Import from Tekla Structural Designer

Added May 4, 2021 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 Tekla Structural Designer file (.tsmd) or neutral file (.cxl). 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).

  1. Open the Tekla Structures model to which you want to import.
  2. On the File menu, click Import > Tekla Structural Designer.
  3. In the Tekla Structural Designer 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.

    Once you have selected a valid file, the import settings and the Import button will be enabled.

  4. If updating the positions of objects is not required, select the Only consider profile and material changes check box.
  5. Select 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.


    • 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.
    • Delete existing Tekla Structures grids: Import will remove all grid lines/planes from the current Tekla Structures model.
  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 the Remove previously imported openings check box.
  7. Open the Location section and define to which location you want to import the model. Do one of the following:
    • In the X, Y, and Z boxes, enter offsets for the imported model from the global origin of the Tekla Structures model.

    • Click Pick and then pick a location for the import model datum point in the Tekla Structures model.

    You can also define a rotation.

  8. In the Rebars section, define whether the reinforcing bars are imported, and how they are imported. Note that the Rebars section 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.

    Create rebars as

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

    Rebar sets are created for loose bars in cast-in-place concrete pad footings, strip footings, beams, columns, and walls. Meshes are not transferred.

    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 sets or 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, beam, column, or pad footing) will be added only to one part in the group.

    Import rebars for

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

  9. To read the import file and display all the proposed profile, material grade, and rebar grade conversions to be used, open the Conversions section and click the preview buttons.

    The import uses an internal conversion list containing the standard profiles and grades. If the profile or grade of any object cannot be converted using the internal conversion, the Tekla Structures name will be replaced with the text –-- NO MATCH –-- in the Conversions tables.

  10. If the text –-- NO MATCH –-- is displayed, you can convert the profiles, materials, and rebar grades manually in the following way:
    1. Create a profile, material, and/or rebar grade 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, material, or rebar grade name, the equal sign (=) and then the corresponding Tekla Structures name.

      You may need help from your local Tekla support with this.

      In the rebar grade conversion file, list the size mappings for the grade on the rows underneath the grade name in the same way, indented by a tab.

    3. In the Profile conversion file, Material conversion file, and/or Rebar conversion file boxes, specify the conversion files that you want to use for mapping profiles and grades.

      The Rebar conversion file box is only available if you have a compatible version of Tekla Structural Designer installed and a .tsmd import file selected.

    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. In this case, the members may be drawn as lines in the model, but can then be edited manually in Tekla Structures.

  11. Click Import.

If none of the objects 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 objects, 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.
  • Clashes are not resolved.
  • Laps cannot be modeled.
  • Mapping of sizes and grades only works for standard settings with UK and USA models.

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