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Dimensioning improvements

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

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Dimensioning improvements

Dimensioning improvements

There are some important improvements in drawing dimensions. For example, you can now drag dimension points from handles, and display and change the dimension pointpoint that Tekla Structures or the user has used for dimensioning

associativitydrawing property that represents the linking of drawing objects to model objects so that the former are updated according to changes made to the latter in the modeling mode

In Tekla Structures, associativity only relates to one type of drawing objects, namely associative objects. These can be building objects and associative annotation objects.

In Tekla Structures, the term associativity has traditionally been used when referring to the linking of drawing objects to model objects. In other modeling contexts, however, the term associativity may refer to any kind of linking between model objects or parts of a model by using dependencies.


Dragging dimension points

  • Straight (linear) dimensions in drawings can now be modified by dragging the dimension points from dimensio point handles.

  • Dragging in single dimension lines: If you try to drag a dimension point to a new position that is located behind an existing dimension point, the selected dimension point will be deleted from the old position and recreated in the new, preferred position. If you try to drag the point to the same coordinate position where the existing point is already located, the dragged dimension point is dropped back automatically to the initial position.

  • Dragging in dimension sets: If you try to drag the dimension point into the area between two points of neighbor dimension lineline that visualizes the distance between the defined dimension points

    Separate dimensions can be combined into a longer dimension line.

    , the selected dimension point will be deleted from the old position and recreated in the new, preferred position. If you try to drag the point to the same coordinate position where the existing point is already located, the dragged dimension point will be deleted from the old location and will be combined with the existing one, after dropping to the new location.

  • Dragging a dimension point with a zero coordinate in running dimensions allows you to change the coordinate of the start dimension point without running the Set dimension start point command.

  • Note that if Drawing drag & drop switch in the Settings section in the File menu is activated, the dimension point handle can be dragged without selecting the handle first.

Display dimension associativity

Dimensioning points created in Tekla Structures are associated to the objects where the dimension points have been added. This allows the dimensions to update automatically when the objects are changed during modeling.

Sometimes the dimension point locations may be unclear due to orthogonalview projection that displays objects in right-angles projection

In model view the size of the objects is the same despite of their distance to the viewing point and the zoom remains on part faces.

projection. A dimension point might be not be associated to the desired object because there are various other objects in the same point location. In drawing update or cloning, this may lead to unwanted dimensioning values or associativity.

To avoid incorrect associativity, or to simply make the associativity selection distinct, there is now a new featurepart of Tekla Structures functionality that is maintained and owned by Trimble Solutions and that is included in the Tekla Structures installation

that allows you to check and change the dimension associativity rules in all types of drawings. This feature works only with straight dimensions.

  • To change the dimension point associativity rule, select the desired dimension or dimension set. Next, click a dimension point associativity anchor. This displays the dimension associativity rule list, which shows the objects where the dimension point can be associated. The Default associativity rule is automatically selected by Tekla Structures. Click a rule in the list to select it and associate the dimension point to a new object. When you click the rule, the corresponding object is highlighted in the drawing. The corresponding gridmodeling aid that represents a three-dimensional complex of horizontal and vertical planes

    In Tekla Structures, grids are used as an aid in locating objects in a model. The grid is shown on the view plane by dash-and-dot lines. It is also possible to show grids and grid line labels in drawings, and to modify grid properties in the drawings.

    It is possible to have more than one grid in a model. For example, a large-scale grid for the entire structure, and smaller grids for some detailed sections.

    lines are also highlighted. Click the drawing background to close the rule list.

  • You can open several dimension associativity rule lists at a time by holding down Ctrl or Shift and clicking dimension point associativity anchors, or holding down Alt and using area selectionmethod of selecting objects that are included in a certain rectangular area of a model

    In addition to the selected area, selection switches and selection filters control which object types are selected.


  • To open all associativity rules related to a selected dimension set, click the dimension set and select Show dimension associativity rules from the contextual menu.

  • You can change associativity rules by scrolling the mouse wheel while the mouse cursor hovers over a rule list.

  • To select associativity rules related to same object types in all opened rule lists, double-click the desired rule. Selected rules will be highlighted with yellow color in all opened rule lists.

  • The maximum number of shown rules in the rule list can be controlled with the advanced option XS_INTELLIGENCE_MAX_RULE_COUNT. If the needed associativity option is missing from the rule list, increase the number of the shown rules by changing the XS_INTELLIGENCE_MAX_RULE_COUNT value.

  • The following attributes are shown in the rule list for the following building objects:

    • Steel parts: "NAME", "PART_POS", "PROFILE"

    • Concrete objects: "NAME", "PROFILE"

    • Polygon cuts: "NAME", "PROFILE"

    • Reinforcement: "NAME", "REBAR_POS"

    • Bolts: "NAME"

    • Grid: Grid "NAME"

    • Intersection of grid linesingle line that visualizes a single grid plane on a view plane

      and building objectobject that represents something that will exist in the real building or be closely related to it

      A building object is always created in a model, but it is also represented as a drawing object in a drawing in which its properties can be modified.

      side: Grid “NAME” or the label of the building object:

    • Intersection of grid lines: Grid “NAME”/”NAME”:

    • Pour units: Pour objectbuilding object that is formed of one or more cast-in-place concrete parts, or a part of a cast-in-place concrete part

      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.


    • If the Default option is selected, the dimension point will automatically select which object to follow during the dimension update based on the new position of the objects. Note that there might not be any rule in the rules list that would correspond the behavior of the Default option. Selecting another option than the Default option makes it possible to control which object will be followed during the dimension update.

  • Display dimension associativity with the Clone and Clone selected commands:

    • Changing associativity rules in selected dimension points allows you to achieve more accurate results in cloning dimensions in drawings. An associativity option selected in a rule list will be preserved in the cloned dimension if the selected rule corresponds to a similar object in a cloned drawing or in a target selection in a GA drawingdrawing that is created from one or more model views and that shows information needed to understand the general arrangement of structural elements on a project

      General arrangement drawings show how parts, assemblies, cast units, or pour objects are located in a building.

      . Objects are not considered to be similar if they have been modeled by using different commands, such as steel beam, steel plate(1) part that represents a flat structure

      (1) In some contexts, for example in analysis, the term plate object may be used to refer to plates.

      (2) plate that represents a steel structure

      (2) Plate is mainly used as a connection piece or as a floor plate.

      , reinforcement, or bolt. When an appropriate object is missing in the cloned drawing or in the target selection in a GA drawing, the dimension point will be associated to an object that is located in the same coordinate points. In this case, the associativity rule in the point in question will be returned to the Default option.

    • Note that when the drawing is cloned automatically due to renumbering, the associativity rules are recomputed from scratch and any preferred rules set by the user are lost.

Other dimensioning improvements

New option for placing dimensions inside a cast unit, assembly or part

  • In view-based dimensioning, in the Dimensioning rule properties dialog box, there is a new setting Place dimensions inside for the dimensioning type Filter dimensions. When you select this setting, the dimensions can be placed inside a cast unit, assembly or part.

    Example of the Place dimensions inside setting:

Radius dimension mid point associativity anchor

  • There is now a associativity anchor drawn for radius dimension mid points. The mid point has always been associative, but previously, the associativity anchor was not drawn.

Curved dimension lines working with radial rebar set groups

  • Curved dimension lines now work also with radial rebar set groups, similarly as with radial rebar groups.

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