Enhancing StairDesigner models with ProgeCad

Here’s the third video in my using Progecad with StairDesigner series.

StairDesigner does a very good job of calculating and technically drawing the stair and you get all parts and working documents automatically.

But it falls short when it comes to specific design features like turned newel posts, spindles, moulded handrails etc.

Luckly all StairDesigner projects can be exported in DXF and easily reworked in most CADD programs.

I have used Autocad to design stairs for many years now.

Stair design with only Autocad is slow and error prone. It could take me several hours, sometimes days, of drawing to get the working plans for a stair and even then errors went un noticed and were giving us unpleasant surprises when putting the parts together in the workshop.

Over the years I developed some simple Autocad tools to speed up the work but everything remained very cumbersome and SLOW!

When StairDesigner came along everything got faster and easier!

The drafting errors practically disappeared and everything fitted perfectly in the workshop.

Besides the technical side of things StairDesigner’s automatic 3D made a great impression on my customers.

3d was always my big problem.

2D technical design was slow but OK with AutoCad, I just appreciated so much the ease compared to drawing the stair full size on the workshop floor, but when a customer asked for a perspective view my troubles started.

I’m not a great artist and though perspectives of furniture worked OK, stairs turning in all directions were making life hell.

Especially as people don’t pay you for a perspective drawing it’s just for free and takes for ever to set up.

The worst would be someone asking for variations, “and what if we added turned posts and changed the spindles to metal tubes ??”

Back to the drawing board!

Even when AutoCad came along with it’s 3D, building a 3D stair although possible, was a major nightmare and challenge.

Drawing a 3D stair in Autocad could bankrupt us before the customer even considered signing a cheque!

StairDesigner made life easier for basic designs but as we made more and more higher end stairs the projects quickly went over StairDesigner’s 3D functions.

So I combined the two.

StairDesigner draws the basic 3D and Autocad or Progecad do the rest.

It still takes a bit of time, but the effort is often well worth it.

A well designed stair shown off to it’s full advantage will often sell much better even though more expensive than a cheaper model.

And it’s so much more fun to design and make!

Here’s how I add turned posts and some extra fittings to a StairDesigner 3D stair.

And then light it up to look classy.

StairDesigner’s DXF export works well with most CAD programs so it’s not limited to using ProgeCad.

Progecad is a great cheap 2D/3D solution that works just like AutoCad for less than 1/10 of the price!

Hope you enjoy.

For more information on using ProgeCad and AutoCad with StairDesigner, take a look at these articles:

How to Design Curved Strings and Handrails using StairDesigner and Progecad 3D

How to build a 3D stair project with StairDesigner and ProgeCAD

Editing a curved string stair in Autocad

Please leave a comment or click here for pro stair software and a huge range of stair building resources.

Thanks very much!