Structural design and drafting is the one discipline that must prepare documentation for a number of end-uses – designers that model the structural support required to fulfill the architect’s vision; detailed structural drafting to create view-specific design details; shop drawings for steel fabrication details; and field erection drawings for construction guidance.
Each of the four drawing sets is required to provide an engineered solution to the architectural or construction process. And each set must present a clear graphical view along with adequate data that specifically explains the structure’s design, guides the fabrication shop’s machining and assembly efforts, or directs the step-by-step process of field erection.
Challenges to Structural Drafting
Not surprising, the structural drafting portions of projects can be one of the most time-intensive and manpower-demanding disciplines in the entire engineering and construction process. While there exists a multitude of structural standards that can be used repeatedly, such as connection details, anchor bolt patterns, etc. – there will still be a hefty amount of project specific structural documentation required.
Challenges exist in the drafting that is required to generate a large amount of design/details; task challenges specific to one of the four end-usage requirements are plentiful:
- increased human error resulting from the confusion presented by many details – especially when standard drafting protocols are not meticulously applied.
- documenting changes which may occur after the 3D structural model has been released.
- balancing time and effort – of which both are critical to maintaining a high degree of accuracy.
- distinguishing between the specific information required for shop drawings versus erection details.
Complex projects offer the greater challenge to the efficient use of time, costs, and manpower. Revit structural drafting services can play a tremendous role in confronting and overcoming the high demands and staff burden of producing design details, shop drawings, and structural steel erection drawings.
The Benefits of Revit Structural Software
The Revit advanced steel software has a full line of features designed to support end-to-end structural design and drafting needs; from concept to design modeling – from detailed drafting to shop fabrication, for both steel and concrete construction.
- ready-to-use steel connections, along with placement of stiffeners, slotted holes, shim plates, etc.
- automatic code checking of connections per American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) standards
- automated drafting of folded plate elements and sheet metal steel work
- two way link between the master architectural model and Revit Steel
- automatic creation of CNC fabrication data and steel shop information
- structural floor and metal deck productivity features
Revit has managed to streamline the entire structural steel drafting process, from 3D modeling to steel fabrication drafting. Of great benefit when drafting structural steel drawings is the software’s ability to apply varying levels of detail and keeping track of the amount of descriptive data required for steel components or assemblies. While a purchased component may only require cost information, a higher level of detail is automatically attached to piece work which requires shop fabrication or CNC – such as dimensional data, material and finish, and CNC routing code.
Applications of Revit Structural Drafting Services
3D Modeling – A true 3D model designed in Revit can function concurrently for structural analysis, engineering and design, and both steel and concrete detailing – from concept to fabrication to installation. Structural drafters are used to create a physical 3D model. The end result is a three-dimensional model that can be used for further documentation, systems coordination, and advanced BIM projects. Revit models feature a higher level of accuracy and reliability for fabrication and erection purposes.
Partnering with Revit structural drafting services to build a 3D Revit model will assist in-house structural engineers by supplying a model that will reduce the time-intensive job of analyzing steel structures – using a software that has the computing power to support calculations of load effects, stress and static analysis, and overall stability checks. Even steel-to-steel connections that present a challenge can be modeled separately to develop the level of detail required by engineers for analysis.
Steel Layout and Detail Drafting – From heavy-duty header beams to light gage stud walls Revit drafters excel at producing detailed steel design and construction documentation. Partner with a 2D structural detail drafting service experienced in providing the following detailed documentation:
- Steel component detailing
- Connection details
- Framing plans
- Construction documents
- Structural shop drawings
- Joist Detailing
- Fabrication shop drawings
- Framing Blueprints
- Sheet metal layouts
- Post tension Detailing
- Rebar Detailing
- Sheet Metal Drawings
- Grating Layouts
- Beam and Column to Slab Connection Drawings
- Joist and Deck Detailing
It has been demonstrated that relieving in-house designers and engineers from steel drafting duties can save companies time and money on project costs. Structural drafters are experienced in handling the heavy drafting loads common in structural engineering projects – projects where time equals money, adherence to standards increases speed, and dimensional accuracy reduces in-field errors.
Structural steel drafting can be demanding, which is why drafters have developed methods to increase efficiency while using the best methods to show the most information. Creating clear representations of complex connections and assemblies that adhere to industry standard practices results in a complete set of structural steel documentation that is ready to proceed to fabrication and construction.
Creating Steel Shop Drawings With Revit
Steel project design drawings are often used for contractors to base the bid for construction projects because these drawings will show both the material and dimensional requirements of each steel piece or assembly. But, they tend to be generic and not show slight variations between similar pieces. Shop drawings are required for the fabrication shop and sometimes to provide the necessary information for field erection sequencing. Work with an outsourced engineering firm that can not only produce steel layout and detail drafting but shop or fabrication drawings also.
Revit is uniquely designed to assist in piece mark designations for shop drawings in which each element is uniquely labeled to assist in the erection process. Shop drawings will also require specific material information such as the grade of steel, fastener specifications, cleaning and coating requirements, and any pre-construction testing required. Additionally, detailed geometry for each member is necessary to ensure quality structural fabrication which will meet the engineer’s critical load requirements.
Additionally, an advanced bill of material is required for steel purchasing. The detailed quantity takeoffs will show the amount, sizes, and thickness of raw material required to fabricate each steel member. A steel structure can have 300,000 individual pieces, and it is up to an experienced drafting team to ensure each piece is properly marked and listed on the bill of material. Additional information for drilling, cutting, welding, bending, shearing, and grinding are all requisite information for a properly drafted shop drawing. The number of drawings in one structural steel project can total in the thousands.
Revit software is equipped with specific tools to address all these steel shop documentation needs – and also rebar and precast concrete detail drafting. Preparing the technical documentation for shop fabrication and site erection of steel structures can be a time consuming task. But Revit assists drafters with the ability to automatically generate elevations and section, complete with descriptions and dimensions.
A benefit in partnering with a Revit drafting service for your steel documentation needs is the fact that these drafters are well acquainted the tools which increase productivity, saves time, and will meet your scheduling deadlines.