Today's 3D design technologies have found only limited acceptance on construction sites. When it comes to updating the 3D model to reflect changes, schedule trumps model fidelity. A good-enough model this afternoon beats a perfect model available the day after tomorrow. Constructability is seldom explicit in the design. The CAD model doesn't say where the crane needs to be at what point in the schedule, and hauling which load. The recipe for how to fabricate and put in place is left largely to construction managers and crews - rightly so. These individuals live in a different world from design engineers. The sequence of operations is tethered to external factors - when equipment is available, when labor is available, where labor is available, what unexpected jobsite conditions are discovered. Thus the requirement for modular design
Fabrication Design in general brings the creative design from Environmental Graphics into reality. It takes the design concept of signage and graphics from a basic sketch or computer generated drawing to a level that is needed to not only mend itself into fabrication drawings that need to be developed for fabrication purposes, but to incorporate the design that was intended from the original conceptual drawing into the practical world of fabrication.
Thinking ahead during the design stage of a fabrication always saves manufacturing costs later. This is also true for the part production time, assembly time, fixturing, and weld preparation time all can be saved. Even design time can be saved by following drafting standards that permit cutting directly from the design's CAD file.
Detailed drawings that are not only accurate in scale but has accurate dimensioning. The level of detail has material, hardware and electrical call outs if necessary. In many cases there may be several views to convey how a product is fabricated.
Product and Materials Research
Researching of products and materials is an important part of meeting or exceeding the expectations of the client. Quite often researching lighting is the most important thing for a design to work, but often enough it can be as simple as verifying that a product can be used for an indoor or outdoor application as specified or verifying the available material sizes and working those sizes into the size of a product in order to be more economical.
Comprehensive Bid Package
Quite often a Designer has a project that goes out to bid to many different Fabrication Companies. In the case of any government, state or county bid package a minimum of three companies must be used to grant a bid. A Comprehensive Bid Package is a very basic fabrication drawing that is accurate in scale and dimensioning with basic material call outs. It is fairly common that most packages that go out to bid are very general and that many assumptions are made in bidding a job. A Comprehensive Bid Package helps convey accurate design intent to everyone bidding on the job by assuring that everyone is on the same page.
Production of Electronic Cut File
lectronic cut files are used for computerized cutting of many substrates from metal, wood, acrylic, glass and even vinyl. Many companies that utilize a water jet cutter, plasma cutter, laser cutter or even vinyl cutters need an accurate file that is clean, accurate and ready for production.
Coordinating With Structural Engineering
While computer technology has streamlined the design and engineering process, real economies still come through the fabrication of structural elements. Completion of a metal building systems structure is possible in roughly two-thirds the time of a conventional building. Since all elements are factory fabricated, precut and prepunched under controlled factory conditions, where efficiency and quality can be exercised to a much greater degree than in the field, waste material is minimized. And it is generally easier to predict erection costs and erection time than with conventional construction. Typically, the buildings are shipped within six to eight weeks from the date an order is received.
Together with Estimating and Fabrication Design it is possible to work with the client to ensure that they do not go over budget in their design. Quite often a design cannot be reached in the constraints of a budget and it is necessary to change the materials, design etc and still be able to achieve the same desired effect as the original design and within the given budget.