3D Modeling has been a Powerful Tool for Detailers, Designers and Contractors

October 12, 2018

For over a decade, 3D modeling has been a powerful tool for detailers, designers and contractors within the steel construction sector. Now the most advanced 3D modeling system for steel structures is Tekla Structures - a solution that gives you the power and flexibility to tackle any type of detailing project. While eliminating errors, the software increases your ability to produce the drawings you need faster than ever before.

David Ball from Detailing Group was using a competing software for years before moving to Tekla Structures. He was often frustrated with its ability to help him detail projects efficiently, so he set out to find a solution that worked for him. David looked at other detailers as well as other applications. Tekla invited him for a 'test run' and the rest is history. It was a very easy decision after witnessing Tekla Structures in action. “As soon as I began using Tekla Structures, I realized 3D solid modeling is it. Tekla Structures is effortless.

Detailing Group, Inc.

David Ball was part of a steel detailing team for a San Diego company. The company was doing well, but David felt he could be more productive out on his own. In 1999, he started Detailing Group from his living room. In 2000, he purchased his first Tekla Structures license. Ball states, ”Not only did my income quadruple from using Tekla Structures, but I have the shortest commute ever – down the hall! Tekla Structures is my virtual office. I can transfer information directly from my computer to my client’s computer using the Internet. I can fully function from my home.”

Freedom and control

From the onset of using Tekla Structures, it was apparent that no other detailing package I had taken a look at could compete. Moving into 3D solid modeling was the biggest advantage,” says Ball. "With solid modeling, you position the connection exactly where it is supposed to go, and you can see, instantly, that it fits. The versatility and range of connections is amazing. And, when it comes to drawing production, I never had so much freedom and control. Steel detailing is fun again.”
 
As soon as I began using Tekla Structures, I realized 3D solid modeling is it. Tekla Structures is effortless.” Traditional 2D CAD drafting is no longer the best tool to meet today’s requirements. A growing number of steel detailers are more and more turning towards 3D drafting to maintain a competitive edge. “No one in the 2D world works at the same speed as I do with 3D. An experienced Tekla Structures user can design, fabricate and erect much faster than with 2D CAD.

Impressive portfolio

The Detailing Group website highlights all structures David Ball has undertaken. They have quite an impressive project portfolio. Prominent structures fill his resume: San Quentin, the Fairmont Hotel, the Marin Academy of Arts and Crate & Barrel, to name a few. His average project structure size ranges from 60 – 1000+ tons.
 
In roughly 8 weeks, David can complete a 1000-ton project. His current project is a residential structure in Northern California. The 23,000 sq.ft. building sits high atop a mountain and overlooks the wine valley. David Ball is doing all of the detailing work. He obtained this job from a long-time client, who coincidently just purchased Tekla Structures. “I have been using Tekla Structures for 4+ years. And I have been working with this contractor for some years now. Tekla Structures is the only program that allows us to simultaneously collaborate. The whole process is simple. We can transfer 3D models and CNC data. I generate the DSTV files, and the fabricator does the rest. Tekla Structures makes it significantly easier to detect any overlap between structural components.

Why Tekla Structures?

Consistent success results from intelligent 3D detailing. Tekla Structures software encompasses specialized configurations for structural engineers, steel detailers and fabricators, precast concrete detailers and manufacturers, as well as construction companies. All building information, independent of material, is managed throughout the project lifecycle. Seamless integration enables all processes to work via one platform. Project team members share information in real time regardless of location – eliminating communication problems and reducing costs.
 
For the steel detailing industry, this means flexible information sharing despite the number of participants. This also means that steel detailers, steel fabricators and engineering companies can enjoy revolutionary openness, collaboration, security and reliability. Tekla Structures sets the standard for today’s building information modeling.

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