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Export a model to a 3D DWG or DXF file

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

Software version: 

Export a model to a 3D DWG or DXF file

Export a model to a 3D DWG or DXF file

You can export the whole model or model parts to 3D DWG or 3D DXF file types. By default, Tekla Structures creates a model.dwg 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.

folder. You can export parts, items and bolts to 3D DWG/DXF.


The 3D DWG/DXF export has the following limitations:

  • Bolt holes are not exported.

  • Curved beams and polybeams are exported as single, continuous beams.

  • The number of segments in the curved beams is as defined for the particular curved beambeam that follows the form of an arc

    Steel curved beams can be created by picking three points, where a point between the start point and the end point defines the arc. Both steel and concrete curved beams can be created by adjusting radius in beam properties or by using polybeams.


  • Reinforcing bars are not exported.

  • Grids are not exported.


You can define color settings for parts and other model objects. This way you can affect the color that the objects have in the exported DWG/DXF files.

  1. Open a Tekla Structures model.
  2. On the File menu, click Export > 3D DWG/DXF .
  3. In the Export 3D DWG/DXF dialog box, accept the default export file name, or enter another one.

    To replace an already existing export file, click the ... button and browse for the file.

  4. Select whether to export as DWG or DXF.
  5. In Export as , select the representationthe way that the information included in a model is represented visually

    for the exported objects:

    • Faces exports parts as faces.

      Exporting 3D DWG or DXF files as Faces uses more memory and may take longer, but the end result is better.

    • Lines exports parts as lines located in the center of the profile cross sections. This option suits well for exporting to analysis software.

    • Center lines exports parts as part center lines.

    • Reference lines exports parts as reference lines, drawn between the creation points. This option suits well for exporting to analysis software.

      If the model is large, or you have less memory to use, the Reference lines option is faster, and the resulting file size is smaller.

  6. Select Part accuracy :
    • The options are High and Normal. High also exports chamfers in profile cross-sections.

  7. Select Bolt accuracy :
    • High exports entire bolt assemblies, including washers.

    • Normal only exports the bolt and nut.

    • No bolts exports no bolts.

  8. Select whether to include Cuts in the export.

    Yes exports cuts.

  9. Select whether to include Inner contours

    Yes includes the inner contours.

  10. In the Export list, select what to export:
    • All objects exports the whole model.

    • Selected objects exports the parts selected from the model.

    To only select parts that you want to include in the export, activate the Select parts and Select objects in components selection switches. You can also create a selection filterfilter used for defining which object types can be selected

    Selection filter chooses model objects according to object properties.

    Selection filters can be standard or user-defined.

    For example, selection filters can be used to select parts for drawings or analysis.

    that exports all the parts and objects that you want. Components cannot be imported as such, but you need to select the objects in components to export the included parts.

  11. Click Create.

Tekla Structures creates the export file 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.

. The ID of each part is exported as an attribute and written into the export file for each part.

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