The Computer-Aided Design, or CAD, market was worth 5.5 billion US dollars globally in 2018 and is forecast to reach 13.83 billion dollars by 2028. This massive industry is full to the brim with providers offering different software and services to meet every designer’s need. However, which is the best CAD software for the steel detailing industry? We’re going to take a look at the different CAD software used in the industry and examine the functions for each.
For steel detailing, Tekla CAD software is the go-to resource. Developed by structural engineers at Trimble and ideal for commercial buildings, this CAD software can see designs right through from their concept to finalisation. Key features include its fabrication module, where users can estimate material quantity take-offs by extracting drawings and its integration with other Building Information Modelling (BIM) systems such as Revit. Tekla makes an excellent centre for design work, helping clients to manage, project, and map the critical components of a project.
At Restoric Design, we use Tekla in the fabrication industry for steel detailing, making 3D CAD models for the general assembly of staircases, balustrades, and portal frames, as well as other components.
Providing an architectural toolkit, AutoCAD helps professional engineers and architects create 2D and 3D drawings with accuracy. As one of the first CAD programs that launched on PCs, Autodesk Inc provides industry-specific toolkits to help suit specialised business needs.
Compared to Tekla, it has limited capabilities in the steel detailing and drafting industries. At Restoric Design, we only use AutoCAD for our 2D designs for drawings detailing mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) components in a building. It is also useful for converting paper drawings to CAD models. The MEP and plant feature of Autodesk’s software helps turn those drawings for piping and ducting into a 3D model.
Revit CAD designs are an essential part of structural steel drawings, offering a multidisciplinary BIM platform for higher-quality designs. Modelling shafts is much easier on Revit compared to software like AutoCAD, making it an attractive choice for steel detailing. It creates an intelligent model, allowing you to store additional information about the build as well as its geometric shapes.
However, Revit is also known for its complicated interface and expensive licensing costs, making it inaccessible to many businesses. Restoric Design has Revit trained CAD Technicians and holds licences, allowing us to offer Revit CAD Services remotely or on-site.
Autodesk specifically designed their Advance Steel software for steel detailing, fabrication, design, and construction. It automates repetitive design tasks using its Dynamo Extension tool and offers a library of parametric steel connections to accelerate design. Advanced Steel can use a bi-directional link between itself and Revit, aiding collaboration on a single 3D model, saving time for businesses.
Created by Dassault Systems, Solidworks is the best for 2D to 3D CAD conversion. In terms of steel detailing, this can be a great way to begin turning an architect’s paper drawings into a workable 3D CAD design. Their interface is known for its uncomplicated interface, but similarly has a significant upfront cost that can leave businesses out of pocket.
Restoric Design can help
If you’re looking for expert CAD modelling and steel detailing services for your business, Restoric Design Limited can help. We use all of the CAD software listed in this post and specialise in steel detailing for both architectural and structural steel. Based in the UK and with over 600 projects to date, we offer high-quality services and excellent communication with clients. Get in touch today to find out more via our website.