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Feature staircase design in Autodesk Inventor - Part 1

The first in my series of articles going through a case study of top down 3D design in Autodesk Inventor.


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Welcome to my poor attempt to write a tutorial on stair modelling in Autodesk Inventor! I'd noticed a lot of posts about the place regarding how to approach stairs in Inventor, and had struggled with it myself for some time. Having achieved some amount of success (our website has a bunch of data sheets showing example of our stairs modelled in Inventor) I thought I'd share our approach with the community.

Some notes before we start. First, this is a 'high level' tutorial focusing on the (top down) data architecture of a complex architectural installation. If you need to know how to use the basic Inventor operations like sweep or 'link parameter' you'd better head to one of the other fine tutorials floating about on the internet. I'm imagining an audience of reasonably experienced modellers here.

I want to describe a progessive top-down workflow, where we describe the logical design criterion of a feature staircase first, and fill in the finer details later. So it's going to be of interest to those who are either (a) interested in working through a case-study of top-down design, or (b) wondering how to go about modelling an architectural staircase, without getting totally confused!

It's the first time I've written this kind of thing, so if I miss stuff out or end being totally confusing, please don't flame me! Let me know how to improve it and I'll do my best. Finally, it's going to be a reasonably long tutorial, so I'm going to have to write in parts. I'm going to keep adding to it at least once a week until it's done.

So, let's begin at the end, and have a look at the finished design! It's a pretty straight-forward commercial staircase, a straight flight with landing, and based on PFC stringer design.

The treads are composite laminate timber with non-slip nosings. The risers and tread supports are a little unusual, with bent steel supports welded to the stringers and perforated metal risers screwed to the treads.

The balustrade is glass and stainless steel, which is very popular these days in Australia. The images tell the story,

In the next article, I'm going to describe how to kick this all off with a master layout part.

Published on: 03-Aug-2010. Topic/s: 3D design technology