Steel fabricators are responsible for creating the bones of large construction projects, such as the steel frames needed to hold up a skyscraper. Their essential work helps make buildings safe and strong. They may also create other steel items needed for manufacturing projects in a variety of different fields.
Steel detailing is a related field critical to the process. Detailers create the roadmap for this creation process.
A steel detailer will take information from the architect to create drawings the steel fabricator can use to cut and weld the steel into the precise shapes needed. These drawings not only specify the framework itself, but also often shows how it can be installed for maximum efficiency and safety.
In the past, these drawings were created by hand using pencil and paper, but today modern Steel Detailer’s use CAD software to create digital representations of each project. The drawings are only printed after the drawing is complete.
Steel detailing services are a useful addition to any steel fabrication company. Their work not only helps steel fabricators determine how to make each individual piece to exact specifications, but also makes the construction of a project faster, safer, and with fewer errors.
There is a huge variety in standards depending on where in the world you’re building. Construction in Earthquake-prone areas, for example, have different standards than those that are more at risk from flooding or fires.
Because of the nature of fabrication, there can be next to zero errors in construction. Even a tiny flaw in a project can result in the project going from safe to hazardous. Steel detailing services can help with this, by taking the coding knowledge of the architect, and the integrity knowledge of the structural engineer.
Steel detailing services work as the hub between all the different types of knowledge needed by a fabricator to create beams, trusses, and other important pieces to a project.
Some steel fabricators keep a steel detailer on staff year-round, but for other companies, this isn’t practical. It may be cheaper, faster, and safer to hire a freelance steel detailer when needed for a project. Freelancers often specialize in the area the fabricator has need in, allowing them the advantage of years of experience without the payroll problems between projects.
Steel detailing services involve two major types of drawings. Shop drawings and erection drawings. Both of these are related to the business of fabrication, but have very different uses. Most fabrication companies will need both to complete a project.
Shop drawings are the first stage of steel detailing services. In this stage, steel detailers take a careful look at all the information available on a building and use it to gain a deep understanding of the building. They look for areas of weakness, the strength of the materials, coding laws, country laws, and every tiny detail until the project is fully understood.
They then use this knowledge to create a roadmap that details precise instructions for every piece of steel that goes into the building. The details that go into this are enormous. Every single part of the project is described in exact detail, including:
This is done for every single piece for the entire project, with no detail overlooked. The result is a clear understanding of how the entire framework should be built, with a margin of less than 1% error—ideally 0%.
Precise instructions are critical for steel frames because they do so much in many construction projects and are largely responsible for the safety and stability of the project. The shop drawings are a detailed blueprint for each individual piece of a project and have been designed to handle everything from the wind load requirements of the area it is intended for, to any seismic activity.
Careful planning that takes into account not just the stress caused by the weight of the building and everything that goes in it, but the site location as well, is critical to making the building safe. If there are critical errors in the creation of the framework, it could cause the building to be unsafe or even collapse.
Some fabricators only focus on the creation of the steel pieces needed, but others also help in the erection process. Putting the steel frame up can be as complicated as the creative process itself, and a piece can’t always be swapped for a similar one.
Erection drawings show in detail how each piece should be erected, and when. A roadmap on how to erect the drawings can save a lot of time and make things more efficient. A steel detailer can look at what machinery is needed, and calculate where to park the machinery so that the most can be done without having to move it.
By being more efficient with the placement of machinery as well as what needs to go up when the whole process can be done a lot faster and often save money as well.
The erection drawings also provide details about on-site construction that needs to be done with the steel members. This might include things like what needs to be bolted, welded, or anchored after the members have been made.
Since erection drawings are designed to be on-site, these usually won’t carry any details about the makeup of the pieces, just how they need to be used.
Choosing a high-quality steel detailer who can get the work done is important. Fabricators can’t afford to waste their time on a steel detailer prone to error, and too much is at stake to make a poor choice. That’s why it’s worth taking the time to evaluate a steel detailer thoroughly before deciding on whether they can provide the services you need or not.
A good steel detailer will have experience in the field, a deep knowledge of the codes and laws of the area they work in, as well as the software needed to create the drawings.
Cad Crowd is a trusted source for steel detailers. All structural engineers accepted onto the Cad Crowd team are carefully curated to make sure they have the relevant skills needed. They can handle any size project, from small manufacturing needs up to large-scale construction projects.
Steel detailers working for Cad Crowd have global experience and are comfortable working on projects all around the world. They are familiar with laws specific to the area you’re working in, from rules set down by various countries down to local ordinances. If you’re looking for a safe, reliable steel detailer, Cad Crowd has your needs covered.
At Cad Crowd, we have the privilege of working with hundreds of the best 3D modelers and manufacturing freelancers available. Our freelancers have experience working on projects for a range of high-profile clients, including Tiffany and Tupperware. Get a free quote today.