The CFS application allows you to work with two types of objects: Section and Analysis. A Section is a geometric definition of a cold-formed steel cross sectional shape and its material properties. An Analysis is a configuration of cold-formed steel members, supports, and loads, for a simple beam, continuous beam, or beam-column arrangement.


A Section is composed of one or more individual cold-formed steel cross sectional shapes (parts) that together represent a beam or column member. Each part in a section is of uniform thickness with curved bends, and may be an open or closed shape. Parts are made up of elements that each define the flat portion of the shape, the radius at the bend, an optional hole size, and some behavior characteristics.

Many useful editing features are available to quickly modify shapes. In addition to ordinary cut, copy, paste, insert, and delete functions, you may also rotate and mirror parts and entire sections, add stiffening ribs to elements of a section, and generate the second half of a symmetrical part. You may also undo and redo the last change you make.

A section also has a specific set of material properties associated with it. CFS provides several carbon steel and stainless steel material types to choose from. Additionally, you may define a custom carbon steel or stainless steel material for a section.


An Analysis is composed of members, supports, and loads. It may be used for analyzing simple beams, continuous beams, or beam-columns, with both vertical and horizontal transverse loads, as well as axial loads.

Each member has an associated section, and all sections used in an analysis must be open (loaded) when working with the analysis. Member locations are defined independent from support locations. This approach provides a convenient way to define overlaps and multiple supports without numerous member segments and nodes. Supports may be horizontal, vertical, torsional, and rotational about both X and Y axes.

Loads are grouped by loading type (dead, live, etc.), and numerous ASD, LRFD, and LSD load combinations may be defined. Transverse loads may be distributed (uniform or trapezoidal) or concentrated. Axial loads are defined by specifying both ends: the point of application and the point of restraint.


Several computations are available: Section Properties (full and net), Section Strength (axial, bending, and shear), Member Checks, and Web Crippling Checks. The output from any of these computations may be combined into reports for saving and printing. A finite strip elastic buckling analysis can be performed on any section containing one part. You may also display and print shear, moment, and deflection diagrams for an analysis.