With a name like FrameBuilder, this software company clearly belongs in Howick’s world. And, strangely enough, FrameBuilder - MRD (Machine Ready Designer) founder Farhad Sacoor had the inside running on Howick’s offerings before his software company was even dreamed of.
Farhad - who says his resume includes a “crazy background incorporating skills in many areas” – was once a fabricator. While wearing that working hat, he went searching for options to produce solar array structures. He recalls doing some research and Howick machines came up tops.
From there it is not automatically a story of smooth runnings – not initially anyway. But a silver lining certainly presented itself. The machine Farhad got hold of did not work, thanks to having been in storage for way too long and its main controller battery had lost the will to live.
An ensuing troubleshooting exercise led to the start of a relationship with Howick. And this then led to another career change that Farhad has totally embraced. FrameBuilder is the result.
Farhad talks of how that troubleshooting led to his foray into the design software world. He identified the value of affordable light steel framing (LSF) in the developing world and disaster-prone areas, and decided to develop his own software. He chose Sketchup as a platform as it was perfect match (FrameBuilder integrates with Sketchup). Sketchup’s huge user base and the fact it is a user-friendly piece of software is hugely beneficial to FrameBuilder.
Farhad’s hands-on experience as a fabricator has helped in this journey, as has input from Howick and other experts, he says. His learnings have included upskilling his knowledge in the LSF space and constantly reviewing engine components to then introduce new formulas.
After several years of development, Farhad is proud to say his company has a solid offering. He now markets FrameBuilder as a company offering the most affordable and comprehensive light steel framing designs. FrameBuilder boasts a team of about 20 LSF experts from all over the world and is represented in almost every major country and some island nations.
Today Howick is one of many companies happy to call FrameBuilder a software partner.
So, why so successful exactly? What is it that designers like most about FrameBuilder’s software? There are two things in particular, Farhad believes - its design capabilities and price.
“When Covid hit, markets went down but FrameBuilder sales went up because of affordability.” Farhad is proud to share.
He explains how a typical team who uses FrameBuilder comprises one engineer, and bunch of detailers. “This works well to keep costs down on detailing by having one engineer with expensive engineering software and the rest designing according to specification.”
In terms of FramBuilder capabilities, Farhad assures it can do what expensive software can do and at an affordable rate. FrameBuilder also has what Farhad describes as a unique offering in its Free Tool Module. This module allows a designer the freedom to design and tool any frame in 3D.
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