What Drawings Do I Need To Get An Accurate Fabrication Estimate?

When you are looking for an accurate fabrication estimate, the drawings you provide are more than just a guideline. Think of it like a complex Lego kit, and the detailed drawings you need for your fabricator are like the Lego kit instructions. There might be a big picture of the finished design on the outside of the Lego box-maybe even from different angles showing you what the design will look like when it’s finished. But without detailed instructions you won’t be able to build the kit. You need to know more than what it will look like in the end-in fact you need to know a lot more. You have to know which bricks to use and when, how many of each brick you’ll use in each step, and how the build goes step by step from beginning to end. Fabrication builds are a lot like a complex Lego kit in this regard. To get an accurate estimate for your fabrication project, you need to have your final detailed drawings prepared before contacting your fabrication partner for the next step.

Structural steel beams that are powder coated and assembled together.

What Do You Need to Prepare?

The drawings you need for an accurate fabrication estimate should be prepared by an engineer and include all the specifications necessary to build out your project. When you hand your fabrication partner only a picture of the finished product, even as a CAD design, it is nearly impossible for the fabrication shop to recreate that drawing to your specifications. The fabrication team may have an idea of what they’ll need to do, but for your build to be a success they need more. This includes a material list complete with the type and size of material and how many of each part will be needed, and the steps that will go into building each component. When you have an engineer who can provide this detailed blueprint, the fabrication process will move smoothly.

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What if You Don’t Know Where to Go For Shop Drawings?

Having the proper drawings is important, and if you don’t currently have the right engineers to work with, you might not know where to turn for help. Many fabrication shops can steer you in the right direction. Fabrication shops know of quality services that can get your initial sketches from concept to the final detailed drawings needed for an accurate quote and timeline for your fabrication project. 

Different Types of Drawings

When you are designing your project, there are several different types of drawings. Understanding what goes into each drawing and how that information helps your fabricator is important to determine exactly what your fabricator needs from you prior to the project quote. 

  • 3D or CAD Drawings

These drawings do provide a reference for your fabricator’s engineering staff. The fabricator’s engineering team can use these drawings to gain the information needed to accurately quote the project. However, these drawings will take more lead time to fully understand the material needs and usage. CAD or 3D drawings work well for projects such as ductwork or a clarifier. 

  • Architectural Drawings

Architectural drawings are primarily useful for structural steel fabrication projects. Beams and drill lines can be fabricated using an architectural drawing, even if the steel used will need to be drilled or formed for end use. You will need a fabricator who can work well with your detailer to pull the right steel from your drawings to get your job done correctly.

  • Assembly Drawings

Assembly drawings are not very useful as fabrication drawings. In many instances, assembly drawings are little more than a sketch. They won’t provide you with the dimensions, measurements, and materials needed. Your fabrication partner will need much more information to take these drawings to the fabrication stage.

  • Detailed Drawings

Detailed drawings are what your fabricator wants from you. When you submit a detailed drawing, you can get an accurate quote with fewer questions and fewer delays. The engineering team at the fabrication shop can project accurate timelines for material delivery and fabrication, the project managers can ensure that your project is completed and delivered to your satisfaction within the timeline quoted, and your final product will function exactly how it needs to.

Get a Quote

When you provide your fabricator with the right drawings for your project, your fabrication can be quoted accurately, your timeline will be clear, the materials will be right, and the project can be completed successfully. Having the right teams working together will get your project from concept to completion, and we can help. If you’ve got a great idea but not sure where to turn for detailed drawings, contact Swanton Welding. We have the knowledge, experience, and skilled team members to assist you through every step of your next project.