Import from Tekla Structural Designer

Last updated April 3, 2020 by Tekla User Assistance

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Import from Tekla Structural Designer

Import from Tekla Structural Designer

Import from Tekla Structural Designer creates Tekla Structures parts, such as beams, columns, slabs, and shear walls based on the contents of the imported .cxl neutral file. To import rebars, you need to have compatible versions of Tekla Structures and Tekla Structural Designer installed on the same computer and access to the original Tekla Structures Designer file (.tsmd).

Before importing, open Tekla Structures and the model where you want to import.

  1. On the File menu, click Import > Tekla Structural Designer .
  2. In the import dialog box, enter the path of the import .cxl file or the original.tsmd file in the Import file box, or click the ... button next to the box to browse for the file.
  3. Once you have selected a valid file, the import buttons and the Preview Conversions button will be enabled. To read the import file and display all the proposed profile and material grade conversions to be used, click the Preview Conversions button.

    The import uses an internal conversion list containing the standard profiles and grades. Any member with profile or material that cannot be converted using the internal conversion will be flagged in red and the Tekla Structures name will be replaced with the text *** NO MATCH ***.

  4. If the text *** NO MATCH *** is displayed, you can convert the profiles and materials manually in the following way:
    1. Create a profile and/or material conversion file in a text editor using the file name extension .cnv.

      The conversion files can also be used to override the standard conversion.

    2. In the text file, enter the .cxl/.tsmd profile or material name, the equal sign (=) and then the corresponding Tekla Structures name, for example:

      STB 229x305x70=TEE229*305*70 for profile

      S275JR=S275 for material

    If the conversion files are not used, the members with profiles or materials that cannot be converted will still be created but they will use the import file profile or material, which may be invalid in Tekla Structures, and the members may be drawn as lines in the model, but can then be edited manually in Tekla Structures

  5. Select the among the following gridmodeling aid that represents a three-dimensional complex of intersecting grid planes or intersecting grid planes and curved grid surfaces

    The grid is defined by coordinates in 3D space. It is shown two-dimensionally on the view plane by dash-and-dot lines. A grid can be rectangular or radial.

    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.

    It is also possible to show grids and grid line labels in drawings, and to modify how they are shown in the drawings.


    • Delete Tekla Structures' grids: Import will remove all grid lines/planes from the current Tekla Structures model.
    • Import grids from import file: The grid lines from the import file will be imported into the Tekla Structures model. A grid linesingle line that visualizes a grid plane or a curved grid surface on a view plane

      pattern will be created, and all the imported grid lines will be attached as individual grid planes to this pattern.
  6. If you want to remove 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.

    and wallplate that represents a structure such as a wall or roof panel

    In Tekla Structures, a panel is created by picking two or more points.

    In cast-in-place concrete the term wall refers to a concept similar to panel.

    openings in the Tekla Structures model that were previously imported from Tekla Structural Designer, select Remove previously imported openings.
  7. On the Rebars tab, define whether the reinforcing bars are imported, and how they are imported. Note that the options on the Rebars tab will become available only when you have selected a .tsmd file as the import file.
    Option Description

    Import rebars

    Enable or disable rebar import.

    Delete old rebars

    Delete any reinforcement previously imported using Tekla Structural Designer import.

    Grade conversion file

    A text file that contains conversion information for the rebar grade and size.

    First create a text file with the extension .cnv. In the text file, enter the Tekla Structural Designer grade name, an equal sign (=) and then the corresponding Tekla Structures name. List the size mappings for the grade on the rows underneath the grade name in the same way, indented by a tab.

    Create rebars as

    Native bars: Create the rebars as standard Tekla Structures bars.

    Reference bars: Create the rebars as a reference model that will be saved in the model folder.

    Creation options

    Single bars only: Do not group the rebars. If you do not select this option,the rebars will be imported as rebar groups where possible.

    Simplify bars: The rebars will be imported without any hooks or curtailments, and longitudinal bars in beams will be cut off before they enter the columns at the end points.

    Once per design group: Rebars in parts belonging to the same design group (for example column or beam) will be added only to one of the groups (for example column or beam).

    Import rebars for

    Select the objects for which you want to import rebars: Beams, Columns, Walls, or Slabs.

  8. Import by pressing one of the following buttons:
    • Import at Origin: Import the model using the global X, Y and Z coordinates with the global origin as the 0,0,0 point for the import model’s coordinate system.

    • Import at Location: Select a point in the model to use as 0,0,0 and select a second point to define the X axis to use.

When a Tekla Structural Designer .cxl or .tsmd file is imported into Tekla Structures, the model is checked for existing items. If none of the items in the import file have previously been imported into 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.

, Tekla Structures imports the contents of the selected import file and creates all the required objects in the Tekla Structures model. If the Tekla Structures model is empty, the project properties from the import file will be written into the model's project properties. If the model contains members, the .cxl/.tsmd model data will be ignored leaving existing project properties intact.


You can find more information on exporting models and objects from Tekla Structural Designer in the Tekla Structural Designer product guides.


  • For the best results, ensure that XS_ENABLE_POUR_MANAGEMENT in Advanced Options > Concrete Detailing is set to TRUE.
  • For beams, columns and walls, rebars are created at their correct physical location inside the solids, but the rebars are not dynamic, which means that they do not respond to changes in cover values.
  • Clashes are not resolved.
  • Laps cannot be modeled.
  • Rebars in walls are not cut by wall openings.
  • Mapping of sizes and grades only works for standard settings with UK and USA models.

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