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Unlocking the True Value of Your Steel Detailing Software

Discover how SDS2 users are maximizing performance and delivering results with speed, accuracy, and reliability. 

SDS2 Blog - Catch the latest news, industry articles, detailing tools, and more.

The career crisis in construction, the talent shortage, the skilled labor shortage—whatever you call it, the talk is everywhere. Steel detailers and fabricators—as well as positions across the entire construction pipeline—are in short supply. 

Subscription plans are everywhere, but are they right for everyone? We break down the pros and cons of perpetual and subscription licensing plans for BIM software solutions.

When 2020 drew to a close, the world breathed a collective sigh of relief—but 2021 brought much of the same as the COVID-19 pandemic kept coming in waves. Now, as the new year approaches and the COVID threat continues to evolve, we’re taking a look back at how steel detailers and fabricators have weathered the challenges of the last few years and seeing what they’re looking forward to in 2022.   


Consistently and quickly generating accurate bids for structural steel projects is a formidable challenge at the best of times. The uncertainty that has plagued the markets in recent years, with supply chain woes and unheard-of lead times, makes it even harder—and more critical to business growth. 

Both groups were consistently and significantly faster on setup, modeling and drawing tasks, indicating a potential for much higher performance in 2021i, as well as a lower performance gap between experienced and new users.
SDS2 Summit 2021 is officially in the books! The three-day event brought over 150 SDS2 users and employees to St. Pete Beach, Florida, to learn from each other, talk shop, and build connections. Here's what you missed.
Judged on aesthetics, complexity, and overall cool factor, the competition highlights the great range of work our users are doing and the projects they’re bringing to life in all sectors of structural steel. Here’s a look at this years’ winning projects and finalists.

Integrating your 3D model with various fabrication software systems greatly increases the value of your 3D model. Fortunately, at SDS2 we recognize this value and have strong relationships with the industry’s top fabrication software providers, like Tekla PowerFab.


The value of your 3D steel model expands exponentially when paired with other software systems in the fabrication process. That’s why SDS2 continues to build partnerships with the industry’s top players around the globe, including fabrication management leader STRUMIS LTD.  

STRUMIS is a global leader in fabrication management information software, with over 30 years in business and customers in 50 countries.   

Whether you’re working for a shop or at a detailing company, meeting the needs of the fabricator are critical to your success.  

A good detailing operation with a fast, accurate software can drive shop optimization, from production timelines to material and labor costs.  

That’s why the automated and time-saving processes in SDS2 are powered by fabrication preferences. Our design engine emulates the practical thought processes of detailers, fabricators, and even erectors in the field.  

To help you get the most out of your model data and time, SDS2 is building partnerships with steel industry leaders from around the world. 

Here we are highlighting Steel Projects, a software partner that specializes in real-time shop management, optimizing the link between the detailing office and the shop floor. 

Among the latest innovations in steel construction digitalization is SDS2 Load Planning, the industry’s first 3D truck loading solution, which has proven to enhance workplace safety, optimize loading and handling, and shorten project completion times, bringing a new competitive advantage to fabricators and detailers.
SDS2 is heading to the No 1 beach in the US this September for SDS2 Summit, and we think you should join us. The three-day conference will be packed with valuable opportunities to come together for learning, networking, and collaborative innovation. 
New and experienced users alike are being won over by over by things like the simplified home screen, searchable project settings and tools, role-based and contextual ribbons, and the quick access sidebar for pinned and recently used tools.
Our new logo is an evolution of our previous one, containing the familiar hexagon shape our users have come to know and trust in association with our brand. We’re still providing automation and accuracy where steel detailers and fabricators need it the most, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.
We know that to invest in SDS2 is to trust much of your daily operations and productivity to our software products, and we take that responsibility very seriously. In return for your ongoing support and business, our promise to you is reliability and innovation.
Imagine if you could deliver steel the way Apple delivers their tech products. Each trailer perfectly balanced, loads sequenced and arranged to your erector’s preferences, pieces and bundles packaged and nested with your customer’s offloading capabilities in mind. Imagine what your partners in the field could learn about your company before they set a single piece of steel into place.
When you’re working with items weighing two thousand pounds and more, error is not only costly and time-consuming, but dangerous as well. What if we told you there was a better way?
In the steel construction industry, web-based solutions like SDS2 Cloud (formerly SDS2 Edge) are powering growth and collaboration among detailing teams and between stakeholders.

So you’ve decided to subcontract a detailer for your next structural steel project. The company you choose to hire—and the tools they use for the job—can have a major impact on the overall profitability of the project. The accuracy and reliability of the detailer’s work affects everything from your production timelines to efficiencies in cost, material, and labor. 

In this post, we’ll outline the most important questions you need to answer before you sign your contract. 


Every year, the SDS2 Solid Steel Awards give steel detailers an opportunity to show off their best work. Judged on aesthetics, complexity, and overall cool factor, the competition highlights the great work our users are doing and the projects they’re bringing to life in commercial and industrial sectors. 

We may have missed the beach this year, but SDS/2's first ever digital conference event was a massive success, if we do say so ourselves. Going digital with SDS/2 Summit meant more users than ever before were able to tune in and attend, and our line-up of expert guest speakers shared high-value content, advanced tips and tricks, and industry insights to our users.  

SDS2 is the most intelligent and automated—in short, the best—steel connection design software on the market today. 

But what makes our software intelligent? How does our automation work? And, most importantly, what does that mean for you? Because that’s what really matters here—your user experience, your results, and your decision. 


With SDS2 for Education, students, educators, and qualified educational institutions can secure free licenses for our 3D steel detailing software, which leads the world in automated intelligence and steel connection design. 

You may know how powerful SDS/2’s intelligent connection design is for steel detailers, but SDS/2 Detailing isn’t the only software solution we have on the market that’s paving the way for automation, accuracy, and efficiency in the industry.  

Introducing the SDS2 Toolbox, where you can quickly find and install the latest tools and partner integrations to elevate your detailing productivity.
SDS2’s automated connection design is built with the end goal in mind—a completed project. It is the only steel detailing software with erectability intelligence, considering the complete node in its connection design calculations and reducing the potential for human error when it comes to identifying job site complications.

Adaptability and digitalization were major talking points in the steel industry even before the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic has accelerated the conversation for many, introducing new dimensions of uncertainty to ongoing challenges—addressing labor shortages, for example, and preparing next generation talent.


Online SDS2 Training & Certification

Investing in new skill development is one way to increase versatility for future growth—and that’s true whether we’re in a time of crisis or stability.  

What do steel detailers do? Structural steel detailers produce drawings that fabricators use in the manufacture and construction of steel structures. They provide a critical link between design and reality in the lifecycle of a construction project.
At SDS2 we are continuously learning from our customers and developing new tools and features to help you succeed. The SDS2 2020 update introduced several new tools to improve your user experience, boost your productivity, and reduce the potential for errors in your workflow.
In a traditional project workflow, steel connections are often the cause of many RFIs and back-and-forth communication throughout the project lifecycle. SDS/2’s can mitigate many of these issues by streamlining the detailing process and automated intelligent connection design.
In an interview to mark his 100th day as CEO, Stuart Broome discusses SDS/2’s core values and vision, calling on the company’s strengths as a foundation for advancement and growth in the steel construction industry.  

This project centered on the addition of the bypass duct and seal duct systems to the Cope Station energy plant, which was originally established in 1996.

Cartee-Berry’s innovative process featured the use of SDS/2’s weld plate box material file type for the creation of the small rectangular duct layout.

The bypass duct ranged in size from 13 feet by 25 feet to 13 feet by 36 feet. The seal duct varied in size from 4 feet by 2 feet to 4 feet by 4 feet.

New Jersey Iron is a 4th generation owned family business with 5th generation now here.  My brother and I are each over the 30-year mark in the business, having started in high school as summer jobs and each could run the first CNC punchline we installed in 1990.  We do projects as large as 1,100 tons, but medium projects are mostly what we do so our tonnage comes in around 3,500 tons a year.  We have (4) SDS2 stations for detailing, fabrication is all done with CNC equipment, including stairs and rails.  We also do our own shipping, erection, shear stud install, and small crane work (rent

Learn more about the advantages of using cloud-based modeling and what you need to know to implement it. 
Learn more about the inspiration behind SDS/2 Fortosi and the benefits of using 3D Truck Loading.
Learn how SDS/2 customer, Briese Iron Works, has implemented their customized SDS/2 detailing templates to save time and money on project costs.
SDS/2 announced today that Stuart Broome has been named as its Chief Executive Officer.