HiCAD: Proactive sheet metal functions for various facades

Founded in 1956 as a metalworking shop in the cellar of an apartment house, the Horst IDL Metallbau GmbH gradually advanced to a versatile enterprise serving the entire Tyrolean region and covering an impressive range of tasks relating to facades, buildings and gardens, such as complex steel constructions, aluminium/glass facades, stainless steel railings, windows, doors, conservatories, and much more.

Today, 40 competent employees and state-of-the-art machinery ensure the successful realisation of technically demanding projects in the field of metal and facade engineering. Two licenses of the industry-comprehensive, 2D/3D combining CAD software HiCAD assist the IDL staff, in close cooperation with planners and architects, with the development and implementation of solutions to the challenges coming up in the field of mullion/transom facades, glass facades, sheet metal facades and ALUCOBOND® facades. 

Bernhard Gratz, Project Manager Aluminium at the IDL GmbH explains why his company has chosen the CAD software of the Dortmund-based ISD Group for this sector: His search for a 3D CAD system that allows a designing of complex parts with 3D mitres, diagonal or even polygonal forms ended in 2015 at the BAU in Munich, where he discovered the ISD at its CAD system HiCAD. “Before implementing HiCAD at our company we where using exclusively AutoCAD ATHENA, which we still use for various detail work, such as the drawing of sections and single parts, while having each sheet metal part and each steel engineering substructure available in 3D thanks to HiCAD’s unique combined 2D/3D approach. This enables us to work much more accurately in difficult areas and provides us with additional planning security, since any changes are automatically taken over into the 3D model.” In the case of the IDL GmbH, it is the HiCAD Metal Engineering suite premium that enables the Tyrolean company to realize highly complex steel and metal engineering projects with industry-comprehensive functions, and technically demanding sheet metal constructions with sophisticated special functions.

HiCAD: Automated project processes with interface to LogiKal ®

When making the decision in favour of HiCAD, one decisive criterion was the bidirectional interface between HiCAD and the software solution LogiKal® by the Orgadata AG. According to Bernhard Gratz, a typical project process at the IDL GmbH looks like this: “Our machining centres are exclusively controlled with LogiKal®. The interface to LogiKal® in conjunction with the access to extensive libraries with master data of all market-leading profile and fitting manufacturers enables an integrated working, accurate calculation and efficient automation.“ Furthermore, he explains: “First we advise the customer and then we decide which profile system is required to overcome the technical hurdles. Next, we draw plans for approval, with details and sections for the architect. After their approval, the modelling and the creation of production and mounting drawings by HiCAD takes place. Particularly helpful here are the functions for automatic BOM generation and automatic drawing generation.”

“HiCAD’s integrated sheet metal functions have promoted productivity increases in our company to a considerable extent. In addition, error rates during design processes could be minimized, which has also contributed to a faster realization of projects.



Bernhard Gratz, Project Manager Aluminium, IDL GmbH

The ETH Zurich project - Element facade

Where a light-flooded, elegant ambience is requested, this wish can be realized by sophisticated glass facades in mullion/transom constructions. Load transmission takes place via vertical mullions, to which horizontal transoms are connected. Inserts are held by horizontal and vertical pressure bars mounted to the mullions and transoms. Steel, aluminium or wood are used as structural materials, creating an appealing visual contrast to the delicate transparency of the construction. “An extremely difficult project was, for instance, the realisation of the valley station Nauders,” recalls Bernhard Gratz. “An architecturally striking building combining all three facade variants that we create with HiCAD: Mullion/transom facades, ALUCOBOND® facades as well as perforated plate facades“. The integrated sheet metal function is repeatedly mentioned by Gratz as one of HiCAD’s highlights, since it provides all tools that are required: Drawings and bills of materials can be created at the push of a button, while complex, inclined polygon facades are made available within a few mouse clicks. The HiCADtypical, BIM compliant roof/wall planning functionality in 3D ensures digital safety thanks to a multi-dimensional, yet easily intelligible data-based model, which has alsogreatly facilitated the cooperation of the IDL engineers with carpentry shops and metalworking shops.

Productivity increased after 6 months

“HiCAD’s integrated sheet metal functions have promoted productivity increases in our company to a considerable extent“, concludes Bernhard Gratz. “In addition, error rates during design processes could be minimized, which has also contributed to a faster realization of projects. Initially, of course, it took some time to familiarize ourselves with the use of HiCAD. But thanks to the eagerness to learn and the dedication of our employees, the really excellent cooperation with the ISD and their helpful training courses we could easily master these challenges.” When asked whether the acquisition of further HiCAD workstations is planned, he answers: “Sure, maybe one or two more licenses in the near future, for there’s always room for further gains“.

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