rail thickness, these can be plotted out quickly, checked with a plain dimension or distance check command, then entered into the dialog of the macro under the rail element required.
You can now watch a couple of videos where we walk through the dialog options and then show how to set it up and use it within the make-up of a Railing.
In this video we explain the basic operation of the Swanneck feature within the Graitec railing macro, this is an introduction to explain how to activate and to use the parameters and variables to achieve this rail end form, focusing upon a top rail element to show the feature.
In this video we take a deeper look into the operation of the Swanneck feature with multiple rails for top and middle rails in combination, how to understand the required setting out in relationship to the user requirement to achieve this stepped and return conditions.
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