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CAD

Last updated March 12, 2019 by Tekla User Assistance tekla.documentation@trimble.com

Software version: 
2019

CAD

CAD

The CAD import and export tools support several formats to import and export models. You can import a maximum of 10,000 parts. If the number of parts exceeds this, Tekla Structures displays a warning message, and does not import the model.

CAD import and export formats

The table below lists the supported import and export file types.

Option

Import

Export

Imports from/Exports to

SDNF

SDNF (Steel Detailing Neutral File) is used in importing to and exporting from several different CAD systems.

HLI

HLI (High Level Interface). IEZ AG Speedikon software

Plantview

Plantview design system

SDNF (PDMS)

Plant Design Management System. Aveva 3D plant design software.

Data is exported to PDMS via SDNF link. Tekla Structures writes the information of finish field in the member class attribute, whereas in SDNF export it omits the class information.

XML

ArchiCAD modeling system.

There are some limitations in the export:

  • Conversion files are not used.

  • Holes, bolts and welds are not exported.

SCIA

SCIA is used for SteelFab interface.

In addition to the CAD import tool, the import tools listed below are available in the New Import Model dialog box. The steps for importing these types are the same as for the CAD import.

Import Steelfab/SCIA

Import SFrame

Import MicasPlus

Import Eureka LPM

Import CIS2 status

Import CIS model

Import FEM

Import CAD files

  1. On the File menu, click Import > CAD .

    The New Import Model dialog box is displayed.

  2. Use the default name import model or enter a new name for the import file.
  3. Select the import type Import CAD.

    This dialog box also contains the import tool listed below.

    Import Steelfab/SCIA

    Import SFrame

    Import MicasPlus

    Import Eureka LPM

    Import CIS2 status

    Import CIS model

    Import FEM

  4. Click the Properties button to define the import settings, which depend on the selected import type.

    For more information about the import-type-specific settings, see the settings and their descriptions in sections below.

  5. Click OK to return to the Import model dialog box.
  6. Click OK to import.
  7. Select the import model name from the list and click Import.

    You can also click the New or Properties buttons if you need to make some changes.

  8. In the Import model dialog box, select which version of parts to import.
  9. Click Accept all.

    The Accept all option is generally used if importing a new model over an existing one. If you have changed the model and want to re-import it, you can also reject all changes by clicking Reject all , or accept or reject individual changes by clicking Select individual....

  10. Tekla Structures displays the message Do you want to save the import model for subsequent imports? Click Yes.

    Tekla Structures adds the import model in the model viewview that is represented in the modeling mode

    Model view is available also in the drawing mode and it is represented in its own window.

    .

  11. Right-click the model view and select Fit work area to entire model to ensure that the imported model is completely visible.
  12. If parts are missing, check the View depth Up and Down values in the View Properties dialog box and change them if necessary.
Note:

In SDNF import, if you want to import information that Tekla Structures parts do not have, you can use the SDNF extension line(1) temporary line in a model that can be used for aligning objects with each other

(1) Extension lines can be used when snapping or creating points.

(2) line in a drawing that is perpendicular to a dimension line and that connects the dimension line to the building object

in the SDNF file to be imported, and the REVISION_NUMBER user-defined attributeobject property created by the user in order to widen the range of predefined object properties

User-defined attributes are used when the predefined object properties are not sufficient but more properties are needed. For example, comment, locked, and erection status are user-defined attributes.

in Tekla Structures.

Import CAD settings

Setting Description

Conversion tab

Profile conversion file

Material conversion file

Twin profile conversion file

Define the conversion files you want to use.

Conversion files map Tekla Structures profile and material names with names used in other software.

For more information about conversion files, see Conversion files.

Parameters

Input file

The file that you want to import. You can also browse for the file. The default value is import.lis.

Type

Define the input file or model type:

SDNF, HLI, Plantview, SDNF (PDMS), XML

Origin X, Y, Z

Define the origin coordinates to place the file in a specific location.

SDNF tab

Part Pos_No

Enter a prefix and a start position number.

This settings relates to the Position number type setting.

SDNF version number

Set the SDNF format type to 2.0 or 3.0.

SDNF 3.0 is generally the format to select. However, with StruCAD it is better to share SDNF 2.0 files.

Apply cuts and fittings

Set to Yes (default) to apply cuts and fittings in the import.

These will only be included if contained within the SDNF file.

Consider offsets

Set to Yes to create offsets. In most cases you should select Yes. No (default) positions part creation points at part end points.

In most cases you should select Yes. No (default) positions part creation points at part end points.

Create log file

Select Create to write a new log file and delete the previous log file each time you import the model.

If the import fails, examine the log file to find out why. Check the log file even if the import seems to have succeeded.

Select Append (default) to add the log file information is at the end of the existing log file.

If yo do not need a log file, select No.

Display log file

Select With external viewer to display the log file in a text editor.

Select On dialog to create a separate list dialog box in which the file can only be viewed.

If you do not want to display the file, select No.

Log file name

Enter the log file name or browse for an existing log file.

Position number type

The SDNF file contains identifiers that can be included in a part’s user-defined attributes, or used as part position numbers.

Select Part position if you want the identifier to become the part’s position number. Do not use the Pos_No option with this option.

Select Universal ID if you want the identifier to become a user-defined attribute for the part.

For file imports from PDS or PDMS then the Universal ID option is the normal case.

To make user-defined attributes visible in the dialog boxes, you need to add them to the objects.inp file.

Plantview tab

Material

Select the material grade.

Report tab

Create report

Set to Yes to create a report.

Display report

Set to Yes to display the report.

Report template

Select the report template.

Report file name

Enter the report file name or browse for a report file.

If you do not give the report any other name, the report is saved with the name import_revision_report.rpt in the model folder.

Advanced tab

Action when object status is (compared to)

Previous plan lists the objects in your model, compared with the objects in the file to be imported. They can be New , Modified , Deleted , or Same.

Tekla Structures compares the state of imported objects with those in your model. They can be Not in model , Different , or Same.

Use the options under Not in model , Different , and Same to specify the actions when importing changed objects. The options are No action , Copy , Modify , or Delete.

Usually there is no need to change the defaults.

Import SteelFab/SCIA settings

Setting Description

Parameters tab

Input file

Enter the name of the file you want to import.

Profile conversion file

Material conversion file

Define the conversion files you want to use.

Conversion files map Tekla Structures profile and material names with names used in other software.

For more information about conversion files, see Conversion files.

Origin X, Y, Z

Define the origin coordinates to place the file in a specific location.

Import weldings

Include weldings in the imported model.

Import bolt holes

Include bolt holes in the imported model.

Import S-Frame, Import MicasPlus, Import Eureka LPM settings

Setting Description

Conversion tab

 

Profile conversion file

Material conversion file

Twin profile conversion file

Define the conversion files you want to use.

Conversion files map Tekla Structures profile and material names with names used in other software.

For more information about conversion files, see Conversion files.

Parameters tab

ASCII file name

Enter the name of the file you want to import.

Part rotation

Select Front or Top.

Available only in Import MicasPlus.

Origin X, Y, Z

Define the origin coordinates to place the file in a specific location.

Advanced tab

 

Action when object status is (compared to)

Previous plan lists the objects in your model, compared with the objects in the file to be imported. They can be New , Modified , Deleted , or Same.

Tekla Structures compares the state of imported objects with those in your model. They can be Not in model , Different , or Same.

Use the options under Not in model , Different , and Same to specify the actions when importing changed objects. The options are No action , Copy , Modify , or Delete.

Usually there is no need to change the defaults.

Import CIS2 status settings

Setting Description

Parameters tab

 

Input file

The name of the file you want to import. You can also browse for the file.

Input scope

Import the Entire model or Selection only.

Create log file

Select Create to write a new log file and delete the previous log file each time you import the model.

Select Append (default) to add the log file information is at the end of the existing log file.

If yo do not need a log file, select No.

Display log file

Select On dialog to create a separate list dialog box in which the file can only be viewed.

If you do not want to display the file, select No.

Import CIS Model settings

Setting Description

Parameters tab

 

Model type

Select the model type: Design , Analysis , SP3D.

CIS version

Select CIS/1 or CIS/2 :

  • CIS/1 imports files compatible with the CIMsteel LPM4DEP1 schema declaration.

  • CIS/2 imports files compatible with the CIMsteel CIS/2 (STRUCTURAL_FRAME_SCHEMA) schema declaration.

Input file

The name of the file you want to import. You can also browse for the file.

Origin X, Y, Z

Define the origin coordinates to place the file in a specific location.

Combine members

Max length for combining

To combine several elements in the CIS model into one part in Tekla Structures , set Combine members to Yes.

For example, if a beam in a file consist of more than one element, and you select Yes , the elements are combined to form one beam in the Tekla Structures model.

If you use the value No , Tekla Structures creates a beam for each element in the CIS model.

Max length for combining is only applied if you set Combine members to Yes. Use this setting to define the maximum length for combining parts. Tekla Structures combines elements into one part only if their combined length is less than the value you enter here.

Ignore offsets

CIS/1 and CIS/2 analysis models can include member offsets, which means that nodes are not exactly at the beam’s end points. With the default Yes , Tekla Structures uses these offsets to locate the physical members. With No , Tekla Structures determines the location using the node locations.

Ignore forces

Use to define how forces are imported. With No , Tekla Structures imports absolute values of maximum forces to parts’ user-defined attributes Shear , Tension and Moment. With Yes , Tekla Structures does not import forces.

Import GUID (design model)

Select Yes to include the part GUID in the import.

Conversion tab

 

Profile conversion file

Material conversion file

Twin profile conversion file

Define the conversion files you want to use.

Conversion files map Tekla Structures profile and material names with names used in other software.

For more information about conversion files, see Conversion files.

Advanced tab

 

Action when object status is (compared to)

Previous plan lists the objects in your model, compared with the objects in the file to be imported. They can be New , Modified , Deleted , or Same.

Tekla Structures compares the state of imported objects with those in your model. They can be Not in model , Different , or Same.

Use the options under Not in model , Different , and Same to specify the actions when importing changed objects. The options are No action , Copy , Modify , or Delete.

Usually there is no need to change the defaults.

Import FEM settings

Setting Description

Conversion tab

 

Profile conversion file

Material conversion file

Twin profile conversion file

Define the conversion files you want to use.

Conversion files map Tekla Structures profile and material names with names used in other software.

For more information about conversion files, see Conversion files.

Parts tab

Part Pos_No

Assembly Pos_No

Enter a prefix and a start position number.

Parameters tab

Input file

The name of the file you want to import. You can also browse for the file.

Type

Select the input file type: DSTV, SACS, Monorail, Staad, Stan 3d, Bus

Origin X, Y, Z

Define the origin coordinates to place the file in a specific location.

Default yield stress limit

Default material when yield stress > = limit

Default material when yield stress < limit

The Default material when yield stress < limit setting is used for SACS import file. Define the material to use if yield stress is less than the limit.

The setting Default material when yield stress >= limit is used for SACS or DSTV import files. For SACS, this field defines the material to use if yield stress is greater than or equal to the limit. For DSTV you can enter the material grade here, if it is not included in the import file.

Combine members

Max length for combining

To combine several elements in the FEM model into one part in Tekla Structures , set Combine members to Yes.

For example, if a beam in a file consist of more than one element, and you select Yes , the elements are combined to form one beam in the Tekla Structures model.

If you use the value No , Tekla Structures creates a beam for each element in the FEM model.

Max length for combining is only applied if you set Combine members to Yes. Use this setting to define the maximum length for combining parts. Tekla Structures combines elements into one part only if their combined length is less than the value you enter here.

Staad tab

Material

Select the material grade.

Report tab

Create report

Set to Yes to create a report.

Display report

Set to Yes to display the report.

Report template

Select the report template. Your can also browse for the template.

Report file name

Enter the report file name or browse for a report file.

If you do not give the report any other name, the report is saved with the name import_revision_report.rpt in the model folder.

DSTV tab

Version

Select the DSTV version.

Import static elements

Import other elements

If the DSTV file to be imported contains a static and a CAD model, you can choose which one to import.

Answering Yes to Import static elements imports the static model.

Answering Yes to Import other elements imports the CAD model.

Stan 3d tab

Scale

Specify the scale of the import model. You can import Stan 3d without specifying the scale as long as both the Tekla Structures model and the import model are in millimeters. If the Stan 3d file is in millimeters, use the scale 1. If the Stan 3d file is in meters, use the scale 1000.

Material

Enter the material for the parts to import.

Bus tab

Pos_No

Indicate the Pos_No of the girders, columns, braces and cantilevers you import.

Material

Enter the material for the parts to import.

Name

Enter the name of the parts to import.

Class

Enter the class of the parts to import.

Beams behind plane

The value Yes aligns the tops of all beams at the floor level.

Advanced tab

 

Action when object status is (compared to)

Previous plan lists the objects in your model, compared with the objects in the file to be imported. They can be New , Modified , Deleted , or Same.

Tekla Structures compares the state of imported objects with those in your model. They can be Not in model , Different , or Same.

Use the options under Not in model , Different , and Same to specify the actions when importing changed objects. The options are No action , Copy , Modify , or Delete.

Usually there is no need to change the defaults.

Re-import a CAD model

Sometimes you have already imported a model, but because of some changes, you need to re-import it.

The profile and material conversion files need to be the same as defined in the original model importimport of a model from another software to Tekla Structures

Tekla Structures supports several different formats to import models.

.

The following instructions also apply to CIMsteel (cis/2) models.

  1. Open Tekla Structures and a model where you have already imported an existing CAD model.
  2. On the File menu, click Import > CAD .
  3. Select the import type in the Type list.

    For CAD models, this will generally be for SDNF format files only.

  4. Enter a new name for the imported model in the Name box.

    The total path and filename cannot be longer than 80 characters. If the total path is too long, a message is displayed saying "File name and path is too long. Please, place the file into another directory." Also, if you use the same name as in the original import, Tekla Structures gives the warning message "Illegal name for import model."

  5. Click the Properties button and ensure that the Profile material conversion files on the Conversion tab are the same as adopted in the original model import.
  6. Go to the Advanced tab and define the actions Tekla Structures takes when importing changed objects:
    • The left-hand column, Previous plan , lists the state of the objects in your model, compared with the state of objects in the file to be imported. They can be New , Modified , Deleted , or Same.

    • The objects can be Not in model , Different , or Same.

    • Use the list boxes in the rows under Not in model , Different , or Same to specify the actions to take when importing changed objects. The options are No action , Copy , Modify , or Delete.

      You can select Delete only for Deleted objects. You can only use Delete to delete objects that have been deleted from your model, not from the imported model.

    • Normally, default settings would be used by most users.

  7. Click OK or Apply.
  8. Click OK in the Import Model dialog box to import the updated model.
  9. Create reports on the Report tab to compare the various imports.

Export to CAD

You can export a CAD model in several formats.

Note:

Before you start an SDNF export, check that the advanced option XS_​SDNF_​CONVERT_​PL_​PROFILE_​TO_​PLATE has not been set on the Export page of the Advanced Options dialog box.

  1. Open a Tekla Structures model.
  2. On the File menu, click Export > CAD .

    The CAD export dialog box opens.

  3. Enter the paths to the required conversion files on the Conversion tab, enter the parameters on the Parameters tab, and depending on the export format, define the settings on the SDNF or XML tab.

    For more information about the export settings, see the CAD export settings section below.

  4. Select the parts in the model to export.
  5. Click Apply and Create.

    Tekla Structures creates the export file in your current modelmodel that is active in Tekla Structures

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

    folder.

CAD model export settings

Setting

Description

Conversion tab

Profile conversion file

Material conversion file

Twin profile conversion file

Define the conversion files you want to use.

Conversion files map Tekla Structures profile and material names with names used in other software.

For more information about conversion files, see Conversion files.

Parameters tab

Output file

The file name of the exported file. You can also browse for the file.

Type

Select the export format: HLI, SCIA, SDNF, PDMS, SDNF (PDMS), XML

Origin X, Y, Z

Define the origin coordinates to place the exported model in a specific location.

PML tab: this format is no longer supported
SDNF tab

SDNF version number

Select the SDNF version to be used in the export.

With StruCAD, use SDNF version 2.0.

Apply cuts and fittings

Select Yes (default) applies cuts and fittings in the export.

Position number type

The SDNF file contains identifiers, which can be included in a part’s user-defined attributes, or as position numbers. You have the following options:

  • Part position

    The identifier becomes the part’s position number. Do not use the Part Pos_No fields with this option.

  • Assembly position

    The identifier becomes the assembly’s position number.

  • Universal ID

    The identifier becomes a user-defined attribute for the part.

To make user-defined attributes visible, you need to add them to the objects.inp file.

Consider offsets

To ignore the offset records during export, select No , and to take them into account, select Yes.

This setting does not affect the actual start and end point information, only the offset. Tekla Structures writes the start and end points based on the actual solid object, not on the reference line.

PDMS phase offset

PDMS phase offset defines phase offset for exported parts. For example, if the first phase in Tekla Structures model is 1 and you enter 10 for phase offset, Tekla Structures parts in another software get the phase from 11 and up.

Engineering firm

Enter the name of the engineering company.

Client

Enter the name of the client.

Structure ID

Enter a unique identification number for the exported model.

Project ID

Enter a unique identification number for the exported project.

Revision number

Enter an optional revision number. Tekla Structures takes the revision number from the user-defined attributes (REVISION_NUMBER) of the model. If this field is blank, Tekla Structures uses a revision number from the CAD export dialog box ( Revision Number ).

Issue code

Tekla Structures writes an issue code in the header section of the output file. For PDMS, this value should always be " Tekla Structures ".

Design code

Define the design code to be used in structural design.

XML tab

Units

Specify unit conversions (MM, M, IN, FT). For example, for a Tekla Structures model created using millimeters, select IN to convert all part dimensions to inches in the output file.

XML structure ID

Unique identification number for the exported model. You must always enter the identification ID. Tekla Structures uses this value to identify the model if you re-export it.

XML structure name

Unique name of the exported model.

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