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Nuts & Bolts A Blog Dedicated to All Things SDS/2

The Nuts & bolts Blog serves the SDS/2 community by sharing information of interest to our users.
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MAR 24

2015 NASCC Conference Guide

The 2015 NASCC: The Steel Conference starts tomorrow at Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee. During the conference, we will be set up in booths 800 and 808. Learn about SDS/2 and stop by the BIM Easy Lounge to learn about our “Keys to Making BIM Easy” seminars. 

The exhibit hall is open from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. 

Conference attendees who wear an SDS/2 sticker could be selected to win a $100 gift card. Tweet what you learned from attending one of the SDS/2 customer presentations listed below and you could win a swag bag with a tumbler, charger and folio. 


Several Design Data customers and partners will lead or participate in sessions during the conference. Here’s a list of when they will be speaking. 

Wednesday, March 25

N47: What Is the NISD? 

  • 3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m., Room 209C
  • Speakers include: Fred Tinker of Pacific Drafting, Inc., and David Merrifield of SteelFab Texas

T4: Will Technology Change Our Business Models? Part 1: Identifying the Challenges 

  • 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., Room 205C
  • Speakers include: Brian Cobb of Structural Detailing, LLC; Doug Fitzpatrick of Fitzpatrick Engineering Group; and Mark Holland Paxton & Vierling Steel

Thursday, March 26 

T5: Will Technology Change Our Business Models? Part 2: Debating the Solutions 

  • 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., Room 205C 
  • Speakers include: Brian Cobb of Structural Detailing, LLC; Doug Fitzpatrick of Fitzpatrick Engineering Group; and Mark Holland Paxton & Vierling Steel

T3: State of Technology 

  • 3 p.m. – 4 p.m., Room 205C
  • Speakers include: Brian Cobb of Structural Detailing, LLC, and Luis Torres of The Steel Detailers, Inc. 

Q5: Stats + Quality = Increased Overall Production 

  • 3 p.m. – 4 p.m., Room 206AB
  • Speakers include: Lawrence Kruth, Douglas Steel Fabricating Corp. 

Friday, March 27

Q9: Demystifying Chapter N and the Building Code – What Every Fabricator and Erector Needs to Know 

  • 10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m., Room 206AB 
  • Speakers include: Lawrence Kruth, Douglas Steel Fabricating Corp.

N10a and N10b: Working with Large Trusses 

  • 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. in Room 202AB and 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. in Room 207AB
  • Speakers include: Sylvie Boulanger, Supermétal
MAR 20

Industry News Roundup: March 20

This week’s news resources: 

Developers say Tricentennial Tower will be the largest observation attraction in the Southern Gulf region. Read more in Building Design+Construction magazine

The Steel Joist Institute has released an updated version of one of its technical digests. Read about the digest, which concerns floor vibrations, in an article in Modern Steel. 

An expansion and restoration project has begun at Wrigley Field. Read about the changes in Modern Steel

In case you missed our latest blog post: 

Design Data will host live seminars to introducer users to SDS/2 2015 starting next month. Read about the seminars in our previous blog. 

MAR 18

SDS/2 2015 Seminars Starting Soon

Design Data is hosting live seminars around the country to introduce users to SDS/2 2015. 

The past 14 years, Design Data has held new release seminars to give users productive insights into new and improved features. 

Due to the wide-ranging depth of SDS/2, some users may not be using the software to its full potential. Users will see new features and new ways to increase productivity with SDS/2 at the seminars.

The seminars start in April and run until June. Six will be held across the country. 

Seminars will held in: 

Detroit, Michigan – April 14

Atlanta, Georgia – April 16

Salt Lake City, Utah – April 23

Kansas City, Missouri – May 7

Dallas, Texas – May 14

Boston, Massachusetts – June 25

The seminars are open to anyone who wants to learn more about the software. It costs $25 per person for the first five attendees for each company. There is no charge for additional attendees. 

The seminars begin at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. 

Read more about the seminars, and other SDS/2 news, in the March 2015 issue of The Connector

Details about the date and location of the seminars are available on the SDS/2 website. Register online here

MAR 13

Industry News Roundup: March 13

This week’s news resources: 

The American Institute of Steel Construction is holding a free webinar called “The Case of the Disappearing Right Angle: Innovation in Architectural Steel.” Read an article in Modern Steel to learn how to register. 

Metal building systems are on the rise. Read why in an article on Building Design+Construction magazine

The American Institute of Steel Construction is accepting public comments on a draft of the 2016 Specification for Structural Steel Buildings. Read more in an article on Modern Steel. 

A tornado-shaped skyscraper concept has been released by an architecture practice in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Read more in an article in Building Design+Construction magazine

In case you missed our latest blog post: 

Design Data is offering a series of seminars to demonstrate the complete BIM process. Read our latest blog to learn about the seminars. 

MAR 11

Design Data offers BIM Easy seminars

Design Data is launching a series of seminars to provide a high-level, non-technical demonstration of the complete BIM process. 

The seminars will provide a demonstration of moving a model from design to detailing and fabrication, and finally to the field. 

Attendees of NASCC: The Steel Conference can visit two Design Data booths. One of the booths is a lounge, where attendees can learn about the seminars and charge their phones. 

Five cities in North America will host The Keys to Making BIM Easy seminars this spring and summer. 

Seminars will be held in:

  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Dallas, Texas 
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Charlotte, North Carolina 

Those who attend the seminars will also receive exclusive savings on SDS/2 software solutions. 

Seminar attendees will see a model move through each step within SDS/2, learn about workflows that have yielded the best results in the real world, and understand how 3D models from other products interact with SDS/2.

The 2.5 hour seminar is followed by a cocktail hour. It costs $25 per person to attend. 

Visit the SDS/2 website to register for one of the seminars. 


Industry News Roundup: March 6

This week’s news resources: 

Earthquake-resistant steel castings will support the Audain Art Museum in British Columbia. Read more about the museum, set to open in October, in Modern Steel

See the Atlanta Falcons’ new stadium in a fly-through video. Read more on Modern Steel. 

AISC will present awards to several industry leaders at NASCC: The Steel Conference. Read more in an article on AISC’s website

The fifth International Congress on Construction History in June will include tours highlighting historic construction techniques in Chicago. Learn more on Modern Steel. 

In case you missed our latest blog post: 

Several SDS/2 customers will present at NASCC: The Steel Conference. Read our latest blog post to learn when you can see their presentations. 


SDS/2 Customers Presenting at 2015 NASCC

Several longtime SDS/2 customers will lead sessions at NASCC: The Steel Conference this year. The conference is Wednesday, March 25, through Friday, March 27, in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Marc Robitaille from Supermétal will present “Working with Large Trusses,” on Friday from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The session will provide examples of how to select splice locations, set the jig, and rotate, transport, flip and lift trusses. 

Fred Tinker of Pacific Drafting, Inc. and David Merrifield of SteelFab Texas will speak at “What is the NISD?” The session, which will be presented on Wednesday from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., will discuss what NISD is and what the organization does. 

Luis Torres from The Steel Detailers, Inc. will join Brian Cobb of Structural Detailing, LLC, in speaking on the “State of Technology”. This session will provide an overview of the new tools, equipment, software and processes that are available for fabricators today. The session is from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Thursday.

To read about other SDS/2 customers and their presentations, read the last section of our monthly newsletter.

See the full advance program on AISC’s website.

FEB 26

Industry News Roundup: February 27

This week’s news resources:

Full-time students at U.S. universities are encouraged to apply for AISC scholarships. Read more about the scholarships in this article in Modern Steel

Recent computer model research found that buildings with rocking steel-braced frames are advantageous in earthquakes. Learn more about the research in Building Design+Construction magazine. 

Design professionals can now use AISC’s new design guide on vertical bracing connections. Read more about the design guide in an article in Modern Steel

Learn about the recyclability of steel in an infographic from The World Steel Association.

In case you missed our latest blog post: 

Two experienced Design Data employees recently received promotions. Learn about the new roles for David Zabka and Ryan Vanek in our latest blog post.

FEB 25

Zabka Promoted to Support Manager; Vanek Named R&D Project Manager

David Zabka

David Zabka, who has been at Design Data since June 2006, was recently promoted to support manager. He previously served as the assistant support manager for the past two years.

"My main goal is to make certain our users receive the support and service they have come to know and expect from Design Data," said Zabka. "In addition, I would like to enhance the information provided by the support team to further educate and benefit our users."

Customers who had Zabka as their support representative may be assigned a new support rep in the future; those customers who are impacted will receive notification via email about any change.

Ryan Vanek, who was previously the manager of the support department, has taken a new position as R&D project manager. In that capacity, he will research, document and monitor new features for the development of SDS/2. Vanek will also be responsible for training users on new functionality in current releases through yearly seminars. He has been with Design Data for more than 13 years. 

Ryan Vanek


The Connector publication contains news about the structural steel industry and related events, customer spotlights, as well as information about SDS/2 and Design Data.

Delivered via e-mail, The Connector gets this important information straight to Design Data’s customer contacts. This format allows these customers to easily route our newsletter throughout their business, so all SDS/2 users can benefit from the valuable information it contains.

SDS/2 Software Provides Framework for
Detroit Medical Center Heart Hospital

When the new $78-million, 190,000-square-foot Detroit Medical Center Heart Hospital opens in early 2014, Design Data's SDS/2 software will have played an important role in the six-story project.

Meeting the project's challenges required collaboration between Harley Ellis Devereaux (HED) — the project's structural engineer — and Douglas Steel Fabricating Corporation — the project's fabricator — via SDS/2.

Using SDS/2, Douglas Steel automatically designed connections for each beam, brace, column and framing condition, which enabled HED engineers to validate the connection capacities against the required values.

To learn more about how HED and Douglas Steel successfully used SDS/2, read the full article in the March 2013 issue of Modern Steel Construction.