The drafting process known as steel detailing involves moving from the structural engineers’ drawings (or sometimes, architects’ drawings) to a 3D CAD model. The software employed to produce this technical model is specialist in nature: Tekla is a good example. In order to get a clear, accurate set of drawings that will form the basis of the steelwork fabrication, the CAD technician needs a set of software that will be flexible throughout the whole process. That means that the first thing to research is what software the steel detailing company uses!

Take note of the software when choosing a company:

Whether you are a new business, looking to build future relationships in the steel industry, or regularly use a steel detailing service, it is always worth taking a look at how to choose a reliable company. The software package for that the company uses to produce the CAD models is an important place to start. Each big name has its benefits and difficulties. It is important though, to make sure that your steel detailing company uses software that manages changes in the 3D modelling stage smoothly. Since this will save you lots of time and heartache.

Ensure staff work well together to get the best out of your 3D drawings:

It is also a must that the steel detailing company ensures varied staff work well together. In order to produce timely and accurate drawings, steel detailers need to work closely with fabricators, architects, structural engineers and installers. It is therefore essential that you find a steel detailing company that prioritises good working relationships between professionals. As in any job, it will become very clear to customers if staff within a team are not communicating well with each other. Be sure to research the working practices of the company before you commit to a project with them. It is also a good idea to phone ahead and have a chat, perhaps even a skype. How the team talk to you, as the customer, will give you a good idea of how they communicate with one another.

Insist on good communication if you want your project to succeed:

Make sure you lookout for a company that will keep you informed every step of the way. Accidents and mistakes are often inevitable, but they can be picked up on early if there is good communication between the client and the company. One way to check up on this is to take a look around the steel detailing company’s website. It’s a good sign if teamwork is mentioned often! It’s even better if the various job-roles in the process are all given credit since this shows that the team respect one another and work well together.

Research the full range to find a company who can meet all your needs:

Projects often meet obstacles along the way, both small and large. If you choose a great company, this doesn’t have to spell disaster for your project. Take a look at the company you have chosen to provide you with steel detailing and ask what other services they offer. Often a company will provide the full range of detailing services (from portal frames through to floors and platforms), but also a variety of other services, like ‘part-time CAD service’. This is a good sign, as it means that the company is large enough and established enough to help you find cheap solutions should you encounter any problems.


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