Structural Steel Detailing is an accuracy oriented part of structural engineering which primarily deals with the creation of detailed drawings for fabricators and contractors. It helps in creating detailed design plans, structural drawings, and a variety of construction documents for the production and erection of steel members.
There are two types of drawings used in the entire structural detailing process- Fabrication drawing and erection drawing. While fabrication drawing defines each member placement and material specifications, erection drawing is used to generate CAD blueprints detailing location and design of fabricated steel erectors.
Earlier structural steel detailing was done manually using pencils, paper and drafting tools like parallel bar or drafting machine, triangles, templates of circles and other useful shapes, and mathematical tables, such as tables of logarithms and other useful calculational aids but with the advent of technology, computer aided drafting (CAD) replaced the traditional methods.
A steel detailer uses specifically designed softwares to create drawings for steel fabricators and steel erectors including that of columns, beams, braces, trusses, stairs, handrails, joists, metal decking used in the construction of buildings, bridges, industrial plants and non-building structures. These drawings are then printed on paper.
Steel detailers now extensively depend on 3D modeling techniques to provide a better visualization of steel structures being detailed. After creating a 3D model for steel members, all other drawings are produced automatically.3-D modeling systems include X-Steel, Intergraph, Modeldraft/Frameworks Plus, AutoCAD, and Microstation.
A detailer must be proficient in the use of computers and comprehension of the particular CAD software he will utilize to produce the drawings.A small mistake in the drawing costs huge in terms of money.
The widespread usage of CAD technologies and 3D software has improved the quality, speed and accuracy of structural steel detailing.The techniques used in steel detailing produce drawings with high quality and precision.
Structural steel detailing is an essential component of public, commercial and industrial constructions and is used to detail everything from industrial structures to residential and shopping complexes. Apart from building construction steel detailing services are required for the construction of various other structures.