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SDS2 2022 Top New Features

The Top New Modeling and Detailing Features in SDS2 2022

SDS2 2022 released earlier this month with a lineup of new features to support your growing needs for integration and collaboration while powering up your performance.

From high-demand handrail enhancements to our all new connection cubes, which provide advanced reports on complete structural nodes, SDS2 2022 helps you ensure a fabrication-forward design and meet the rising demands for integrated project workflows and data-driven production.

Here we’ll take a look at the top new modeling, detailing, and reporting tools in the latest release, along with some bonus upgrades that will elevate your SDS2 user experience.




1. Connection Cubes

SDS2 is a well-established leader in steel connection design intelligence, and the 2022 release builds upon our powerful design capabilities with new visual reports to bridge communication gaps between design engineers, fabricators, and detailers. Now in addition to the short and expanded design calculations for individual members, users will be able to create customizable reports for the entire structural node. Select your framing situation, or cube, in the model, and generate a corresponding report with 2D sketches and interactive 3D visualizations, schedule of minimums, and custom notes and attachments—all tailored to the needs of connection engineers for superior communication and review processes.

This innovative feature garnered some buzz on social media and across the detailing community when the release dropped.

“SDS2 is definitely making moves that will challenge the rest of the industry,” said Robert Gittens, president of BIMSync’d, on a LinkedIn comment thread.



2. Handrail Modeling and Detailing Enhancements

Handrail is a common pain point for steel detailers and fabricators, given its complex geometry and layouts, architectural variability, uncertainty in design intent, and frequent rework requirements. Enhancements to the handrail tool in SDS2 2022 automate previously manual modeling tasks to save you time and effort.

Now you’ll be able to fine-tune picket spacing, even over splices, flats, and stair returns, with adjustments made automatically when you modify panel sizes. You can also select section sizes for round bar material, control vent diameters and placement for internal and external vents, and add corner posts with corresponding L-shaped plate connections. The corresponding detailing templates have been improved as well to help streamline your complete workflow.


3. Saving Material Fit Operations

On the topic of reducing manual modeling tasks, SDS2 2022 now provides the ability to save material fit operations—including fit exact, fit notch, and fit cope—making it easier and faster to modify custom materials. On a plate with a pipe fitting, for example, you can change the plate thickness or adjust the fit clearance without regenerating the material or losing any previous operations. Not only will this save you modeling time, it will also provide more accurate results for CNC exports.


4. Connection Design Enhancements

The greatest change you will notice when it comes to SDS2’s connection design in 2022 is the addition of unity ratios on the member edit screen and load calculations to align with engineering practices. Unity ratios are very familiar to the engineers who will be reviewing your calculations, and the corresponding reports will help reviewers easily sort loads by their unity ratios. It will also make it easier for all users to visualize excess capacity in loads. If your unity ratio is 0.95, for example, you’ll know that you have an additional 5 percent capacity available.

In addition, we’ve added flush framed clip angle connections for Vulcraft joists framed to beams or columns. Optional web extension plates can now be added when required to end plate connections with high loads. And for gusset plate connections, you can now set a minimum shoulder width for bolted and welded connections.


5. User Experience and Technical Support Upgrades

A better experience gets better results, and in SDS2 2022 we’re continuing to streamline and simplify our interface for an enhanced user experience. Take advantage of the new find command to navigate our toolbars with ease and customize your toolbars for personally tailored modeling and detailing workflows. Plus, you can save your eyes and energy with our new dark mode option!

And because we know your detailing experience extends beyond the software itself, we’ve also created a new technical support center for greater accessibility and up-to-the-minute support documentation. While our help manual will still be available and linked within the SDS2 software, you’ll now also find a number resources for new and experienced users online, including our complete help manual, a searchable video library, and more.


6. Cloud-based Licensing

We know your software license is not exactly a modeling or detailing feature, but it does make a big difference in how you manage your workflows. SDS2 2022 runs exclusively on our new cloud-based (i.e., login-based) licensing system, giving you much greater flexibility, immediate and automated license delivery, and detailed usage analytics for your organization. Plus, it’s easier than ever to borrow licenses for offline use and move between machines with the same license.

In other words, you can use SDS2 when and where you need it, no matter your business’ flexible and changing needs.


To get an in-depth look at these and other new features, be sure to check out our SDS2 2022 Webinar Series, now available on-demand. For quick demonstrations, you can also check out the video library on our new technical support center.

New to SDS2? See all our software has to offer with a personalized demo →