Endless Stairs

The Möbius strip is a common fixture in all types of designs, such as Endless Stairs.

This is a 2004 sculpture named “Umschreibung”, created by the visual art master Olafur Eliasson.

Today I want to explain how to use SketchUp to create an endless staircase.

  1. Draw three parallel circular lines, use the deformation frame distortion tool in the fredo plug-in library, and perform two 180-degree rotation distortions in the vertical Z-axis direction.

    FredoScale | SketchUcation

  2. Select a line in the middle, use BezierSpline, and convert it into a polyline with a fixed number of segments to ensure that the number of curve segments is uniform. The number of segments will also determine the width of the steps behind the stairs.
    Use the Extrude Line Tool plug-in to pull a surface upward, and use Fredo Joint Push Pull in the Joint Push Pull Interactive to push and pull the surface the same distance to both sides. In addition, the middle line should be retained to generate the steel beam at the bottom of the stairs.

    [Plugin] BezierSpline - v2.2a - 22 Apr 21 • sketchUcation • 1
    Extrude Tools
    Extrude Tools | SketchUcation
    Joint Push Pull Interactive
    Joint Push Pull Interactive | SketchUcation

  3. Re-extract the bottom face, right-click to smooth the curve, and pull the angle between the normals to the left to 0. Use S4U Select to select all horizontal lines as the center line of the stair treads. Select all extracted center lines for selective welding, and use S4U to Components to convert them into unified components.

    S4U Select
    S4U Select | SketchUcation
    S4U to Components
    S4U to Components [$] | SketchUcation

  4. Use the Extrude Line Tool to pull the lines on both sides up to the height of the railing.

  5. Complete all pedals in one go based on the components generated from the pedal center lines extracted in the previous step.

  6. Use Lines 2 Tubes to generate beams from the center line retained in step 2.

    Lines 2 Tubes
    Lines2Tubes | SketchUcation

  7. Complete other components on the stairs

  8. Use the same method as step 3 to reversely soften the surfaces on both sides to extract the vertical structural lines. Select the vertical structural lines and use S4U to Components.

  9. Use Lines 2 Tubes for components to complete the railing shape.

  10. Done


amazing. both the original concept and your ability to model it.