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PDMS and Tekla Structures Interoperability: Export to PDMS

Last updated May 16, 2018 by Tekla Extensions - General Design tekla.extensions-generaldesign@trimble.com

Software version: 
Not environment-specific

PDMS and Tekla Structures Interoperability: Export to PDMS


Purpose and description
System Requirements
Additional information

Purpose and description

Tekla Structures – PDMS interoperability has been using SDNF and/or dgn formats. Tekla aims to improve interoperability with this new development. Tekla has created extended ifcfile format commonly used in BIM that facilitates software interoperability

IFC is an open specification developed by the IAI (International Alliance for Interoperability).

Model can be exported into an IFC file.

file format for the link.


  • In older PDMS link version (20th January 2015 and before) parts that are not extrusion parts (e.g. poly beams/panels, twisted parts) are not imported to PDMS. Importing these objects requires other format that is currently .dgn .
  • Newest PDMS link version can import also BREP (surface) format  parts as polyhedron objects. Tekla Structures version 21.0 can export also poly beams / panels as extrusion format
  • Currently link does not support
    • Bolts, nuts, washers
    • Welds
    • Reinforcements
    • Surface treatments

System requirements

New link works with Tekla Structures 21.0, 20.1, 20.0, 19.1 and PDMS 12.1 and 12.0. Versions 21.0, 20.1 and 20.0 have some improvements which not included in 19.1 version.
In order to use link, both Tekla Structures and PDMS require installed applicationpart of Tekla Structures functionality that is developed in order to extend the capability of Tekla Structures but that is not included in the Tekla Structures installation


Installing ExportoPDMS_xxx_y_z.msi

xxx = Tekla Structures version
y     = application version
z     = link version

To install the extension:

  1. Download application from Warehouse
  2. Double click installer 

User toolbar

Toolbar is added by installer. When Tekla Strucrures is opened after installation tolar can be moved to preferred location.

Using Export To PDMS

Create export instance

  • Open Tekla Structures model
  • Click toolbar

         Dialog opens

  • Type preferred name
  • Select content Filter (Filter/All/Selected)
  • Select filter from the list columns
  • Type folder, browse other folder with … or use default folder and press Add

      In case Export is not done application asks if setting will be stored when pressing Close

Export instance

Prerequisite Create export instance

  • Select instance or instances from dialog and press Export 

Export file will be created and dialog row appears green.

Dialog shows created version as date time (UTC) yyyymmdd-hhmmss.

File is created as “Name”#”version”.ifcZIP. In Tekla Structures 21.0 version the file name extension is .tcZip

File includes also .dgn file in case it is needed to be used (e.g. polybeams in earlier TS versions than 21.0 ).

Standard Tekla IFC export attributes are used. Also property set called ”PDMS” attributes can be used. This can be defined in Export to IFC dialog and using Additional property sets.

Note: Do not change file name because it is used in revision handling when updates exported.

Note: New installations for Tekla Structures 20.0 and 20.1 and 21.0 (200.5.1 and 201.3.1 and 210.1.1) have a simplier user interface to define attributes to be exported.


By pressing “Add” button new report fields or user defined attributes can be added from option list. Already some standard attributes (including weight) will be exported by default (can be seen in Export to IFC dialog). Assembly or part level attributes can be used. By pressing “Modify” new attribute definitions will be taken into account and a new PDMS_PSets.xml file will be written to model under AdditionalPSets folder. It can be also seen using Export to IFC dialog.

Note: When updated (revised) export used select same existing row and press Export.

Edit export instance

Prerequisite Create export instance

  • Change export folder by picking 
  • Open export folder by picking      
  • Remove instance by clicking        

Export settings

  • Click Tab page settings    
Project origin symbol appears to model originglobal coordinate system point of origin used for the model

Model origin is the default project base point.



  • It is possible to change project origin and it’s location in the model.
  • Changes need to be set with Modify
Note: New installations for Tekla Structures 20.0 and 20.1 (200.5.1 and 201.3.1) have a simplier user interface to define attributes to be exported. This is described in previous chapter


It is possible to use BIM publisher with this application. 

Additional information

This page is written for a legacy version of Tekla Structures

Documentation comments and feedback are closed because this page will no longer be updated.

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