Visualarq grasshopper railing and stairs from curve

Hi Visualarq team or grasshopper buffs.

I am trying to build a grasshopper definition for staircases with railings. I honestly struggle with the Varq railing on stairs and I thought the Varq railing could be faster.

I have created a staircase from a curve GH definition. I set the curve in Rhino.

What I need to get is the curve generated by the staircase.

I can get the Z points by taking the number of steps and multiply by the step rise. This gives me my first sequence.

I then take my original curve and divide it by the number of steps.

Now I have X, Y and Z coordinates, do I merge the two number series


And then I will use numbers to points and fit line. Based on this line (with a bit of tweaking, as the railing will need to be in the middle of the step) I will have a curve for my railing?

Then offset curve by stair width and presto double bannister staircase from a curve.

See file attached.

Update I’m Almost there!!! But I don’t know how much closer I can get it. @fsalla @enric this would be a great definition for Varg users. Please help! (23.3 KB)


Hi @seanSpace,

Wow!!! This is a great progress!

What do you need from us exactly?

Regarding getting the curve from the stair, I’ve some ideas on how to do that:

  1. We plan to add a parameter for the GH definitions with the input object, and then, using VisualARQ Grasshopper Components, it will be possible to decompose this input object to get more information, like path curve, tread, riser, etc.
  2. We can add a component to get the left, center and right curves from a stair (including the elevation). We can also add a component to get the elevation at an exact 2D point, taking account of tread nosing, landings, etc. which I think will be better in your case.

But any of these new features will be implemented in VisualARQ 3. In the meantime, What can I do to help you?



Hi @enric


I have a big problem. The visualarq object properties are stuck in Rhino 6 !!!

I can’t change styles, sizes or anything using the object properties. This was always a part of my workflow. It still works in Rhino 5.

That means once it is put down it doesn’t respond. I recently updated to the newest version of VA.

I cant adjust sizes, styles or anything at all in properties. I have tried all the different VA imperial templates and even tried starting using VA desktop shortcut.

No matter what I try! It doesnt work.This is for windows, doors, beam, stairs and

Regarding the grasshopper, thank you for getting back to me.

I have made good progress but can’t take it any further. I want to edit it now in Rhino.

That is great news about the upcoming component enhancers.

Here is the latest Grasshopper VA make a staircase complete with bannisters from a single arc. I have labeled it well so I think anyone can use it. (28.9 KB)

Hi @seanSpace,

What do you mean? They are visible but disable? If this is the case, just make sure you have validated your VisualARQ. Run the command vaLicense and check that you’re running in licensed mode.



Thank you @enric Enric. That sorted it out straight away.

Thank you so much!

Hi @enric

Its definitively not a licence problem. If I create the stair case in Rhino and bake it in GH all VA properties in the model get locked.
Not just for the stairs but any VA objects in the file.

If I then quit rhino and restart the same file I can change the object properties once again. But if I try and add a new component from grasshopper the VA Properties stops working again and I need to restart.

That’s why it work last night. The restart seems to reset the properties.

Regarding the stairs I think I am pretty close.

Is there a way to control the distance between railing posts in GH.

With arc steps it would be great if the posts could be controlled parametricaly.

The VA rhino balustrades are set with a static distance, that is a problem. The control points are not evenly spaced.

If we could set that distance based on an equation of the arc length divided by the number of stairs we could have a great definition which will work for arc railings on staircases for VA !

Hi @seanSpace,

I cannot reproduce your issue, or I don’t understand what you’re doing. I have created an stair in Rhino
running the command vaStair. Then I bake another stair using VisualARQ Grasshopper components. Then if I select any of the two stairs, I can edit any of their properties without problem.

Can you describe step by step how to reproduce the issue? Please, attach any 3DM document or GH definition you’re using.



Hi @enric

Ok so I thought I would take a screenshot for you. So I moved the Rhino work area onto my 1st monitor this morning. Then duplicated the results by baking my railing.

Surprisingly the drop down options appeared but now in the middle of the screen. See attached second image.

It also returns to normal working order if I then move Rhino work area back to 2’nd screen. So that’s not such a bad problem.

Attached screenshots and definition.

Any idea about how to set parametric setting of the Baluster? (24.3 KB)

Hi @seanSpace,

I think the problem then is related to a multi-monitor setup. We work here with multiple monitors and we have never seen this issue, but we will try to replicate it.

Regarding the railing definition, I’m not a Grasshopper expert. Francesc Salla is much better than me. He will be back from his vacations next week.



1 Like

Awesome Work with great detail

is it possible to add a custom curved nosing profile to each tread? on only 3 sides?
also can you add a custom profile for the railing posts?

Hi @JD_Rhino ,

I already added your vote for the request of the nosing since currently it is not possible :wink:

About the post component customization, yes you can customize its profiles for both posts and for balusters. Just select the component and go to the Profile section. Then from the profile drop down you will be able to select any custom profile template that you have created.

Custom profile templates can be created with the Profile From Curve (_vaProfileFromCurve) command:


Kind regards