Steel detailing is a complex and multi-step process which is necessary whenever something complex is due to be made of steel; this includes construction elements of buildings, bridges, lifts, and other structures which contain steel aspects.

The first stage of the steel detailing process involves an architect or engineer presenting ideas to a steel detailer which must then be detailed. These are usually presented as simple design drawings, and it’s then the steel detailer’s job to turn them into something usable.

Shop drawings

The first stage of the steel detailer’s work is to create shop drawings. These will be based on the original design drawings, but will also include details relating to the precise specifications of each steel element of the design. These details can include sizes, materials, dimensions, preparations, bolting, welding, painting, as well as manufacturing conventions and special fabricating guidelines.

The steel detailer expands upon the original drawings, creating a blueprint from which a steel structure can successfully be created with little room for error or ambiguity. After this stage, these drawings can be turned over to the steel fabricator, who can use the shop drawings to produce steel members.

Erection drawings

The next stage of the steel detailer’s job is to create erection drawings; these will be used in the field to determine how and where to erect steel members. Erection drawings will include the sizes and dimensions of steel pieces, which should make it clear to erectors which pieces are being referenced in the drawings, as well as drawings to identify where all additional steelwork will be needed during the erection process. This includes welding and bolting.

These drawings are used in the field by steel erectors, and once the steel pieces have been erected into place securely, the steel detailer’s work is complete.

Other responsibilities of a steel detailer

During this process, steel detailers work closely with architects and engineers to ensure that the drawings they produce meet the requirements and specification of the project. This means working alongside industry standards to ensure that national standards are met, as well as communicating regularly with the lead engineer or architect before passing drawings on to fabricators and erectors.

On many occasions, steel detailers may need to request more information from the design team to ensure that the details they need to complete an accurate and comprehensive drawing are in place, and steel detailers may also pass their work on to other detailers to check for quality and consistency.

How do steel detailers work?

Steel detailing has been an important part of construction design for decades, but the precise nature of the work has changed in recent years. Historically, steel detailing has all been done with pencil and paper, or with drafters and drafting machines. More recently, Computer-Aided Design (CAD) has made the steel detailer’s job slightly easier.

CAD software like Tekla makes it easier to produce accurate, clear shop drawings and erection drawings, which bring down the cost of steel detailing and also ensure that drawings are easy to follow and standardised for steel fabricators and erectors.

Get in touch with us

At Restoric Design, we offer professional steel detailing services for many industries and applications. We work with both 2D CAD drawings and 3D CAD models to offer the best service for any given project. We work closely with all of our clients to ensure that we understand their needs before getting started. Get the ball rolling and give us a call today; we’re always happy to discuss new projects and ideas.

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