Multi converter

Last updated June 26, 2020 by Trimble Solutions France

Software version: 
Not version-specific
Not environment-specific

Multi converter

Forum discussion


Purpose and description
System requirements
Installing Multi converter
Export using Multi converter
Import using Multi converter
Known issues
Hits and tips

Purpose and description

This tool exports Tekla Structures objects in multiple file formats: 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.

, STEP (AP214 format), IGES, OBJ ,STL, DGN, DWG, DXF, and SKP. Objects can be exported by part markmark that includes a set of selected property elements related to a part

Part marks are used for identifying constructions, for giving information about welding, for giving information about assemblies to a workshop, for giving information about how parts should be connected to each other, and for creating bills of quantities, for example.

In the US, the term piece mark is used to refer to position number.

, assembly mark, phase, object ID or for the selection.

Straight tubes are not faceted.

With this tool, you can also import different file formats into the shape catalogcatalog that displays information of item shapes

The shapes are downloaded from Tekla Warehouse, are created using existing geometry and parts in the model, or are modeled using software other than Tekla Structures, for example SketchUp.

(see below in this help for more about file formats).

System requirements

Tekla Structures Version: 2020
.NET Framework version: 4.5.1
Environments:  All

Installing Multi converter

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


If Tekla Structures is not running:

    Download the appropriate TSEP (Tekla Structures Extension Package) file from 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.

    Double-click on the saved .tsep file.
    In the Tekla Structures extension manager, check the version(s) you want to install the extension to.
    Click Import.
    Start Tekla Structures.

If Tekla Structures is running:

    Download the appropriate TSEP (Tekla Structures Extension Package) file from Tekla Warehouse.
    Click the menu button in the Applications & components side pane and select Extension manager.
    Click Import..
    Select the .tsep file and click Open.
    Restart Tekla Structures to complete installation.

The tool will appear under the Multi converter group in the Applications & Components side pane.


Export using Multi converter

Note that numberingprocess of assigning position numbers to parts, cast units, assemblies, or reinforcement

In Tekla Structures, the position numbers assigned in the numbering are shown in marks and templates, for example.

has to be up-to-date for export by part or assembly mark.
1 - Choose the export type:

1 file by part mark
1 file by assembly mark
1 file by object (ID number)
1 file by phase (All the model is exported by phase)
1 file for selection (export of selected objects in the model)

If "1 file for selection" is selected, several files will be created in order to avoid too large files.
You can change the maximum number of objects per file. Default: 500 objects.

Filenames comes from Name project in the project properties.

2 - Choose the export format:


For IFC format, you can access to IFC Exports saved settings via a dropdown menu.

Based on previous choices, the converter may propose to include the quantity or bolts.
"Include quantity" checked: the filename will be changed by adding "qty-" and the quantity of objects.
"Include bolts" checked: bolts objects will be exported.

NOTE if  "Include bolts" is unchecked, bolts will not be exported, but parts will have holes.

               "Include bolts" checked                                    "Include bolts" unchecked

3 - Change the path for the export files if necessary

4 - Add more information in the export file name

The options are different according to the export types.

5 - Select objects in Tekla Structures, click "Convert" and wait for the end of processes.

Process can be interrupted by clicking on the button "Cancel".

Import using Multi converter

Possibility to import different file formats into the shape cataloguser interface for displaying or modifying information in categorized lists

For example, profile catalog and shape catalog are catalogs.

3D - 3DS - 3MF - AC - AC3D - ACC - AMJ - ASE - ASK - B3D - BLEND - BVH - CMS - COB - DAE/Collada -
MD3 - MD5 - MDC - MDL - MESHreinforcement that represents a mesh of steel bars in two perpendicular directions

In Tekla Structures, the reinforcement mesh bars in one direction are called main bars and reinforcement mesh bars perpendicular to them are called crossing bars.

PMX - PRJ - Q3O - Q3S - RAW - SCN - SIB - SMD - STP - STL - TER - UC - VTA - X - X3D - XGL - ZGL 

Some format are better supported than others (FBX, OBJ, DAE...)

Known issues

Exported polybeams doesn't have holes.
Polybeams round tubes are faceted.
Bolt holes are not exported using DXF or DWG format.

Hits and tips

  • Be sure that you have the latest version :)
  • Numbering has to be up-to date for export by part mark or assembly mark.
  • Ensure that the Select Assemblies  selection switchswitch used for controlling which object types can be selected

    is active for the export by assembly mark.
  • Ensure that the Select Component objects selection switch is active for other exports.
  • Avoid special characters for the Name project in the project properties.
  • If export is bad, you can control temporary IFC files and logs by unchecking "Remove temporary files" which are used for conversion.

  • Tekla Structures IFC options are used for export in IFC format, check that the right options are chosen:

For example, concrete element export is wrong using export type 'Steel fabrication view'.

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by David Lash

Why is there a limitation of 500 parts in '1 file for selection'? This is not explained here. Engineering office would most likely like to export more than this number into software such as Rhino where the UseCase if the Architect is working on facade elements in Rhino, and requires a setout for the glazing geometry from structural parts.

by Trimble Solutions France

If "1 file for selection" is selected, several files will be created in order to avoid too large files.
You can change the maximum number of objects per file. Default: 500 objects
filenames are from Name project in the project properties.
If a larger number than the quantity of elements is entered, there will be only one converted file.
Sometimes softwares fail to open large files.

by Sunil Thomas

After changing the default limit also, the output is coming only for 500 objects. I mean, if the model having 2000 objects--The output file is getting split as 4. Any option? Thank you.

by Trimble Solutions France

Hi, Sorry there is no option, this is not allowed to exceed 500 parts selected in the file, otherwise the process to realize only one file could be extremely long, and there is no plan to change this.

by Jason

Hi, I have just installed this on TEKLA 2016i and when exporting "1 file by part mark" I get the error "numbering is not up-to-date"
Same goes for "1 file by assembly mark" but the others seem fine.

Any ideas ?

by Trimble Solutions France


For an export by part mark or assembly mark, the numbering has to be up-to-date. Be sure that you have the latest version of the tool. If the numbering is up-to-date and you've got the same message, please repair the model and the numbering. Be careful to conceptual components because they can't be numbered. Convert them in execution components.

by wim vergouwen

I converted a part which is rotated relative to active UCS axis . The step file is then also rotated to UCS which is not convenient for CAM software. When I change active UCS in TEKLA so that part is orientated to XY axis of active UCS the converted STEP is also orientated in the right position.

Is it possible that converted STP are always orientated in the direction of XYZ axis even when in TEKLA these parts are orientaed in different angles to XYZ axis ? ( for example that orientation is Always according direction start and end point of part)

by Trimble Solutions France

Thank you for your feedback. It's a good remark. This feature has been added to improvements list.

by Trimble Solutions France


This feature is part of new features of the version 1.4.

by wim vergouwen

thanks for this new feature. When I now export a part that is rotated to UCS , the converted STEP is positioned according to local UCS of member. This will make processing in CAM software a lot easier.