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Why Steel Detailing Companies are Important

by Alpesh Patel, from CAD Outsourcing Services, on Jul 9
Steel detailing companies are critically important for building and infrastructure construction industry. Structural steel detailing service providers deliver steel structural frames and 3D models using Tekla for construction and infrastructure.
Steel detailing modeling

Steel detailing companies are critically important for building and infrastructure construction industry. Structural steel detailing service providers deliver steel structural frames and 3D models using Tekla for building construction and infrastructure development.
Steel detailers transform design drawings or design drafts, into meticulous diagrams for every single steel component, roofs joints, trusses, etc. Steel detailing companies also develop 2D fabrication drawings for steel fabrication to provide strength to critical members of the construction work. Furthermore, detailing drawings are prepared for steel members such as beams, columns, braces, stairs/staircases, ladders, handrails, metal decking and joists.

Shop Drawings

Drawings of steel pieces prepared by steel detailing companies known as shop drawings are required to accurately identify precise specifications for fabricating each steel member or steel piece. Steel fabricators use shop drawings or so called detail drawings as reference to produce these steel members.

A typical shop drawing of any steel member, by a steel detailing service company, inevitably includes:

  • Bolting
  • Manufacturing conventions
  • Material specification
  • Painting requirements
  • Required dimensions
  • Size and standards
  • Surface preparation
  • Welding
  • Special fabricating instructions

The next step in the steel detailing process, once the steel fabricator has produced the steel members, erection drawings produced by steel detailers walk into the picture. These second set of drawings – erection drawings – provided steel detailers, essentially help in appropriate installation of structural steel frame work.

Erection Drawings

Steel erectors on construction site are the ones who refer these erection drawings prepared by steel detailing companies. It makes them understand where to build and which fabricated steel pieces to use. Erection drawings are critically important as they help erectors to identify steel members, and work required on site such as welding, bolting and also installing masonry anchors. This is the reason they are also known as dimensional plans.

A typical process of steel detailing, roles and responsibilities of expert steel detailers onboard the best steel detailing company would include:

  • Presenting initial shop drawing & erection drawing to structural engineers and architects for evaluation. On approval, these drawings are released to fabricators for initiating the fabrication works.
  • If the structural drawings have inadequate information, steel detailers have to make revisions, till the time they are sanctioned by structural engineers.
  • Steel detailers, if not satisfied or find the details for revisions irrelevant, and/or stops them from completing the drawings; raise an RFI – request for information to structural engineers and architects – before continuing.
  • Getting the drawings evaluated by another steel detailer or “checker” for completeness and accuracy.
  • Monitor changes across the drawing creation process, identifying revisions by assigning letter codes in the revision block.
  • Resolving comments received from the approval process.
  • Observes design drawing parameters and with industry standards like those of the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the American Welding Society (AWS) and many more accepted internationally.

Hire steel detailing company expert:

CAD has successfully replaced manual drafting for most of the activities on steel detailing. Detailers use CAD to generate drawings on the computer, with Tekla software especially designed for this purpose. For this, detailers are required to be proficient at using Tekla software.

It essentially helps the detailers and structural design stakeholders across enlisted areas:

  • Create information rich models of materials and structures, helpful in making informed decisions across the project.
  • Seamless coordination amongst structural engineers, architects, and fabrication teams
  • Improved project understanding and 3D visualizations
  • Get appropriate BOQs to communicate with the steel fabricators 

Other benefits of outsourcing steel detailing company

One value addition that outsourced steel detailing companies offer is that they have gained expertise at working with 3D modeling backed by their long standing and dedicated experience in the field. The process of creating or developing shop drawings and erection drawings is completely different from the one of two-dimensional drafting. Here, 3D modelers build the project in 3 dimensions even before the producing shop drawings from the model.

These drawings when translated to CNC file formats can be used directly to start working on drilling and cutting steel parts, and every single part is fixed with a part number and plate location too. AutoCAD and Tekla X-steel are the frontrunners when it comes to 3D modeling systems.

Final word

Steel detailing companies play an extremely crucial role in the construction steel detailing process. They are a link between structural engineers, architects, general contractors, steel fabricators, steel erectors, CAD and CNC professionals and many more.

Feel free to send us your detail structural steel detailing requirements at

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