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Steel Detailing

SDLLC provides 3D structural modeling and steel detailing services for all sizes of construction projects requiring structural steel and miscellaneous steel. The most frequent and primary scope of services includes production of shop drawings and CNC data; 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM); connection design; project management; and checking.

SDLLC is an AISC Corporate Member compliant with AISC requirements and we consult closely with clients to ensure their detailing standards are met.

Today, most engineers use 3D analysis tools to design structures. In the traditional workflow, they then create 2D design drawings for the steel detailer, whose first step is to create a 3D model from those drawings. An alternative to this methodology is early detailing, or “design-assist” detailing. Most SDLLC projects utilize an early detailing methodology.

Early detailing works best when the engineer shares his 3D model with the detailer during the design phase. The engineer’s model will likely contain the building grids, levels, and primary structural steel framing members. SDLLC imports the engineer’s model into the 3D detailing software, SDS/2, to create the detailing model. This process allows much of the initial information to be imported instead of input by the detailer, saving time and eliminating potential mistakes. The imported model is still thoroughly back-checked against the engineer model/drawings.

SDLLC then works directly with the engineer throughout the rest of the design phase to resolve any design issues before Construction Documents are submitted. This greatly reduces the number of construction-related RFI’s later in the project because the engineer can incorporate any necessary changes before issuing the structural model and drawings. In large-scale construction there will always be changes and adjustments to initial plans. Our attitude is to expect and accept last minute and sometimes difficult or obscure requests from our customers. Our staff is very receptive to the needs of clients and work tirelessly to ensure that client expectations are met and exceeded.

With the early detailing approach, the end result is a more coordinated set of design documents and a detailing model that is near-ready when CD’s are issued. In many cases, the detail drawings and material reports are available at the bid stage, which minimizes risk for the fabricator and allows them to order material and start fabrication as soon as the contract is awarded.

For more information on the relationship between the structural engineer’s model and the detailer’s model, see related sections BIM Coordination & Consulting and Structural Engineering Consulting.

SDLLC has successfully collaborated with engineering and architectural companies throughout the country to complete many early detailing projects of varying architectural complexity and size. Notable projects include Gateway Medical Center (Clarksville, TN), Presbyterian Hospital of Denton (Denton, TX), and Mission Trails Hospital (San Antonio, TX).

SDLLC utilizes SDS/2 for most steel detailing projects, as it is one of the most powerful steel detailing programs in the industry. Not only can it handle almost any geometric configuration, it has the flexibility for user overrides and graphical changes in the model. The model is data-rich with member and connection information, and can also handle the newer 4th and 5th dimensions of model data – time/schedule and cost.

Our detailers and checkers are some of the most knowledgeable in the industry. In fact, Operations Manager Brian Cobb earned Design Data’s Connectors Club Award in 2010, given annually to the user who has exhibited “outstanding service and dedication to the SDS/2 users’ group”. This award is voted on by both the users’ group and the software developers, and it is one of the most prestigious awards in the industry.

We have in-house programmers who develop parametric software that can be used in the detailing model. In order to ensure company-wide technical expertise and maximum productivity, SDLLC has a variety of in-house detailing and checking “committees” which serve as continuing education and training. These committees are charged with developing best-practice procedures, new aids or shortcuts, guides for changes in updated software versions, and other advancements related to the software or the industry in general. We then have monthly meetings where the findings of each committee are presented to the staff to ensure consistent quality in the modeling and review practices for all projects.