The railing content delivered in our example datasets offers a variety of styles but obviously does not cover the full range of possibilities. This exercise steps through the creation of a simple glass balustrade with a cylindrical rail:
One of the element available in recent iterations of the OpenBuildings railing tool is the parametric baluster panel. Dataset UK delivers an example panel which can be modified to create variations on the delivered example.
The first steps will show how to reuse the constrained parametric profile from this example panel.
First copy the example cell library to a folder included by the BB_RAILING_PANEL_CELLLIST variable, this includes the ...\Standards\cell folder at each level, for example; C:\ProgramData\Bentley\OpenBuildings CONNECT Edition\Configuration\WorkSpaces\Building_Examples\worksets\BuildingTemplate_UK\Standards\Cell.
Name the CEL file following the format of RailingPanel*.cel as included by the configuration.
Note that no configuration changes are needed if previously defined locations are used to stored any new or copied cell libraries.
In the copied cell library copy and rename the existing 'Railing Panel' Model.
Highlight the geometry (1), note the two parametric glyphs (2):
Open the Variables dialog to see the variables used by this profile.Right-click the profile glyph to 'Show Input Element':
Click the profile glyph to show the profile and its constraints, note the angle constraint (3), this is essential to allow the panel to be used by stair railings:
In the Properties panel expand the element tree until the driven parametric solid is visible, right-click and pick delete:
This will leave the profile which can be reused to drive new baluster components:
Use Solid by Extrusion, selecting the Thickness variable:
Accept and close the cell library. The cell is now ready for use with the railing tools.
In a 3D model (from an OpenBuildings seed file) pick the Railing tool. Pick a railing with some similarity to the one you wish to create, this can provide some useful insight into the effect of the various elements and values. A very simple handrail has been picked for the following steps.
From the menu pick 'Save Catalog Item As...' and give it a meaningful name.
Note: attempting to create or copy Railing Items in the Catalog Editor will result in the following explanatory warning:
Pick Load railing Settings:
Take a look through the existing settings, note that in this example most of the fields are empty or say none, the only element is the handrail which is offset 100 from the centreline. Pick a different section as required and make the side offset 0:
The Posts and Ends tabs have no content as this is a simple handrail, the Balusters tab is also empty:
Click Add then set the following values:
(6) Shape Type: Parametric panel, this will use the cell created earlier
(7) Shape Name: Pick the name of this cell
(8) Name: Enter an appropriate name
(9) Spacing: set to 0 for continuous glass appropriate to a moderate level of detail such as 1:50 general arrangement models
(10) Top Offset: is the height of the glass to the underside of the handrail
(11) Base Offset: is zero in this example. Alternatively a bottom rail could be added in which case this value would reflect the height of that rail.
(12) Thickness: feeds into the Thickness variable used during cell creation.
(13) Side Offset: in this instance should be 6mm, half the glass thickness to centre the panel (it was extruded from the profile by the value of the Thickness variable)
(14) Part:Family: select the required family and part
The results of these settings can be viewed from all angles in the preview panel using the view control tools on the right (15). Click OK to close the settings dialog, then Save Catalog Item to commit the changes to the Catalog (16):
Wait for the Catalog to update and any new thumbnails to be generated.
In the Catalog Editor, right-click on the new Catalog Item and note that the new handrail will be saved in the WorkSet by default:
To copy it for sharing at the WorkSpace or Organization level change the destination in using the drop down menu then create a new XML file is the selected location. To help keep track of customised objects save with a meaningful file name, perhaps using an organization or project prefix, e.g.: BSUK_GlassRailings.xml
Save the Catalog changes.
The original Railings.xml file will be left in the WorkSet, this can safely be deleted, it's contents will have been moved to the new file.