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Railing constructor

Railing constructor

In general, I agree with this post (especially if we are speaking about railing edit tools):


But for creating new railing I suppose will be better to kill existing tool and create rail model constructor. Why kill:
- very difficult for newcomers
- inflexible

How railing constructor could be looks like: this is interface where user create a part (one or some parts) of railing system from prepared families and create rules for distribute these parts in railing system. In general, for railing system we have 4 main type of parts: straight section, arc section, inclined section and transitions - any of part must be tune in railing constructor. 

For example:


This is illustration of constructor viewport (but, exclude transitions, any part must be tune separately). For any position on the picture user choose the family and create the rules of placement. For example: family 7 set on the base of family 4, family 5 set in crossection of family 2 and family 4... After this, user create a sketch, where he chooses a type of part for any segment of sketch: 


If length of segment on the sketch 1000 millimeters and type of part for this segment have a length 500 mm, then Revit generate 2 similar parts, if segment have 900 mm, then last part must be automatically cut off.


When railing system is ready, user get some tools for editing it:
- manually replace any family in system or replace a whole part
- change the position for any family
- change the path for any rail, like this:


And of course, any family in railing system must be available in schedule and parts of railing system must be available in legends.


Railings have many limitations.  ArchiCAD 21 makes some great improvements and Revit is stuck with basically the same inadequate and tedious railing functionality as its had for years.


I've spoken at numerous RTC/BILT events and posted on my blog about Railings and the various issues (this has many photos of the types of limitations I speak of).  Through my Revit support services I'm also confronted with these issues all the time.  I fear that Autodesk doesn't realise how big an issue this is for every day Architecture Revit users because many of the Railing posts on this Idea's station are lost or too specific.  There is a much larger problem.


A railing should be able to be defined as follows:



  • Sketch a path for the rails
  • Specify termination families or conditions for each individual rail, select a rail-->add/modify termination
  • Individually control their extents if needed.  Sometimes some rails need to continue and others stop.  
  • Allow splitting and removal of some sections of individual rails which then expose terminations for those.
  • Specify corners/transitions for each individual rail
  • Landing Height Adjustment for Top Rails/Hand Rails


  • More options for initial placement based upon rules such as: Maximum spacing, Clear Spacing, Baluster Centred on First and Last Tread with a maximum spacing.
  • Specify how a segment rule is calculated, such as start offset, and end offset (per segment and per overall sketch), and spacing for consecutive balusters are calculated from this adjust point and not from the beginning of the sketch.
  • Special Corner Baluster Types, which can understand the 4 different corner orientations you might have as well as the angles - Duct/Pipe Fittings can do this...
  • Panel Families which have instance based lengths with options to follow a Nosing line with an offset or railing line.
  • Allow balusters to be controlled by instance parameters
  • The ability to unpin any baluster and change its Type and/or position, height or any of its instance parameters.
  • The ability to add extra balusters "Add baluster" command anywhere along a railing


  • Resolve visibility glitches (Terminations not displaying in plan), nested components of balusters displaying in certain views even though they aren't visible, better <above>/<below> visibility control).
  • Scheduling/Quantification/Tagging of Balusters/Components/Rails

Essentially we might start with some simple rule defined railing, but as the design is resolved we might start refining it by unpinning its parts and adjusting/modifying them to suit.

Tags (3)

I love Revit


Railings are a PAIN since I started using Revit centuries ago
And a constant source of embarrassment
adding to insult Archicad seems to have stolen your limelight already

and Autodesk uses every opportunity to sneak out of finishing the FULL TASK
How many Votes do we need?
I can't believe we have to do this to fight against what? 3D PDF????


I too love Revit and have used constantly on a daily basis since Revit 4.5 I can honestly say that railings are painfully mind numbing at times.

Also having taught Revit for 3.5 years plus it kills me when I try to teach the railings tool only to get a why does Revit do railings this way!

So please add my 1,000 votes to improve the railing tool!!




Community Visitor
Couldn't agree more with my 1000 votes please!

Thanks for starting this thread!


Desired options: 

  • Option in “rail path” to select different rail systems inside of one continuous run.
  • Baluster slope rotation on the “Top Cut Angle” when inserted as a handrail support.
  • Handrails edit path option so hand rail can be removed from landings. Currently top rail can be edited.
  • Option to unlock balusters to unfixed positions. Handrail supports can be in many different configurations
  • Hand rail to be host from stringer (what actually is happening, not hosted on the stair) Stringers can still be turned off.
  • Corner post offsets because cable rails typically have two posts at the corners for termination.
  • Adaptable glass panels that can be set at a fixed distance, and when aligned to center, will auto-adjust the panels on the ends to meet the corner without hanging over.
  • Glass lines perpendicular to stairs and vertical on landing.
  • Glass panel offsets on a slope.
  • Support side mounting option.
  • More handrail edit/termination options in scenarios where they go outside of the straight plane.
  • Illumination of handrail and panels.

Just a side note, but if Revit actually allowed us to have instance parameters driven by the built in Top Cut Angle, Bottom cut Angle, Slope Angle then many of the baluster angle problems could be solved.  It's dumb that these built in instance parameters work, but anything driven off them doesn't...


Use a railing as a bridge parapet. I would love to see the ability to be able to pick a double curved edge and create railings from these curves. The reason behind this is that when modelling bridges/tunnels or similar the geometry is often double curved.


This would primarily affect special conditions where the angles are not 90 degrees, but it would be great to have more granular control over the posts than just choosing start, end and middle.


Just in case I missed it:  it would be great to have functionality where you can define starting elevation/ending elevation, or even progressive elevation points along the line to allow for truly customizable railings.  Using railings while making fire stairs is hard as all get out.


Great idea.


The same idea of killing existing tools should be implemented to stairs, windows, doors and maybe some more building "standard" elements. Flexibility of making for example doors is great and we should have this possibility but now every company, supplier etc. is making families with own standards, names, parameters so there is tremendous mess (similar or even bigger like in blocks in AutoCAD). Most of the families are simply not usable and the process to remake them is very hard and time consuming. Please think how to stop this madness. There should be something like Stairmaker, Door/Window Factory etc - name is not important - built in or external Revit tool.

Standardization of all typical building elements that almost the same over the world would be great! 


I agree with everyone here. Railing have been an issue since Revit started. I have been using Revit since 2004 and they have not gotten any better. The company I work for just stopped even trying to model them and we just draw them with detail lines and white masks to show how they will actually be built. I teach this program for my office and I get the same question every time railings are discussed. “why do they look like this.” And also “these are not correct”. I have stopped even going over them and we just draw them as we would in AutoCAD. This is long overdue and if the current programmers cannot figure it out, Autodesk should find someone that can. I already have to fight with the anti-Revit crowd and this does not help my cause.


I gave up on Autodesk's willingness/ ability to fix the railings about a year ago and just created my own custom railing family for fire stairs (the ones we use most often).

I have to admit that it is a little bit complicated to use as it has quite a few parameters to fiddle with as it is a standalone family independent of the stairs.

However, it works and saves us time and frustration.



Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Vote Here 😈


Отличная идея, категорически ЗА!!


Да, это очень нужная функция!!!!


Please! We need better railing options! Look at Archicads option, jeezz.. they are light-years ahead! 


I like the idea of a representative panel that is sketched and elements assigned. Sort of like how curtainwall is created. If the stairs are adjacent to a solid wall, the default should automatically be a handrail "mounted" (but not hosted) to the wall. If the rail is adjacent to an open space, then it should be more of a guardrail/handrail by default.


Stairs and railings really are Autodesk's cruelest and longest-running prank on its users. This joke has been going on for at least the 11 years I've been beating my head against a wall with it. Unless a building is truly a flat slab with no change in elevation anywhere on the property, every project usually has a stair and/or railing somewhere. But hey, we got slanted and tapered walls that will be useful on a project here and there, and native pdf printing where there's only 10,000 3rd-party pdf print drivers out there that we've all been using for years.... Priorities, Autodesk.

We get stair and railing "connections" that don't work with the stair and railing system families. That bolted railing post baseplate on the stringer looks great in 3D view, but I have to model the stringer as a sloped beam and the post as a vertical column for the connection to recognize them, so what's the point? When I ask about how to actually get a usable workflow with modeling stairs and railings, I'm told to just use Advance Steel... OK, I'll go learn another program (that may kinda interface with our Revit model) so Revit doesn't have to be fixed... Thanks, Autodesk - good solution.🙄


Totally agree with all of the previous comments and thanks @cprice for all of the efforts you put into your post showing up all of the limitations of railing because you nailed it 😉

To me, it sounds like railings should work like curtain walls with instance parameters for the balusters, posts, etc but the difference would be can be hosted on objects like stairs, floors, etc as rails currently do.

Railings are never going to work properly the way they currently are.

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