Export to Revit Geometry

Last updated April 27, 2021 by Gary Easom gary.easom@trimble.com

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United Kingdom

Export to Revit Geometry


Purpose and description
System requirements
Applications and Components menu
Version history
Additional information
Known limitations of this version

Purpose and description

The Export to Revit Geometry extension allows the export of model parts, from Tekla Structures, to a native Autodesk® Revit® project .rvt file. 

Note: Autodesk, the Autodesk logo and Revit are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries.

System requirements

Tekla Structures 2019.


The extension is available, from 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.

, as a *.tsep (Tekla Structures extension) format package.

Applications & components menu

The extension is accessed from the Applications & components panel. The installer adds a macrosaved series of actions that includes instructions for a program

Macros are located in the applications and components catalog. They are recorded or created manually and stored as .cs file in a folder defined with the advanced option XS_MACRO_DIRECTORY.

Macros can, for example, be used for creating drawings or reports.

Macros are sometimes used to run an application.

called 'Export to Revit Geometry' to the 'Revit Interoperability extensions' group, as shown below.


Version history


Tekla Structures 2019 (first release)
  • Supported Revit version: 2018


Tekla Structures 2020
  • Supported Revit version: 2019.
  • Failed parameters issue fixed in TS2020 SP6 (additional information below).


Tekla Structures 2021 Final: 17/03/21 to 13/04/21
  • Supported Revit version: 2021.
  • Export to Revit Geometry (rvt) supports the update of an existing rvt file. Existing Revit element identifiers are retained and object geometry, properties, material specifications and family names may be modified. The run log filefile that contains information related to changes, actions, and errors in the model or drawing

    Tekla Structures writes information in log files when the model is saved, numbered or checked for clashes, for example.

    will provide additional information on updated, deleted or new parts.
  • Failed parameters issue fixed. This issue resulted in a message of the form 'Failed to set BREP direct shape property parameter' rapidly filling the run log.


Tekla Structures 2021 SP1: 13/04/21
  • Export to Revit Geometry (rvt) update of an existing rvt file enhancement. The exported part geometry is only refreshed if the Tekla model part has been relocated or its shape modified. The run log file now distinguishes between refreshed parts with and without a geometry update.


Export the model parts to a Revit rvt file

Step 1 - Locate and run the export to Revit geometry macro, in the Applications & Components catalogue in Tekla Structures.
Step 2 - The following dialog is displayed:


File name: User defined.rvt file name.
Folder: User defined location of the rvt file. By default the folder will point to the model subfolder \Revit\.
Location by: User may specify the export location by base pointpoint in a model that is used to define a starting point in surveying and that is used as an anchor point in coordinate and height transformations

A Tekla Structures project can have several base points but only one of them can be the project base point.

Base points allow the use of another coordinate system needed for interoperability and collaboration. Base points can also be used in drawings, and in reports and templates. Model origin is the default base point in Tekla Structures.

Base points are also called control points.

, model originglobal coordinate system point of origin used for the model

Model origin is the default project base point.

or work planeplane that the user has chosen in a model and that is currently active for working on in a model view

Newly created, copied, or moved model objects comply with the work plane. For example, shifting the work plane to follow a sloped plane makes it easier to model sloped structures.

. For more information on basepoints see here.
Selection: Export all or a selection of parts in the model.

The dialog settings can be saved by adding a user defined name and saving (top of the dialog; combo box and save icon). Expand the combo box control to view and load previously saved dialog settings.

Step 3 - Press the export button. Note; it is not possible to use Tekla Structures whilst an export is in progress. A progress bar is displayed during export which allows cancelling of the export if desired.

Tekla Structures version 2021 onwards

If the exporter detects an existing Revit rvt file, that matches the folder location and file name specified in the current export, the following message box will appear:

This allows the option to either update the existing rvt file, with any modifications made to the Tekla model, or overwrite and recreate the rvt file.

Step 4 - A message box will be displayed when the export has finished, as follows:

Open directory: Opens the folder that contains the exported rvt file.
View log file: Opens the run log file in Notepad. The log file displays information on the export such as Tekla Structures version, model units, model path and name, the selected user interface options, export start and end times and information on any errors or failures during the export. The log file is written to <model>\logs\RevitRvtExport_username.log, where username is the logged on user name.

Step 5 - Open the exported rvt file in Revit, version 2018 or above.

Additional information

  • Creates a Revit rvt project file using a structural project template. Please see the version history for supported Revit versions.
  • The Tekla Structures model parts are exported as direct shape, BREP based, in-place system families. Parametric families are not currently supported.
  • Exported family names are as follows: Part name-profile-grade-GUID.
  • The part family is associated with relevant Revit structural category, for example beams are classified as structural framing. The following family categories are supported:
    • Structural framing
    • Structural columns
    • Walls
    • Floors
    • Structural foundations
    • Generic model
  • The Tekla Structures defined material type and grade is used to create an equivalent material which is assigned to the in-place family instance. The export currently supports steel, concrete and timber.
  • The following Tekla Structures part attributes are exported and associated with the in-place family as family parameters:
    • Profile
    • Material
    • Name
    • Width
    • Height
    • Length
    • Area
    • Volume
    • Weight
    • Tekla Structures GUID
    • Comment
    • Finish
    • Project name (Tekla Structures 2021)
    • Prelim mark
    • Phase namedescription that indicates a phase

  • Metric or imperial Revit project files are created based on the unit setting of the Tekla Structures model.
  • Model update functionailty is available from Tekla Structures version 2021. Existing Revit rvt files can be updated to reflect changes in the Tekla model. Parts will be updated for modified geometry and properties if the part is common to both the model and Revit project file and Revit unique element identifiers are retained. The run log file will provide additional information on updated / refreshed, new and deleted parts


Known limitations of this version

Common export part failure conditions are as follows:

BREP quality, edge length

Revit is more restrictive of BREP quality than Tekla Structures and some BREPS with short edge lengths, typically less than 1/32" or 0.79mm, may successfully export to the rvt file but may fail to be displayed when the Revit project file is opened. A warning message is issued to highlight this, for example;
Information: A side length of 0.018inch (less than the Revit recommended 1/32inch minimum) for part with GUID: 519216dc-0000-1b7b-3133-363835333232, part classification: BEAM and part profile: 362T125-18. Part has still been exported but this might cause issues in Revit.
In some cases this may lead to a failure to export the part and a message is written to the log file, for example;
Error: Failed to export the BREP solid geometry for part with GUID: 519216dc-0000-1b7b-3133-363835333232, part classification: BEAM and part profile: 362T125-18".
In these failed cases it is recommended that the supplied Tekla Structures GUID is used to locate the part in the Tekla Structures model and, if possible, adjustments made to cuts to improve the BREP quality. The model can then be re-exported.
Failure to obtain the part solid from the Tekla Structures model
The Tekla Structures model databasedatabase file that contains a model

Model database file has the file name extension .db1. In addition, other files, such as the corresponding numbering database .db2, are needed in order to obtain the functionality of the model database.

may contain parts that may fail to render and so fail to create a solid for export. The run log file will report these as follows;
Error: Unable to obtain part with GUID: 555c4fb2-0001-e7ac-3134-333231313330 for processing, please check the model.
There are several reasons why these parts fail to create a solid, typically these are poorly defined fittings created by macros or connections incorrectly placed on the main parts. It is recommended that the model is investigated, using the supplied GUID, to correct these issues.

Failure to obtain the part solid from the Tekla Structures model

Revit rvt update

Revit linked file part anotations will be lost if the part geometry has been updated during a Revit file update / refresh from a modified Tekla model. This will only occur for parts that have updated geometry or location. Linked file part annotations will remain if the part is unchanged or only the part properties are modified.

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