Smart 3D Modeling Blog Series: Designing a Variable Sized Ladder - Blog 1 of 4

In this blog series, we will design a ladder, which will automatically change its size when changing parameters such as height, width, etc. For example, say you change the height of the ladder, the number of steps will automatically increase proportionally with the height. This is achieved by using variables as driving parameters for a well constrained model and then storing the different values as variations.

The following video displays the output that we will achieve at the end of this blog series.

To start with, let us define the variables and variations for the ladder. The variables will be used to constrain different parts of the ladder. The ladder will resize with respect to the values defined in the variations. In the Variables dialog, create the following variables:

Variable Name Type Expression
Ladder_Height Distance
Step_Size Distance
Ladder_W Distance
Stair_THK Distance
Ladder_Span Distance
Stair_Span Distance Ladder_Span-2*Stair_THK
Step_Rise Distance
Ladder_Tile Angle
Array_Angle Angle (Ladder_Tile+90)*(-1)
Step_Advance Distance Step_Rise/tan(Ladder_Tilt)
Array_Row_Spacing Distance sqrt(Step_Size ^ 2 + (Step_Rise + Stair_THK) ^ 2)
Number_Of_Steps Integer int((Ladder_Height / sin(Ladder_Tilt)) / Array_Row_Spacing)
First_Step_Rise Distance Array_Row_Spacing * sin(Ladder_Tilt)

Next, create following variations:

Name Ladder_Height Step_Size Ladder_W Stair_THK Ladder_Span Stair_Span Step_Rise Ladder_Tilt
Ladder_1 2 0.3 0.4 0.05 1 0.9 0.3 50
Ladder_2 3 0.3 0.4 0.05 1 0.9 0.3 50
Ladder_3 2 0.3 0.4 0.05 1 1.4 0.3 50
Ladder_4 2 0.3 0.2 0.05 1.5 0.9 0.5 50
Ladder_5 2 0.5 0.6 0.05 1 0.9 0.3 30

The above variables and variations are also shared in the Variables-and-variations.csv file. Instead of creating the variables and variations manually, you can directly import them from this file (Variables dialog > File > Import).

In the next blog, we will design the side-rails of the ladder. To view the next blog, click here.