What is the Difference Between Shop Drawings and Design Drawings?

Both design drawings and shop drawings are important in the planning stage of a fabrication project using structural steel. They are necessary in both commercial and industrial developments. Both hold different roles in the construction process, and both are important to the process. However, when it is time to move from the planning to the fabrication stage, shop drawings provide the details necessary to move the project forward, and without them, you’ll literally be going back to the drawing board in order to proceed with fabrication.

What is the Difference Between Shop Drawings and Design Drawings

What Information do Design Drawings Include?

Design drawings are an important part of the process. Generally, design drawings include interior and exterior elevations, interior and exterior 3D renderings, floor plans, site plans, design layout, aesthetic elements, information required for fabrication, fabrication standards, installation information, dimensions requiring on-site verification, connection design, and notes and comparisons to the construction documents. This is an extensive amount of information, but is still not enough information to begin fabrication. 

What Information do Shop Drawings Include?

Shop drawings are usually completed by engineers. These drawings provide all the dimensions, connection details, and fabrication standards. The right team of experts will take a design drawing or 3D model, identify and rectify any potential issues, and produce a 2D shop drawing with all the necessary information for fabrication. Shop drawings are extremely technical and precise and must be completed by engineers with a strong understanding of the fabrication process.

What is So Important About Shop Drawings?

When you’re reaching out to fabrication shops for an estimate on your project, you’ll need to provide them with architectural design drawings for an accurate quote. Without a set of design drawings, we won’t be able to give you an accurate estimate. 

Once you decide to move forward with the project, we’ll take those design drawings and turn them into shop drawings. Shop drawings are the precise, accurate drawings needed for structural steel fabrication. These highly specific drawings are essential to your project and without them, your fabrication partner will not be able to build your project.

Shop drawings provide the fabrication team with sufficient details to ensure that all steel elements are structurally sound and adhere to all necessary safety, quality, and product standards and regulations. 

How Do We Turn Design Drawings into Shop Drawings?

Our skilled team can translate your design drawings into shop drawings. While some companies have the ability on their own to create shop drawings from the design drawings, you may not have the right engineers at the ready to create what your fabrication partner will need. In this case, your fabrication company can steer you in the right direction and get the shop drawings completed for your project. If you need guidance on where to go for design drawings, we can help you with that as well. 

Both design drawings and shop drawings are essential to the fabrication process, but converting a design drawing to a shop drawing is a crucial point in the planning process that cannot be overlooked. Design drawings communicate the vision for the final product, and shop drawings deliver the in-depth instructions and specifications needed to make that vision a reality. In order for the fabricator to supply a structurally sound, accurate piece of framework, the shop drawings must be in hand before any fabrication can begin. If you need help with shop drawings for your next fabrication project, we can help you find the right shop. When you partner with Swanton Welding, we truly become an extension of your team. Contact us today for a quote on your next project.