Reference models and compatible formats

Last updated March 12, 2019 by Tekla User Assistance

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Reference models and compatible formats

Reference models and compatible formats

A 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.

is a file that helps you to build a Tekla Structures model. A reference model may be created in Tekla Structures or another software or modeling tool and then inserted to Tekla Structures.

For example, an architectural model, a plant design model, or a heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) model can be used as a reference model. Reference models can also be simple 2D drawings that are inserted and then used as a layout to directly build the model on. You can snap to reference model geometry.

Reference models of different formats, such as 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.

, IFC4, IFCzip, IFCxml, tcZIP, 3DD, DXF, DWG, DGN, XML, LandXML, STP, IGS, SKP and PDF, are converted by the TrimBimConverter to TrimBIM (.trb) at reference model 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.

folder. The reference cache is created in the cache folder based on the advanced option XS_​REFERENCE_​CACHE when the reference model is set visible, which happens automatically at insert and update.

The following file types are supported:

  • AutoCAD files .dxf

  • AutoCAD files .dwg (supported version ACAD2018 and earlier)

  • IFC files .ifc , .ifczip , .ifcxml

  • IGES files .igs , .iges

  • LandXML files .xml

  • MicroStation files .dgn , .prp

  • PDF files .pdf

  • Tekla Collaboration files .tczip

  • SketchUp files .skp (supported version SketchUp 2018 and earlier)

  • STEP files .stp , .STEP

Some reference models are automatically subdivided or split into reference model objects.


You can disable the roll-over highlight, which can speed up zooming.

Reference model plug-ins in Tekla Warehouse

Reference model plug-ins are available as .tsep plug-ins in Tekla Warehouseservice for collaboration and for storing and sharing Tekla Structures content

In Tekla Warehouse the content items are stored in collections. Tekla Warehouse includes the Tekla Warehouse Service and the Tekla Warehouse web site.

Tekla Warehouse is one of the Tekla Online services.

. Tekla Structures installation contains the plug-ins, but you can get newer ones from Tekla Warehouse. First download the needed package from Tekla Warehouse , and then import it to the Applications & components cataloguser interface for displaying or modifying information in categorized lists

For example, profile catalog and shape catalog are catalogs.


For more information about .tsep packages, see Import a .tsep extension to the Applications & components catalog.

Reference models in drawings

You can show reference models in drawings and adjust their visibility settings: Reference models in drawings.

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