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Define reinforcing bar bending shapes in Rebar shape manager

Last updated March 6, 2017 by Tekla User Assistance tekla.documentation@trimble.com

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Define reinforcing bar bending shapes in Rebar shape manager

Define reinforcing bar bending shapes in Rebar shape manager

With Rebar shape manager you can establish your own rules for defining the bending shapes. When you define your own reinforcing barreinforcement that represents a steel bar used to reinforce a concrete structure

The steel bars are usually ribbed and they are used to increase the tensile strength of concrete.

bending shapes and shape codes, an .xml file called RebarShapeRules.xml is created in the current modelmodel that is active in Tekla Structures

The current model can be a single-user model, a shared model or a working model.


In addition, Tekla Structures installation contains by default another .xml file called RebarShapeRules.xml. This file contains the most typical bending shapes in your environment, and it is located in the ..\ProgramData\Tekla Structures\<version>\environments\<environment>\system folder.

When you define new shapes, the shapes in the default RebarShapeRules.xml rule file can be appended to your own shapes. Tekla Structures reads valid RebarShapeRules.xml rule files in the model, project, firm, and system folders in that order. When the shape codes and report field values are applied, Tekla Structures uses the first matching shape in a RebarShapeRules.xml file which is found first based on the search order. All the found bending shapes are displayed in Rebar shape manager.

  1. Select reinforcing bars in the model.
  2. On the File menu, click Editors > Rebar shape manager.

    Rebar shape manager opens and lists the selected reinforcing bars in the Model rebars list.

    Alternatively, you can first open Rebar shape manager and then select reinforcing bars in the model. Click Get selected to add the reinforcing bars to the Model rebars list.

    • The Model rebars list shows the ID and the shape code of the selected reinforcing bars.
    • The Shape catalog list shows the shapes that exist in the default RebarShapeRules.xml rule file.
    • The Tolerances tab shows the tolerances used when the bending shape rules are compared.
  3. Select one unknown shape from the Model rebars list.
  4. To define the needed information for a bending shape, do the following:
    To define Do this

    Enter tolerance values for the following measurements:

    • Dimension (leg lengths and other distances)
    • Angle (bending and twist angles)
    • Radius (bending radiuses)
    • Extra point shortening
    • Extra point max angle

    The tolerances Extra point shortening and Extra point max angle are used together for defining whether two bar legs ('1-2' and '2-3' in the image below) can be considered as one leg ('1-3').

    In the Extra point shortening box, define the maximum allowed difference between the distances '1-3' and '1-2' + '2-3'.

    In the Extra point max angle box, define the maximum allowed angle ('A' in the image) between the two bar legs.

    Note that the tolerance values are stored along with the rule file RebarShapeRules.xml , and thus the tolerances are specific to each rule file.

    Shape code

    Enter a shape code for an unknown shape.

    Note that multiple reinforcement shapes that are variants of the same shape can have the same Shape code but different Bending shape rules.

    Bending shape rules

    If the bending shape rules that Rebar shape manager defines automatically are not sufficient to distinguish certain bending shapes, you can manually add new bending shape rules.

    Add or delete a bending shape rule by clicking the Add and Delete buttons on the right.

    Use the Reset button to restore the original values.

    Check hooks

    Select the check box if you want to define different shape codes or bending schedule fields for two bars that otherwise have exactly the same geometry, but one bar has hooks and the other one does not.

    If you select the check box, hooks are considered as hooks. If you clear the check box, hooks are considered as normal legs.

    Note that the Check hooks option works independently from the advanced option XS_REBAR_RECOGNITION_HOOKS_CONSIDERATION , and it allows bars that have different hooks to have different shape code or schedule fields regardless of the value of the advanced option.


    Update the existing shape code definition of the selected reinforcing bar.

    You can update the definition if you have modified the shape code, bending shape rules or the contents of bending schedule fields.

    Bending schedule fields

    Define the content for a bending schedule. Right-click a field to select a bending shape property or to enter a formula.

    The names of the Bending schedule fields ( A , B , and so on) are used in templates and reports. To make sure that old reports also work correctly, we recommend that you use the same DIM_XX fields as in the rebar_schedule_config.inp file.

    Schedule fields...

    Click the Schedule fields button to add, remove or change the order of the available schedule fields. If needed, you can reset the schedule fields to original defaults.

    If you change the set of available schedule fields and update an existing shape, the old schedule fields which do not exist anymore will be cleared. Therefore we recommend that you do not to remove any of the default schedule fields unless you are sure they have not been used in any of the existing shapes.

    You can change the names of the existing schedule fields or, if you add new fields, give names to them. To use the fields in templates and reports, use the DIM_XX or ANG_xx fields, and replace xx with the schedule field name.

  5. When you have finished defining the new shape, click Add to add the bending shape definition to the RebarShapeRules.xml file.

    To enable the Add button you need to change the bending shape rule, enter a shape code or select the Check hooks check box.

  6. Click Save to save the RebarShapeRules.xml file.

    By default, the file is located in the current model folderfolder that is used for storing files associated with a model

    Tekla Structures stores all files associated with a model in a folder it creates with the same name as the model database (.db1).

    In multi-user mode all users access the same model folder.


    When you create, for example, a bending schedule, Tekla Structures uses the updated bending shape information, recognizes the added bending shape and assigns a correct shape code to it.


    Rebar shape manager is able to recognize bending shapes regardless of the modeling direction of the bars. This means that the modeling direction has no effect on the shape definition and the shape code.

    When defining the bending shapes, the start or the end of modeling direction is always sorted based first on bending angles, then on twist angles, and finally on leg lengths. However, bending radius is not taken into account in the sorting. This means that radius 1 may not always be less than radius 2 or vice versa.

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