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Bolt centerline export

Last updated September 27, 2016 by Steel Extensions tekla.extensions-steel@trimble.com

Software version: 
Not version-specific
Not environment-specific

Bolt centerline export


Purpose and description
Installing Bolt centerline export
Using Bolt centerline export
Bolt centerline export options
Additional information 

Purpose and description

The bolt centerline export aids in exporting assemblies in DXF or DWG format for use with fabrication quality assurance systems and coordination tools. Using this 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

, a surface export of the assembly parts and a separate export representing the center lines or outlines of bolt holes in the assembly can be generated for each selected assembly. It is also possible to export all assemblies in a single file and use ‘solid’ bolt holes.

Some commercially available laser scanning systems and software can use these files as a basis for comparing the fabricated assembly and bolt holes against the model design for quality assurance and checking.

Installing Bolt centerline export

To install the extension:

  1. Download the Bolt centerline export installer package from Tekla Warehouse. For more information see Downloading an application from Tekla Warehouse.
  2. Install the file package.

Using Bolt centerline export

To use the extension:

  1. Click the Applications & components button in the side pane to open the Applications & components cataloguser interface for displaying or modifying information in categorized lists

    For example, profile catalog and shape catalog are catalogs.

  2. Search for Bolt centerline export and then double-click to open it.
  3. Choose the style of bolt holesmall hollow open throughout a part or assembly that is usually used for fastening parts with bolts or other such objects

    Hole is created in the same way as bolts and hole properties are defined in the bolt properties.

    to export (centerline, outline, or solid).
  4. Choose the export format (DXF or DWG).
  5. Choose to export selected or all assemblies.
    1. When exporting selected assemblies, use the assembly selection switchswitch used for controlling which object types can be selected

      and select the assemblies to export.
    2. Nothing will be exported if only part and bolts are selected.
  6. Click export to start the export.
  7. The exported files are written to the model folderfolder that is used for storing files associated with a model

    Tekla Structures stores all files associated with a model in a folder it creates with the same name as the model database (.db1).

    In multi-user mode all users access the same model folder.


Bolt Centerline Export options

Hole style

Bolt hole centerlines

The centerlines for bolt holes are created at the center of the bolt hole (including slotted holes), and extend between the outermost surfaces of parts in the assembly. To illustrate, in the example below, the green part represents a part in the selected assembly, and the grey part represents a neighbor partpart that is close to a part that the drawing is made for but that is not in the same assembly or cast unit

The representation of neighbor parts is usually different from that of the part.

Neighbor parts can be used as reference in dimensioning.

. The bolt centerline will pass only through the selected part at the center of the hole.

Hole on surfaces

The hole will be written as a polygon on the surface of the part. The hole outline is approximated using 8 line segments.

Hole as solid

A temporary part will be modeled representing the hole and exported along with its part. This option will produce only a single file, no separate file is generated for the holes.

File generation

Export of assemblies can be done as one group or split to one file for each unique assembly mark found.

One per assembly

For each exported assembly the file(s) are created using the assembly mark as file name prefix. When exporting in this way, only one export is run for each unique assembly mark. For example, if there are four “B-5” assemblies, only one “B-5” assembly will be selected and exported.

Separate hole file

When the hole style selected is “Bolt centerline” or “Hole on surfaces” the holes are output to a separate file.
For example, when exporting one file for each assembly using bolt centerlines, the assembly B-5 will be exported as “B-5.dxf” and “B-5_BoltCL.dxf” in the model folder. The first file (“B-5.dxf”) contains the surface shape of all parts in the assembly.

The second file (“B-5_BoltCL.dxf”) contains the center lines of any bolt holes in the parts of the assembly. If “hole on surfaces” were selected, this would contain the outline of the holes on the part surfaces.

When using “Hole as solid” the hole solid is included in the file with the parts.

Note that any existing files of the same name will be overwritten automatically. If the files are write protected (read only), that export will be skipped.

Additional information


Export is possible regardless of whether assemblies or parts have been numbered or not. Assemblies which are not yet numbered will have the characters “(_)” included in their exported file name.


Bolt centerlines and contours are output to layers based on the diameter of the hole.
Because only integer values are valid for layer names, the layer name is assigned as the diameter of the hole in mm multiplied by 1000. So the layer name for bolt holes of 22.5mm diameter will be “22500”. The layer for a 5/8” bolt with 1/16” tolerance, an 11/16” diameter hole, will be “17462” (1000 * 25.4 * 11 / 16).


The colors used when the parts and bolt holes are exported, is controlled by the active representationthe way that the information included in a model is represented visually

If individual colors based on hole diameter is not required, the temporary parts used in the export of the bolt holes are named as follows:

Hole style Temporary Part Name
Bolt centerline “BoltCenterline”
Hole on surfaces “BoltHoleOutline”
Holes as solid “BoltHoleSolid”

If different colors are desired based on hole diameter, create representation settings which specify colors for the 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.

which is assigned by hole diameter (see Layers above for details).


Because this tool models temporary parts in order to generate the bolt hole information during export, it can only be used with configurations which allow modeling of parts.
For more information, visit www.teklastructures.support.tekla.com/2016/en/ts_configurations

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