Create items

Last updated March 12, 2019 by Tekla User Assistance

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Create items

Create items

In Tekla Structures , the term item refers to the parts that have a 3D shape. Shapes are created in an external modeling software, or in Tekla Structures , and they are available in the Tekla Structures shape catalogcatalog that displays information of item shapes

The shapes are downloaded from Tekla Warehouse, are created using existing geometry and parts in the model, or are modeled using software other than Tekla Structures, for example SketchUp.


Items are similar to other parts , such as beams and columns. The main difference between items and other types of parts is that a 3D shape defines the geometry of an item, whereas a part has a 2D profile that is extruded to create the length of the part.

You can use items to model objects that would be difficult to model using basic Tekla Structures parts and commands, such as cutting. You can also use items to model objects that use shapes modeled in an external software or by a manufacturer.

Every item has properties that define it, such as shape, material, and location. If you want to use item properties in view and selection filters or in drawing and report templates, you need to use the template attributes of parts and profiles. If you want to separate items from parts, use the IS_​ITEM template attributeattribute in a template object that Tekla Structures uses to calculate and display information from a model database

Template attributes represent object properties.


Limitations to items

  • Items have a fixed geometry according to their shape, so items cannot be scaled, stretched, or fitted.
  • Items cannot be mirrored.
  • Items cannot be split or combined. Splitting an imported item creates a duplicate to the splitting position.
  • Items can only be cut or attached to another part if they have a solid shape.
  • The gross weight value of an imported item may be different from that of an identical Tekla Structures part modeled with cuts. This is because the cuts are not taken into account when calculating the gross weight of parts.
  • The contextual toolbarfloating toolbar that contains commands for modifying the most common object properties

    The user can customize the contextual toolbar.

    is not available for items.

Create an item or a concrete item

  1. Ensure thatDirect modification is switched on.

    This makes it easier to adjust the location and rotation of the item in the model.

  2. Depending on the material of the item you want to create, do one of the following:
    • On the Steel tab, click Item .

    • On the Concrete tab, click Item .


    Alternatively, you can start the command in the property panecontrol element in Tekla Structures user interface in the form of a side pane window

    The property pane can be used to show and modify the properties of model objects.

    The property pane can be customized by using the property pane editor.


    1. Ensure that you have nothing selected in the model.
    2. In the property pane, click the Object type list button and select Item or Concrete Item from the list.

      Tekla Structures starts the command and shows the properties in the property pane.

      In the property pane, you can modify the item properties and select the shape, for example.

  3. Move the mouse pointer over object faces and edges in the model, and see how the item turns over and adjusts to the object faces.

    If you are adding the item to another object (such as part or pour objectbuilding object that is formed of one or more cast-in-place concrete parts, or parts of cast-in-place concrete parts

    The cast-in-place concrete parts are merged into one pour object if they have the same material grade and pour phase, and if they touch each other. Pour objects are visible in pour view.

    ), Tekla Structures also shows location dimensions to the nearest object edges.

  4. Pick the first point of the item.
  5. Pick another point to indicate the direction of the item.

    Tekla Structures places the item between the points you picked starting from the first point (yellow handle) towards the direction of the second point (magenta handle), using the Item or Concrete Item properties in the property pane.

    Tekla Structures shows the coordinate axes, rotation handles, and location dimensions that you can use to fine-tune the location and rotation of the item. The handles are red, green, and blue, according to the local coordinate systemcoordinate system that reflects the current work plane or drawing view plane

    The local coordinate system is represented in a model by a symbol with three axes (x, y, and z). This symbol indicates the direction of the model. It is located in the lower right corner of the model view.

    In a drawing, the local coordinate system symbol has two axes.

    of the item.

  6. To move the item along any of its coordinate axes, drag the relevant axis handle to a new location.
  7. To rotate the item around any of its coordinate axes, drag the relevant rotation handle to a new location.

    Press Tab to rotate the item in 90-degree steps in the direction of the selected rotation handle.

  8. To move or rotate the item by specifying a distance or angle:
    1. Select an axis handle, a rotation handle, or a dimension arrowhead.
    2. Type the value by which you want the dimension to change.

      When you start typing, Tekla Structures displays the Enter a Numeric Location dialog box.

    3. Click OK to confirm the new dimension.
  9. If you want to add more items to the model, click the middle mouse button and repeat steps 3–8.
  10. To stop adding and modifying items, press Esc.

Modify item or concrete item properties

  1. If the property pane is not open, double-click the item or the concrete item to open the Item or the Concrete Item properties.
  2. Change the properties as needed.
  3. Click Modify to apply the changes.

    Tekla Structures uses the new properties the next time you create an object of this type.

Change the shape of an item

When you create or modify an item, you can select the shape from the list that contains all the shapes available in the shape cataloguser interface for displaying or modifying information in categorized lists

For example, profile catalog and shape catalog are catalogs.


Before you start, ensure that you have the required shape imported to the shape catalog.

  1. Double-click an item to open the item properties in the property pane.
  2. Click the ... button next to the Shape box to open the Shape Catalog dialog box.
  3. If needed, use the Filter box to search for a shape.
  4. Select a shape from the list.
  5. Click OK to close the Shape Catalog dialog box.
  6. Click Modify to apply the changes.

Item and concrete item properties

Use the Item and the Concrete Item properties in the property pane to define, view, and modify the properties of an item. To open the properties, double-click the item or the concrete item.

The file name extension of an item property fileobject type specific file that contains values of properties or settings used in the property pane or a dialog box

Property files are saved in the current model folder. The user can create and modify property files and copy them to the project or firm folders for future use.

User-defined attributes related to a specific object type are stored in a separate property file.

is *.ips.

The file name extension of a concrete item property file is *.ipc.

If you have customized the property pane layout, the list of properties may be different.





User-definable name of an item.

Tekla Structures uses part names in reports and in Document manager , and to identify parts of the same type.


Shape of an item.

To select a shape from the shape catalog, click the ... button next to the Shape box.

To show the item shape in reports and drawing tables, use the PROFILE template attribute.


Material of the item.


Type of finish.

Finish is user definable. It describes how the part surface has been treated, e.g. with anti-corrosive paint, hot galvanized, fire retardant coating, etc.


Use to group items.

For example, you can display parts of different classes in different colors.

Numbering series (available for items)

Part numbering

Part prefix and start number for the part position number.

Assembly numbering

Assembly prefix and start number for the assembly position number.


On plane

Item's position on the work plane , relative to the item's reference line.


Rotation of the item around its axis on the work plane.

At depth

Position depth of the item. The position is always perpendicular to the work plane.

End offset


Move the item along its reference line.


Move the item perpendicular to its reference line.


Move the item in the z direction of the work plane.

Cast unit (available for concrete items)

Cast unit numbering

Part prefix and start number for the part position number.

Cast unit

Indicate whether the item is precast or cast-in-place.

Pour phase

Pour phase of the cast-in-place parts. Use to separate pour objects from one another.

Custom properties


Click the More button to open the user-defined attributes (UDAs) of the part. UDAs provide additional information about the part.

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