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Innovative CAD Technology Meets Old World Craftsmanship

Customer Challenge

For more than a decade, Modern Metal Solutions has been challenged with overseeing multifaceted, diverse, yet precisely detailed metalwork projects from beginning to end – starting with concept, design, drawing to fabrication, finishing and installation. Many of these building product manufacturing (BPM) jobs require a mix of high tech, innovative tools with hands-on, high-quality craftsmanship to expertly manage the complex design, production, and installation process. For one such project in a historic area of Boston, Modern Metal Solutions was commissioned to create intricate, decorative metal elements for a 19th century brownstone renovation, including a Juliet balcony, nine-foot-tall interior doors, and the centerpiece of the building – a highly ornate steel railing laced with bold scrollwork for the five-story staircase.

Project Goals

Given only preliminary sketches from the architect and builder, the team at Modern Metal Solutions had to design, create, and install elaborate and detailed metal elements that combined the old world, classic period feel with a functional and modern renovation. For the massive staircase, there was also the need for the complex railing to exactly fit into the newly expanded area. All the elements needed to come together to be functional structures and add to the beauty and historical elegance of the updated brownstone building with the help of Autodesk Inventor..


To accomplish this challenging, detail-oriented metal work project, the Modern Metal Solutions team used just one mechanical design software – Autodesk Inventor. With ongoing training and support from M2 Technologies, this robust tool provided state-of-the-art 3D modeling and simulation capabilities to facilitate the complex designs. Utilizing Inventor’s precise simulation, visualization and documentation features, the team was able to render accurate, dynamic 3D prototype and precision shop drawings. For the staircase alone, each of the 420 ornamental scrolls was uniquely drawn, and every curve, line and section of the railing was modeled, drafted, and detailed. The complexity of the rails required additional drawings and plans to be developed for the underlying staircase structure. The software enabled the customized configurations of the designs, created automated efficiencies, and simplified the meticulous process. Using the CAD model, adjustments could be made in advance to fine tune and custom fit the pieces into the space. The Inventor software also streamlined all components and phases of the project and facilitated coordination among the various building partners.

Business Outcome

After nearly a one-year process, the elaborate yet elegant staircase, balcony and door elements were finalized and successfully installed as the backbone of the multi-million-dollar, lauded renovation. The intricate designs that Modern Metal Solutions produced using Autodesk Inventor seamlessly connected the historic origins of building with modern, updated style – all with the careful precision and solid construction required. The project was produced on time, on budget and came together to the delight of all stakeholders with accolades by Boston’s design, construction, and architectural authorities.


As the only design software that Modern Metal Solutions has ever used, the team depends on Autodesk Inventor to give them the edge to be competitive and at the top of their industry in addition to collaborating with designers in other disciplines to provide innovative solutions. The trust that the team has in the Autodesk Inventor software – since the business’ inception -- is contagious. It builds confidence and quality into its products, and results in a credibility that is fueling the firm’s solid growth in the metalwork business.

Project Summary

Delivery Date


Project Duration

3 days

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