Gone are the days of relegating every important decision to paper blueprints – this has been almost entirely replaced by Computer Aided Design, using software to create detailed and intricate plans for any job. It isn’t enough to say that CAD has helped the process of steel detailing: it quite literally added another dimension.

Whether your project needs to be in 2D or 3D can be a tricky question to answer. Most software has options for either, but it will usually depend on the needs of your job – and these factors can be key in your decision.

1. Consistency

Even when using CAD, a two-dimensional drawing is an attempt to condense a three-dimensional object into that format. As the project itself will be three-dimensional, this just means you will have to expand it into three dimensions again.

This can be a bit of a hassle because you will constantly be needing to adjust your thinking. By keeping it all in three dimension, you will only ever be looking at the drawing in its most accurate form – this makes it easier for everyone else to read it as a complete model and helps avoid the mistakes that emerge by misinterpreting a 2D drawing.

2. Corrections

3D CAD software easily accommodates any alterations in your design by applying all of the necessary corrections and fixes to its other components. Rather than needing to redraw any number of lines to reflect a tiny design change, the model is simply updated, which saves a lot of time.

Similarly, the enhanced visualisation of 3D CAD gives you a great simulation of the work ahead, so you know if and how every component can fit to get the right results. If it doesn’t all come together, then you will have a clearer picture using 3D CAD and can more easily make the changes you need.

3. Competition

In terms of the market, more people are employing 3D CAD as a way to remain competitive and embrace the new techniques that have emerged in recent decades – a similar effect can be observed in the hiring process.

While 3D CAD is becoming more user-friendly every day, it naturally requires more skills and technical knowledge than its 2D equivalent. This helps to ensure that the people you have for the job know their craft and can get the job done on any plane, in any dimension.

4. Cost

With 3D CAD, companies can typically notice an increase in productivity and work efficiency – this could save a project or business thousands upon thousands of pounds. A lot of this is down to the aforementioned ability of 3D CAD to easily correct mistakes; these could easily blossom into a maelstrom of avoidable fees otherwise.

By employing 3D CAD, you can have a clear picture of everything that the project entails, and make all of your choices around it – you will rely less on physical prototyping or tooling because of this knowledge, and this can help you avoid further costs.

At Restoric Design, we acknowledge that 2D and 3D each serve vital roles. This is why we use either depending on the exact part of the process. For example, we mainly use 2D CAD for our drafts and detailing MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing) components.

That being said, we focus on 3D CAD for almost all of our other steel detailing uses; the benefits cannot be overstated and the boost in efficiency is undeniable. For your CAD and steel detailing needs, get in touch with Restoric Design and we will do all we can to help your project shine.

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