Creating Steel Wall Framing

Reference Number: KB-00914
Last Modified: January 17, 2020

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier


My project calls for steel wall framing, but I do not see this option in the Build Framing dialog. How do I generate steel studs?

Steel Wall Framing


Unlike other framing materials, wall framing is specified for each wall type in the Wall Type Definitions dialog. To create steel wall framing, you need to create a custom wall type that uses a steel wall framing material.

To specify steel wall framing

  1. Select Build> Wall> Define Wall Types  from the menu.  

  2. In the Wall Type Definitions dialog, click on the Copy button to create a copy of the wall type.

  3. Click on Rename to change the name of the copied wall type to something descriptive. In this example we renamed it to "Steel Frame 24" OC Siding-6".

  4. On the wall type's framing layer, select either the Material, Pattern or Texture preview.

    Make sure that the Main Layer is selected for the framing layer of the wall. If the wall is not a framed type, choose the structural layer.

    While selecting another layer is possible and may be preferable in certain rare situations, in most cases you will encounter problems with wall connections and framing. 

    Selecting the main framing layer on the Wall Types Definitions dialog

  5. In the Select Material Dialog, browse to  Materials> Framing and choose a steel stud material.

    • For example, choose Steel Stud 16" OC to produce studs spaced at 16" on center, or choose Steel Stud 24" OC to produce studs spaced at 24" on center.

    • If you need a custom spacing interval, you can create a custom framing material. It is important to change the custom material's name so it begins with the word "Steel".  

      Visit the Related Articles section for more information on creating custom framing materials.

    • Click OK to return to the Wall Type Definitions dialog, then click OK to close this dialog as well.

To use steel framed walls in your plan

Once a wall type has been defined to use steel studs, you can specify this wall type for use as the default type for your Interior or Exterior Walls. 

  1. Select Edit> Default Settings  from the menu, click to expand the Walls category, and double-click on either Exterior Wall or Interior Wall, whichever you are using the Steel Stud framing for. For this example, we will use Exterior Walls.

  2. In the Exterior Wall Defaults dialog, click on the Wall Types Panel and select Define.

    Change the default exterior wall to your steel frame wall type

  3. Specify your steel framed wall as your wall type, then click OK.  

    Select the Steel Frame Wall Type
  • If you specify your steel framed wall type as the Exterior Wall default, then next time you use the Exterior Wall  tool to draw walls in this plan, they will be drawn using that wall type.

  • Similarly, if you specify your steel framed wall type as the Interior Wall default, then next time you use the Interior Wall  tool to draw walls in this plan, they will be drawn using that wall type.

  • You can also specify existing walls to use this custom wall type. Select one or more walls in your plan and click the Open Object  edit button. On the Wall Types panel of the Wall Specification dialog, select your custom steel-framed wall type from the drop-down list, then click OK

To build wall framing

  1. Select Build> Framing> Build Framing 

  2. On the Wall panel of the Build Framing dialog:  

    Build wall framing dialog

    • Check the box beside Build Wall Framing.  

    • Make sure that Use Wall Framing Material is also checked.  

    • Make any other needed changes to the wall framing settings, then click OK

Any walls in your plan that have been assigned a steel framing material will have channeled steel framing that can be seen in a Framing Overview , as well as in the Materials List.  

Steel wall framing in a framing overview