The constant development of technology has impacted all facets of our day-to-day lives, but the industry that has perhaps benefitted most from this has been the construction industry. Many aspects of construction and engineering have become more streamlined thanks to the capabilities of automated processes and computer-aided design (CAD). Today, we’ll be running through how CAD has particularly changed steel detailing.
How computer-aided design has changed steel detailing
Steel detailing is a major component of many engineering projects, aiding precision when it comes to the use of steel components, such as beams and platforms, which are essential to the structural integrity of a building. It allows fabrication and shop drawings to be made so that the structure can then be easily constructed. CAD led to significant advancements in steel detailing which meant that it became much easier to create fabrication drawings and reduced the need for extra workers in the planning process of construction. The key benefits of this are listed below:
Before steel detailing was modernised using technology, it was implemented like most things in construction – by hand. Pencil drawings were made on paper to create steel designs which took a lot of time, and even the smallest error resulted in lengthy changes or having to start again. This often required the collaborative work of both an architect and an engineer, with both aesthetics and functionality difficult to integrate at the same time.
With CAD, the design process is integrated with simulated calculations which means that engineering is at the heart without the need for two separate processes to take place. Designers can now work with simulated 3D models on modern CAM systems which makes bringing them to life so much easier than attempting to apply 2D drawings.
The technology used with CAD ensures the full mathematical accuracy of any steel detailing. No matter how well-versed a designer is, there is always the potential for human error when it comes to manually calculating measurements, and CAD eliminates this completely.
In addition, the use of 3D imaging means that it is far easier for builders to see the end goal and achieve it, with transparent instructions, rather than trying to interpret a 2D image that may lead to mistakes.
From shop drawings and erection drawings to steel connection calculations, CAD can carry out and verify all of the processes from start to finish and ensure full accuracy.
Of course, with increased accuracy comes increased safety. CAD also comes with the ability to predict forces, which can then spot potential weak points in the structure before being strengthened in the design stage before the damage occurs. It also applies the type of steel connector used and ensures that the structure will be able to withstand desired loads.
Although CAD is a costly investment for any business, the efficiency that it brings to the steel detailing process makes it worthwhile and cost-effective. Saving time means that productivity is increased, so more operations can take place and profits will soar. Increased accuracy means that less money is needed to be spent on other features or employees to achieve the same result. All the while, with computer automated calculations, the margin for error is lower, meaning less money is spent on correcting avoidable mistakes or starting again. With increased safety comes improved customer satisfaction rates and ensuring you are compliant with regulations, thus gaining you an improved reputation overall.
CAD has changed steel detailing for the better. Restoric Design Limited’s team of CAD technicians can help you produce an array of CAD drawings and models, including steel detailing so that you can reap these benefits. Call 01462 514 300 today to talk to our team and begin your CAD journey.