SketchUp banister

by Design Workshop Sydney

Once the stairs have been created in SketchUp, we may wish to add banisters and a handrail. This is an easy process using a component modification and the Follow Me tool. We show you how to utilize these functions in all our SketchUp training courses.
First of all we would double-click to enter one of the stair components in order to make some make modifications, such as adding add balusters, bull-nose on the tread, or a floating stair, etc. to create the bull-nose select the Arc tool (or hit the A key on your keyboard), click on two end-points of the stir’s edge. Note that Sketchup requires the bulge value on the bottom right Measurements field. Type in 20 and hit the Enter key. This creates an upright arc at the stair’s edge.
Next select the Push/Pull tool  (P), select the semi-circle and drag along the length of the stair, thus creating the filleted edge. Click at the far end to complete the function, then hit the top left Escape key to exit the component environment. Note that all related components have been updated.
Next we select all 15 steps by pressing the Shift key to add to the selection. Then we right-click and select Make Group from the list. This simply allows us to select and hide the stairs as one unit, if necessary.
We can also use this technique to add a meter high banister to each stair. Double-click to enter the riser component and create a small circle at the end of the stair to represent the diameter of the banister. We then use the Push/Pull tool to extrude the circle upwards in the blue axis by 900-1000mm. Then exit the component.
To finish off the stairs we create the handrail we will use Follow-Me tool to extrude a profile along a path. Go to the Top view and select Camera and Parallel Projection. Then draw a line (L) from a midpoint on the first baluster to the last. Use the Line tool again to create an upright rectangle 30 x 60, for example. Then draw a circle on top of the rectangle and use the Eraser tool to delete the extra lines, leaving just a circle at the end of the path. Now we select the path lines first, then the Follow-Me tool and click on the circular profile. This will result in the circle following the path, thus creating a credible handrail. Finish it off by Push/Pulling the two ends outwards by a further 100mm.
To complete the process use the Selection tool to triple-click thus selecting the whole handrail. Then right-click and choose Make Group. To add a stringer below the stairs double-click twice to enter the riser component (the first double-click is to enter the group). Then create a triangle with the Line tool (L) and Push/Pull it backwards to the wall.
If at any point you wish to edit just one stair, first enter the group, select the step and right-click to select Make Unique. It may now be edited without affecting any of the other stairs.
Note that if you ever get blue faces instead of white faces on your model simply right-click on the face and select Reverse Faces. Blue faces are the inside faces of an object.
Many useful tips and techniques can be found at the SketchUp website. And see many examples of our own clients’ work on our Facebook page.
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