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JAN 11

Join Design Data at 2017 NASCC

Registration is now open for the 2017 NASCC: The Steel Conference, taking place in San Antonio, Texas, March 22-24.

Among the session highlights for this year: 3D Model Review and Approval Really Works, which will be presented Wednesday, from 9:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.; Quality Procedures in Detailing Offices, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Thursday; and The Little Site That Could: 150 N Riverside, from 9:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Wednesday.

NASCC is the perfect place for steel fabricators, detailers, erectors and structural engineers to interact with their peers and learn more about structural steel design and construction. This year’s conference includes more than 100 technical sessions and an extensive trade show with more than 200 exhibitors. Design Data will be exhibiting in booths #7017 and #7025.

To register for NASCC or to view the advance program, complete with a detailed list of the conference sessions, click here.

Leveraging 3D Information in the Field: How Can Erectors Benefit?

Leveraging 3D Information in the Field: How Can Erectors Benefit?
By James Schwartz

Note: This article, written by Design Data's James Schwartz, originally appeared in the Fall 2016 Issue of SEAA Connector.

Digital 3D models are becoming a primary method of communication between disciplines within the construction industry. While fabricators have been using them to produce shop drawings and CNC data since the 80’s, new disciplines — such as the BIM coordinator — have emerged in the industry. The advancement of GPS and advent of drones brings us to the next logical step: the use of models for procurement, planning and construction on the site.

So what are the benefits of utilizing the 3D models for site planning?

One issue for the site is having current up-to-date documentation, especially where construction drawings are concerned. The advantage of having the fabrication 3D model, is what you see is what was fabricated. The CNC data used to run the fabrication machinery comes from the 3D model. An out-of-date model would be a very costly affair, so accuracy is of the utmost importance. 2D drawings can also be directly linked to the model for further investigation, without having to forage through piles of documentation.

Many of us are visual, especially those on the site. If we can see it we can build it. The ability to quickly visualize a connection — without having to interpret to 3D from a combination of 2D drawings — will reduce, if not eliminate, errors and confusion. The model will allow for better communication between people and execution of the plan.

Image courtesy of Virtual Steel Technologies

“The model eliminates all communication breakdown about the plan. Everyone is able to sit in one room and fly through the model, looking at possible issues and what sections could potentially be pre-assembled. Anytime there is a question about a connection, we are able to answer our own questions through the model or write RFIs, which are easier for the engineer to understand by using model shots,” said a project manager with The Boldt Company

The data and tools to extract that data provided in the fabricators digital model, permits on-demand reports, such as bolt summaries and point-to-point lists, or members that require non-default bolt types and diameters. There is the ability to determine accurate weights and center of gravity for single or assembled lifts, and tools to locate that “needle in a haystack” member, or quickly determine where all the batched members are to be placed. It also eliminates the guesswork on which members were shop assembled by the fabricator.

Simplification of the creation of work packages or project staging, to nail down the steel erection sequencing, allows you to maximize an early start, and results in a smoother and quicker process. Other benefits include the ability to quickly create pre-assembly and erection set lists which are given to the FM to assist in pulling steel from the laydown. A visual aid of what each activity in the schedule is helps all office personnel and the owner understand the plan.

A common issue is getting steel to the site in a timely manner, or missing steel at the site. A model with fabrication and shipping data set can give you not only a quick visual of what the status of members are, but will assist you to communicate your current need and future needs more efficiently.

Using the crane capabilities within a modeling product will permit you generate the information required to be in compliance with codes — for example, generating placement drawings, and critical lift and defining lift documentation. In some cases, erectors have even won the bid by using the 3D model and crane packages.

Completed portions of the structure can be set as erected, and reports or color coded 3D PDF model data can be sent to concerned parties. This data can also be sent back to the fabricator to have their model automatically updated.

As one erector who has implemented the fabricators 3D digital model into their work processes stated, “It appears to be unlimited benefits, which we have only begun to see.”

DEC 29

Earn Scholarship Opportunities With SDS/2

The need for detailers with SDS/2 experience and knowledge continues to grow, and Northcentral Technical College (NTC) and Design Data have partnered to provide the training necessary to excel in this high-demand profession.

As part of this program, Design Data is offering scholarship opportunities of up to $1,000 to our customers who complete a class through NTC's Structural Steel Detailing program and purchase a new license of SDS/2. To learn more about the scholarship program, contact Amanda Kunze at amanda@sds2.com.

Several SDS/2 customers have already participated in the program; you can learn more about how the NTC program has benefited their companies here.


Cost: The estimated total price for this program, based on the 15-16 tuition rates, is $3,955 for the entire program. This does not include the cost of books (which will cost approximately $520).

Format: In Virtual College all courses are fully online and have flexible starts and flexible deadlines. This means students can begin the courses anytime within the first 10 weeks of the spring and fall semesters. Within the courses, deadlines are set by the student. The online flexibility of our courses is a great benefit to business professionals, especially those who have employees in different time zones or unpredictable work schedules.

There are only two deadlines that are set by the school. These deadlines are: 1) The Plan for Completion assignment must be completed within the first 10% of the course. If this is not done, the student will receive a No Show (NS) grade and will be dropped from the course but still responsible for the fees. 2) All course work must be completed by the final day of the semester.

Software: Design Data will provide the hasp for students to use the SDS/2 software during this course. See the computer requirements you need to run this software here.

Single Courses: If you only need employees to complete a portion of the program and you and the student are not looking to earn the entire technical diploma, we do have an option to take the course a-la-carte. Please contact NTC to find out about single courses and how to get enrolled.

Enrollment steps: NTC has a new session of some courses beginning January 26, 2017. The full program will also start again in August 2017. It is easy to get your employees signed up for Virtual College and started in this program. They do not require admissions testing for individuals who are already working in the industry, and in many cases can take an application and have the learner accepted in the next 3-5 business days. It is easiest to get the process started by having your employees fill out the Application for Admission on the NTC website. If you have a group of people you would like to sign up for the program, please have them apply and then have a company representative contact NTC to help you get them all enrolled at the same time.

Credit for Prior Learning: Please keep in mind that NTC offers credit for prior learning for any and all of these courses if students have transcripts from another school or feel they have the work/life experience to meet all the competencies. Please visit the Credit for Prior Learning page of the NTC website for more details.