SteelSmart System 8.0 – NOW BETTER THAN EVER

SteelSmart System 8.0 – NOW BETTER THAN EVER


Applied Science International (ASI) continues to lead the cold-formed steel industry in design software.  SteelSmart System 8.0, developed exclusively for The Steel Network, Inc. (TSN), provides structural engineers with a structural design software tool engineered for optimal design and detailing of light steel framing studs, joists, shear walls, and connectors.

Hold on to your seats, and get ready for an amazing ride! Our biggest update ever has been released for SteelSmart System (SSS) 8.0, making the software you know and love better than ever!



Best cold-formed steel design software

SSS 8.0 clients are raving over the new GUI (graphical user interface)!

  • Modernized GUI modules that make the application components more organized and easily identified.
  • Full Screen GUI with window scaling and adaptive screen DPI switching.
  • Easier navigation through various modules and within single module states.
  • MS office-like application backstage screens to edit application wide settings from a single place separate from the technical GUI modules.
  • Organized and grouped input controls for each part of the problem under question.
  • Interactive parametric geometry editing capabilities.
  • Geometry editing facilities for common tasks (e.g., Apply single parameter to all Spans in the problem under question).
  • Enriched interactive 3D viewing capabilities for input model and output design results with selective display-units preference.
  • Application wide interactive unit system switching between Imperial and Metric units.
  • Enhanced document viewer used throughout the application modules with printing capabilities.


Going above and beyond

Beyond the new and improved GUI, SSS 8.0 is packed full of additional updates!

Technical Updates:
  • Enhanced Cold Formed Steel Design Modules.
  • Updated Section list for various section types.
  • Multi-Span Load Bearing Opening Design Templates were added to the application with accumulated vertical load calculations.
  • Enriched StiffWall® Module output in both application output and reports.
  • Fastener design capabilities are now included in Clip Designer Utility.
  • Enabled License Selection Feature to let user choose between available licenses from the GUI.
  • Ability to use existing SSS 7.8 license and migrate it into new SSS 8.0.
  • Updated Verification Manual with reviewed and enhanced samples covering all modules of the application with easy browsing.
  • Enhanced presentation of the Component Details Library with printing and saving capabilities. in the distribution of nonuniform roof/floor load on the supporting load-bearing studs.


Same modules, different look

SSS 8.0 might look a little different these days with its updated GUI, but your favorite cold-formed steel design software continues to offer the following design software modules to provide you with the most comprehensive steel framing design tool on the market.


Current SSS subscriber? Update today!

Users with current subscriptions can now log in/download/install the new updated version of SSS 8.0. Simply log in to your ASI Portal to update your software. 


Haven’t boarded the SSS 8.0 train yet?  All aboard!

Request a free trial


Additional Resources



Structural Design Software for Contractors – Maintain Accuracy, Save Time & Money

Structural Design Software for Contractors – Maintain Accuracy, Save Time & Money

Are you a contractor searching for ways to save time and money? Or do you perhaps seek help in easing the stresses of estimating and project optimization while maintaining accuracy? Look no further.

Help is here!

SteelSmart® System is breaking the stereotype that cold-formed steel structural design software is solely for the engineers’ benefit. Contractors have repeatedly discovered that this program provides them with the assistance and tools they need to accurately and swiftly get the job done.

There are three contractor obligations where SteelSmart® System has proven to be most valuable: estimating, the submittal and shop drawing process, and where there is opportunity to optimize the cold-formed framing components. Let’s identify each of these areas, and better understand how structural design software can help the contractor maintain accuracy while also saving time and money.



Project estimators are under a tremendous amount of pressure to be accountable and successful; therefore, the estimating process should never be rushed. A single miscalculation by the project estimator for materials, labor, and/or time can potentially jeopardize the entire bottom line. Yet, the estimator must also calculate the best price for the best work with expectations to win the bid. No one will dispute that estimating is an extremely tedious and time-consuming process, but it is a process that can be simplified.

SteelSmart® System is the most powerful light steel framing engineering software on the market, but don’t let that intimidate you. The program is extremely user-friendly and allows contractors an exceptional opportunity to strategically stay in front of their competition. By using SteelSmart® System, you can now effortlessly identify opportunities for material and labor savings during the bidding process. Plus, once a project is modeled in SteelSmart® System the reporting output will include all components that will be required for each wall, floor, roof, truss, shear wall, and/or knee wall.

Say good-bye to all the countless man-hours you typically spend hovering over plans to make assumptions as you size up the cold-formed steel framing materials!



Design assist is an invaluable resource and opportunity that provides a thorough look at the cold-formed steel project for component optimization.  When pursuing design assist, the contractor collaborates with a contracted Engineer or The Steel Network (TSN) in an effort to evaluate the best way to complete the cold-formed steel framing construction faster, lighter, and more efficiently. This is a way for you to explore concepts, products, and methods, while gaining a crystal clear picture of how the entire steel structure will work together.

No other cold-formed steel framing software in the industry can match the unique capability of SteelSmart® System for light steel framing comparison.  The program exports CAD files for the designed components, and will quickly generate an alternative design for light steel framing connections, load-bearing walls, shearwalls, short walls, and openings.  By using SteelSmart®System for project optimization you now have the upper hand to improve product selection and installation accuracy, while also saving time and money in labor and materials.



A drywall contractor’s submittal package will typically include a set of engineered drawings (shop drawings) that solely concentrate on the light steel framing design. In order to produce a complete set of shop drawings, the specialty engineer, hired by the drywall contractor, will meticulously design each individual component for the cold-formed steel framing. This process allows the drywall contractor to submit a full design of all the light steel framing members, connectors, and fasteners they intend to use to comply with the project’s specifications.

SteelSmart® System is all-inclusive, and has been helping engineers protect liability for over 20 years. Chances are the specialty engineer you just hired to complete your light steel framing design is already familiar with, and using, SteelSmart® System. This now streamlines the entire shop drawing process, allowing you to export detail drawings of your design, saving time and money while also maintaining accuracy.

However, the program is not only beneficial to the shop drawing engineer when it comes to the submittal process. SteelSmart® System delivers a high level of technical assistance for the contractor, allowing you to submit calculations for any preferred product selection or light steel framing comparison/optimization. You will also appreciate that since SteelSmart® System offers a complete portrayal of the project, this provides you with a unique opportunity to catch specifics that the engineer may have possibly overlooked.



There is a reason why after two decades SteelSmart® System is still known as the best cold-formed steel design software in the industry.  It is not just for Engineers! SteelSmart® System offers contractors unparalleled solutions for light steel framing project optimization, and relieves many of the time constraints and stresses associated with estimating and shop drawing submittals.

Contractors all over the country are using SteelSmart® System to maintain accuracy while saving time and money. This light steel framing design program is a breath of fresh air for those looking for a way to embrace the latest technology and gain an edge over their competition. When you choose SteelSmart® System, you will be able to better identify opportunities for labor and material savings, and easily eliminate mistakes that jeopardize accuracy. These critical factors are not only essential to securing your bottom line; more importantly, SteelSmart® System secures your reputation.


Kristy for blog author Authored by: Kristy Andrews
Kristy holds a Bachelors in Communications from ECU and has is a Technical Marketing Coordinator at The Steel Network. Kristy has been employed with TSN since 2001 and has supported SteelSmart® System during much of her time with the company.

SteelSmart® Design Suite – The Smartest Way to Eliminate Light Steel Framing Construction Errors

SteelSmart® Design Suite – The Smartest Way to Eliminate Light Steel Framing Construction Errors

The benefits of light steel framing / cold-formed steel design software are endless. Cold-formed steel software not only opens up design possibilities and serves as a protection of liability, but it also aids in eliminating construction errors. Eradicating on-site mistakes is crucial to meeting deadlines, staying on budget, and to the overall success of every project. Just one simple construction mistake can snowball into a colossal error that causes expensive delays and might even require a portion of the project to be torn out and reconstructed. The output generated by the cold-formed steel programs, SteelSmart® System and SteelSmart® Framer, act as a guide for the contractor. These programs will entirely eliminate guess-work and the need to interpret a designer’s intentions. With SteelSmart® System and SteelSmart® Framer paired together to create the SteelSmart® Design Suite, the smartest way to eliminate construction errors is right at your fingertips.

Say “Bye Bye” To All Those RFIs

Time is money. We can all agree that contractors spend a considerable amount of time across the course of their career generating, sending and waiting on responses to RFIs. Then, the project designers spend valuable billable hours responding to RFIs to make their design intentions clear. Since many times RFIs are created because certain information was not included in the original construction contract, the contractor relies on these RFI responses to fill any gaps. This is where a cold-formed steel design program like SteelSmart® System will save time, money, and stress. Yes, I said stress. We all know that RFIs are often missing information, mismanaged or used incorrectly by many of the project’s team members. That all adds up to unnecessary stress, and let’s be honest… we can all use a little less stress in our lives. SteelSmart® System delivers a stress-free tool, as it designs every single stud, clip, and even screw for each wall and floor section of the structure. With SteelSmart® System’s meticulous output reports and detailed drawings, the software maintains that the designer’s intentions are clear, and that means less RFIs.

Ordering Made Easy

SteelSmart®Framer panel drawings with a complete panel material list

SteelSmart® Framer panel drawings include a complete panel material list that streamlines the whole ordering process

SteelSmart® System can quickly facilitate precise drawings through exportation of the layouts and details to CAD/DXF, while its 3D Revit® plugin, SteelSmart® Framer, takes material ordering to a whole new level. SteelSmart® Design Suite, which encompasses both programs, makes ordering a piece of cake for the contractor! The output provides the contractor with exact quantities and lengths for all light steel framing materials and delivers a complete material take-off for the whole structure. It gets better… if the project is panelized; panel drawings with a complete panel material list can also be exported. Clear and precise material lists that streamline ordering will consistently eliminate many errors in the field.

Eradicating Costly Errors in the Design Stage

The smartest way to eliminate construction errors is to resolve conditions before they become a problem in the field. Plain and simple, construction errors cost money and errors can destroy a project’s budget. To aid in eliminating construction errors, SteelSmart® System encompasses seven design modules to simplify the design process; curtain wall, load bearing wall, shear wall, floor, roof, and truss framing, and short wall design. Plus, the advanced version of SteelSmart® System has a Lateral Load Generator/Distributor tool which uses the dimensions and load specification for a building and calculates the total lateral wind and seismic loads according to ASCE 7 Standard “Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures”. SteelSmart® Framer also offers an increased opportunity to identify problematic areas on the project in the design phase, this program allows the designer to see the project designed within SteelSmart® System in 3D BIM model representation. This provides the designer with a clearer picture of the whole project, so any design gaps can clearly and easily be addressed. The SteelSmart® Design Suite delivers a comprehensive cold-formed steel software design package that puts the breaks on construction errors before they start.


RFIs are a crucial clarification tool generated on most projects; and while RFIs are vital to thoroughly understand the designer’s intentions, they also take a considerable amount of time to generate, answer and interpret. Countless RFIs on a job can be greatly reduced, possibly even eliminated, with SteelSmart® Design Suite. Additionally, since a plethora of project and material information is generated by both SteelSmart® System and SteelSmart® Framer, ordering is more streamlined and the risk for construction errors declines dramatically. Don’t kill your project’s budget because of construction errors that easily could have been eradicated during the design stage; cold-formed steel design software packages like SteelSmart® Design Suite is the smart choice to protect the budget and eliminate costly construction errors.


Kristy for blog author  Authored by: Kristy Andrews
Kristy is an ECU Communications Major & a Technical Marketing Coordinator at The Steel Network. Kristy has been employed with TSN for almost 19 years, and has supported SteelSmart® System during much of her time with the company.

Five Areas Where Cold Formed Steel Software Opens Up Design Possibilities

Five Areas Where Cold Formed Steel Software Opens Up Design Possibilities

Utilizing cold formed steel software to design, analyze, and budget a project has become the way of life for many designers and contractors. Cold formed steel (CFS) has been around for decades, and its usage and benefits have evolved tremendously over the years. Metal studs, which were more commonly used as secondary framing to structural steel and concrete, have shown over the years to have remarkable cost and performance benefits in load-bearing structures and residential framing. Cold formed steel software has followed the evolution of light steel framing products, and continues to be a one-stop resource for engineers to simplify their design while reducing risk. Software of this capacity is advantageous for many reasons, and reveals many new exciting design avenues that are worth exploring. Let’s highlight five areas where cold formed steel software opens up design possibilities –

Value Engineering

Cold-formed steel software is an exceptional tool to allow an engineer to value engineer a project. Value engineering is an essential step in the overall process of completing an economical building design. When a project is value engineered, it is engineered for ideal cost savings and overall function. CFS software produces real-time calculation results, which also saves the budget from many supplemental engineering fees that could accrue during a value engineering process. The software analyzes all loads and forces to optimize each design element, allowing the engineer to specify and design each part of the structure with precision. During a value engineering process, cold-formed steel software will provide output that allows the engineer to determine if CFS is a possible and cost-effective solution for the structure.

Member, Connector, and Fastener Database

A reputable cold formed steel software program will have a large database of members, connectors, and fasteners. These choices open up a whole new world of design possibilities when engineers have a large selection of products at their fingertips. Consider the many manufacturers in the cold formed steel industry. CFS software allows the designer to evaluate proprietary members, connectors, and fasteners that he/she may not even know exist. These proprietary elements bring new solutions to the design table that will help a project solve unique conditions, and even stay on budget.

Building Code Compliance

The top cold-formed steel software programs on the market frequently issue service packs and new software builds. With each update, the design engineer has the security of knowing that the software contains the most current building codes in the industry. This not only serves as a protection of liability, but also provides the designer with enriched design possibilities. The saying, “earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings do” comes to mind. Structures built in high seismic zones have to comply with strict building codes in an effort to reduce loss and save lives in the event of an earthquake. Cold formed steel framing software gives the engineer the peace of mind that the structure is built to code, and allows the engineer to design a better, smarter, and more cost-effective building. Ultimately, a strict compliance to building codes increases the design possibilities for CFS by setting a reliable standard for protection; thus guiding the project on reasonable structural capability.

Export to 3-D BIM Modeling

When a cold formed steel software has the ability to export the design into a 3-D BIM Modeling software, design possibilities are plentiful. SteelSmart® System is a good example of this industry advancement. Applied Science International, the creator of SteelSmart® System, has designed a plug-in for Revit®, SteelSmart® Framer. Basically these two software programs, SteelSmart® System and SteelSmart® Framer, communicate with each other. An engineer can design a module in SteelSmart® System and export it to SteelSmart® Framer where the design can then be used to create 3-D BIM models in Revit® for visual model representation. Plus, the process of using these two programs together streamlines any project modifications, revealing design possibilities while saving time and money.

Enhanced Structural Detailing

An ideal cold formed steel software program includes modules for every aspect of the building design. Modules need to encompass curtain wall, load bearing wall, shear wall, floor and roof framing, and short wall design. Utilizing a CFS software that includes a complete suite of these design modules provides the designer with a one-stop resource for design and product selection. Having the ability to thoroughly design each wall and floor section modernizes the cold formed steel structural detailing; thus enabling engineers to design structures quicker and safer while exploring a world of design possibilities.


The cold formed steel industry is evolving, and the design community must evolve with it. CFS software provides the engineer with a solid and reputable tool to swiftly and efficiently design and specify cold formed steel. Despite a project’s requirements which can lead to a number of design limitations, it’s important to understand that countless opportunities and possibilities also exist on each project. CFS software can effortlessly expose design possibilities through value engineering options, a massive database library filled with products and building codes, 3-D modeling capability, and precise structural detailing.
Cold formed steel software is the now – and the future – for building design and analysis. If you haven’t already boarded the cold formed steel software train, it’s time.


Kristy for blog author  Authored by: Kristy Andrews
Kristy is an ECU Communications Major & a Technical Marketing Coordinator at The Steel Network. Kristy has been employed with TSN for almost 19 years, and has supported SteelSmart® System during much of her time with the company.

What’s New with SteelSmart System 7.8

What’s New with SteelSmart System 7.8

Today we are releasing the newest version of our Cold Formed Steel (CFS) software, SteeelSmart System 7.8!

We’ve been working on our Light Steel Framing Software for the better part of 20 years now. With every release we use market feedback to make the software a little better than it was before.

At this point we can confidently say that SteelSmart System is the best Light Steel Framing Software on the market.

The purpose of the software is the same as it’s always been, to provide structural engineers (and anyone else) with a structural design software tool engineered for optimal design and detailing of light steel framing studs, joists, shear walls, and connectors.

What’s New with SteelSmart System 7.8?

There were several updates to 7.8. The most significant changes are below:

  1. Design codes have been updated for all modules. (IBC 2018 and ASCE 7-16 and Canadian NBC 2015 with AISI S136-12)
  2. Updated load generator with hazard data database and enhanced roof slope calculations
  3. Ability to export ruff truss information to SteelSmart Framer
  4. Enhanced loading functionality for wall modules along with “Apply To All” option for some settings
  5. Added shear center location (m) to the output results in the Section Properties Calculator


Download the SSS 7.8 What’s New Flyer for a full list of features

If you have a current SSS subscription, you have the ability to update to this new version. Your renewal date will remain the same, but you will have access to all the new features.

To download the new version, log into your ASI Portal here:

Don’t have a current license?

To buy the new version, log into your ASI Portal here:

Download Instructions

Desktop installation instructions
Network Install Instructions

Please contact with any questions, or give us a call at (919) 645-4090.

What’s New with SteelSmart System 7.7

What’s New with SteelSmart System 7.7

Today we are releasing the newest version of our Cold Formed Steel (CFS) software, SteeelSmart System 7.7!

For the better part of the last 20 years, we’ve had a team working every day to develop SteelSmart System (SSS) and make it better. We get feedback from the market on a weekly basis, and in 2017 we even hit the road to present SSS to engineers all over the East Coast and get more feedback on what engineers and contractors need from software like this, and how they use it.

We’re a little biased (obviously), but at this point we really do consider it the best Cold Formed Steel (CFS) software on the market.

The purpose of the software is the same as it’s always been, to provide structural engineers (and anyone else) with a structural design software tool engineered for optimal design and detailing of light steel framing studs, joists, shear walls, and connectors.

What’s New with SteelSmart System 7.7?

Here’s the nitty gritty. There were several updates to 7.7, but two of the most significant are below:

Automatic Optimization for Stud Design: Once you’ve created your design, you have the option to check for additional optimizations that you can implement. This will help you avoid using a higher gauge stud than you need to, or using the wrong type of stud.

Ability to Design Multiple Floors at Once: This means the program will take into account the loads from the upper floors of the building when it specifies which gauge of stud you need and how many clips are required to handle a certain load. Before, this had to be done 1 floor at a time and required more manual entry of loading criteria.

Complete CFS Design Suite

Available as a complete suite, SteelSmart software will streamline light steel framing design and shop drawing production through the design and detailing members, connectors, and fasteners.

The following design software modules are available:

  • SteelSmart System (SSS) Basic
  • SteelSmart System (SSS) SSS Advanced
  • SteelSmart Framer (SSF) Plugin for Revit

SSF Basic Features

With SteelSmart System Basic, you will be able to design with the following design modules, plus take advantage of the section properties calculator, clip selector, screw connection design, and CUFSM design modules.


CFS Software

  • Curtain Wall: Wind-bearing wall studs, window/door openings, & spandrel framing for multiple levels
  • Load Bearing Wall: Gravity/wind-bearing wall studs, load bearing window/ door openings, posts, & custom bearing walls up to 15 stories
  • X-Brace Shear Walls: TSN’s innovative StiffWall shear wall system, single stack & twin stack, multiple floor levels


  • Moment-Resisting Short Wall: Interior half walls, strip window framing & parapet framing
  • Roof Framing: 5 standard rafters with single & multiple spans or custom roof layouts
  • Roof Trusses: 9 standard, custom roof truss layouts, or import truss layout from CAD file
  • Floor Framing: 8 standard or custom joist & beam layouts

SSS Advanced Features

SSS Advanced includes all design modules included with SSS Basic (Curtain Wall, Loadbearing Wall, X-Brace Shear Wall, Floor Framing, Roof Framing, Roof Truss, and Moment-Resisting Short Wall), plus the added benefits of the Layout and Connection Details Generator and the Lateral Load Generator/Distributor to complete the design process!

Software Framing Light Steel


  • Layout & Details Generator: Simplify drawing creation by exporting designed layouts and connection details for your design into CAD / DXF format
  • Lateral Load Generator/Distributor: Automatically generate lateral wind, seismic, and snow load calculations based on zip code and transfer results to the X-Brace Shear Wall Module

Connectivity to SteelSmart Framer

Connectivity to SteelSmart® Framer (SSF) Plug-in for Autodesk® Revit®: Added Export feature for all SteelSmart® System (SSS) wall modules so structural designs completed in SSS can be imported into SSF Styles for use in creating 3-D BIM models in Revit®.

Cold Formed Steel Software

SteelSmart Framer – Build 116 Released!

SteelSmart Framer – Build 116 Released!

Applied Science International, LLC (ASI) & The Steel Network, Inc. (TSN)  are excited to announce the release of Build 116 for our new SteelSmart® Framer BIM software for Light Steel Framing.

SteelSmart Framer makes it possible to quickly and easily model a light steel framing building and instantly obtain your materials list and shop drawings. If you ever work on panelized projects, this is the perfect software to determine exactly what goes in each panel.

This release includes the following new features:

  • Split walls into panels so the user can apply framing and all other operations to generated panels or even walls as whole
  • Individual panel framing, allowing for different framing parameters for different panels
  • Insert post markers in walls where no framing takes place in this marker space
  • Precise opening geometry calculations, instead of relying on an openings nominal dimensions
  • Enhancements to the stud layout algorithm
  • Allow use of View Templates for Panel Drawings and Shop Drawings
  • Compatibility is maintained with old SSF files for build numbers 95, 107
  • Build 95 users will need to reactivate their license with a new automated licensing process
  • Build 107 users will not need to relicense with build 116


Start your Free 30 Day Trial Today:

[contact-form-7 id=”2115″ title=”Request a SSF Trial_small”]

SteelSmart Framer – Build 116 Released!

4 Ways to Save Time and Money Using BIM with Light Steel Framing

Building Information Modeling (BIM), rapidly revolutionizing the construction industry. Overall, engineering and design technology has advanced considerably in the last 30 years within the construction industry. Part of that advancement has led to more and more of the construction process utilizing BIM to save time, reduce complications on the job site, and increase collaboration between designers and trades. The benefits of BIM for the Light Steel Framing (LSF) portion of the project have been previously overlooked in the past because LSF was not seen as a major construction component or considered to have a large effect on the overall project cost. As the usefulness and technology around Light Steel Framing evolves, this opinion is now changing, and the practicality of using BIM to design LSF is more apparent.

This article points out 4 of the biggest ways LSF projects benefit from using BIM.


1. Automatically Create Panel and Shop Drawings

Panelization is increasing in popularity as a construction technique. The ability to prefab wall panels in the shop in a controlled manufacturing environment and then plug the panels into place on the job site, is a major advantage to a lot of contractors. However, one thing standing in the way of panelization is the cost of creating panel drawings and estimating materials needed for each panel. Shop drawings can be pricey enough, but when panel drawings are added to the mix, the price tag can often be 10’s of thousands of dollars outside of original budget projections.

When a project is modeled in BIM, there is no cumbersome process to produce extra drawings. Provided the appropriate BIM software is being utilized, you will not have to go through an extra step to create shop drawing and panel drawings. Once the framing has been fully modeled, the shop drawings, panel drawings, and materials lists can be automatically created with the click of a button.


2. BIM Models Spot Problems Early in the Process

Resolve potential conflicts between light steel framing and other building components early in the design phase, before construction has begun. This saves countless hours that would be wasted if this problem had to be addressed in the field after construction materials have been ordered or the building is near completion.

One advantage of this level of detail is the ability to look at the comprehensive 3-D model and see how the entire steel framing system works together, even down to the connector level. This avoids situations where the contractor might find himself having a hard time making something fit and he is forced to improvise on the spot or go through the lengthy submittal process with the engineer to get the modification approved. In some cases, this kind of unexpected problem can cause construction to come to a halt until a solution is found. With a BIM model, this problem would have been spotted early on, and dealt with months before the construction phase.

You can view the model on a mobile device during walk throughs of the construction site or even on your favorite virtual reality (VR) headset. Discrepancies between the plans and the actual framing can be spotted and dealt with quickly.


3. Material Ordering

Automated Light Steel Framing Material Takeoff

A big advantage of BIM is the time savings enjoyed during the material estimation and ordering phase of the project. The traditional process means spending days pouring over plans to determine quantities and measurements. With BIM, once your project is modeled, you are able to instantly see exact quantities and lengths for all light steel framing components and export them to an excel sheet for quoting and ordering. This process makes your material estimates more accurate and reduces surprises down the road.

Material waste is minimized because the exact lengths for all the framing members can be sent directly to the manufacturer. No more getting trucks full of 12ft steel studs and then setting up a station to cut them to length on site. This method results in wasted material and labor and takes up precious space on the job site. If you are utilizing BIM correctly and using the right manufacturer, materials will show up on the job site cut to length, bundled together by panel, and labeled so that materials can be easily put in place by the crew. This allows the contractor to focus on the other aspects of construction.


4. Make Coordinating with Trades Easy

SteelSmart Framer BIM Cloud Collaboration

BIM gives teams the ability to review and comment on a full 3-D model from anywhere using your computer, tablet, or mobile phone. This can really be helpful for coordinating projects with other trades. The electrician, plumber, drywaller, and framer can all look at the same model and make notes for each other. This level of coordination is only possible inside of a BIM environment. No more sorting through months of emails to find notes on specific component details. When changes are solidified, project plans are updated instantly for all parties.


Case Studies

Labor Savings

F.L. Crane utilized a BIM model when they built Bluebonnet Studios, a 107-unit apartment building that required 750 panels to enclose. The BIM team was able to meet with other trades and use the model they created to head off building scheduling conflicts. According to the BIM Manager, it produced substantial labor savings.

Time Savings

When South Valley Drywall built a 73 bedroom Ronald McDonald House they were able to model the entire project and eliminate all RFIs on the project. According to South Valley, Panel prefabrication cut two months off the construction schedule.



The benefits of BIM for Light Steel Framing can be summed up through increased collaboration and automation. By using one BIM files, everyone on the team stays on the same page, and because all of the information is in one place, and is extremely detailed, things like shop drawings and material orders are naturally much less complicated.

If you would like to start a 30 day trial of our Cold Formed Steel BIM software, please fill out the form below:

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Introducing DriftTrak® Headed Stud PTS

The Steel Network, Inc. (TSN) has just released the newest product in our popular DriftTrak line.
The goal of this product is to save labor while increasing design flexibility.

Benefits of DriftTrak Headed Stud PTS:

  • Easy Clip to Panel Alignment
  • Drastically Reduce or Eliminate Scaffolding & Costly Lift Rentals
  • No Welding or Screws Required for Track Installation

This product is integrated into the slab before pouring the concrete. Once installed, it allows workers to twist clips into place where they are needed and easily align them with studs or panels. Its thinner design allows it to be installed above or below the high-strength tendon in post tensioned slabs. Learn More…

SteelSmart System 7.6 Released!

SSS recently tuned 23, and even though it may be getting up there in years, we are just as committed as we were in the beginning to ensuring it is kept up to date and stays the most advanced light steel framing design tool on the market. We are constantly improving the software to reflect changes in construction methods, cold formed steel products, and customer feedback.

This short article explains what is new with the latest version and what that means for the designer, as well as the builder.

What is SteelSmart System?

If you are not familiar with SSS, it is Cold Formed Steel (CFS) design software that allows the user to determine exactly how to frame a curtain wall, loadbearing wall, truss, shear wall, floor, etc. For example, if you are not sure what gauge of stud you need to satisfy the loads required for a particular wall, SteelSmart System will detail everything for you, down to the gauge, what type of bridging you need, any clip connectors, and what size the screws need to be.

SSS 7.6 Highlights

Automated Licensing

One of the enhancements users are excited about in SSS 7.6 is the new automated licensing procedure. There is no longer a need to go through the time-consuming process of acquiring the code for your software, sending it in to ASI, waiting for your key to come back, and activating your license.

The only requirement now is that you login with your username and password from the ASI Portal the first time you open the software. After that, your software is automatically licensed and you will not have to take further action until the license expires.

New Products!

SSS 7.6 includes the all new VertiClip® SLT(S) and DriftTrak® DTSLB/DTLB with Headed Studs from The Steel Network, Inc (TSN).

VertiClip SLF(S)

Easily install curtain wall panels to the top of slab in bypass conditions.

DriftTrak Headed Stud

Save thousands by installing DriftTrak when pouring the slab, as opposed to after the slab is poured.

Export Styles from SSS to the SteelSmart® Framer

For users that are also taking advantage of our New BIM framing tool, SteelSmart Framer (SSF), there is another update that you will find extremely beneficial. SSS and SSF now communicate with each other. This means you can design a wall module in SSS and import that module into SSF for use in creating 3-D BIM models in Revit®.

Full List of New Features:

  • New Licensing Procedure: Automated licensing procedure, connecting it to your ASI Portal Account so your licenses are obtained instantly.
  • Updated Section Database: Studs and Tracks of 14” and 16” depth were added for vertical pieces in boxed headers and 43mil/50ksi studs were added to the Standard Stud Database.
  • Enhanced Openings: Added single stud configuration as an option for non-boxed headers.
    • Added option for double StiffClip® HE at ends of boxed headers with depth > 12”.
    • Added Multi-piece members composed of studs facing one direction for opening jambs in CW/LBW.
  • Enhanced Analysis: Revised design values for adhesive fasteners.
    • Revised default load combinations for all supported design codes.
    • Enabled dead and live load cases in User-Defined wall/ opening modules.
    • Updated and improved twisting moment resistance of TSN bridging clips with various stud thickness.
  • Connectivity to SteelSmart® Framer (SSF) Plug-in for Autodesk® Revit®: Added Export feature for all SteelSmart® System (SSS) wall modules so structural designs completed in SSS can be imported into SSF Styles for use in creating 3-D BIM models in Revit®.

Download the Complete SSS 7.6 What’s New Flyer

We hope you enjoy the new features and that they help you complete your light steel framing projects more efficiently. If you have ideas for further upgrades, or any other questions regarding the software, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.