Tony Baffone, DE Representative presented feedback on the AISC North American Steel Conference and World Steel Bridge Symposium. During the conference he met Jim Stever and came up with the idea for the topic. He introduced Tyler Hix of Design Data, Jim Stever of Virtual Steel Technologies, and Doug Fitzpatrick of Fitzpatrick Engineering who made a presentation on the “Virtual Approval” system.
The Virtual Approval system is a model-based system of completing the shop fabrication drawing process with greater speed and accuracy than ever before. The Revit model, developed from the architect of record, is hosted in the cloud for the completion of structural contract documents and simultaneous detailing of the shop fabrication drawings. The 3D model is then the basis for all of the information pertaining to the development of the rest of the working drawings (the “manufacturing model”). When the engineer pulls up a member from the model, he can instantly access the 2D shop fabrication models and all engineering data to review connections and even RFI or other information relating to that piece in the model. By working on the model in real time, the team-based approach all but eliminates change orders and saves up to six weeks in a 16 week drawing and fabrication schedule.
Tyler, Jim and Doug presented three fascinating case studies. The first was a 325-ton hospital that took just four weeks to get approved details in the shop, three weeks to fabricate and two weeks to erect with no change orders. The second was a 2,500-ton hospital that the system saved roughly 70% of the time allotted for the drawing approval process. The last example was the 1,500-ton school of music at Liberty University that had very complex radius work where the concrete was modeled as well as the steel.
The framework of the system exists in almost all of our offices today, i.e. 3D modeling-based steel detailing software such as Design Data, Tekla, Fabtrol, Fabsuite, Bluebeam and other programs. The “Virtual Approval System” is unique because it uses the web hosted model and working as a close team in completing the manufacturing model.
June 9, 2016