What is CIS/2?    cis2

The CIMSteel Integration Standards (CIS/2) is a product model and electronic data exchange file format for structural steel project information. CIS/2 facilitates data exchange through seemingly stand-alone programs, such as structural analysis, CAD and detailing systems by allowing them to communicate with each other. By providing a neutral data format, CIS/2 allows data exchange between a variety of program types—as long as these programs have translators written to interpret the CIS/2 neutral data into the programs’ native format. CIS/2 is endorsed by AISC as the format for data exchange between steel related CAD software.


CIS/2 itself is not a software package that can be purchased. The user will see it represented as a file extension; just like .DXF or .PDF is a file format. The file format is then ultimately imported or exported by steel related CAD software. CIS/2 documentation can be purchased at the AISC book store.

About CIS/2  

The CIS/2 standard emerged from the efforts of Leeds University and The Steel Construction Institute in Britain. It was selected by the AISC EDI review team as the format for structural steel exchange from a number of proposed candidates.

The use of software enabled with CIS/2, providing electronic exchange information from the engineer to the detailer to the fabricator, can radically accelerate the speed of project delivery and reduce project costs.

The CIS/2 standard enables 3-D modeling design/analysis software to pass required information to 3-D detailing software. 3-D steel building models can be rapidly generated with individual connections designed and structural components detailed. CIS/2 data can subsequently be passed on to shop management programs allowing CNC files to be downloaded to shop fabrication equipment. The CIS/2 standard covers everything from nuts and bolts to materials and loads to frames and assemblies.

Software firms specializing in products for the structural design and fabricating industries have embraced the CIS/2 standard and are actively integrating this capability into their products.  


Why do we need CIS/2?

In 2004 The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) estimated that the US Capital Construction Industry wastes over 15.8 billion dollars per year through lack of interoperability. CIS/2 reduces redundant work associated with steel design; by eliminating rework, the chance of errors is greatly reduced and the design process becomes more efficient.    

How does CIS/2 make structural steel more competitive? 

CIS/2 adds efficiencies into the steel supply chain that result in a lower installed cost of structural steel. CIS/2 is also a natural tool to help modelers better coordinate construction activities and avoid costly field rework, resulting in fewer delays and an accelerated schedule.

As the rest of the A/E/C community become aware of the advantages and possibilities of BIM, the structural steel industry is already regarded as a leader in the field of interoperability. To maintain that leadership AISC has recently announced a new strategy for interoperability that evolves the use of CIS/2 and moves towards adoption of IFC. Read about the strategy here.

What software supports CIS/2 import and/or export?     
  • Design Data-SDS/2
  • Tekla Structures
  • Autodesk Revit Structure, Navisworks, AutoCAD Structural Detailing, and Robot Structural Analysis
  • Bentley: RAM Steel, RAM CADstudio, STAAD.Pro and Bentley Structural Modeler ProSteel and ConstructSim
  • AceCad: StruCad, StruMIS and StruWalker Plus
  • Intergraph SmartPlant 3D and Frameworks Plus
  • Computers & Structures: ETABS and SAP2000
  • RISA-3D
  • Graitec Advance Steel
  • FabSuite
  • Fastrak Building Designer from CSC
  • Intergraph: CADWorx Steel
  • CAD Systems.nv: Parabuild
  • Cype: Cype Metal 3D
  • Space Gass
  • StruCIM
  • GTS CADBUILD: Quickport
  • Black and Veatch: Plant Vision 


AISC Technology Integration Committee mission:

"Integrate Technology to Revolutionize the Structural Steel Supply Chain"

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