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Form face creator (for parts)

Last updated March 29, 2016 by Tommi Lius tommi.lius@trimble.com

Software version: 
Not version-specific
Not environment-specific

Form face creator (for parts)

Purpose and description

Form Face Creator extension is used to add surface treatmentbuilding object that represents finishing of a part

Surface treatment for concrete parts includes flat finishes, surface mixes, and tiles.

Surface finishes for steel parts include fire-proofing and unpainted areas.

representationthe way that the information included in a model is represented visually

of formwork to part surfaces.
This enables the user to get accurate reports of the formwork areas in their model, quickly and easily.

System requirements

Tekla Structures installed on your machine.


  1. Download the Form Face Creator from the 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.

  2. Run the installation.


  1. Start Tekla Structures and open the Component Catalogcatalog that contains all system components and custom components, and the macros and applications

    The term component catalog is used in Tekla Structures until version 21.1.

  2. From the plugin menu select the Form Face Creator.
  1. Select the objects to apply form face areas to.
  2. Click the Create selected button.



Property Description
Name   Enter the names of the Side/Bottom/Opening side forms and the Top finish.
Select the colors of the Side/Bottom/Opening side forms and the Top finish.
Select whether to create the Side/Bottom/Opening side forms and the Top finish.
Ignore cuts
Select if the cut areas inside a part are removed from the form face or not.
Select the surface treatment property of the Side/Bottom/Opening side forms and the Top finish.
Do not create formwork faces smaller than
Enter the minimum area for the formwork face. Only forms areas bigger than this value are created.


Areas intersecting with neighbor parts

Select how the form face areas intersecting or touching the neighbor parts should be handled.

When selecting options 2 or 3, you need to specify also the list of names to exclude or include certain neighbor parts.

When option 'Cut with filter' is selected you can select the filter from the drop down box on the right. In this case only areas intersecting or touching neighbor parts matching with the filter will be removed form the form face.

More ... Click this button to enter or modify the user defined attributes to be set  for the form faces.

When this button is clicked the following sub dialog will be shown.

The actual content of the above dialog may vary in your local environment. See paragraph 'Customizing Form Face Creator..' for more info about how you can customize the content of this dialog.


  • Use formwork type as a name to get accurate areas per type, for example, Docadek 30.
  • The way parts are modeled affect the formwork area. If you have overlapping parts, the form face areas might get duplicated in some positions.
  • Use Organizertool for categorizing and managing model information, object properties and object property queries, and model object classification

    The Organizer consists of two tools, object browser and categories.

    to select objects, group formwork areas and report the information.
  • Create your own attribute files with divergent settings for different kinds of parts, e.g. for beams / columns / slabs.


To create a formwork area report:

  1. Select the wanted form face areas (with the Select objects in components selection switchswitch used for controlling which object types can be selected

  2. Run the Create report tool under Drawings & Reports (or CTRL + B).
  3. Select Formwork Area or Formwork Area by Part.
  4. Click Create from selected.

You can also use Organizer to export formwork areas to Excel.

In addition to all normal surface treatment properties you can use the following user defined attributes in your report templates or Organizer

  • FORM_WIDTH    -  which is the length of the shorter side of the form (=minimum rectangle surrounding the shape of the form).
  • FORM_LENGTH  - which is the length of the longer side of the form.

These user defined attributes are calculated and stored for each surface treatment object by the tool. These user defined attributes can be used in report templates or in Organizer as any other user defined attribute having a distance type of data.

Customizing Form Face Creator

Setting up the user defined attributes

The content of the dialog for the user defined attributes of form faces is defined in a file ‘FormFaceCreator.Udas.dat’. This file can be located in any of the folders set by variables XS_FIRM, XS_PROJECT or XS_SYSTEM, please note that the file is never read from 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.

. This file is also copied to you environment's system folderfolder that is used for storing files that define default settings

during installation.

Please note that in order to get these attributes visible in user defined attributes for the surfacing objects the attributes shall be defined also in 'objects.inp'. 

Example of file ‘FormFaceCreator.Udas.dat’:

// Customized user defined attributes (UDA) for form faces (=surfacing objects) 
// Each row shall contain 2 or 3 fields separated by tab(s) or semicolon. 
// If the label is not given the labels set for the start uda will be used. 
// Please note that all uda names shall be unique
// Field 1: The data type of the attribute. Valid values are 'distance', 'float', 'option', 'integer' and 'string'
//          compatible with the actual user defined attributes as specified in objects.inp
// Field 2: UDA name. This is the name of the user defined attribute set for the form face (=surfacing) objects.
// Field 3: Label. This text is shown in the attributes dialog. It can ba translatable label (albl_) or any text.
string		comment 		j_comment		
string		USER_FIELD_1		j_user_field_1
string		USER_FIELD_2		j_user_field_2
string		USER_FIELD_3		j_user_field_3
string		USER_FIELD_4		j_user_field_4
string		FORM_PRODUCT_CODE	Form product code

Additional information

  • The tool cuts the faces around all intersecting and / or touching objects. This can cause the model to have a large number of cuts.
  • The tool cannot find all faces on very complex sloped slabs, these may have to be manually added.
  • If you are cutting a part by part and afterwards applying surface treatment to this cut part, make sure that your cuts are at least 2mm thicker than the part itself. More information: http://teklastructures.support.tekla.com/200/en/mod_cutting_efficiently

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