Advance Steel

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Advance Steel is a CAD software application for 3D modeling and detailing of steel structures and automatic creation of fabrication drawings, bill of materials and NC files, was developed by GRAITEC, but is now an Autodesk product.[1] The software is able to run on its own CAD platform as well on AutoCAD.


The application supports all basic AutoCAD concepts and functions (snap points, grip points, copy, etc.). When running on its own CAD platform, the application provides the same capabilities as running on AutoCAD. Advance Steel CAD platform serves both as a graphic engine and an object oriented database. Compliancy is assured between versions of Advance Steel running on its own CAD platform and running on AutoCAD.

The Advance Steel information is stored in DWG format.

The application includes AutoLisp (enhancing standard AutoLisp to include Advance Steel commands) and COM (VBA, C++) programming interfaces. This means that users can create their own customized macros for specialist requirements.

Advance Steel imports and exports to the following file formats:

  • GTC;
  • DWG;
  • IFC. 2x3;
  • CIS/2;
  • SDNF;
  • PSS;
  • KISS (“Keep it Simple, Steel”)[2]
  • DSTV;
  • DXF
Detail views of a stair created using Advance Steel.

The main functions of Advance Steel concern:

  • Creation of 3D model using a library of construction elements (i.e., beams, plates, bolts, welds, etc.).
  • Sheet metal and plate work
  • Advanced tools for element collision detection.
  • Clear workshop drawings, automatically labeled and dimensioned.
  • Checking the model in order to insure a correctly built 3D model and accurate bills of materials.
  • Automatic creation of general arrangement and shop drawings, fabrication drawings, fitting drawings, isometric views and fabrication drawings.
  • Drawing creation workflow management (revision control, automatic update, etc.)
  • Automatic creation of lists / bills of materials and NC files.
  • Multi-User Technology - all users involved in a project can work simultaneously and securely on the same model, without errors.

Advance Steel provides instruments for modeling complex structures such as straight and spiral stairs, railings, ladders, etc. The program creates all necessary documents (including NC files) for the stair fabrication.

Specific features[edit]

Structure with connections, modeled in Advance Steel.

Parametric steel connections

Advance Steel has a library of more than 300 preset parametric steel connections to connect Advance elements grouped in the following categories: beam end to end joints, base plate joints, general bracing joints, cantilever beam to column joints, plate joints, clip angle joints, pylon joints, tube brace joints, purlin joints, stiffener joints, turnbuckle bracings, etc.

The user creates all connecting elements by a single operation. At the same time, the connected elements are processed (shortened, coped, etc.). The software allows users to customize the connections:

  • Set the parameters of the joint;
  • Process the connected elements;
  • Transfer the properties from one steel connection to another;
  • Update the steel connection;

Joint Design engine

The software dimensions and checks joints according to Eurocodes 3 standards and AISC North American standards. A design report can be created.

Drawing styles

Based on a 3D-model, dimensioned and labeled 2D general arrangement and shop drawings can be automatically created using drawing styles. The drawings are created in separate DWG files; however they are linked to track changes. Thus, the drawings can be updated after any model modifications and the drawing revision can be managed.

The software has a variety of predefined drawing styles for the creation of general arrangement drawings and shop drawings for single parts and assemblies. A drawing style is a set of rules used to create a detail drawing and defines the elements that are displayed including labeling and dimensioning preferences.

Drawing styles provide the option to automatically create drawings and to modify the layout exactly to user requirements. Drawing styles are used in a similar way to AutoCAD dimension styles, line styles, etc. The predefined drawing styles are different for each installation and country. Custom drawing styles can also be defined.

Software compatibility[edit]

The application is compatible with:

Software interoperability[edit]

Advance Steel integrates GRAITEC's data synchronization technology, "GTC" (GRAITEC Transfer Center). This technology offers:

  • Import/Export data in standard formats: CIS/2,[3] SDNF, PSS, IFC 2.x3.
  • Multiple Advance Steel users that work simultaneously on the same project and synchronize their models.
  • Synchronization in Advance Steel of modifications made by engineers in other GRAITEC software (section changes, addition of structural elements, etc.).

GTC is Graitec’s solution for CAD / Design software interoperability and integration specialized in creating and handling a BIM (Building Information Model).

Release history[edit]

Official name version release date of release
Version 2014 2013 11 September, 2013
Version 2013 2013 10 February, 2013
Version 2012 2012 9 February, 2012
Version 2011 2011 8 December, 2010
Version 2010 2010 7 September, 2009
Version 2009 2009 6 November, 2008
Version 8.1 8.1 5 December, 2007
Version 7.1 7.1 4 March, 2007
Version 6.1 6.1 3 December, 2005
Version 5.1 5.1 2 July, 2004
Version 4.2 4.2 1 July, 2003

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Autodesk Signs Agreement to Acquire Structural Fabrication and Detailing Technology from Graitec". 
  2. ^ "About KISS standard". 
  3. ^ "About CIS/2 standard". 

External links[edit]