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10 Steel Detailing Tools You Didn't Know You Were Missing

With the release of the SDS/2 2020i update, we’re introducing a new value-added benefit for SDS2 customers who are up to date on their software maintenance or subscription services. With the SDS2 Toolbox, you can quickly find and install the latest tools and partner integrations to make your detailing work more efficient and accurate. 



Here are 10 of the latest Toolbox items with time-saving features you didn’t know you were missing:

Detailing and Modeling Tools

1. Member Line Extend

The member line extend collection of tools is designed to minimize the need for tedious adjustments on imported models. Automate and improve connectivity in your model with four new extension options: 

  • Member to member 
  • Member to member and adjust height 
  • All nearby beams to column 
  • All selected members to nearby members




2. Cost Estimator

Generate a cost estimate from your model in a matter of seconds. Using either default or customized cost variables, this tool will calculate the cost of all selected materials, bolts, holes, and welds in your model. Export results to an Excel file for easy review and analysis and quickly change connections for the entire model to compare cost alternatives.  

The cost estimating tool is not meant to replace your MIS software, but it does offer a quick and accurate model-based estimate. 

3. Dimension Clearance

The dimension clearance tool allows you to visually display dimensions between materials in the 3D model quickly and easily, saving you time and clicks. Simply select your two materials and SDS2 will display the measurement between them.   




4. Dimension Member

Similar to the dimension clearance tool, dimension member allows you to visually display the dimension of a member or members in your SDS2 model. Select the members you want to see dimensions for and click on your dimension member button in the toolbar. 

5. Galvanizing Check Tool

In accordance with the American Galvanizers Association guidelines, you can now run checks for safety and fabrication concerns for galvanized materials in your model, including:

  • Kettle tank fit 
  • Conflicting material thicknesses 
  • Proper vents and drains 
  • Proper use of galvanized fasteners 
  • Kettle crane capacity 
  • Proper use of seal/stagger welds 
  • Ungalvanized material 


Partner Plugins for Transferring Data 


Export a .BSWX file with your model, NC data, and drawings directly to Strumis from SDS2. With a direct database connection between SDS2 and STRUMIS, you’ll get automatic revision control that links BOM data to your model, drawings, and NC files, with live color-coded status view information.  





7. Bid Wizard Export

Easily export model data from SDS2 to Steel Erection Bid Wizard for automated data population. With this integration, you can export an early design model for bidding, or evaluate your performance against the bid with an as-fabricated model.  


8. Zeman Beam Assembler Export

The Zeman export tool supports seamless integration between SDS2 and the Zeman robotic welder for automated fabrication solutions.  

To learn more about how this integration can help fabrication shops like yours, check out this case study on PVS Structures >


Partner Plugins for Detailing and Modeling

9. CoreBrace

SDS2’s partnership with CoreBrace enables seamless and accurate integration of CoreBrace members and components into SDS2 models. Easily model Buckling Resistant Bracing, including gusset plate connections and stiffeners, for column baseplates, beam-column, and chevron framing situations—all according to CoreBrace design specifications.   




10. E-Z Beam Release

The E-Z Beam Release is a tool that allows erectors to more safely attach and detach beams from a crane’s lift line. The integration in SDS2 makes it easy for you as a detailer to add slots to the top of a wide flange or welded plate flange to fit the E-Z Beam Tool, speeding up the modeling process. 

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If you’re interested in getting these tools for yourself, make sure you’re up to date on your software maintenance plan or subscription—you can contact your support representative for more information.

And stay tuned—the Toolbox will be continually updated with new features and items to save you time on every project.