SteelVis (CIS/2 to VRML and IFC Translator, aka CIS/2 Viewer)
SteelVis translates CIS/2 files into VRML files (3D model for viewing) or
IFC files. VRML files are viewed
with VRML viewers or web browser plugins.
The IFC files can be imported into many
BIM programs and IFC viewers.
SteelVis also includes the CIS/2 File Analyzer that generates spreadsheets from CIS/2 files.
Georgia Tech had a research project to develop an
IFC to CIS/2 translator. There is no VRML to CIS/2 or IFC converter.
SteelVis was first developed in 2000 as a command-line program running on a Silicon Graphics workstation. In 2001
it was ported to run as a web service. The Windows version was released in 2003. SteelVis is no longer being developed as of 2012.
Papers and Presentations
The VRML models can also be displayed with X3DOM
in a web browser that supports WebGL. It does not require any plugin to view the 3D model.
Use the mouse to navigate the model.
The CIMSteel Integration Standards (CIS/2) is the product model and data exchange
file format for structural steel project information. CIS/2 is intended to create a seamless and
integrated flow of information among all parties of the steel supply chain involved in the
construction of steel framed structures. CIMsteel stands for the Computer Integrated Manufacturing of
CIS/2 has been implemented as a file import or export capability by many
steel design, analysis, engineering, fabrication, and construction software packages.
A CIS/2 file exported by an analysis or design program could be imported into
a detailing program to detail the connections.
CIS/2 itself is not a software package that you buy. The user will see it as a file format, just like DXF is a file format,
that is imported or exported in a steel related CAD software.
The CIS/2 standard covers everything from nuts and bolts to materials and loads to frames and
assemblies. Structures can be represented as analysis, design, or manufacturing (detailed) models. There is
a logical relationship between the different types of models. For example, a beam in an analysis model that has to be
subdivided for analysis is logically only one beam in the detailed model.
The use of CIS/2 and the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) is an important part of improving the delivery of structural steel projects in the steel
supply chain. It can eliminate the redundant and error-prone reentry of information. Interoperability between different
CAD software packages using CIS/2 and IFC is also a key driver of Building Information Modeling (BIM).
CIS/2 was not developed by NIST or AISC, rather, NIST served on the AISC's EDI Review Team that chose CIS/2 as the standard
for structural steel project information. CIS/2 was developed by Andrew Crowley and Alastair Watson at the Steel Construction Institute (UK).
NIST has helped software vendors implement the standard and helped steel designers,
detailers, and fabricators use the standard. SteelVis was developed by NIST. Georgia Tech
has also been instrumental in the development and implementation of CIS/2.
Industry Foundation Classes (IFC)
The Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) are the product data model developed by
to facilitate interoperability in the building industry. A CIS/2
to IFC translator (SteelVis) has been developed. This allows CIS/2 information to be imported into
BIM applications that support IFC. In the BIM software
the steel structure can be used to do model coordination and clash detection with other parts of the structure such as
mechanical systems, ductwork, and concrete structures.
CIS/2 import and/or export is supported by:
Check with the software vendors for complete details. Some of the software also supports IFC. NIST Disclaimer
AutoCAD Structural Detailing,
Robot Structural Analysis
- BeamMaster from AGT (robotic fabrication)
AECOsim Building Designer,
SteelVis is integrated into ConstructSim to import CIS/2 files
- BIMReview and StruM.I.S from AceCad (SteelVis is used to import CIS/2 to BIMReview, YouTube)
- BuiltWorks and CIS2Works from SolidACE (YouTube)
- Computers & Structures
- Cype Metal 3D from Cype
- Design Data
- FabSuite (SteelVis is used to visualize production information, YouTube)
- Fastrak from CSC
GT STRUDL, and
- Parabuild from CAD Systems nv
- Prokon Structural Analysis and Design
- RFEM and RSTAB from Dlubal
- Rhino from Geometry Gym
- RhinoBIM from Virtual Build Technologies
- Space Gass
- Tekla Structures from Trimble
This software was developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology
by employees of the Federal Government in the course of their official duties. Pursuant to Title 17 Section 105 of the
United States Code this software is not subject to
copyright protection and is in the public domain. This software is an experimental system. NIST assumes no
responsibility whatsoever for its use by other parties, and makes no guarantees, expressed or implied, about its
quality, reliability, or any other characteristic.
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The original URL for this page is http://cic.nist.gov/vrml/cis2.html