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elliot goettelman
elliot goettelman's picture
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I am looking for any ideas on how to make a cross or X in a handrail where the spindles would normally be.  I have an architect I draw for, and that is what they specify most of the time.  I would like to implement it in my 3d renderings.  I am attaching an image for reference.


Thanks!  Elliot Goettelman

yvongonthier's picture
X spindles

I don't think you can create a spindle to incorporate in a railing. The options that I would see are;

1- Creating it as a symbol, maybe a couple of different lengths that you could incorporate end to end as need be and adjusting lengths

2- You could also use a railing "Glass square" or "Glass round" and set mid posts number, size and height as needed. You can set the glass not to show or other textures. If you create a symbol for your "X", you would then need to incorporate that symbol between the posts.

Bill Wimberley
Bill Wimberley's picture
3D Symbol

SoftPlan doesn't have any built-in way to do that type of railing. So if you need it for 3D you will need to create a 3D model.

Start out by drawing a single section as if you were looking at it on the elevation.

Then select Draw⇒Solid⇒Polygon3D and trace over all the individual parts. So you would end up tracing over the handrail, toerail, uprights, and cross members. Turning on snap (F11) and switching to Small Cursor (`) will make tracing over the sketch easier and more accurate.

Once you have traced over all the parts using Polygon 3D then edit one of the polygons by selecting inside the polygon, not the edge of the polygon, and edit the height to give it a thickness. I assumed all of your handrail components are 2x4 so I made the height 3 1/2".

Then use Repeat Edit to set all of the other polygons the same height.

Now view your drawing in 3D and you will see that you have one section of your railing laying down on the ground.

Next you will need to Export this 3D model so while in SoftView select File⇒Export2000DWG and give the model a name and save.

After that you can use the Symbol Wizard to create your railing section. If you don't know how to create a 3D symbol using the Symbol Wizard please see the tutorial Part 3 Creating a Symbol in SoftPlan. This particular tutorial is talking about creating a symbol from a Sketchup model but the method is the same for models created in SoftPlan. Just make sure that during the process you orient the model so it is standing up rather than laying down.

Once you have your symbol created you can simply stack them side by side to form your railing. You can adjust the width a little if need be without causing too much distortion. You may need to create several sizes of the railing sections if you need to adjust the size very much from what you originally created.

In plan view I would probably place all of the railing sections on a layer and turn that layer off to prevent seeing all the breaks where the sections join and then just use lines to show the railing in plan.


Bill is the owner and maintainer of SoftPlanTuts.com