Other improvements in interoperability

Added May 4, 2021 by Tekla User Assistance tekla.documentation@trimble.com

Software version: 

Other improvements in interoperability

Other improvements in interoperability

There are many important improvements in Tekla Structures 2021 for reference models, IFCfile format commonly used in BIM that facilitates software interoperability

IFC is an open specification developed by the IAI (International Alliance for Interoperability).

Model can be exported into an IFC file.

export, drawing export, 3D DWG export, and 3D DGN export.

Reference models

Inserting reference models through File > Import

You can now insert reference models, such as IFC models, through the File menu by selecting Import > Insert reference model. Selecting this command opens both the Reference Models side pane and the Add model dialog box.

Earlier, reference models could only be inserted by first clicking the Reference Models button in the side pane and then selecting the Add model command.

New way to update reference model data

You can now update the reference modelmodel which the designer can use as an aid when building another model

A reference model is created in Tekla Structures or in other software and can be inserted to Tekla Structures. The reference model appears together with the model but it is not modified by Tekla Structures. The user can snap to reference model points.

For example, an architectural model, a plant design model, or a heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) model can be a reference model.

data when required also by holding down Ctrl and clicking the Refresh button.

Improvements in curved line accuracy in reference models

  • The improvements in the curved line accuracy were introduced already in Tekla Structures 2020 SP4. See 2020 SP4: New features and improvements for details. This improvement applies to all reference model formats.

  • You no longer need to delete the existing reference model and reinsert it to use a new configuration file value. Now you can update the reference model data by holding down Ctrl and clicking the Refresh button.

Special characters in reference model name

The improvement in the reference model name was introduced already in Tekla Structures 2020 SP4. See 2020 SP4: New features and improvements for details.

Improvements in reference model rotation

The Reference Models side pane now has additional rotation options for rotation around X and Y axis. When the reference model already contains X or Y rotations, the X and Y fields are not active.

LandXML reference models

A LandXML reference model sometimes had invalid alignment geometry. This has now been fixed.

Note that you can update the changed data by holding down CTRL and clicking the Refresh button.

Support for SketchUp version 2021

The SketchUp model version 2021 support has been added.

Other reference model improvements

  • Visualizing the selected reference objects now works when you select all by pressing Ctrl+A on the keyboard.

  • Sometimes a reference model was not highlighted in a drawing when selected. This has now been fixed.

IFC export

Improved area, volume and mass accuracy

The IFC property set accuracy has been updated to be more accurate for the area, volume and mass properties.

IFC2x3 export

New control for exporting B-reps as exact solids

B-rep objects can now be exported as exact solids in the IFC2x3 export. You can do this by setting the new model-specific advanced option XS_EXPORT_BREP_AS_EXACT_SOLID to TRUE. The default value is FALSE. This advanced option is located in the Export category of the Advanced Options dialog box.

Note that if you export B-reps as exact solids, the IFC file size increases, and the export takes more time.

To get smooth edges to the export, you may need to set the advanced option XS_CS_CHAMFER_DIVIDE_ANGLE to 10.

In the following example, on the left, you can see a native type I profile, and on the right, the IFC object surface geometry when both advanced optionssettings used to customize Tekla Structures for specific companies, standards, users, or user groups

In Tekla Structures, advanced options are settings that are used, for example, in a specific project or geographical area, or by a specific company.

In Tekla Structures, advanced options usually begin with the initials XS and are followed by the name of the function, for example XS_BACKGROUND_COLOR.

are used:

Export without predefined property sets

You can now export IFC2x3 files without predefined Tekla Structures property sets. To do this, on the Advanced tab of the Export to IFC dialog box, select the empty value for the Property sets setting.

New control for exporting rebars created by rebar sets

A new model-specific advanced option XS_EXPORT_IFC_REBARSET_INDIVIDUAL_BARS has been added to control how bars created by rebar sets are exported. If the advanced option is set to FALSE, bars are exported in groups. If the advanced option is set to TRUE, bars are exported as individual bars. The default value is FALSE. This advanced option is located in the Export category of the Advanced Options dialog box.


In the IFC file 'Total number' always shows 1 for groups created by rebar sets, and 'Total weight' and 'Weight' show one bar weight. Use the NUMBER_OF_BARS_IN_GROUP and WEIGHT_TOTAL_IN_GROUP attributes to export the values of the group to the IFC file.

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.

accuracy change

The base point latitude and longitude values now have a microsecond accuracy.

IFC4 export

Advanced option no longer needed to start IFC4 export

You no longer need to set the advanced option XS_IFC4_EXPORT_PLEASE to TRUE in the teklastructures.ini file to start the IFC4 export. The command to start the IFC4 export is always available in Tekla Structures File > Export if allowed by your configuration.

Attributes with "." supported in property sets

Attributes that use a "." format, such as ASSEMBLY.POUR_UNIT, can now be used to define property sets that report pour unitentity that combines together a pour object and the other building objects that need to be in place before cast-in-place concrete can be poured

The needed building objects can be reinforcement and embeds, for example.

and pour objectbuilding object that is formed of one or more cast-in-place concrete parts, or parts of cast-in-place concrete parts

The cast-in-place concrete parts are merged into one pour object if they have the same material grade and pour phase, and if they touch each other. Pour objects are visible in pour view.

properties. Some useful attributes:

  • POUR_UNIT.NAME - reports pour unit name from an assembly belonging to a pour unit (e.g. a formwork panel, embedbuilding object that represents an object that is to be cast into a concrete structure and that is used to connect structures or as an aid when constructing a structure

    For example, a cast-in socket is an embed that is placed in concrete structures to allow parts to be fastened together on site. In Tekla Structures, embeds are typically steel parts and they are added to cast units as sub-assemblies.

    ), and also, from a rebar belonging to a pour unit.

  • ASSEMBLY.POUR_UNIT.NAME - reports pour unit name, from a part belonging to a pour unit (e.g. a formwork panel, embed).

  • If you add POUR_OBJECT.xxxxx after "...POUR_UNIT.", you can also report pour object propertiesproperties associated with an object type

    Usually a single object property includes a default value that the user can modify.


Changes in exporting selected objects

Now the IFC4 export also exports the selected objects when Spatial hierarchy from Organizer has been selected. Earlier, all objects were always exported even if you had selected objects. Grids are now included under the building instead of the building storey.

IFC object conversion

  • IFC object conversion can now map a profile to a parametric profilepredefined profile whose cross section dimensions the user can change by using parametric variables


  • There are some improvemetns in Copy properties to UDAs:

    • You can now copy Material to UDAobject property created by the user in order to widen the range of predefined object properties

      User-defined attributes are used when the predefined object properties are not sufficient but more properties are needed. For example, comment, locked, and erection status are user-defined attributes.


    • You can now copy Object type to UDA with ObjectType.

3D DWG and 3D DGN v8 exports

Export selected parts in assembly

The 3D DWG and 3D DGN v8 exports, and the Export to Revit (.rvt) Geometry extension in 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.

now allow you to export selected parts in an assembly when you use the Selected objects option. You need to use the Select objects in assemblies or Select objects in components seletion switch when you select the parts. If you do not select a part but an assembly, the highest level of assembly parts will be included in the export.

Previously, all parts were exported in the assembly to which the selected parts belonged.

Export drawings to DWG/DXF

The drawing export is now faster when you use complex rules.

CIMSteel and CIS/2 functionality removed from Tekla Structures

The CIMSteel export and import, and the SteelFab/SCIA, SFrame, MicasPlus and Eureka LPM imports have been removed from Tekla Structures. Contact your local support if you need the functionality.

For a list of local offices and contact information, see Offices and resellers.

Tekla Warehouse Downloader

Tekla Warehouse Downloader (TeklaWarehouseDownloader.exe) is now included in the Tekla Structures installation and it opens automatically when you download content from Tekla Warehouse. Previously Tekla Warehouse Downloader had to be installed and launched manually.

Tekla Structures extension manager shows the .tsep package type

Tekla Structures extension manager now shows the type of a .tsep package as extension or environment if the type has been defined in the .tsep package. If it has not been defined, the type is not shown.

Quick feedback

The feedback you give here is not visible to other users. We use your comments to improve our content.
We use this to prevent automated spam submissions.
Content rating: 
No votes yet