The ability to create and manage detailed and accurate 3D models of structures is key in the construction industry. With the help of BIM (building information modeling) and associated technologies, construction professionals have more tools at their fingertips to create better designs more quickly.

According to Tekla,, Kennesaw, Ga., a provider of BIM solutions to the AEC (architectural, engineering, and construction) industry, the structural-steel sector is facing shorter lead times and a greater need to collaborate across disciplines, especially when faced with revision handling. It is for this reason the company has partnered with RISA Technologies,, Foothill Ranch, Calif., to create a robust design solution for structural steel—RISA-Tekla Link.

RISA Technologies is an analysis and design software company that offers RISAConnection. Together with Tekla’s BIM solution, Tekla Structures, RISA-Tekla Link will provide faster, more accurate design capabilities. The companies say the solution will allow users to communicate and run analysis and design in near realtime, view analysis results via report or within the Tekla Structures 3D BIM model, and access design calculations from RISAConnection, among other enhancements.

By extending Tekla Structures’ BIM capabilities to include steel connection design, RISA-Tekla Link will reduce the need for manual entry. As a result, construction professionals can improve accuracy while decreasing time investment.

Another company applying the benefits of BIM to the steel industry is Nemetschek Scia,, Herk-de-Stad, Belgium, which recently displayed its steel-focused BIM solution, Scia Steel Manager, at an event in St. Louis. The centralized solution is a model-based fabrication system for the steel industry that integrates engineering and detailing abilities with planning and management.

The company says Scia Steel Manager allows fabricators to become “proactive members” of the design and construct process. By leveraging BIM data, fabricators can monitor and visualize data in 3D. As a complete solution, Scia Steel Manager will combine key data, including information from the design and production stages of a project, into one place. As a result, team members can make better, more informed decisions that can speed a project toward completion.

Specific benefits of Scia Steel Manager include quality-management tracking, the ability to create fabrication plans directly from BIM models, and the ability to simulate the production process and help foresee bottlenecks, among other benefits.

With the help of technologies associated with BIM, construction professionals can optimize production on a structural-steel project by removing redundancies and opening the door for realtime design collaboration. In addition to increasing efficiency, BIM solutions that automate steel design and engineering can ultimately enhance a project’s quality.