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Caldim Engineering Delivers SDS2-Designed Steel to the Maldives

While SDS2 customers are stationed all around the world, it’s not too often that SDS2-detailed steel finds its way to places as remote as the Maldives, a tropical archipelago in the Indian Ocean, best known as a top tourist destination for scuba divers, snorkelers, and beachgoers.

Indeed, SDS2 customer Caldim Engineering, though based in India, primarily provides detailing services for U.S. construction projects, but a recent opportunity to take on a job for an Indian fabricator, as well as SDS2’s recent expansion into the Indian fabrication market, has the company considering a move to support more Indian-based construction projects.

“We have more scope for steel detailing in India,” said Caldim president and project manager G. Bala, “especially oil and gas projects that will give more business in the future.”


Maldives airport cargo bay

The Maldives project, a cargo building at the Hanimaadhoo International Airport, came to Caldim through a colleague of Bala’s, who was originally awarded the job but was unable to complete it. The original detailers were using another steel detailing software; when Caldim took over, they convinced the local fabricator to accept files from SDS2.

The construction of the cargo bay is part of a larger airport expansion project that began in 2021, aimed at bringing more tourists to the northern island of the Maldives. Structurally, the project was fairly straightforward, with a few notable geometric challenges.

The cargo bay was comprised of three trusses around 37 meters long, each spliced in four locations. The top chord of the trusses was curved, and all roof purlins and knee bracing had to follow the curved geometry, resulting in a variety of lengths and orientations.

The job also required a lot of cut layouts for tubes and plates, and all connections were modeled manually. For that, Bala said they were glad to be equipped with the latest version of SDS2.

“SDS2 2023’s ability to delete and edit the cut operations saved us more time to deal with plate connections in this job,” he said.

Airport cargo building at Hanimaadhoo International Airport in the Maldives. Model provided by Caldim Engineering. Rendered in Blender by SDS2.


Unique connections for this project were modeled manually. Model provided by Caldim Engineering.
Rendered in Blender by SDS2.


Adapting SDS2 to Indian standards

The real challenge of this project for Caldim was adapting to a new set of steel standards and regulations.

Given that it was their first time working for an Indian fabricator and they were on a tight timeline, completing the detailing in just three weeks, Caldim proceeded with their current SDS2 licenses, which are oriented for North American steel standards.

Although SDS2’s standard North American software supports simple metric conversions, it does not come built in with Indian standards for steel sections and grades, as does our SDS2 Detailing for India product, which released in 2023 specifically to serve the Indian market.




Erecting steel for the Haminaadhoo International Airport cargo building. Photo courtesy of Caldim Engineering.


Fortunately, Caldim was able to overcome this challenge with some manual setup. Using project settings, they created custom steel grades that incorporated the required yield strength, tensile strength, and other properties—something any user could do for any country. Similarly, for steel sections, they added to the shape properties for materials such as round and square HSS members.

Caldim wrapped up detailing for the fast-tracked project in the fall of 2023, and erection was complete before the end of the year.

If Caldim does indeed pursue projects for Indian fabricators in the future, SDS2 Detailing for India will eliminate much of the manual input they required on this project. It comes with Indian standard steel grades and a variety of Indian steel sections that will continue to expand with future development.  As SDS2 continues to expand globally, users can expect to see additional support for other markets as well.

Interested detailers can learn more and purchase the product through SDS2’s authorized reseller, NHance Engineering, based in Hyderabad. SDS2 has also established several authorized training centers in various cities across India to further support the growth of local steel construction in the country.