Staircase Construction & Timber CNC-Processing

Processing of Mouldings with Plate Optimization

Mouldings on tread front edges can now be arranged and manufactured with plate optimization. Some manufacturers mill the mouldings in strips, which means after one strip is cut, the machine operator has to rearrange the board on the machine table. Furthermore, this type of processing requires a separate CNC program for each moulding strip.

Compass Software now makes it possible to process mouldings with plate optimization. The program automatically calculates the optimal way to arrange the mouldings on a plate specified and then mills the whole plate with one program.

It is also possible to process circular and bowed moulding in the same way. Mouldings are separated at the corner between the bowed and straight part, if the straight part fulfills a specified minimal length. The optimization on the plate and the separation is calculated automatically.

In this way, it is possible to process an entire set of moulding in one work process. The machine will plane off the excess wood, smooth the edges and work the profiles in detail with optimized tool changes. Stair builders save time, costs, and personnel by manufacturing mouldings with only one machine process on optimized plates.

Fusion of Handrails

CS-wreaths can be fused with straight handrail parts. Wreath sections with different radii can be combined and separated at user-defined positions as well. When designing circular or curved stairs, stairbuilders often have so-called transition parts, where the wreath meets the straight part of the handrail or a further wreath.

In the past, it was hard to manufacture this transition part. However, Compass Software now makes it possible to fuse straight parts and wreaths, or wreaths and wreaths, so that the entire handrail can be manufactured as one part. The CS wreath is separated in manageable sections and processed on the machine. The transition parts can be manufactured as one part.

Machine Table Arrangement for CS Wreaths

It is now possible to mill several CS wreaths at the same time via machine table arrangement. Several blocks can be fixated on the table and processed at the same time. This work process results in less tool changes and longer CNC-processes on the machine. There are no limitations on how many wreaths can be processed at the same time, except the limitations of the machine table and clamping devices itself.

This way it is possible to process an entire handrail with only one CNC program. The CNC works with one tool on all parts before changing to the next step, which saves time, tool changes, and results in longer run times for the machine.

Saving of Time: Rabbet Cuts for Open Stringers

Compass Software makes it possible to mill rabbet cuts on open stringers much faster than before. When using this method, the rabbet cut is milled with a much bigger tool, however, the resulting messy cut is hidden by the tread surface and therefore does not pose a problem. Staircase builders can save more than 50% of their time using this method.

Staircase Construction with Augmented Reality

Almost everyone has heard of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) these days. Compass Software has already integrated VR glasses into the software for some time now. This technology makes it possible to present staircase designs virtually. The staircase, but also doors, windows, furniture, etc. can be displayed in the virtual reality.

However, the new trend is augmented reality! We utilize the Microsoft HoloLens to make the AR technology possible. When using the AR glasses, the user is able to see his or her real surroundings and at the same time it is possible to project virtual elements, e.g. staircases, into this reality. The AR glasses are an immense help for sales, since customers are able to see the virtual staircase in the actual room. Furthermore, the visualization helps to avoid construction mistakes at an early stage.

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The Exact Initial Calculation of Staircases Has Been Integrated

The initial calculation of staircases has been improved as a result of the cooperation with Anton Wagemeyer. The winding of most European standard staircases is now already calculated optimally at the initial calculation, so that the need for manual editing becomes obsolete. Additionally, an optimized version has been developed for the Dutch market, which deals with the winding of typically Dutch staircases. If users wish to make changes to the winding nonetheless, they still have the usual tools for editing of the winding available to them.

Integrated Laser Measurement for Everyone Thanks to Bosch and Compass Software

The staircase industry is getting more complex every day. Good staircase construction software is a must for any staircase builder who wants to manufacture modern and complex stairs. It becomes more and more crucial to work accurately, since a few fractions of an inch can sometimes already make a big difference.

The easiest way to transfer exact measurements to software is by using laser measurement systems, since the manual input of data is tedious and prone to making mistakes. However, such devices can be costly. This problem seems to have been solved thanks do the new and affordable Bosch Measurement Tool GLM 100 C. Compass Software Inc. has now integrated the measurement tool into their staircase construction software. The measurement tool can be connected to any Windows computer via Bluetooth. Once the device has been connected, it is initialized in the software. Any distance can be measured and automatically transferred to the staircase construction software. For example, stair builders are able to import in-situ concrete cores directly from the construction site. They only have to highlight the 1. tread and the Compass Software program then follows as the concrete tread is measured. Afterwards the program automatically jumps to the next tread. This makes the effort of measuring structural conditions minimal for stair builders. The process is simple, fast, and fail-safe. Even small woodshops will be able to work precisely by using the laser measurement technology from Bosch and Compass Software.

New Fittings for Suspension on Well

Starting with the new version, a new fitting for suspension on the well has been integrated. This fitting is used when a staircase's last or second to last tread from the exit is suspended from the ceiling. Suspensions like that require an especially strong bracket fitting. This fitting can now be constructed via the drilling patterns.

Next to the fittings themselves, we have also programmed the necessary changes in the well hole panelling. The fittings are mounted directly into the concrete and therefore have to go through the well hole panelling. Therefore, we had to make room for a slot or pocket in the panelling. This detail is now also possible in Compass.

Suspending Staircases below the Well

It is now possible to suspend staircases from the well. This makes the handrail at the exit obsolete. A well slat is installed on the well hole, which can hold the balusters. In turn the balusters support the last few treads of the staircase. Before this development the software only allowed for balusters to be embedded in handrails, but now they can also be constructed for the so called well slat. The same also works with glass.

Spiral Staircase without Newel

It is now possible to construct spiral staircases without newels. This was not possible before. Such a bolted staircase without newel has a steel handrail or similar construction in the center. The modern design can be used for small, narrow staircases, but also for big spiral staircases.

Automatic Matching of Bolts and Wall Materials

With the new version it is possible to define which bolts are to be matched with what kind of wall material. Users are able to enter in the predefintions which bolts are to be used automatically when entering a specific wall material. Using this process, stairbuilders don't have to position the bolts manually anymore, but the bolts change automatically when the properties of the wall are changed in the system.

Integration of Brackets on the Well

The new bracket for wells is used to mark-off the exit tread from the ceiling covering but is also used as a support for the balcony railing at the same time. The steel bracket is constructed around the well hole and is later hidden through the covering. The bracket helps to mark-off the borders for different floor coverings and finishes. Furthermore, it shows where the balcony railing is to be installed.

New Warning Message for Tread Measurements

Sometimes tread geometries have to fulfill certain measurements for some processes, otherwise they cannot be produced (e.g. because of machine sizes). Therefore, certain tread distances cannot be out of limit (exceed or fall short of). To aid this problem we have integrated a warning message, which goes off when the tread geometry (width, length of edges, properties of angles) does not fulfill the necessary measurements.

Rectangular Bolts

Previous version only allowed for round bolts as horizontal fittings. Now it is also possible to use bolts which are rectangular.

New Standard Part: Spacer with Hinge

Spacers with hinge are now possible as a connection between the post and the handrail. The spacer with hinge can be assigned automatically through the drilling patterns as soon as it is added as one.

Compass Software now integrates Virtual Reality Technology

The realistic experience of staircases and their actual premises is possible in Compass Software via virtual reality headset! This represents a new way of giving realistic presentations. Virtual reality technology enables your customers to experience their staircases on a completely new level. With virtual reality technology the actual effect of the staircase in its environment comes alive. It visualizes the staircase’s actual dimensions in the room and serves as a great help to customers who might not have a great sense of visualizing three dimensional spaces.

Users are directly integrated into the visualization which marks a unique form of presentation. They are able to stand in the middle of the room and look around as if they were on-site. A realistic digital "site inspection" is already possible during the construction phase. Therefore, the staircase can be experienced as if it were already built. Advantages and disadvantages of individual elements – shape, scale, winding details and so on – can be tested and experienced digitally. This leads to better purchase decisions and less complications during the further course of the project.

The operation of the VR headset is really simple: Start app, insert smart phone, interact through movements and gaze. Users are autonomous and are able to focus completely on enjoying the application.

Compass Software options 3D Plus and GammaRay version 18 are prerequisites for this feature, since the output of the staircase, or respectively the room, are realized via GammaRay technology.

New Extension for Free Form Pockets Integrated for Option External Staircase Plus

​The extension free form pockets enables users to import existing free form pockets in treads. Furthermore, it is possible to add pockets via the free form construction later. This extension has been automatically integrated into all updates including external staircase plus following version For more information on the functionality and how to operate this extension please read this manual: Extension Free Form Pockets.pdf

External Staircase is a module for reading in of external tread data (DFX import). The option makes it possible to import individual DXF tread data or to filter tread data from a complete DXF layout drawing. The imported tread data is integrated into Compass and the treads can then be used just like internally constructed treads.

The extension External Staircase Plus makes it possible to automate the reading in of DXF tread data. This automated mode is especially time-saving when importing large quantities and can also be used for the import of individual treads from external layout data. This option is included in the extension "free form pockets" available from version onwards.

Find more information on the options External Staircase and External Staircase Plus here: External Staircase Instruction Manual.pdf

If you would like to find out in more detail, please contact us anytime.

Upright Processing of Handrail Part Components

The processing of handrail parts (cappings, volutes, goosenecks, easings) is now fully integrated into the current CNC processor. As a result, it is possible to optimally customize the full range of settings for processing on the CNC machine and the respective graphical support is included.

LED CAD/CAM Light Solution

LED CAD/CAM Light Solution – makes it possible to place different lights (round, square, or rectangular) into the stringers. Fruthermore, there are light strips, which can be placed on treads (in front of the riser), below treads (below the tread protrusion), and below child protection bars.

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The respective paramenters are recorded through the predefintions (drilling patterns) and can be assigned during construction. Settings for cable grooves, cables going through, anf tranformer drillings can be changed during construction in the properties.

Photo-realistic 3D Visualization

Photo-realistic 3D Visualization - the professional high-end substitution for the prervious 3D solution. 3D models can be turned into high quality photos in the blink of an eye. The creation of realistic daylight illumination requires no special knowledge.

Windows 10

​Beginning with new version, it is now possible to use Compass Software with Windows 10. Furthermore, the software now supports 4k high definition monitors.