ASCII files

Last updated March 12, 2019 by Tekla User Assistance

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ASCII files

ASCII files

ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Some plant design systems export ASCII files, for example, ModelDraft, PDS and PDMS.

You can import and export profiles and plates created as beams using the ASCII format. Contour plates cannot be imported.

Import a model in the ASCII format

  1. Create a new model in Tekla Structures.
  2. Create a new 3D viewview that displays objects three-dimensionally

    3D view is one of the default views.

  3. Copy the ASCII file to the 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.

  4. Name the file import.asc.
  5. On the File menu, click Import > ASCII .

    Tekla Structures displays the main parts created from the ASCII file in the model.

Export a model to the ASCII format

  1. Open the Tekla Structures model you want to export.
  2. Select the parts in the model you want to export.
  3. On the File menu, click Export > ASCII .

    Tekla Structures creates a model.asc file 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.


ASCII file description

In an import.asc file each part is described by 8 lines. These lines are repeated for each part to be transferred. Units are always in millimeters, blanks are used as separators.

Below is an example of a beam part description:



Line 1

4169 HEA300 1 = ID profile type

  • ID 4169: Unique ID (integer).

  • PROFILE HEA300: Profile name (string).

  • TYPE 1: Profile type (integer)

The available profile types are:

0 = free cross section (can be used for special profiles which are not in the database)

1 = I profiles

2 = Welded hollow core profiles (HK, HQ)

3 = U profiles

4 = L profiles

5 = Round bars

6 = Round tubes

7 = Rectangular hollow core sections (RHS, P)

8 = T profiles

9 = Rectangular bars (FL, PL)

10 = Z profiles

11 = C profiles

12 = Omega profiles

13 = Sigma profiles

14 = Rail profile

16 = Reinforcement bars (DH)

Line 2

The contents of line 2 depend on the part profile.

  • Polygon plates:


    N_POINTS: For profiles of type 0.

    COORDINATES: Number of the corner points (integer).

    The X and Y coordinates of the plate corners (floating). Rotation direction is clockwise. Coordinates follow the global coordinate system. Z coordinates are taken from the center line in the plate thickness direction.

    Note that the line 2 can be divided into several rows in the file.

  • Profiles:

    For profile types 1 - 16 , the line includes the physical dimensions of the cross section.

    HEIGHT S W1 T1 W2 T2: 290.000000 8.500000 300.000000 14.000000 300.000000 14.000000

    • HEIGHT 290.000000 : Height of the cross section

    • S 8.500000 : Web thickness.

    • W1 300.000000 : Width of the upper flange.

    • T1 14.000000 : Thickness of the upper flange.

    • W2 300.000000 : Width of the lower flange.

    • T2 14.000000 : Thickness of the lower flange.

Line 3

A/6 BEAM = mark name

  • MARK A/6: Position mark of the part (string).

  • NAME BEAM: Part name (string).

Line 4

S235JR S235JR = material

Material of the part (string).

Line 5

0.000000 = rotation

Rotation angle (in degrees) around the local x-axis of the beam.

Line 6

16.500000 24000.000000 4855.000000 = X1 Y1 Z1

Coordinates of the beam start point. Z coordinates are center-line coordinates.

Line 7

6000.000000 24000.000000 4855.000000 = X2 Y2 Z2

Coordinates of the beam end point. Z-coordinates are center-line coordinates.

Line 8

16.500000 24000.000000 5855.000000 = X3 Y3 Z3

Direction vector showing the direction of the local z-axis.

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