Steel detailing is often found on the cusp of innovation as designers are constantly looking to improve how they work, from creating faster drawings to delivering more complex designs. As the demand for new and exciting structures continues to grow, the need for even more innovation in this sector does as well.

These changes in how steel detailing is performed have expanded the duties of the steel detailer to best meet the needs of the industry. It’s now a crucial part of an established construction cycle that incorporates planning, design, fabrication and even managing on-site assets. Today, steel detailing encompasses a more accurate, complex and efficient way of working in steel construction.

This article is going to look at the various innovations that have helped elevate steel detailing into a more advanced service for the construction industry.

The evolution of steel detailing

Steel detailing has always been an important part of the development of structures when using steel. From its inception, steel detailing relied on drafting tools to get the job done, which included drafting machinery, pencils and paper. There were a lot more manual calculations in the early days of steel detailing, which led to an increased risk of errors.

Over time, the steel detailing industry evolved to hand-held calculators and hand-drafting was replaced by computer-aided drafting tools (CAD). CAD empowered steel detailers with the ability to create 3D representations of their concepts and drawings, making it easier across the board.

3D modelling is an evolution in steel detailing that has helped create more sustainable and complex projects. Software such as Tekla has been put to great use by steel detailers to create incredible 3D models, making it easier to understand the intricacies of a project.

Below, we’re going to outline some of the recent innovations that steel detailers have added to their repertoire.

3D building information modelling (BIM) technology

BIM offers an information-laden model for steel detailers to use. It can be used to extract and compile 2D models easily and holds a range of benefits that makes a steel detailer’s job easier. Some of these benefits include:

• Easier collaboration across disciplines and departments: BIM allows architects, detailers, fabricators and other departments to share model data seamlessly.
• Streamlined modification of designs for projects.
• Notable reduction in errors and mistakes.
• Complex projects can be completed and incorporate various structures, shapes and sizes easily.

Nesting software

Nesting software makes the steel detailing process much easier by fitting various manufactured parts onto raw materials directly. The software can identify the most efficient patterns by creating sheets that include flat patterns of manufacturing parts. It has proven to be incredibly useful in a number of areas including:

• Fast, effective cutting paths for parts
• Waste reduction of raw materials
• Creating NC files that can be used for cutting materials via CNC machines.

CNC machines

Computer and numerical controller (CNC) machining has been incredibly useful in the manufacture of all types of components and parts for steel detailers. A CNC machine can identify the movement of various machinery using software, which it can then use to manufacture components. It’s useful for all sorts of components from roofing to anchor bolts.

If you’re interested in using some of these innovations for your next project, contact our specialists at Restoric Design today to see how we can help.

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