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Improvements in interoperability

Last updated September 10, 2018 by Tekla User Assistance tekla.documentation@trimble.com

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Improvements in interoperability

Improvements in interoperability

Tekla Structures 2018i introduces the new Trimble internal file format TrimBIM, which makes reference models faster to open. There are also some improvements in point clouds.

Improvements in point clouds

  • When attaching a point cloudgroup of measured points that are imported to Tekla Structures as one unit

    Point clouds can be placed by the model origin or by a defined base point.

    , you can now select to show the point cloud inside the work areacertain portion of the model that is currently active for working on in a view

    Tekla Structures indicates the work area using dashed lines. Since objects outside the work area exist but are not visible the user can set a certain sized work area so that the views of the model are simpler and quickly updated, for example.

    only ( Show inside work area only ). If you change the work area, you can update the point cloud box to the changed work area by first hiding the point cloud and then setting it visible again.

  • Attaching a point cloud model when potree conversion is needed is on average 60% faster than earlier.

For more information about the point clouds, see Point clouds.

Improvements in drawing DWG export

  • The DWG export is now faster when you have a lot of object filters in the rules.

  • The DWG export now has a correct hatch origin for part software hatches that have a non-zero angle.

  • The DWG export now sets EXTMIN and EXTMAX to the exported file if the snapshot mode is used.

  • You can now use UDAs in the plot file name.

Improvements in IFC

  • 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.

    import: Tekla Structures now contains IFC plug-in version 5.23.

  • IFC2x3: The latest modification time stamp of a part is now saved to IfcOwnerHistory. The owner history timestamp of an entity is according to the last modification time of the object rounded to the nearest hour.

  • IFC export: In the PDMS link, the polybeams are now rotated correctly.

  • IFC export: Load bearings are now handled correctly in the export and reports.

  • IFC export: The bolt location and the orientation of the mapped bolts in a bolt groupgroup of bolts that forms a connecting building object between an assembly main part and secondary parts

    The number of bolts in a bolt group depends on the bolt group shape and the values of bolt distances.

    is now correct in the IFC export.

  • IFC object conversion: The IFC object conversion of the curved beams has been improved.

  • IFC object conversion: The new faceted B-REP conversion now uses the old (earlier than Tekla Structures 2018) method as a fallback to produce results also in more difficult B-REP conversion cases.

  • IFC4: IFC4 now supports added material. The following entities were added: IfcFeatureElementAddition and IfcProjectionElement. Works in Design transfer view only.

  • IFC4: The IFC entity ifcMechanicalFastener is now supported for couplers in IFC4 export.

  • IFC4: Beams that have camberingdeforming that curves a part to compensate for deflection which arises due to loads on the structure

    Cambering is typically an upward curvature defined for a beam.

    are now exported with the deformated shape.

  • IFC4: You can now use IfcSurfaceCurveSweptAreaSolid to present helix geometry. Works in Design transfer view only.

Reference model internal data management

TrimBIM ( .trb ) is a new file format that is used internally for reference modelmodel which the designer can use as an aid when building another model

A reference model is created in Tekla Structures or in other software and can be inserted to Tekla Structures. The reference model appears together with the model but it is not modified by Tekla Structures. The user can snap to reference model points.

For example, an architectural model, a plant design model, or a heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) model can be a reference model.

management with Tekla Structures.

Reference models of different formats, such as IFC, IFC4, IFCzip, IFCxml, tcZIP, DXF, DWG, DGN, XML, LandXML, STP, IGS, SKP and PDF, are converted by the TrimBimConverter to TrimBIM at insert. The .trb file is saved 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.


The cache folder located in the folder specified by the advanced option XS_​REFERENCE_​CACHE still exists. The reference cache is created when the reference model is set visible, which happens automatically at insert and update.

For more information about reference models, see Reference models and compatible formats and Import a reference model

Reference models in drawings

  • Previously, opening the drawing reference objects list could take a lot of time if the reference models were not yet loaded on your computer. Now the list opens fast. If the reference model is set visible from the drawing reference object list, only that particular reference model is loaded but not the other reference models.

  • Unused reference model data is cleaned from the drawing when the drawing is saved. This may make drawing database files remarkable smaller, especially when IFC reference models are used.

For more information about reference models in drawings, see Reference models in drawings.

NC files

  • Duplicate bolts on a part (bolts in the same location as another bolt) are now ignored in NC DSTV export. The tolerated distance for bolts to be considered duplicates can be adjusted with the XS_BOLT_DUPLICATE_TOLERANCE advanced option.


  • Tekla Structures now contains the LandXML plug-in version 1.18.


  • SketchUp plug-in 1.57 is now in use.

Cadmatic .3dd files and Web Viewer .xml in reference model import

  • Cadmatic .3dd file format has been removed from the supported reference model types from Tekla Structures 2018i onwards. Interoperability with Cadmatic can be done with IFC files.

  • Web Viewertool that enables the user to publish a model or parts of it in a certain web page format

    Models published with web viewer can be viewed via the Internet using a web browser (for example, Internet Explorer).

    .xml file format is no longer supported in reference model importimport of a model from another software to Tekla Structures

    Tekla Structures supports several different formats to import models.

    . You can still publish models as web pages.

For more information about compatible formats and software, see Compatible formats and Compatible software.

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