Design Data has partnered with Northcentral Technical College (NTC) to provide training to current and aspiring detailers in an online format that eliminates geographical constraints through NTC's Virtual College. The program provides individuals with the training necessary to excel in this high-demand profession.

The program covers general structural steel detailing concepts, along with blueprint reading, soft skills training and general welding concepts. A large focus is on SDS/2, and all detailing activities are performed using the SDS/2 software. This 10-course, 26-credit structural steel detailing technical diploma will typically be completed in two semesters by students who are attending full-time. However, given the flexible nature of Virtual College, the amount of time invested might be less or more than that, based on an individual student's responsibilities outside of the educational sector.

Through NTC's Virtual College, classes begin weekly and can be completed on a student's own schedule. Students simply login when they have time, complete assignments, communicate with their instructor and earn a diploma.

For more information about this innovative training resource, click here.


Design Data has announced the 2015 schedule for its SDS/2 Basic Training and Continuing Education courses.

Basic Training is designed for beginning users who are just starting out with SDS/2; Continuing Education requires attendees to have worked in the software at least eight months and have a good understanding of how SDS/2 functions.

To learn more, click here.


Registration for the 2015 NASCC steel conference — which runs from March 25-27 at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee —is now open. This year's conference also includes the SRRC Annual Stability Conference.

NASCC offers more than 100 technical sessions and is the premier educational event for structural engineers, fabricators, erectors and detailers. In addition to practical seminars on the latest design concepts and construction techniques, the conference offers an extensive tradeshow featuring products ranging from software to machinery. Design Data will be exhibiting in booths #800 and #808.

Be sure to register early; the rate increases $10 every week until the conference opens, when registration is $480. To register or learn more, click here.


Using good modeling techniques can enhance the output for drawings produced by SDS/2, minimizing the time required to clean up drawings. Good modeling techniques range from creating hole groups using Hole Pattern Options or repeating holes, to specifying the desired material dimension reference point, and many things in between.

Here are several examples of how creating the same hole group in different ways produces different results on the drawings.

The first example shows creating a hole group by left-clicking to locate each hole in the model. Additional dimensions are added and extra time would be required to clean up the drawing.

The second example shows creating a hole group by locating the first hole and then middle-clicking to repeat the rest of the holes in the model. This produces good results that require minimal to no time spent cleaning up.

The third example shows creating a hole group by using the Hole Pattern Options available inside the Hole Add window. Results are identical to the second example.

The fourth example shows creating a hole group with an offset reference point by using the Hole Pattern Options available inside the Hole Add window. Keep in mind the 3-inch dimensions to the hole reference points can be turned off in Job or Fabricator Options > Dimensioning Criteria. This requires little to no cleanup time.

The fifth and final example shows creating a hole group with a reference point that is rotated incorrectly. This produces undesirable results that most users would delete and add almost all dimensions from scratch.

In conclusion, you can see that creating the model correctly, but in different ways, affects the drawing output in SDS/2. Some ways are better than others and can save users the time and headache of monotonous cleanup work.

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