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SteelVis - Online version


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.

From this web page, a CIS/2 file can be translated into a 3D interactive VRML model that can be viewed in a VRML viewer or web browser plugin.

1 - Select CIS/2 file
2 - Set Display Features
Rendering and Colors

Rendering mode:
Shaded only
Transparent only
Edge only

Member color scheme:
Color by Section (I-Beam, T-Beam: green, yellow, cyan) 
Color by Section (I-Beam, T-Beam: red, blue, magenta) 
Color by Type (I-Beam, Angle, Channel, Circular, Bolt, ...) 
Color by Function (Beam, Column, Brace, Bolt, ...) 
Color by Grade (A992, GRADE36, Steel, ...)
Color by Section Dimension (In file, Lookup table, ...)
Color by Main Member (Detailed model)
Color by Sequence (Detailed model)

Background color:
White/Grey  Sky/Ground  White  Black 

Simplify VRML model (for large models):
Ignore thickness of: Webs, flanges, hollow sections
Ignore thickness of: Plates, bent plates, decking
Generate Text Popup Reports
(Text popups might not work depending on the
combination of VRML plugin and web browser)

In a Detailed Model, generate report for each:
Bolt, Hole, and Weld

In an Analysis Model, generate report for each:
Element and Node
Load, Displacement, and Reaction

In a Design Model, generate report for each:
Design Part

Report dimensions in:
Native units 
In a Detailed Model

Copes, Camber, Taper
Bolts, Shear Studs
Sequences, Zones
Main members only

Generate for each assembly: 
On-Off switch
Other Features

In an Analysis Model, generate:

In any model, generate:
Piecemark label for each member
Grid Lines (if in CIS/2 file)
Title, Ground plane, Origin axes

Up direction:
Positive Z axis  Positive Y axis
Generate Coordinate Axes
(For debugging)

In a Detailed Model for each:
Bolt layout and weld 
Hole layout

In an Analysis Model for each:

In a Design Model for each:
Design part
3 - Generate VRML VRML text file (for saving, debugging, error messages)
VRML model for viewing (requires a VRML plugin or viewer associated with the web browser)



By default, the CIS/2 file is translated to a VRML text file. The translation process can be verified by checking error and warning messages at the end of the VRML file.

The resulting VRML can be saved in a file by copying and pasting the VRML text into a text editor. Edit the file to remove any HTML tags at the top and bottom of the file. The first line of the .wrl file must be #VRML V2.0 utf8   The file must be saved with an extension of .wrl where the last letter is an 'L' not the number '1'.


SteelVis checks for many syntax errors and should create a VRML model that looks correct, however, it does not imply that the CIS/2 file conforms to the CIS/2 schema. A VRML model that looks correct also does not imply that the CIS/2 file follows recommended practices, software implementers agreements, or that it can be imported into other CIS/2 applications.

VRML models that look wrong might be caused by cross section dimensions that are not explicity specified in the CIS/2 file. SteelVis will lookup, parse, or approximate those cross sections. Check the error and warning messages at the end of the VRML file.

For problems or questions about SteelVis, contact: Robert Lipman.

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.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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