What is Steel Drafting and Detailing?
Any structure built using steel relies heavily on the work of steel drafters and detailers, as their role has a direct impact on not just how that structure will look and function, but also how the steel itself is fabricated and installed. Here we take a closer look at what steel drafting and detailing is all about and where it fits in with steel fabrication.
Any structure built using steel relies heavily on the work of steel drafters and detailers, but what is steel drafting and detailing?
Technical drawing at its best
The main job of steel drafters and detailers is to consult the architectural and engineering drawings relating to a project, interpret what they mean, then create their own unique drawings that relate to the steel components required. These remarkable drawings include the location and specifications of every steel component in the entire structure and total accuracy is essential. While drafters and detailers will be called upon to produce a wide array of sketches and drawings, the majority of their work involves creating shop drawings and erection drawings.
Also known as detail drawings, shop drawings are created for the benefit of the steel fabricator and contain the specifications relating to every steel component that needs to be fabricated, such as the steel beams, braces, joists, trusses and columns. Shop drawings typically include material and surface specs, component dimensions, as well as details relating to welding, painting and bolting.
These extremely detailed drawings are created for the benefit of those who will be erecting or installing the fabricated steel components. The details include the exact location of every steel component that will be part of the overall structure as well as instructions for how they should be installed. The quality and accuracy of erection drawings plays a huge role in ensuring that a project runs smoothly.
Software advancements have revolutionised steel detailing over the past few years, making it fast and easy to create accurate drawings in 3D. As a result, drafters and detailers now use 3D drawings for everything from shop drawings and erection plans through to full scale templates of intricate layouts. Not only does this make it easier to visualise components and understand their role in the overall structure, but it can make spotting potential problems easier as well. 3D isometric drawings can be particularly useful when dealing with complex connections, such as column/beam splices, as well as make responding to Requests for Information (RFIs) quick and easy.
Another important part of the job involves creating a Bill of Materials (BoM), which is a comprehensive record of the raw materials, supplies and sub-assemblies required for constructing all those steel components. Apart from making it easy to monitor the volume of material required, and therefore its cost, the BoM can also include an estimate of the amount of scrap expected making it easier to maximise efficiency.
Here at Steel Fabrication Services we work closely with a team of highly skilled steel drafters and detailers, ensuring that every element of a project from planning to production to installation is 100% accurate. If you are in need of quality steel fabrication services, contact us today!