Stair measurements

To build a 3D stairscase using the Stair function, 3 areas should be measured:

  1. Inside and outside edges of the staircase
  2. Front edges of the treads (The back edges of treads are optional)
  3. Heights of the treads

Staircase with areas annotated

Measuring stairs with Flexijet:

  1. Set Flexijet 3D in a position that has a good line-of-sight to as many stairs as possible. As usual, you can Reposition Flexijet during the measurement.
  1. Begin the measurement as usual, Auto-Levelling the Flexijet as usual, Align to object, and create a project folder.
  1. Create a 3D folder (no plane set) for the stairs.
    Project Explorer with Stairs folder
  1. Within that 3D folder, create a Horizontal folder, and set the plane on the ground. The name can be anything, such as ‘Outlines’.
    Project explore with stairs and outlines folder
  1. In that 2D folder you have created, measure the inner and outer walls of the stairwell using the polyline function. NOTE: these lines must extend before and beyond the tread front edges.
    Stairs software view inside and outside
  1. In the same 2D folder, measure the front edges of the stair treads using ‘Multiple Lines’ for straight front edges. Measure the tread edge of the top stair (edge of landing) as well.
    Stairs software view front edges
  1. Optional: Create an additional horizontal folder, and measure the back edges of the stair treads using the ‘Multiple lines’ function. Tread back edges are optional.
  1. In the 3D folder for the stairs (might be called ‘Stairs’), create another folder for tread heights called ‘Heights’. Measure the heights of the individual treads, including the landing at the bottom (where you set your plane) and the landing at the top. To do this, you may use either the ‘Points’ function and measure 1 point per stair, or multiple points on each stair using the ‘High/low point’ function (located under the ‘Distance Point to Plane’ button on the Measurement ribbon) for a better accuracy. Measure these points on the top of the treads.
    Stairs software view showing high/low points High/low point button highlighted

Creating the 3D stairs with the Stair function.

  1. Go to your 2D folder, ‘Outline’. On the Stair ribbon, choose the ‘Set stair run outside’ button and select the line/polyline for the outside wall of the stairs. This will convert that element to a Polyline and its colour to Blue. If you hover over the line, the line will be identified as the ‘Stair wall outside’. Ensure that this line extends past the bottom and top stair treads.
    Set stair run outside button Stair run outside software view
  1. On the Stair ribbon, choose the ‘Set stair run inside’ button and select the line/polyline for the outside wall of the stairs. This will convert that element to a Polyline and its colour to turquoise. If you hover over the line, the line will be identified as the ‘Stair wall inside’. Ensure that this line extends past the bottom and top stair treads.
    Set stair run inside button Stairs software view stair run inside
  1. On the Stair ribbon, choose the function ‘Select tread front edges’. This tool uses a line in the direction of the stairs from bottom to top. You will click below the bottom step, then click above the top step to essentially draw a line through the stair treads. If your staircase changes direction, such as through a landing, you may click a 3rd point (and additional points if required) to draw a multi-segmented line through all the risers, from bottom to top. Press ‘Enter’ to continue.
    Select tread front edges button Stairs software view selecting front edges
  1. If you measured the back edges of the treads earlier, repeat this step to select the back edges. Stair tread back edges are not required to complete the stair calculation.
    Selet treadback edges
  1. Select your ‘Heights’ folder, then choose ‘Select tread height points’ from the ‘Stairs’ ribbon. Follow the prompts in the command window (1=high points, 2=low points, 3=select manually). Options 1 or 2 will automatically select from the sets of High/low points measured on each tread. Option 3 requires manually selecting the points to be used.
    Select tread height points Software view automatically select hight points
  1. Now, select your 3d ‘Stairs’ folder and choose ‘options’ from the Stairs ribbon. From this menu, you may select the tread overhangs and other options.
    Stairs Options icon
    Stair options window
  1. Click ‘Start Calculation’ to run the Stairs calculation.
    Stairs start calculation Stairs completed calculation software view

Watch the video tutorial!

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