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Create a steel lofted plate

Last updated September 18, 2019 by Tekla User Assistance tekla.documentation@trimble.com

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Create a steel lofted plate

Create a steel lofted plate

With lofted plates you can create rolled plates with varying shapes and plates with double-curved form, for example.

Prerequisites and examples of lofted plates

Before you can create lofted plates, you need to have construction objects in your model. Tekla Structures creates the shape of the lofted part according to the geometry of the used construction objects.

You can connect the following construction objects as a lofted 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.


  • construction lineconstruction object that represents a line between two points

    to construction line

    For example:

  • construction line to construction arc

    For example:

  • construction arc to construction arc

    For example:

  • construction circleconstruction object that represents a circle

    to construction circle

    For example:

Note that you can create unfolded single-part drawings of non-closed cylindrical and conical lofted plates, meaning that the lofted plate was created by using construction arcs but not construction circles. Other types of lofted plates cannot be unfolded.

Create a lofted plate

  1. Create the needed construction objects in the model. The shape of the lofted slabplate that represents a concrete structure

    In Tekla Structures, a slab is created by picking three or more points.

    Slab may be part of a floor, for example.

    is based on the construction objectmodeling aid that represents a point, line, circle, or plane and that helps in placing other objects


    You need to have

  2. On the Steel tab, click Plate > Create lofted plate .
  3. On the toolbar that appears, click a button to specify whether to create the lofted plate by using two construction objects, or by using a construction object and a point.

    • If you selected Using two construction objects :

      1. Select the first construction object: line, arc, or circle.

        For example, if you are using two construction circles to create a lofted plate:

      2. Select the second construction object:

        Tekla Structures creates the lofted plate between the selected construction objects.

    • If you selected Using one construction object and a point :

      1. Select the first construction object: line, arc or circle.

        For example, if you are using a construction line and a point to create a lofted plate:

        Tekla Structures shows a preview of the part geometry. Use the preview to set the direction and height of the lofted part.

      2. Pick a point.

        Tekla Structures creates the lofted plate based on the preview.

Alternatively, you can start the Lofted plate 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.


  1. Ensure that you have nothing selected in the model.

  2. In the property pane, click the Object type list button and select Lofted plate from the list.

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

Modify the shape of a lofted plate

Use direct modificationfunction that activates the mode where the model objects can be modified by using handles

Direct modification enables additional handles and modification options.

dimension handles and dimension values to modify the lofted plate shape.

  • Modify, for example, the height and radius of the lofted plate.

  • For lines and arcs: drag the arc symbolat the midpoint of a line or an arc to modify the lofted plate shape.

Split a lofted plate

Note that you cannot split closed cylindrical or conical lofted plates.

  1. On the Edit tab, click Split.
  2. Select the lofted plate you want to split.
  3. Pick a point for the dividing line.

    Tekla Structures splits the lofted plate.

    For example:

Swap the end handle points to correct the geometry of a lofted plate

In some cases when you try to create a lofted plate by using construction lines, arcs, or circles, the geometry of the plate would become self-intersecting. In these cases the plate is not created, and Tekla Structures displays the following status bar message: The resulting surface would be self intersecting.

You can try to resolve the situation and create the lofted plate by changing the modeling direction of the construction lines or arcs.

  1. Ensure that the Direct modification switch is not active.
  2. Select the construction line or the construction arc.
  3. On the contextual toolbarfloating toolbar that contains commands for modifying the most common object properties

    The user can customize the contextual toolbar.

    The term mini toolbar is used in Tekla Structures until version 21.1.

    , clickSwap ends.

    Tekla Structures changes the modeling direction and may help to you to create the lofted plate.

With construction circles you can try to resolve the situation by moving either of the circles.

Modify lofted plate properties

  1. If the property pane is not open, double-click the lofted plate to open the Lofted plate properties.
  2. Change the properties as needed.
  3. Click Modify.

Lofted plate properties

Use the Lofted plate properties in the property pane to view and modify the properties of a steel lofted plate. To open the properties, double-click the steel lofted plate. The file name extension of a steel lofted plate property filefile that contains properties or settings in the property pane or a dialog box

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

User-defined attributes can be stored as a property file.

is *.lpl.

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





User-definable name of the lofted plate.

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


Profile of the lofted plate.


Material of the lofted plate.


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 lofted plates.

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

Numbering series

Part numbering

Part prefix and start number for the part position number.

Assembly numbering

Assembly prefix and start number for the assembly position number.

Face type

Face type

Select whether the top and bottom faces of the plate are flush with the plane.



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

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by Zoltán Plosz

Has the "construction line to construction arc" or the "construction arc to construction arc" with different radius some limitations? The drawings can not be unfolded.

by Tekla User Assistance

Thank you for your question. Please contact your local support in regard to this issue.