The idea for Fabstation was born back in 2010 while our founder was working on the Sparkling Hill Resort project in Vernon, BC at his structural steel fabrication company, Warnaar Steel-Tech. This stunning resort, owned by the Swarovski family, had many challenges.
Foremost of which was the crystal facade that adorned the entry of the resort. The nodal pipe frame along with the angled guy-wire clips, that had to be fitted to near piano precision, created many sleepless nights for our fabricators. 2D drawings alone could not depict all of the necessary information needed for fabrication.
The picture on the left shows the infamous entry to the Sparkling Hill Resort.
This is when we turned to the 3D design itself to inform the fabrication. We brought laptops from the office to the production floor and used them as a guide in conjunction with the drawings.
With any complex project, it is always a challenge for detailers to add just enough detail to be constructible but not too much that it affects readability. However, with the advent of 3D modeling and digitization of critical construction information, it just makes sense to offer digital tools to the workers building them.
The Sparkling Hill Resort project made our founder wonder: “We have all of these 3D assets; why are we building these 3D structures from 2D drawings?”
Comparing the pictures on the right, you can see the challenges many fabricators face when dealing with complex assemblies.
The realization that there had to be a better way stuck with our Founder and took him down the path of digital transformation throughout the operation. This started in the office with the addition of an MRP system and made its way to the floor via CNC machinery. But this still did not bridge the gap to the workers themselves. The BIM data was still trapped in the office.
However, with the popularization of Virtual and Augmented Reality and the advent of devices becoming more affordable and robust, the opportunity to bring that 3D data to the floor in a meaningful way had finally arrived. All these factors combined led to the opportunity to develop our product FabStation-STEEL.
Fast forward to today and FabStation-STEEL is the leading industry BIM information solution for workers on the floor, with our mixed reality technology leading the way. FabStation was built by fabricators for fabricators.