PowerPack Advance Steel – FASSLER

Interview with Olivier Rasquier, the head of the design office at Ets FASSLER, a family business with 40 employees, founded in 1975, located in Alsace, France. We specialize in the design, detailing, construction, and installation of structural steel and miscellaneous steel. We have been using Autodesk® Advance Steel software for the study, fabrication, and erection of our projects for about fifteen years.



Company: Ets FASSLER
Location: France

Since 1975, Ets FASSLER has developed expertise and solid know-how in the transformation of steel, stainless steel, and aluminum to meet all the needs of industrial metalworking, sheet metal fabrication, and locksmithing. A family business based in Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, in the heart of Val d’Argent, Alsace, relies on the specialized technical skills and loyalty of 35 employees to provide you with advice and assistance in your projects.

Founded by Jean-Claude Fassler, the company operates on a site of nearly 4000 square meters. It is now managed by his son Olivier, who upholds the values that have contributed to its reputation:

Versatility / Technical Expertise / Availability / Responsiveness / Flexibility


GRAITEC: Could you please introduce yourself briefly?

Olivier Rasquier: My name is Olivier Rasquier, and I am the head of the design office at Ets FASSLER, a family business with 40 employees, founded in 1975, located in Alsace, France. We specialize in the design, detailing, construction, and installation of structural steel and miscellaneous steel. We have been using Autodesk® Advance Steel software for the study, fabrication, and erection of our projects for about fifteen years.





PowerPack Advance Steel – FASSLER | Graitec - UK

GRAITEC: What types of projects do you carry out with Advance Steel?

Olivier Rasquier: Our slogan is “FASSLER – Metal Solutions,” which perfectly summarizes everything we are  able to design and deliver in my company. To be a bit more specific, this mainly includes projects such as:
·        Structural steel for commercial or industrial buildings
·        Interior renovations of existing premises with the creation of mezzanines (interior floors) and access stairs according to standards
·        Work for private individuals, including the construction of stairs, railings, and terraces with wooden deck

GRAITEC: How does Advance Steel help you increase productivity in manufacturing? 

Olivier Rasquier: In addition to automatically generating all workshop drawings (single parts, assemblies) from the 3D model, which saves a considerable amount of time, Advance Steel allows for the automatic creation of DSTV files (with or without marking, also known as scribing) for all parts to be manufactured. This speeds up cutting and drilling times in the workshop and makes the assembly of steel elements even more precise.

The use of laser cutting from DXF and DWG files created in Advance Steel ensures precision work, which is crucial for our steel projects.

GRAITEC: How does Advance Steel enable you to handle projects that you wouldn’t have been able to complete with AutoCAD alone?

Olivier Rasquier: Modeling in 3D allows us to have a better spatial vision and ensure that what we deliver and assemble on-site can easily fit into the existing environment. Recently, we completed the creation of four steel stringers to reinforce an existing staircase cage. The structure was made of rectangular tubing reconstructed in the balanced sections of the flights, with triangular surfaces to maintain the continuity of the tube section. It was also required for the parts to be moved through a confined space with no clearance. This would have been much more complex to design, fabricate, and assemble on-site without the use of software like Advance Steel.

GRAITEC: What does the PowerPack for Advance Steel bring you compared to Advance Steel alone?

Olivier Rasquier: I really appreciate the PowerPack for Advance Steel because it is simpler to use (than the macros available in Autodesk Advance Steel alone) for miscellaneous steel. There are many features in the PowerPack that I use very regularly in my projects because they save me valuable time that I can spend on other tasks. Here are a few examples:
·        for straight stairs, I can easily integrate the grating step models from our supplier and find the precise references for these elements in the customized lists I have created.
·        the macros are easier to input and provide additional possibilities that interest me, such as inserting perforated metal sheets at the lower part of a railing.
·        one of my favorite tools is the macro for concrete stairs, which saves me considerable time by modeling the concrete part in a few clicks, just by entering its precise dimensions in the PowerPack for Advance Steel dialog box.

With the PowerPack for Advance Steel, it is also possible to export the drawings and give them in DWG format to someone who only has Autodesk AutoCAD and not Advance Steel without hurting the original Advance Steel drawings.

GRAITEC: How does using the Cloud with Advance Steel benefit your projects?

Olivier Rasquier: On my 2D overview drawings generated with Advance Steel, I continue to include 3D views to facilitate understanding for site workers on the construction site.

But I realized that there is nothing better than sharing the complete 3D model of the project created in Advance Steel with the site teams. With just a few clicks, I can upload and share it on the Autodesk Viewer platform and make the project file available via the Cloud. This allows the site erectors to view the project in 3D at any time on their smartphone screens, to hide or isolate certain elements if necessary, and to access the properties (mark, section, weight, etc.) of each individual steel element in the project. This greatly facilitates their understanding of the assembly of the different steel components and significantly reduces the number of email or phone exchanges that used to take place before this solution was accessible to everyone anytime.

And what is very convenient is the ability to extend the sharing duration of this 3D model in the cloud when the link expires after 30 days, without having to re-upload the model file and share the new link with the site teams.

GRAITEC: Have you customized the tools in Advance Steel to meet the needs of Ets FASSLER?

Olivier Rasquier: I had the opportunity, and took the time between projects, to customize many aspects of the Advance Steel software. It started with creating a dedicated tool palette in which I gathered functions that I frequently use, along with combinations of features that I created myself or inspired by advice from other users on the Graitec Advantage forum and the English section of the Autodesk Advance Steel forum.
I also created a catalog of 3D grating steps, saved as special parts and reused in the Stair macro of the PowerPack for Advance Steel.

Regarding plan outputs, I have added new types of hatching used on drawings to better represent the type of materials in the section views. This makes drawings generated in Advance Steel even more easily readable for those who consult them.

Finally, and most importantly, I have customized the drawing styles to produce fabrication plans that require almost no manual editing, with optimal placement of labels and dimensions on the fabrication drawings.

I have also configured numerous Bill of Materials that are generated automatically from the 3D model. This includes templates logo, type of information, automatic sorting and calculation of values so that the result can be directly used by the purchasing department, the workshop, and the assembly team.

GRAITEC: Do you use Advance Steel for renovation projects?

Olivier Rasquier: Yes, we recently used it for the renovation of existing stairs in Marseille. It involves a balanced staircase with a small floor plan (2.90×3.80 m) serving five levels of a residential building, representing a traditional wooden framework structure consisting of a balanced stringer combined with steps and risers. Each balanced flight is independent from one floor to the next and is supported by the landing beams of the various floors. The project includes the consolidation of the five levels by reinforcing the inner stringer.

Using the point cloud from the scan performed on-site allowed our design office in Alsace (800km away from Marseille) to validate that our 3D modeling of the new staircase in Advance Steel perfectly matched reality. This gave us great confidence in the success of the project for installing the new staircase on-site.

GRAITEC: Are you looking forward to installing the upcoming new versions?

Olivier Rasquier: Yes, I will be installing Autodesk Advance Steel 2025 in the coming days as it seems this version brings significant performance improvements. I will also install the PowerPack for Advance Steel 2025 when it is released this summer. I learned during the digital conference Innovate2BUILD organized by GRAITEC, in a session presented by the product management team, that the PowerPack for Advance Steel will introduce very interesting new features for miscellaneous steel, especially for cage ladders.

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