How Do You Gauge a Steel Detailer’s Quality?

Review Their Training Program!

As a steel fabricator, you already know the importance of obtaining timely and accurate drawings—your operations can’t run profitably without them.

But if you don’t have a go-to steel detailer you trust, finding a quality firm that meets all of your criteria can be challenging. However, you can sift through your options much faster by asking one simple question—

What does this detailer’s in-house training program look like?

While some steel detailers don’t have high visibility into their in-house training and continued education programs, reviewing a detailer’s in-house employee training should always be a critical early step in your detailer selection process.

Here’s why this step reveals critical insights about a detailer’s overall quality:

  • Looking at a detailer’s training program shows you the team’s specific capabilities, along with the extent of their training in detailing theory, methods, processes, and best practices.
  • By reviewing staff training programs, you’ll be able to gauge the extent of hands-on training team members undergo, as the breadth and depth of a detailing team’s experience translates directly to your operations.
  • The detailer’s training program reveals the level of investment ownership places in their staff’s detailing competence and career advancement
  • This step also helps you determine whether the detailing staff is up-to-date on industry standards and emerging technologies.

Carefully reviewing a detailer’s in-house training program can give you a much better understanding of the team’s specific skill set and experience before you award a contract. No fabricator should ever skip this step.

At Anatomic Iron Steel Detailing, we understand that seamless fabrication begins with top-quality detailing services. We strongly feel that a detailing firm’s quality is measured by its investment in its staff’s professional education.

We have a comprehensive and hands-on in-house detailer training program that exceeds industry standards—the Anatomic Iron Institute of Technology. From Tekla Structures software training to holistic lessons in detail theory, we make sure our new employees are fully-immersed in all facets of modern steel detailing. We even incorporate multiple Virtual Reality (VR) programs that let team members experience steel fabrication, and steel erection so they know how our customers use the drawings they create.

Moreover, our training process is ongoing, following each of our employees every step of the way in their career progression from basic drafter right through to senior checker and project manager. We believe in the value of continued education for all of our staff members as they increase their knowledge and experience. The steel industry doesn’t stop evolving—and neither should we.

If you’re searching for a detailing firm that ensures premium quality services—for every project—contact Anatomic Iron today.

Save Money with In-House Connection Design

As material, labor, and freight costs are on the rise, steel construction is getting more expensive—which means steel fabricators need to get creative to keep their projects on-budget, and ensure they are getting their best possible bids out to the market.

At Anatomic Iron Steel Detailing, we believe that streamlining steel detailing services concurrently with connection design saves the fabricator both time and money.

Not only do we provide detailing services for fast-track, complex projects, but we also provide connection design services in-house or through our close Engineering Design associates. For our clients, this translates to a shorter, more efficient project timeline, especially on the larger more complex projects where our steel construction and erection experience enables us to provide real, practical connection ideas to the connection designer, especially if this design is done in house by us or our associates, —which means money saved.

Here’s why this two-in-one option helps your project in the long-run:

  • Having drawings and connection design performed under one contract speeds up your project.
  • It eliminates the potential for miscommunication and duplication between detailers and connection designers.
  • Less time and reduced potential for error cut your project costs substantially.
  • You can enjoy the ease of having one point of contact for both of these critical steps.
  • We provide liaison with your erector team, with your involvement of course, and therefore we are able to ensure all connections are designed with the best efficiency both for your shop processes as well as for the field team.

When it comes to procuring the right subcontractors, there’s no room for compromise—especially when you’re on a tight budget.

Turn to the trusted experts at Anatomic Iron for your steel detailing and connection design needs.

To learn more about these services, contact us today!

Cliff Young – VP    510-984-4425

Dave Pye – VP Sales & Estimating     604-628-4899

We look forward to adding value to your next project.

Production Planning—Scheduling the Detailing Resources

At the outset of every detailing project, Anatomic Iron Steel Detailing ensures that all detailing resources are secured and scheduled for maximum efficiency and cost savings to our customers.

Our production planning process is essential to the success of all of our projects—and here’s an in-depth look at how the process unfolds.

Step 1. When a project is released, the Project Manager carefully goes through the project and measures the production hours for each department. The main departments are Modeling, Drafting, and Checking. The production hours form the basis of all production planning and are calculated against the required target schedule in order to determine the appropriate size of the team.

Step 2. Once the team size is established, the initial super structure modeling begins. All of the “Start-Up” questions are sent to the customer to ensure that we understand the detailed requirements and zoning of the project at hand.

Step 3. Concurrently, the Project Manager builds a detailed production workflow Gantt chart to ensure all departments are continuously engaged—with no gaps in the workflow. Our workflow is built in accordance with the project zoning, ensuring that the steel is issued for approval in zoned packages of similar size and on a regular basis throughout the project. 

Step 4. Once the initial super structure modeling is complete, the connecting and light steel modeling teams join, starting in Zone 1. As they complete Zone 1 and move into Zone 2, the model checkers and drafters move into Zone 1 behind them.

From that point, the steel is processed through the departments zone by zone in a “production line” approach, which allows the maximum number of people to work simultaneously on the project with no gaps in the workflow.

Step 5. Once Step 4 is underway, all that remains is to make sure the promised dates are being kept in light of setbacks that invariably happen, such as design revisions and unanswered questions to the design team. Having a well-organized workflow is the best way to adapt to the changing circumstances on the project. This allows us to maintain the schedule despite the various setbacks that occur on most projects.

While each detailing project presents unique challenges, we keep every project on track with our production planning process—along with plenty of adaptability.

If you need reliable, results-driven detailing services on a tight schedule, reach out to the team at Anatomic Iron Steel Detailing:

How Design Detailing Will Assist Your Next Project

How do you place a value on time savings versus a slightly higher initial detailing cost?  The answer is simple and begins with early involvement.

At Anatomic Iron Steel Detailing, our Design-Assist Detailing and Design-Build Detailing services help you cut significant time from the pre-construction/planning process, resulting in major time and cost savings overall on your project as a whole. These services fast-track a project in its initial stages, furthering the project’s momentum by streamlining the early acquisition of materials and providing the opportunity to bring in steel fabricators (and other trades) early on, while providing assistance in practical construction methodology through our engineering team.

Our Design-Assist Detailing services can also eliminate most of the delays incurred currently on shop drawing approval time and administrative processes, ensuring the fabrication drawings and erection plans are issued as the design parameters are finalized. This method guarantees that a full Consultant/Contractor/Detailer team is working at all times in an up-to-the-minute planning environment—and every item affecting the design is visible in real-time.  A contiguous advantage is the provision by Anatomic of an up-to-the-minute Tekla 3D building model under the ‘Tekla Modelshare’ platform that is viewed by all interested parties, thus allowing for input from these persons to be included in the modelling process continuously.  The result is saved time and money, especially when compared to the current system of submitting shop drawings after completion of the model, which necessitates after- completion model modifications to incorporate any required clashes/design changes on building general layout.  Our system ensures any such changes are built into the model continuously right away during the design period.

Are you ready to save money—and time—on your projects? Learn how Anatomic can make it happen through top-notch Design-Build and Design-Assist Detailing:

ESTI-Models Save You Time and Money

Steel procurement prices are on the rise with the recent uptick in warehouse and data center construction. For the fabricator, this scenario means spending more money on raw material that would otherwise be allocated to construction processes.

Of course, you’re probably looking for ways to keep overall costs as low as possible in light of raw material prices going up. But is maintaining your preferred project budgets still possible?


Let Anatomic Iron Steel Detailing help with our ESTI-modeling service.  Our team can build a fast and accurate stick model to generate an ABM pre-bid.  Having this information on hand will allow you to pre-book your main steel sections at the ruling price when you are preparing your estimate (a manual take-off is not necessary anymore) followed by your confirming order placement for the  steel on the day of award, locking in your material pricing and reducing as much as possible your exposure to steel material price increases.

Through our ESTI-modeling services, we’ve saved customers hundreds of thousands of dollars on overall project costs. And with the price of raw material going up, ESTI-models are proving an invaluable asset to fabricators everywhere.

Don’t let your business get overwhelmed by market conditions. Outmaneuver them with ESTI-model services from the leaders in complex steel detailing.

Contact Anatomic Iron Steel Detailing today to start saving money on your projects:

Mesa Valley School District unveils a new Middle School

At the beginning of 2018, Mesa Valley County School District 51 in Grand Junction, Colorado, began construction of the Orchard Mesa Middle School, a greener more energy-efficient educational facility than any in the past!

Orchard Mesa Middle School is one of 39 schools in this district, which serves well over 22,000 students in the area. In order to provided much-needed educational expansion and facilitate a safer, and more environmentally-friendly atmosphere for students, the school needed this project fast-tracked—and a steel detailer who could keep up.

Under the guidance of project manager Jeremy MacFarline, Anatomic Iron Steel Detailing worked with Western Slope Iron & Supply, FCI Constructors, Inc., and Blythe Group + co. to help expedite the design phase and eliminate steel related issues as quickly as possible. The challenge was twofold; not only was this project extremely fast-tracked, but the design for this 605-ton building wasn’t yet complete at the start of detailing. This is what design detailing is all about!

This scenario required efficient, open communication between Anatomic, the designers, and the fabricators from the project’s outset, but our solution was simple. To ensure easy and instantaneous communication throughout the detailing period, we utilized our online RFI collaboration system for instantaneous problem-solving between stakeholders. We also conducted regular GoTo meetings with the fabricator, design team, and the general contractor to pinpoint and address steel issues that came up during detailing. The resolution of these issues often within 1 day ensured the aggressive project schedule was maintained.

The main design challenge was the inclusion of several “tree” columns and trusses. These tree columns were branching steel assemblies of round, hollow sections built to look like trees with limbs. These tree columns supported the roof beams, with large built-up trusses spanning the common area inside the school. Without careful 3D modeling and BIM coordination with the design team and steel fabricator, there would have been no efficient way to accurately detail and fabricate these items within the aggressive schedule.

Thanks to teamwork and adaptability, we met the deadline for the new Orchard Mesa Middle School’s scheduled opening—just in time for the 2020 spring semester. After combining seven buildings into one, a new structure was produced that is safer for students and requires less electrical energy to operate. Orchard Mesa Middle School’s new building is part of a continued district effort to make schools safer and more energy-efficient in the community. With innovative new features built for energy conservation and increased school security, Orchard Mesa students can now thrive in a place that supports not just their education—but their environment.

If you want to learn more about how Anatomic Iron Steel Detailing can assist you with your next fast-track project using our collaborative design detailing process, reach out to Cliff Young for more information today:

Fast-Track Screening Facility

When Nucor Corporation needed to fast-track the construction of a 523-ton industrial facility, Anatomic Iron Steel Detailing was able to provide the technology and expertise to expedite the project – completing a nine to 12-month design and detailing job in just under four months!

The Nucor Screening Facility project was very unique, as Anatomic worked for Martin/Martin Consulting Engineers to firstly create the design set of drawings, and then follow on to the complete the steel fabrication, and erection drawings.

It was a first for Anatomic to work on creating a set of design drawings, following the instructions of Martin/Martin Consulting Engineers’ lead designer for Nucor’s dry-wet screening plant. This involved designing a plan for an exterior conveyor to bring material from an adjacent building through the roof of the screening facility, bringing it through a narrow interior pathway, and finally passing it through a screening mechanism that would convert the mixed content into usable raw material for steel production.

One major challenge involved accommodating the facility’s two main hoppers, which were already too large for their shoes (springs). The Martin Martin / Anatomic team navigated this issue by determining where the grading needed to be trimmed, adjusting beam placement, and adding holes to fit the hoppers’ shoes.  Since the hoppers were already being manufactured in Europe and could not be changed, we revised the steel model to accommodate their size ensuring that when it came time to erect the steel, there would be no issue. We are excited to report when all elements arrived on site, including the hoppers, it all fit up together perfectly!

Another large aspect of the project was the design and detailing for the stairs encompassing seven levels of the facility. Under Martin Martin’s lead we again completed the design set of drawings, and went on to create the fabrication and erection plans. We also worked with the associated trades to complete the cladding and coordination for the conveyor mechanism.

To achieve these success driven results, our dual team worked from a schematic concept to create design drawings, lead closely by the EOR to make the necessary updates to the design drawings through Bluebeam Studio Session on a weekly basis.  We used Tekla model share and transitioned the design model seamlessly into the detailing model to save project time. The entire project was model-driven, including the approval process.  We carries this process on and used the approved model to prepare and submit the issue for fabrication drawings and e-plans.

From the start of the detailing stage, our detailing settings were all according to Nucor’s shop drawing standards, since they were also the fabricator. This ensured that our final shop drawings were in perfect alignment with Nucor’s fabrication requirements, leading to fast and efficient fabrication by Nucor’s team which saved time on the overall project.

And the end result? The successful completion of the Nucor Screening Facility—a joint effort in creativity and innovation by Anatomic Iron and Martin/Martin Consulting Engineers. Learn more about Anatomic Iron Steel Detailing’s array of services and check out our portfolio of other completed projects by visiting our website:

Anschutz Case Study: When Teamwork Made the Dream Work

With the new year comes the anticipation of completed projects, and few projects Anatomic Iron Steel Detailing has worked on match the scale and scope of the Anschutz Health Sciences Building at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

With Anatomic’s very own Kerry Young serving as Project Manager, the Anschutz Health Sciences Building is set for completion in the early summer of 2021. This building will stand at seven stories tall and occupy 390,914 square feet at the heart of the UC Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, CO—one of the world’s leading facilities for medical care and research. In addition to its integral function within the UC campus and the medical world, the Anschutz Health and Sciences Building will serve as an innovative work of art thanks to the collaborative effort between Anatomic Iron and project partners, including RK Steel and Trimble.

As the Anschutz Health Sciences Building takes shape, the creative genius behind the building’s sculptural form shines through every emerging curve and angle. Anatomic’s team of detailers and project managers supported engineers, fabricators and architects by providing state-of-the-art design detailing services—but the drawings for this campus gem were no easy feat. In fact, Anatomic and partners faced several major obstacles in the design process that had to be overcome with some unconventional strategies.

One of the major challenges Anatomic faced in the Anschutz Health Sciences Building project was producing drawings that allowed for multiple elements of the structure to share a single connection node. The building required sweeping roof trusses composed of large HSS profiles. To accommodate the massive size of these structural components, the HSS connections needed special preparation for the CJP welded connections—but the Tekla software in use lacked the necessary macros and components. That’s when Anatomic collaborated with Trimble on this portion of the project, enabling our team to modify a Tekla component that met the project’s connection requirements.

Moreover, Anatomic worked closely with Trimble to acquire additional file extensions that were supported by RK Steel’s fabrication processes and equipment, enabling them to process the needed HSS connections smoothly and efficiently. Because of each party’s commitment to teamwork and perseverance, we were able to produce flawless drawings that formed the groundwork for this beautiful building to take shape.

As the Anschutz Health Sciences Building nears completion, Anatomic is proud of the teamwork and ingenuity of its team members working on this 590-ton architectural feat. Working closely with our partners, our team created innovative designs to support both function and form. The building will support multiple programs, including research, clinical trials, classroom education and even recreation, all while fulfilling its additional purpose as an artistic “beacon” welcoming students and faculty at the campus’s entryway.

To learn more about Anatomic’s role in making the Anschutz Health Sciences Building and other structures around the country a reality, visit our projects page—and see how we go the extra mile for our clients!

AISC Fabricator Certification Brings Value to Steel Projects

Many fabricators have wisely chosen to become AISC-Certified. This is a rigorous process where the fabricator must adopt quality systems, implement specific fabrication and safety processes, and maintain qualification and training records of all staff to ensure a high level of quality control. In order to maintain this certification, a fabricator must be audited each year by the AISC to ensure all certification points are met.

One purpose of the qualification record requirements is to obtain the names and qualifications of all detailing staff, including subcontractors, working on the fabricator’s projects. Anatomic Iron Steel Detailing readily provides this information to customers, demonstrating our staff’s capabilities and qualifications.

However, the AISC Audit does NOT require the fabricator to ensure that their detailer has legitimate Tekla or SDS2 licenses. Auditors are not required to review detailing software entitlement certificates, leaving an opening for the use of deficient or altered Tekla or SDS2 licenses, which lower the quality of delivered models and drawings if used.

We believe that the AISC should incorporate sufficient software verification into the AISC audit to ensure that the high-quality standards of AISC Certification are met.

At Anatomic Iron Steel Detailing, we use legitimate Tekla licenses on every project. We know that honesty and integrity pay off; and with detailing software, you get what you pay for. That’s why we believe every detailer should obtain proper licenses and be able to present proof that a project was detailed using legitimate licenses as a standard part of the AISC audit process that ensures fabricator certification. 

Learn more about the Tekla software compliance issue here:

Value Engineering with a Twist: The Orange County Museum of Art Story

Do you have a steel detailer that can readily identify problem areas on construction drawings? We all know that sometimes the synthesis of architectural ingenuity with form and beauty creates an impasse for constructability. Such was the case with our recent work on the Orange County Museum of Art in Costa Mesa, California. 

The aesthetically- pleasing wave-shaped terracotta elevation wall in this structure was designed with square HSS tubes. Upon commencement of detailing this area of the project we found that the tubes would need to be twisted to stay within the wall, an expensive undertaking. After identification of the problem area, we suggested a solution of replacing the square profiles in critical locations with round pipe. In collaboration with the Beck Steel team, who suggested adding segmented channel to the round pipe in order to provide a flat surface for the light gage track attachment, we modeled this solution in Tekla and found it worked well. The Beck Steel team reviewed our prepared drawings and the value engineered solution was verified as workable for Beck’s fabrication processes as well as suitable for field installation. The process was tested in the mockup frame and later in the final construction process and found to be completely workable.  

This is just one more great example of collaborative team work between the steel detailing team and fabricator coupled with Anatomic’s value engineering solutions to decrease fabrication and erection costs! 

Are you in need of a steel detailer who can handle highly complex structural steel detailing? 

Do you need an advocate who is proactive in solving problems and identifying cost savings? 

Look no further than Anatomic Iron Steel Detailing; we are here to help on your upcoming projects! Please reach out directly anytime to Mr. Dave Pye – VP Sales & Estimating at with any inquiries.

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