Automation of drawing output - BC-397

Preferred Disciplines: Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Structural Engineering (Masters)
Project length: 4-6 months (1 unit)
Approx. start date: As soon as possible
Location: Langley, BC
No. of Positions: 1
Preferences: SFU, Trinity Western, KPU, UBC (any others that are local)
Company: Dowco Consultants Ltd.

About Company:

Dowco Consultants Ltd is one of the leading specialized 3D modeling and steel detailing companies, and is among the largest fully automated steel detail engineering companies in the world. Steel Detailing is the business of 3D modelling and drafting specifically for Structural Steel. Dowco will create a 3D model, generate CNC files, and produce shop and field erection drawings so all structural members can be manufactured by a Steel Fabricator and put together in the field. 

Summary of Project:

Create 100% accurate shop drawings for structural steel fabrication.

Generation of structural shop drawings can take up to 40% of project time. This is typically a manual process of laying out the drawing sheet, and  adding dimension lines to structural members.

Dowco has developed a process to pull dimension lines from the 3D structural model and place dimensions on the drawings, however, member location and dimension lines are not optimized, meaning that a manual edit and review of the drawing still has to be done.

Dowco aims to get the drawing layout 100% accurate by either modifying how data is placed on the drawings or upon optimizing the drawing once generated. A complex algorithm through software engineering or implementaion of some sort of AI could potentially solve this challenge.

Research Objectives/Sub-Objectives:

  • Manual generation of shop drawings is ownerous & prone to error
    • Automation of this process will be labour saving and be 100% accurate
  • This is a 2D spacial representation problem for member and line placement on the drawing sheet that must be resolved by
    • Development of a complex algoirthm to solve problem
    • Development of AI compenents so new conditions can be handled
  • Develop intuative user interface for effective use


    • Working with Steel Detailing expert to understand the challenges our industry faces in creating shop drawings
    • Review and enhance, or replace our auto-drawing generation
    • Scrum software methodology to project manage

    Expertise and Skills Needed:

    • Software design & engineering
    • Complex mathematics
    • Artificial Intellignence application development
    • User interface design

    For more info or to apply to this applied research position, please

    1. Check your eligibility and find more information about open projects.
    2. Interested students need to get the approval from their supervisor and send their CV along with a link to their supervisor’s university webpage by applying through the webform