At the recent National Frame Builders’ Association trade show, we decided to put our SmartBuild System to the test. We have touted that this light gauge steel technology which includes powerful, simple software and a manufactured product solution so easy to use that little to no training is required.

So we took a software company CEO, COO and Product Manager and asked them to assemble a mini 10’X10’ pole barn made with SmartBuild light gauge steel.

The pieces were ink jet marked with matching letter and number and used male/female dimples with pilot holes for walls and notched chords and alignment holes for truss pieces. The idea is that there is no measuring, marking, or cutting of pieces and no jigging required to assemble walls and trusses.

As you can see from this time lapse video, our amateur crew was able to put it together in record time with no broken bones or cuts – and very little skill required!


A little while back, we blogged about a recent software package we wrote that anyone could use to model a Tiny House.  We promised a video.  It’s available now.  Just click on the link below or paste in your browser…



Take a look and let us know what you think.  What other small buildings could benefit from software like this?  Bathroom and Kitchen pods?  Other?

A trend has taken hold over the last several years in the housing industry to build very small houses.  The Tiny House movement has captured the imagination of people across the country and in fact around the world.  Magazine articles and television shows have been devoted to the topic of how to build a living space that will fit on a transportable trailer that serves as a foundation.

Keymark recently became a participant in this movement when it installed a GSSE roll forming machine with Trailer Made Trailers, a company that manufactures tiny house trailers that decided to start manufacturing light gauge steel frames.  It is a goal of tiny house builders to minimize the weight of the houses built on trailers so the use of steel frames instead of wood helps reduce weight while delivering a higher quality frame.

Other companies provide roll forming machinery to this industry.   What is revolutionary about Keymark’s entry into this market is the software package we developed to design tiny house frames.  Easyhouse is a software package that can be learned over the phone in a single, fifteen minute session.  Almost any tiny house can then be designed in a matter of minutes.  The tiny house is visualized in real time 3D as the user answers a series of prompts to quickly build a tiny house.  Framing takes place automatically in the software with specifications being sent to the GSSE to form all frame pieces.

Easyhouse will be expanded soon to be able to design any type of small building structure.  A video is being made to show just how easy it has become to design small structures.  Give us a call if you want us to send you a copy of the video – you’ll be impressed.

I learned today a new research report was recently published by American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). This report (RP15-2 published in April 2015) pertains to the design of load bearing clip angles. Keymark is currently in the process of developing a set of standardized truss details which will include steel truss to truss connection. The timing of this American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) research report is fortuitous, as our engineering staff will be able to use the findings in the report as a guide for engineering analysis of the details. Hopefully this will help our team accelerate the development of a standardized detail library, which will enable our design staff turn jobs more quickly and with similar or same connection details every time. It’ll be one more step in establishing the KeyTruss system as a world-class competitive truss system. Stay tuned!

Johnny Drozdek
[email protected]

I arrived for my first day at Keymark a few weeks ago. I’ve been part of this company in the past and I felt excited to rejoin the team, which for the past 2+ years has been exclusively focused on the cold-formed steel industry.

Today I found myself in a room with two bundled packages of pre-cut, ink-jet marked tracks and studs. The first bundle was for a sample truss using the KeyTruss system. The second was a bundle for a sample wall. The task was straightforward: with only the 1-page schematic on an 8.5x11 sheet of paper as a reference, try to assemble the truss and wall components without a jig, tape measure, or anything to mark with. Here is what the schematics looked like:


SampleProductKitKeyTruss_Welcome_2015 SampleProductKitWall_Welcome_2015

Like a tinker-toy set, matching numbers and letters worked perfectly and I built these structural components in just a few minutes! Granted, these are simple components, intended to demonstrate the concepts involved, so I can’t give myself too much credit. But the experience was very satisfying - all the pieces came together perfectly, and there was a sense of building something. This steel technology is exciting because on the surface it seems so straightforward and simple - as it should be - but underneath there is a mountain of tricky software logic to get the pieces drawn and labelled properly, to interface with the machinery that manufactures the parts, to perform the structural engineering calculations that ensure the truss or wall performs to locals building codes, and so forth.

Even more exciting is despite the ease with which these simple components came together, the Keymark team has many fantastic new ideas to make the technology even more streamlined and robust. I look forward to bringing those concepts to fruition in the weeks and months ahead. This has been a terrific experience and I find myself even more excited about the opportunities Keymark has to offer to the marketplace.


Johnny Drozdek
[email protected]

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