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Base Plate Applicator

Last updated November 10, 2016 by Tekla Structures Extensions USA solutions.us@tekla.com

Software version: 
Not version-specific
United States (Imperial)
United States (Metric)

Base Plate Applicator

Purpose and description

Often times Structural Engineers define column schedules with corresponding base platecomponent object that represents a plate welded to a column base

Base plates are used to distribute the concentrated load of the column over a wider area.

details on their design drawings. In many cases the base 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.

thickness, width, height, number of anchor rods, and anchor rod embedment are closely related to the column size also used in the column schedule. The Base Plate Applicator allows detailers and engineers to accurately and automatically apply different base plate components and settings to a selected group of columns in the model. The columns may be different profile sizes, similar profile sizes but with different classpart property that groups parts according to identifiers given by the user

The identifiers of classes are usually numbers. Classes can be used for defining the color of parts in the model, for example. Class does not influence the numbering of model objects.

numbers, different rotations, and even different bottom of column elevations yet the Base Plate Applicator will automatically load the appropriate saved base plate settings and place the base plate at the bottom start point of the selected columns that match a rule in the schedule. This saves a lot of time for the user and helps increase the accuracy of the appropriate base plate details being applied to the correct columns.

System requirements

Environments:   Default

Languages:   English

Installing Base Plate Applicator

To install the applicationpart of Tekla Structures functionality that is developed in order to extend the capability of Tekla Structures but that is not included in the Tekla Structures installation


  1. Have Tekla Structures closed during installation.
  2. Install the appropriate installation package that you can download from Tekla Warehouse. (Before 2016i install the .msi. 2016i and newer install the .tsep.)
  3. Reopen Tekla Structures once installation is complete.
  4. Before version 2016: A new toolbar icon which will launch the tool should now be visible when a drawing is opened. For 2016 a new thumbnail under Ungrouped items in the Applications and components side pane will appear. For version 2016i and newer a new thumbnail under US Extensions items in the Applications and components side pane will appear.

Before v2016    2016+

Using Base Plate Applicator

To use the application:

  1. Before version 2016:  A new toolbar icon which will launch the tool should now be visible when a drawing is opened.
For 2016 version and newer: a new thumbnail under Ungrouped items in the Applications and components side pane will appear.
  1. The Base Plate Applicator can be used in all native model authoring configurations and in any environment of Tekla Structures. The xml file that controls the language strings displayed on the dialog box can be customized and found in .\Version\messages\DotAppsStrings\Base Plate Applicator.xml.
  2. Select a column in the model, then press the ‘new’ button on the toolbar. Notice the Profile size, and the Class number are filled into the new rule just added to the list. The default component name will be system componentcomponent that is included in a Tekla Structures configuration and whose component objects and composition the user can modify within the limits of the component properties

    number 1047, and the default attribute name will be ‘standard’. If you click the mouse into the Component Name or Attribute Name fields you can change the component number to any of the typical system base plate components or you can type the name of a custom componentcomponent that the user creates and uses for creating model objects whose composition the user can modify as a group

    . The attribute names represent the named “saved” settings you often see at the top of Tekla Structures dialog boxes near the save, save as, and load buttons.
  1. If you click the button at the far right side of the Attribute Name text it will open up a dialog box showing all of the available saved attributes for that custom or system component found in all of the Tekla Structures search path directories. Simply type or select the attribute name in the list then just press the “X” (close) button on the dialog box or double click on an item in the list you want to select. You will then see the selected attribute name written into the Attribute Name field of the selected Base Plate Rule in the dialog box.
  1. If you select a column with a different profile size, or another column with the same profile, but a different class number then press the new button again, you will see that another item is added with a different profile or class number, but the previously selected item’s Component name and Attribute Name are copied.
  1. You can also select all of the columns in the model and then press the Create Rules from Selected icon. This will then scan all of the selected columns for the Profiles and Classes used and create a list of rules for those values. You can then go back and change the component Name and Attribute files appropriate for each column profile and class.
  1. The next step is to select the columns in the model that you would like to apply base plate too and then press the “Apply Base Plates” button on the toolbar.
  1. You can control which rules are “activated” in the list, by changing the checkbox value under the “A” column.  If a row is checked, the Base Plate Applicator will apply base plates to selected columns matching that rule, if it is unchecked, then the Base Plate Applicator will skip over that rule.
  2. Essentially what the applicator does is it inserts the Base Plate Detail Component at the Column Start Point (Yellow input pointpoint that the user picks when creating a component

    ), it automatically loads the matching Attribute file, then uses the attribute file name as the connection code found on the General Tab of the Base Plate component. Note that at this point if there are existing base plate details applied to the columns, additional details will be applied.

Additional information

  • For ease of use this tool supports the use of wildcards.  Wildcard format options accounted for include: * for any, #* for begins with, *# for ends with, #*# for starts and ends with, <# for less than, >#, #<># for is between.
  • The application currently doesn’t modify existing base plate components to changed settings in the dialog box. What this means is if you have previously inserted base plates into the model using the applicator, then change the settings in the dialog box, and try to reapply base plates to the same column while the previous base plate details are applied, the application will simply apply a new base plate detail to those columns while also having the previous base plates on the column. If you have deleted all of the previously applied base plates, then apply the new settings on those columns, then new details will be inserted.
  • Only custom component names and then system component numbers can be used. Plugins or Details created using the Tekla Structures API cannot be applied at this time.

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