Linking documents to Trimble Connect

Last updated March 5, 2020 by Steel Extensions tekla.extensions-steel@trimble.com

Software version: 
Not version-specific
Environment: 
Not environment-specific

Linking documents to Trimble Connect

Use Linking documents to Trimble Connect(1) application for information sharing and collaboration for construction projects that is based on the Trimble Connect platform

(1) Reference models are used in Trimble Connect application instead of using import and export.

(1) Trimble Connect application includes web, desktop and mobile clients, and the Sync tool, for example.

(2) Trimble’s platform for microservices in the cloud

(2) Trimble Connect platform’s microservices include services for uploading, storing, processing, and managing or consuming data. These services are meant to provide common solutions required by multiple applications.

extension to add documents from Tekla Structures model to a Trimble Connect project. You can upload and link .pdf drawings , NC files and IFCs of the assemblies to corresponding objects from the 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.

model in a Trimble Connect project. Choose to link from the following types of .pdf drawings: assembly, single-part, cast unit, General Arrangement.

Before linking documents to Trimble Connect :

  • In Tekla Structures , on the File menu, click Export>IFC to export the .ifc of the model. Make sure that on Advanced tab, Assemblies object typedescription of a group of objects that share common characteristics

    The objects are grouped based on different characteristics in models and in drawings. Examples of model object types are beams and rebar sets. Examples of drawing object types are parts and marks.

     check box is selected to link assembly related content.
  • Sign in to your Trimble Connect account. If you don't have an account, select Create new Trimble ID to register. For more information on Trimble Identities please see Trimble Connect accounts.
  • Select New Project button and create a Trimble Connect project.
  • On DATA tab, select +Add list and click Upload Files button.
  • Select Browse button, go to Output file location of the exported .ifc and click on the .ifc file to upload it in the root folder of Trimble Connect project.

Linking documents to Trimble Connect v.3

Install and Open Linking documents to Trimble Connect

Install Linking documents to Trimble Connect

  1. Download the Linking documents to Trimble Connect installer package from Tekla Warehouse. For more information see Downloading an application from Tekla Warehouse.
  2. Install the file package.

Open Linking documents to Trimble Connect

  1. Open a Tekla Structures model.
  2. 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.

    .
  3. Search for Linking documents to Trimble Connect and then double-click to open it.
  4. Open Linking documents to Trimble Connect and Sign in:
  • If you are not signed in on Tekla Structures the Sign in to Linking documents to Trimble Connect dialog window opens. Use your Trimble Connect account credentials to sign in.
  • If you singed in to Tekla Structures with your Trimble Identityuser account to sign in to both Trimble and Tekla products and online services

    For a Tekla Structures user, Trimble Identity is a single sign-on account which enables the user’s online identity management. Trimble Identity is needed, for example, for Tekla Warehouse, Tekla User Assistance, and Tekla Campus.

    for Tekla Online servicesservices provided for the users of Tekla products through different online channels

    For Tekla Structures users Tekla Online services include Tekla Campus, Tekla User Assistance, and Tekla Warehouse, for example.

    account. The extension will sign in using the same account and Linking documents to Trimble Connect dialog window opens:
  • You've signed in when "Refresh" button enables and message info changes from "Signing in to Trimble Connect" into "Project list succesfully refreshed".

Upload and link NC files only for selected objects in model

  1. Open Linking documents to Trimble Connect extension
  2. Select a project on Trimble Connect projects list
  3. Select an IFC file on Project's IFC Files
  4. Select NC files and Only for selected buttons . Select Objects in model on Only for selected list.
  5. Select NC options on NC filefile that contains information gathered from a model and exported to computer numerical controlled fabrication machinery

    Tekla Structures produces NC files in several formats, for example, DSTV.

    settings
    . The settings list is defined on Tekla Structures on File menu> Export>NC files.
  6. Ensure that Select objects in components ​selection switch is active and select parts in the model
  7. Click Play button to upload and link NC files to the IFC of the model
  • Linking documents to Trimble Connect will:
    • Create NC files for selected objects.
    • Upload NC files with DSTV for profiles settings on Trimble Connect project and link the files to the .ifc of the model.
  • During the process, a status bar is displayed with message info "Generating data for export" and "Uploading documents".
  • You've uploaded and linked the files when message info is "Some events occurred, see the info log".
  • Use Select Assemblies​ selection ,then the extension will display "No document was found" message info. If the Advanced Option XS_USE_ASSEMBLY_NUMBER_FOR is set to MAIN_PART, then NC files of the main part(1) part that exists in a building object and that determines the position number for the assembly or cast unit and the direction of assembly or cast unit drawings

    (1) Main part can be an assembly main part or a cast unit main part.

    (2) input part that the user selects first when creating a component

    (2) Connections and details always have a component main part.

    of the assembly will link. 

Upload and link IFC files of Assemblies for selected objects in model

  1. Open Linking documents to Trimble Connect extension
  2. Select a project on Trimble Connect projects list
  3. Select an IFC file on Project's IFC Files.
  4. Select Assembly/Cast Unit IFC Files button, IFC tab enables, to filter or load attribute files.
  5. Select Only for selected button and choose Objects in model on Only for selected list.
  6. Ensure that theSelect assemblies selection switchswitch used for controlling which object types can be selected

    is active. Select assemblies and cast unit in the model.
  7. Select Play button to upload and link IFC of selected assembly to the IFC of the model.
  • Linking documents to Trimble Connect will:
    • Create .ifc files of selected objects with settings from IFC tab.
    • Upload the .ifc files of selected assemblies on Trimble Connect project and link the files to the .ifc of the model.
  • During the process, a status bar is displayed with message info "Generating data for export" and "Uploading documents".
  • You've uploaded and linked the files when message info is "Some events occurred, see the info log".
  • If you select nothing or don't use Select assemblies ,the extension will display "No document was found" message info. 

Upload and link PDF files for selected drawings

  1. In Tekla Structures, create Single part and Assembly drawings.
  2. Open Document managertool that is used for listing and managing drawings and other types of documents

    With the document manager the user can, for example, reorganize, update, freeze, lock, and delete drawings.

    The user can also organize file documents, such as PDF, NC, and DWG files, and drawings, in document categories, and search documents and open drawings.

    Document manager is replacing drawing list from the version 2018i onwards.

    or Drawing Listlist of drawings that provides information about the drawings in a particular model and that is used for searching, managing, and printing the drawings

    In the drawing list, the user can, for example, search, open, update, freeze, lock, and delete drawings. The drawing list can also be used to display the associations between the drawings and the parts in the model.

    Drawing list is used in Tekla Structures until version 2018. See document manager.

    and print some drawings.
  3. Open Linking documents to Trimble Connect extension
  4. Select a project on Trimble Connect projects list
  5. Select an IFC file on Project's IFC Files
  6. Select Assembly drawings, Single Part drawings, Link to main part, Only for selected, Use existing PDFs buttons. Select Drawings on Only for selected list. Select PDF on Format
  7. On Document manager select desired drawings, then on Linking documents to Trimble Connect click Play button.
  • Linking documents to Trimble Connect will uplaod and link .pdf drawings that match all selected filters in the picture above.
  • With the following printed drawings and the selection on Document manager in the picture bellow, only A.8 and P.12 will upload and link. 
  • On the pictures above, the pdfs of the assembly drawingdrawing that shows fabrication information for a basic or a nested assembly, including bolts and welds, and that is generally used at the workshop

    Assembly drawings show how parts are located in an assembly. They contain the parts of the assembly presented in one or more views.

    A.8 and single part drawing P.12 are the only ones that meet the conditions to link on Trimble Connect:
    • Their Document types are selected on Linking documents to Trimble Connect
    • Drawings are selected on Document Manager with Only for selected Drawings enabled on Linking documents to Trimble Connect
    • Their Pdf drawings are on the disk at the path that Use existing PDFs points to, on Linking documents to Trimble Connect
  • The other drawings won't upload and link because:
    • 1-GA-drawing.pdf Linking documents to Trimble Connect doesn't have GA drawings selected on Document types
    • A.5 - STANDARD.pdf - Its .pdf isn't at the location pointed on Use existing PDFs
    • P.14 - STANDARD.pdf - It isn't selected on Document manager and on Linking documents to Trimble Connect , Only for selected Drawings is enabled
    • P.15 - STANDARD.pdf - The name of the .pdf on the disk doesn't match with the name Tekla Structures will print the drawing. Please see PDF names on Additional Informarion chapter.
    • All the other pdfs that you may have on the disk will not upload and link.
  • A.5 - STANDARD.pdf will link to the assembly and because Link to main part is selected on the extension, it will link also to the main part of the assembly. 
  • Deselect Use existing PDFs and run the extension with the same drawings selected on Document Manager will link the pdfs of  A.5 , A.8 and P.15. The other drawings won't upload and link because:
    • The GA drawingdrawing that is created from one or more model views and that shows information needed to understand the general arrangement of structural elements on a project

      General arrangement drawings show how parts, assemblies, cast units, or pour objects are located in a building.

      is not a selected on Document type .
    • P.14 is not selected on Document manager.
    • P.12 is locked. Ensure that you can open the drawings before printing with Linking documents to Trimble Connect.

Upload, link and overlay DWG files of GA drawings using Reset export mode 

  1. Open Linking documents to Trimble Connect extension
  2. Select a project on Trimble Connect projects list
  3. Select an IFC file on Project's IFC Files.
  4. Select GA drawings button, No GA deawings selected message will appear.
  5. Select DWG/DXF on Format , and select an attribute file from Export drawings to DWG/DXF.
  6. Select Reset on Export mode list.
  7. Open Document manager and select GA drawings. On Linking documents to Trimble Connect the number of GA drawings selected will display near GA drawings button.
  8. Select Play button to upload and link selected DWGs of GA drawings to the IFC of the model.
  • To link GA drawings you always have to select drawings on Document Manager. It works independent whether you select Drawings option on Only for selected list or not.
  • Linking documents to Trimble Connect will:
    • Deletes IFCs,NC files or drawings already uploaded on selected Trimble Connect project. This happens when using Reset on Export mode list.
    • Exports DWGs of selected GA drawings. The export will take all the settings from the attribute file defined on Export drawings to DWG/DXF.   
    • Uploads the DWGs of selected GA drawings and links them to all assemblies in the GA views.
  • During the process, a status bar is displayed with message info "Generating data for export" and "Uploading documents".
  • You've uploaded and linked the files when message info is "Some events occurred, see the info log".
  • To overlay the DWGs on the IFC of the model:
    • With Trimble Connect Web click on check boxes of both DWG and IFC of the model, to select them. Then click on View in 3d viewer or View in legacy viewer .
    • With Trimble Connect Desktop, select the IFC of the model and click View. On MODELS property panecontrol element in Tekla Structures user interface in the form of a side pane window

      The property pane can be used to show and modify the properties of model objects.

      The property pane can be customized by using the property pane editor.

      select Model selection and click on the DWG's check boxes then click on Close button.  Ensure that Show model button is active to turn on the visbility of the DWG.
    • The position of the DWG in relation to the IFC of the model depends on:
      •  Location by list on Export to IFC.
      • Model space coordinates list on Export drawings to DWG/DXF.
  • You can overlay multiple DWGs at once. In the picture, 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.

    3 and grid D overlay on the IFC of the model. Select the column assembly at the intersection of axes 3 and D. Both GA drawings are linked to the assembly, as the column is part of the two DWGs.

Application properties


 
Field Description Default Versions
(1) Saved attributes list -  
(2) Log in and out from the extension
  • Select Log in button to log in. Log in with a Trimble Identity for Tekla Online services account.
  • After you log in, the extension will display the account name.
  • Select Sign out button to log out. 
-  
(3) Save user attribute -  
(4) Delete user attributes -  
(5) Open help file -  
(6) Define the project from Trimble Connect that you want to link documents from Tekla Structures.
Note: The options in this list vary for each user depending on the project uploaded on Trimble Connect.
-  
(7) Refreshes the projects list from Trimble Connect. -  
(8) IFC/TRB file location - Path from where you load the .ifc/.trb files of the model Trimble Connect Projects root folder TRB support from v3.6
(9) Project’s IFC/TRB files - A list with the IFC/TRB files from the specified location. - TRB support from v3.6
(10) Upload without linking - upload to Trimble Connect documents without linking them to objects -  
(11) General option tab - options about linking -  
(12) Assembly drawings - export and link assembly drawings Checked  
(13) Link to main part - option to link assembly drawings also to the main part of the assembly Unchecked v3.6
(14) Single part drawings - export and link single part drawings Checked  
(15) Cast unit drawing - export and link cast unit drawings Unchecked  
(16) GA drawing - export and link GA drawings to objects visible in the drawing Unchecked  
(17) NC files - export and link NC files
Note: When selected , enables NC file Settings (22)
Unchecked  
(18) Assembly/Cast uni IFC files - export and link the .ifc files of the assembly and cast unit to the .ifc/.trb file of the model
Note: When selected , enables IFC tab (27)
Unchecked  
(19) Only for selected objects- uploads and links documents in Trimble Connect only for selected objects from Tekla Structures. Enables a list with the following options:
  • Objects in model - is dependent on the way you choose to select:
    • Ensure that  Select assemblies selection is active to link Assembly drawings.
    • Ensure that Select objects in components selection is active to link Single part drawings.
  • Drawings - select drawings in Document Manager to upload and link
Unchecked Both Single and Assembly drawings will link with Select objects in components selection from v3.6.
(20) Use existing PDFs - it will use pdf drawings that are already printed on the disk. When you select the option, it will display the location of the printed .pdfs. The default is .\PlotFiles. To change it , browse and select a different location Unchecked  
(21) Export mode - it has the following options:
  • Add new files to a Trimble Connect project.
  • Reset removes existing files and add selected ones to a Trimble Connect project.
Add  
(22) NC options - options are loaded from the NC file settings on Tekla Structures. On the File menu, click Export and select NC files
Note: Enables when you select NC Files button(17).
-  
(23) Format - select drawings format. You can coose to link both .pdf and .dwg files at once PDF  
(24) Play - use to export documents from Tekla Structures and create links to objects  with exported documents in Trimble Connect  -  
(25) Shows status messages and the progress bar -  
(26) Close - closes the application -  
(27) IFC option tab - options for .IFCs of assembies and cast units
Note: Enables when you select Assembly/Cast uni IFC files button(18).
Disabled  


 
Field Description Default
(1) IFC attribute part filters - lists all Part selection filters - see Create selection filters  standard
(2) Part faces define the part face used when creating the .IFC. The options are Front, Top, Back or Below
Note: To have this option , ensure that Local is selected on Location by list (9)
Front
(3) Move up - moves up in the list the selected filter -
(4) Move down - moves down the selected filter in the list -
(5) Adds a new selection filter to the list -
(6) Deletes the selected filter from the list  -
(7) Filter using main part - Please see Assembly Exporter Unchecked
(8) IFC attribute file list - a list with all attribute files of Export to IFC . -
(9) Controls the position of the IFC in relation to the export origin. The following options are available: 
  • Default - takes the value set in Export to IFC attribute file for Location by list
  • Local - export IFC files relative to its coordinate system. Enables Part faces list (2) to lay down assemblies to horizontal state with desired face rotation of main part.
  • Model origin
  • Work plane

Note: Model's Base points will add to the list. To define a new origin , see Base points

-

Additional information

  • If 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

    encounters errors, these will be displayed in Linking documents to TrimbleConnect ErrorReport .txt file form 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.

    , along with a message from the status bar: 'Some errors occurred. Please see the log: C:\Tekla\TeklaStructuresModels\model name\Linking documents to TrimbleConnect ErrorReport .txt
  • Pdf naming is following the format from the 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.

    settings.
  • Link assembly drawings with the .IFC of the model:
    • When exporting IFC files from Tekla Structures if you want to link assembly related content you should check the following option form Export to IFC -> Advanced tab, as in picture below:

       
    • When exporting .ifc files via Trimble Connectorfeature that enables interoperability between Tekla Structures and Trimble Connect application

       default functionality does not support assemblies. Creating IFC file with default settings won't work with the Linking documents to Trimble Connect. Use attribute files with settings that include assimblies in the Trimble Connector when Configuring IFC export.
      • If nothing is selected in Export settings from standard file, the .ifc file will not include assembly information.

        In order to include assembly information:
        • ​Create an attribute file with Export to IFC .
        • Make sure that Assemblies checkbox is selected in Advanced tab.
        • Place it in model folder->attribute.
        • Select attribute file in Export settings from standard file list

Limitations

  • Tekla Structures model has more than one NC file/ drawing with names that match the following case:  C1.nc and c1.nc1 (uppercase / lowercase). The last one will overwrite the first file, because of a Windows limitation for case insensitive names in same folder.
    • As a workaround, change names of the parts that have case sensitive problems, like in following example:
    • For NC documents the tool tries to avoid the problem by splitting the files in separated folders for different kind of setting in NC file export (eg. DSTV for angles / plates / profiles). This approach reduces the probability of having the issue. The workaround for NC files would be to use separate settings for the parts that have case sensitive problems.
  • On Trimble Connect select an object in the ifc of the model and click on Object attachments icon will not display Assembly drawings.
  • If you rename the .ifc of the model in Trimble Connect, the .ifc will loose all links to the files.
  • Can't link Assembly/Cast unit IFC files with Only for selected Drawings , for this use Objects in model option.
  • When uploading PDF drawings, ensure that XS_DRAWING_SNAPSHOT_CREATION is set to TRUE on Advanced Options. If the option is set to FALSE, PDFs will not upload and the log filefile that contains information related to changes, actions, and errors in the model or drawing

    Tekla Structures writes information in log files when the model is saved, numbered or checked for clashes, for example.

    will give the messages: Dpm file for drawing: PDF name was not found and The pdf file of drawing: PDF name was not created.

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