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'Steeling' the Show in Interoperability

'Steeling' the Show in Interoperability

When NASA's Ares I-X test rocket lifted off from the Mobile Launch Base at Launch Complex 39B on October 28, 2009, it marked the culmination of a process that required communication and improved interoperability to help get the mobile launch base project off the ground.

The Steel Detailers, Inc. (TSD) and Met-Con, Inc., the project's detailer and fabricator, had long relied on 3D modeling and CNC exports from SDS/2 to streamline the entire production process. However, early in the project the team ran into a digital data exchange problem with the Vernon Tool machines purchased to automate pipe cutting for the project's trusses.

To find a solution, Luis Torres with TSD turned to Design Data, who set up a meeting at its Interoperability Network (IN). IN is a development-driven forum dedicated to improving interoperability across disciplines and to facilitating seamless building information modeling (BIM) workflow.

IN is the latest in a long line of innovations from Design Data and company founder Jim Dager. Dager — who was recently awarded the Special Achievement Award from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) — is recognized as a pioneer in 3D modeling and helped revolutionize the steel engineering and detailing practice. More than 20 years ago, Design Data introduced the first data links to third-party packages — the forerunner to BIM — and continues to lead the way in market innovations.

Design Data has taken its leadership role one step further with the IN event, which brings developers, programmers and end users together in one space to resolve data exchange issues and drive standards development. Through IN and via a new interface with Vernon Tool, TSD found a resolution to its data communication problem and sped up the fabrication process using SDS/2.

Creating interoperability is not difficult; it simply requires the right people in the room and investment in software designed on an interoperable foundation. To find out more about IN or SDS/2, visit