Create a steel lofted plate

Last updated March 10, 2020 by Tekla User Assistance

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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 plateplate that is created by using construction objects

Lofted plates can be used to model plates with complex shape, for example, rolled plates and plates with double-curved form.

according to the geometry of the used construction objects, by connecting the start point of the first construction objectmodeling aid that helps in creating and placing other objects

Construction object can represent a point, line, arc, or plane, for example.

to the start point of the second construction object. The end points of construction objects are connected in similar way.

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 arcconstruction object that represents an arc defined by three points

    For example:

  • construction arc to construction arc

    For example:

  • construction circleconstruction object that represents a circle

    to construction circle

    For example:

  • construction polycurveconstruction object that represents a polycurve passing through several picked points

    Construction polycurves can have straight and curved segments.

    to construction polycurve

Create a lofted plate

  1. Create the needed construction objects in the model. The shape of the lofted plate is based on the construction objects' shape.

    You need to have

    • construction lines

    • construction arcs

    • construction circles


    • construction polycurves

      With polycurves, use the Create arc by tangent or Create tangent line options on the construction polycurve toolbar. To create polycurves only with straight segments, use the Create line option . Note that the construction polycurves do not need to have the same number of segments, as long as both of them are tangential.

  2. When you have created the needed construction objects, go to the Steel tab and 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.
    • Use two construction objects to create a lofted plate:

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

        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, using the Lofted plate properties 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.


    • Use one construction object and a point to create a lofted plate:

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

        For example, if you are using a construction polycurve 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 size of the lofted plate.

      2. Pick a point.

        Tekla Structures creates the lofted plate based on the preview.

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 symbol at 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, the geometry of the plate would become self-intersecting, meaning that the start and end points of the top and bottom construction object are opposite of each other. In these cases the plate is not created.

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

  1. Select the construction line or the construction arc.

    With construction lines, ensure that the Direct modification switch is not active. You can then see the yellow and magenta object handles.

  2. On the contextual toolbarfloating toolbar that contains commands for modifying the most common object properties

    The user can customize the contextual toolbar.

    , click Swap ends.

    Tekla Structures changes the modeling direction of the selected construction object, and the lofted plate can be created correctly.

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

Unfold lofted plates

You can unfold lofted plates in single-part drawings. The unfolding works for lofted plates which have been created from single geometry to single geometry, and for tangential polycurve lofted plates.

Examples of unfolded lofted plates created from single geometry to single geometry:

Examples of tangential polycurve unfolded lofted plates:

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 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 *.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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