Precast Production Export

Last updated October 9, 2020 by Precast Extensions tekla.extensions-precast@trimble.com

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

Precast Production Export

Summary

With Precast Production Export you can create export files for automated precast concrete production processes, as well as rebar cutting and bending.
The geometry and product information of concrete elements, embeds and reinforcement can be written into .pxml or .uxml formats.
UXML and PXML are data transmission formats for the precast industry.
In both formats, the exported data is organized hierarchically.

UXML is for exporting to the UniCAM.10 -production control system and UniCADview-viewer from company Unitechnik.
PXML is for exporting to ebos, ProFit, erpbos -production control/management systems and AviCAD-viewer.

The export is only possible for numbered objects. If the 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.

is not up to date, you will be notified.
You can have one export file for each cast unit and each 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.

, or you can combine the exported cast units to one file.
It is also possible to export only the reinforcement production geometry, by using cast unit selection.
 

Installation 

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

installer can be downloaded from Tekla Warehouse.
Choose the appropriate version and click 'Download'.
It's recommended to download the latest updated version.

Run the .tsep-installer and follow the instructions.
Using the .tsep-installer, the tool will install automatically to selected versions.
You can now run it from Applications & Components within TS.

Precast Production Export is available in the Primary, Precast Detailing, Production Planner - Concrete and Full -configurations.

PXML-format

The data format of progressXML also known as PXML has been developed by Progress Software Development, which is part of precast solution provider Progress Group.
Data format is based on hierarchically structured XML for the generation of data and production control and scheduling at precast or rebar prefabrication factories.
PXML-contains both the product geometry to be used in production and the attribute data for managing the related processes (ERP-data).

PXML is the main data format to bring design geometry between detailer's Tekla Structures and factory's Progress software such as ebos, erpbos, ProFit and AviCAD.
The data can be then taken onwards from Progress software to control production machinery such as

  • plotter for panel production
  • shuttering robot for panel production
  • mesh-welding machinery
  • rebar cut & bend machinery
  • concrete distributers

The PXML-specifications are publicly available online at www.pxml.eu.

PXML-file is structured so that the first hierarchy level is 'Order'-block which may contain one or more 'Products', each representing one precast element (eg. cast unit in Tekla Structures).
'Product' is another container without geometry.
'Product' should contain one 'Slabplate that represents a concrete structure

In Tekla Structures, a slab is created by picking three or more points.

Slab may be part of a floor, for example.

' unless it's a double wallplate that represents a structure such as a wall or roof panel

In Tekla Structures, a panel is created by picking two or more points.

In cast-in-place concrete the term wall refers to a concept similar to panel.

, in which it should have one slab for each shell.

'Slab' has within it the concrete 'lots', embedbuilding object that represents an object that is to be cast into a concrete structure and that is used to connect structures or as an aid when constructing a structure

For example, a cast-in socket is an embed that is placed in concrete structures to allow parts to be fastened together on site. In Tekla Structures, embeds are typically steel parts and they are added to cast units as sub-assemblies.

'fittings' and reinforcement 'meshes', 'cages' or 'loose reinforcement' that are loose rebar groups or braced girders.
The reinforcement objects then have the individual rebars, wires or girders within them.

Each of these hierarchical objects have their standard attributes, which can be viewed, modified or taken into machinery. 
Objects also have additional info fields for storing data.

 

Step-by-step summary for exporting PXML-files

The application dialog is separated into several tab-pages, the most important ones will be on the main general tab, which is covered in this section.
The PXML-export format and version (1.2 or 1.3) can be chosen on the general tab, see below.

1. Start Tekla Structures using the appropriate configuration.

2. Before you select the elements to export, set the top in form face of the cast units (if necessary), set Unitechnik Product Type -UDAobject property created by the user in order to widen the range of predefined object properties

User-defined attributes are used when the predefined object properties are not sufficient but more properties are needed. For example, comment, locked, and erection status are user-defined attributes.

correctly for each 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.

and perform numbering.
If you skip numbering, the application will notify you.

If you want to export sandwich wall layers within one slab in PXML export,
Set the Product type to Sandwich element on the main part's  Unitechnik UDA-tab.

For double walls, add the UDA 'Double wall, 1st stage" and 'Double wall, 2nd stage' into the respective part UDAs.

 

3. Run Precast Production Export in the Applications & Components

4. Select the cast units that you want to export.
For selecting the assembly, ensure that the Select assemblies selection switchswitch used for controlling which object types can be selected

is active when you select the elements.
Part selection works as well, it will export the whole cast unit with their content.

5. On the General tab, use the setting Object selection by to either Include or Exclude objects.
For example, enter '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.

& name'
51 52 53 and select Exclude.
Using the Exclude -option offers the most control over which openings, recesses and cuts to included in the export. 
Use this function also to exclude any undesired reinforcement or embeds.
If you have included non-steel parts which have not been excluded or defined as mountparts, it will result with recognising them as concrete element parts, and resulting in failed export and drasitcally slowed export speed.

6. Check through export settings, see the following section for detailed info.

7. Pinpoint any necessary product and process data from model objects to be written to PXML fields
Most data fields in use are meant to read specific type of property.
The drop-down options usually have the recommended options first.
Then it's possible to define either Project UDA, Cast unit UDA or Main part UDA for reading custom info from different object hierarchies.
'Template' means reading a template property from mainpart in case UDA use is not sufficient.
Additionally, there's the option 'Text, template and formulas' -option for complex data strings.
This can hold either fixed text written as normally, a template property written in brackets [ ], a basic mathematical formularule stated in a mathematical language

Formula is part of an equation.

within parentheses ( ).
The formula can contain a template within brackets.
Example "Storage height ([HEIGHT]+0.500)"
 
8. In Export file, give a folder path and the file name.
You can use the browse button ... to specify the export-folder.
By default,  \PXML folder will be created in the current modelmodel that is active in Tekla Structures

The current model can be a single-user model, a shared model or a working model.

folder.

9. Click Export.
The file is exported, and the log shows the export process and possible errors.
Recommended that you the user checks through 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.

and validates the resulting PXML-files using a viewer such as AviCAD from Progress

PXML-Export settings

General


 

Setting Description
Coordinate system
Object orientation
Flip Z-axis
Plane rotation
Extra rotation to fit pallet
 
These options define the how the element is laid out and oriented on the pallet.
'Object orientation' can be set to according to top-in-form or automatically lengthwise
'Top-in-form' orients as it's in drawing by using either set top-in-form face, or modeling direction.
'Lengthwise' determines orientation automatically by length, width, height and modeling direction


These both can be overridden using the part UDA 'UT_PALLET_BASE'

'Flip Z-axis' can be used as quick switch to turn the element around across y-axis.

'Plane rotation' manually rotates the element on pallet  0, 90. 180 or 270 degrees around z-axis.

'Extra rotation to fit pallet' compares the element dimensions to pallet dimensions on pallet-tab.
It then rotates the panel 90 degrees clockwise in case a vertical panel is longer than pallet width.

Draw in model view
Draw plane in model
Draw geometry in model
 
These options can be used to verify the export in model view with temporary graphics.
'Draw plane in model' visualises the pallet origin and coordinate axes. 
'Draw geometry in model' visualises the lot. mountpart and rebar geometry in model.
Note that these options slow down the export.
Object selection by Important function to control what parts, reinforcement and cuts are to be considered in export.
The selection can be inclusive or exclusive, using class, name or filter.
Exclusion will affect shape scanning, geometrical object content, quantity metrics to certain extent.
Secondary concrete parts
 
These options affect the concrete part hierarchy and geometry scanning.
'Secondary concrete parts' has options to handle cast units modeled with multiple concrete parts.
'Separately' exports all part geometry as separate 'slab' -objects
'Separately, excluding attached parts' works similarly but any attached parts are not in geometry
'Combined', adds all cast unit parts into one 'slab' but it might still have numerous lots.
'Main parts only' considers only the main part, and excludes any other parts in the geometry.
Export shape
Shape detection
Shape geometry
Additional lot by
These options affect the concrete lot geometry scanning for shuttering and casting.
'Bounding box' for a rectangular shape according to the most external corner points.
This option will not scan the edge shape for line attributes, see following section.
'Exact' checks for variation in depth direction and slices the geometry into multiple lots.
'Simplified' checks the variation but has limit of 15 lots per slab.
'Full-depth cuts' for external-most contour and any full cuts, resulting in a single lot.
'Reinforcement only' excludes all concrete and mountparts, enabling speedy rebar export.

As a single lot is desired in most cases, 'Exact' and 'Simplified' are outdated options.
Recommendation is to use 'Full-depth cuts' in most cases.
For standard cut profiles, recommended to report the profile as data, not to scan precise shape.

'Lines only' is the default option which approximates all geometry into lines.
'With arcs' tries to generate arc geometry from any circular or arcing shapes such as cuts.
'Corner-points only' is specialty function to have only small line segments at intersections.

'Additional lot by' enables specific parts to be designated as separate lot eg. for upstands.

Export format Options is to switch between exporting PXML- and UXML-formats.
For PXML, allows also switching between file format versions.
Resulting file
Export path
Export file name
File combining
Order combining
 
'Export path' is for defining the export file path by writing or browsing.

'Advanced export file name dialog' is for defining file name logic and opened with 'Advanced' 
The 'File name mask' is set by drag and drop of desired attributes and separators into a sequence.

'Export to' is an option to select if the export selection should be within one file or separate files.
'Combine orders' become available when 'One file' is selected.
Export result can be combined to have a set of exported products within a single order in a file.

Open file exported file after processing Launches the file in the associated viewer once the export is finished.

 

Mount parts


 

Setting Description
Mounting parts by Define parts or reinforcement to be considered as regular mount parts.
You can use class, name or filter to map the objects.
Any steel part will be automatically considered as regular embed unless it's designated as a special embed.

Any cut parts can be designated as mount part, and then they will not be considered in lot shape detection. 
Cut parts will automatically get mount part type 21.

For valid export, concrete main part should not be set as mount part, while any other non-steel part should be.

Note: It's recommended to have a system for model object classification for successful embed filtering.

Mount part geometry
Export sub-assembly groups
Cut outer groups
Mount part coordinates
Export rebars in mount parts
 
'Export sub-assembly groups' is used to determine what geometry to include from an embed sub-assembly.
'All parts' will separately draw exact outer 2D-geometry of each part within embed sub-assembly.
'Sub-assembly bounding box' will draw a rectangular box according to sub-assembly outer dimensions.
'Main part' will draw exact outer 2D-geometry of the sub-assembly main part.
'Main part bounding box' will draw a rectangular box according to sub-assembly main part's outer dimensions.

Mount part thickness is determined by the sub-assembly or main part maximum thickiness respectively.

'Cut outer groups' determines if any mount part geometry outside concrete lots is to be included or cut away. 

'Mount part coordinates' for having mount part locaiton included as offset value or in polygon coordinates.
There is also an option for exporting all mount parts to be against the pallet, with z-coordinate as 0.

'Export rebars in mount parts' to include or exclude rebars within mount part sub-assemblies.
This function is independent from 'Export sub-assembly groups' -setting.
Rebars in embeds are represented as line geometry according to rebar centerline instead of polygons.
This function is used to eg. control lifting hook plotting.

Special mount parts
Electric tubes
Insulation
Surfaces
Chamfers
 
These options are to map and handle special embeds. 
Use class, name or filter to determine the electric tubes or insulation.

Electric tubes are exported with mount part type 07 and line geometry instead of polygons.

Insulation is exported with type 03.
Insulation can be exported as a mount part, as a lot, or as both.
The geometry can be simplified into simple outer geometry, or to include more complex cuts.

Surface treatments can automatically be exported as mountparts.
Surface objects are not considered as geometrical objects by the export.

Chamfers can be added as mountparts, either by rectangular geometry or as a simplified line..

Assign mount parts by With products with multiple slabs, option for choosing how the mount parts should be assigned to father slabs.
Mount part orientation Mount part rotation direction to be automatically determined from their dimensions or location, or force to 0. 
Sort mountparts Sort order for mount parts within the data hierarchy.
Special assemblies export Enable using special symbols.
Open the Special symbol editor by clicking 'Editor'.

See a separate section below

 

Reinforcements


 

Setting Description
Export reinforcement
Meshes
Reinforcing bars
 
These options can be used to exclude mesh or loose reinforcement.
If reinforcement is chosen to be excluded, exceptions can be added using rebar object name or grade.
Braced girders are not taken to account.
Any grouping of mesh is considered.
Reinforcement representation 'Exact' exports all reinforcement with each bar represented with relative location on pallet.
'Production geometry only' to simplify reinforcement positions into a shapes with numeric quantity values.
Sort reinforcement Sort order for reinforcement blocks within the data hierarchy.
Group products
Group loose rebars
Grouped loose rebar types
Group rebars to mesh
Rebar to mesh collect distance
Reinforcement are exported according to modeled bar groups. 
'Group loose rebars' can be used to gather these bar groups in to combined reinforcement blocks.
Also mesh can be turned into loose reinforcement.
Grouping can be done for all rebars using different options such as name, position, shape etc.
The same options can be used to list specific rebars using the chosen property, and their listed values.

Reinforcement are automatically assigned rebar types. 
'Grouped loose rebar types' can be used to limit the selection of types that are assigned to these grouped rebars.
This can be done by listing the used rebar types eg. '1 2 4'
If left blank, all applicable rebar types are used.

'Group to mesh' can be used to create mesh objects from modeled bar grouips using different properties.

'Rebar to mesh collect distance' is maximum distance for two bar groups to become one grouped mesh.

Grouping braced girders
Braced girders
Include girders in mesh

'Braced girders' is for designating lattice girders from modeled bar groups using class, name or filter.
Braced girder objects can be rebars or steel rods.
They should all have same class or name, unless filter is used.

Recommended to model girders using 'Braced girders'  -tool or any tool that uses it as a sub-component.

'Include girders in mesh' can be used to assign detected braced girders into a mesh-block.

Rebar shape mode 'Rebar shape mode' -option allows to choose rebar shape representation mode 'Realistic' or 'Schematic'.
No difference in exported geometry, and therefore 'Schematic' should only be used with straight bars or wires.
Rebar geometry details
Rebar diameter
Round angles to
Round lengths to
'Rebar diameter' allows to choose which diameter value is read from model objects.
'Actual or nominal' will use either depending on the model advanced option setting.

'Round angles to' and 'round lengths to' are for setting the rounding precision.

Orient meshes 'Orient meshes' brings all mesh to xy-plane, orients the long side towards pallet x-direction.
Unfolding bendings 
Unfold reinforcement
Move product when unfolded
'Unfolding reinforcement' pre-processes bent mesh and reinforcement by unrolling any bendings in either side.

'Move product when unfolded' moves element that has mesh unfold to outside the pallet at left or lower edge.

 

Line attributes


 

Setting Description
Line Attributes for shuttering
Export line attributes
Export in cutouts
When enabled, concrete part edge shape is scanned to detect what type of shuttering should be used.
The shuttering type is represented with a 'line attribute' code with 4 digits and 8 bits. 
Different code combinations edge with chamfers, grooves, tongues or none of the mentioned.
If the shape is unrecognisable or not within set tolerances, it will be given special formwork code.

Options enable having line attribute codes for all edges, only outer edges or disabling them entirely.

'Yes, enable surface object override' allows bypassing of scanned codes for certain edge sections.
Override is done by modeling surface objects to specific edge sections with UDA UT_LINE_TYPE.

Line attribute codes for scanned edges This section allows for customising codes for different edge shapes.
Useful if factory has a custom code setup, or if certain shapes are not used.
If certain shapes need to be disabled, the shape code should be replaced with one that is in use.

Codes below are the ones used by Progress systems by default.

Chamfer and tongue sizes These values define the tolerance values for recognising standard chamfer, tongue and groove shapes.
If tolerance is exceeded, the edge is considered non-standard, and special formwork code is used.

For chamfer, the setting value represents the maximum width that is allowed.

For tongue and groove shapes, the setting value represents the minimum depth that is allowed.

 

Double Wall


Setting Description
1st shell of double wall Certain control systems have special handling of double wall where the panel coordinate system is altered.

The first shell is turned around x-axis, and moved towards the pallet top edge.
In standard PXML-intepretation, this handling should not be used but it is supported here for PXML 1.3.

Sample of double wall hierarchy and geometry in 'Element' -view mode:

Same sample of double wall in 'Layout' view mode:

Turning distances
Turn width
Turn move x
These values are used when 1st shell turning is enabled.

'Turn width' is to represent the value the 1st shell is moved in y-direction towards pallet top edge.
A fixed value can be used, but if the 1st shell has offset at the bottom, it could be good to read a part UDA.
If turning is not used, it is important to write turn width as 0.

'Turn move x' is also a value used in shell turning to move the first shell in x-direction.
If turning is not used, it is important to write turn move x as 0.

Log


Setting Description
Log information
Show log
Show event types
Log file (.xls) is automatically created during export.
'Show log' opens a dialog window for viewing the log already during the export.

'Show event types' can be used to limit the information in the log to certain event types.

Selecting log rows can be used to select exported objects in model or to open up export file or log file.

Log file Option to either create a new log file each time by overwriting the old one, or append to the existing log.
Note that having the log file open in a viewer might prevent the export depending on the software.
Show warning message pop-ups Certain export issues open a pop-up dialog to warn the user.
As these warnings will then pause the export from processing further, they can be disabled.
This is recommended especially if running the export tool as automatic routine.

 

Order data

 

Setting Description
Template decimals Option to determine the decimal precision level of any numeric property value to be written for all data fields.
Order number Determines the property or manual string to be written to Order Number.
Order represents a commission, a sub-section of elements to be produced for a project.
Example: all shear panels for a floor, a section of floor slabs presented in an erection drawing, or just individual panel.
Drawing information
Drawing number
Drawing mark
Determines the properties to be written for Order Drawing Number and Revision fields.
These can be read from a cast unit, from its drawing, or manually input.
Location information
Structure
Section
Storey
Sub-storey
Data to be written as location information for project management purposes.
Comment A comment to be written for other users of the data.
ERP description An extra ERP description field.
Info fields (1-20) Additional info fields to relay information for other downstream users or processes.
Production control and ERP can be configured to read these for specific data, if the standard fields are not sufficient.

Slab data


Setting Description
Slab number Setting for main identifier for product, and where to read it from.
Should be unique to an element.
PXML product type
Slab product type
Part type
Setting for determining how to allocate the standardised product type, for intepreting data and geometry.
'Automatic' setting reads it from UT_PRODUCT_TYPE UDA, which has all the standard options readily available.
These can be configured to read a custom field, but not recommended.

'Part type' is used by double wall products to define the shells. 
This is automatically determined from the product type UDA but custom settings are available.

Transport process data
Transport unit number
Transport unit sequence
These data are for managing the delivery and production sets. 
Each element can be given a transport unit number within a project, and the sequence within that unit.
By default, they are managed by main part level UT_TRANSPORT_UNIT and UT_TRANSPORT_SEQ UDAs.
Different tools can be used to manage this process data within the model.
Item designation Identifier to recognise different products 
Unlike product number, usually does not have to be unique.
Slab generic info (1 - 4) Additional info fields to relay information for other downstream users or processes.
Production control and ERP can be configured to read these for specific data, if the standard fields are not sufficient.
Exposure class Field for adding exposure class structural information to each slab.
Weight Defines the weight calculation logic.
Ready property values can be used, a custom template property or to sum it from exported concrete lots.
Concrete lot geometry is approximated by scanning, and their material density is read from model objects.
Total thickness Defines the total thickness calculation logic.
Lot widths are accumulated together, it can be read from main part or custom template property can be used.
Lot identifiers
Layer number
Denomination
Identifiers for lots and their layers.
 
Lot info (1-2) Additional info fields to relay information for other downstream users or processes.
Volume Defines the volume calculation logic.
Either volume is calculated from each lot, or read from model objects and assigned to lots.
If there is more than 1 lot, great care must be taken when overwriting the lot volumes.
For calculation, there's two options, which either substracts volume of all displacing embeds, or only cutout volume.

Mountpart data

Setting Description
Mount part identifiers
Layer number
Denomination
Article
Properties to label mountparts with either using individual identifiers or standard types.
Numerous options for either fixed logic, or for reading from UDA or template property.
PXML mount part standards
Mounting instruction
Mountpart type
Standard attribute data for defining how the mount part should be handled in production.

Mounting instruction for defining if mount part should be plotted, and if it's placed automatically.

Mountpart type is used standard categorising of different types of embeds.
Cutouts, electric tubes and insulation are automatically assigned mount part type, which can be overridden.

Mount part info (1-2) Additional info fields to relay information for other downstream users or processes.

Reinforcement data


 

Setting Description
Production machine Enables pre-allocating production machine type for reinforcement objects, for example by using UDA
Loose reinforcement
Name
Generic info (1-2)
Attributes for naming the loose reinforcement blocks.

Also optional info-fields for writing additional data.

Mesh
Name
Name (Collected)
Generic info (1-2)
Attributes for naming the mesh blocks

'Name (collected)' is used in a case 'Group to mesh' is used, and data would be read differently than from mesh object.
When grouping, attributes are read from one of the bar groups, and it's recommended to label all bar groups alike.

Also optional info-fields for writing additional data.

Bar
Article
Position
Note
Attributes for data fields for individual bars within reinforcement blocks.
Note that writing data to each individual bar is heavy, and will slow down the export.
Braced girders
Name
Article
Type
'Name' defines attribute for naming the reinforcement blocks with only lattice girders.

'Article' writes identifier for individual girders within a reinforcement block. 
'Type' is used to denominate standard product type for each girder. 

Cage
Designation
Shape
Generic info (1-2)

Cage is created by assigning a UT_CAGE_id UDA with a specific value to a selection of bar groups.

'Designation' is for naming the cage blocks.
With cages attributes are read from one of the bar groups, and it's recommended to label all bar groups alike. 

'Shape' is currently not used with PXML.

Also optional info-fields for writing additional data.

Pallet

 
 

Setting Description
Wall to pallet checking Enable automatic checking if the panel is too large for pallet.
Options are to set a warning or to prevent export completely.
Note, the automatic rotation for vertical elements is a separate function, available on the main tab.
Pallet dimensions
Width
Length
Thickness
These dimensions are for checking panel size against the pallet.
They also affect automatic rotation, placing numerous elements on same pallet and double wall 1st shell turning.

For non-rotated elements panel height is compared against palled width.
 

Elements within pallet
Placing on pallet
Ordering based on
Offset at start or end
Play between cast units
These options affect the insertion coordinates at pallet.
Most settings are intended to use if numerous elements are exported to be placed on one pallet.

'Placing on pallet' enables exporting the first element either at the start or end of the pallet.
This also affects the direction where adjacent elements will be placed after the first element.

'Ordering based on' allows to designate a numeric property that defines the placing order.
The elements are always placed in ascending order.

'Offset at start or end' enables allowing an initial offset x-direction distance from pallet edge to insertion point..
'Play between cast units' similarly adds a fixed free distance between elements after the first one. 

 

Special assemblies editor

Setting Description
General
New
Save
Load
Delete
Special assemblies editor can be used to save specific symbol 2D geometry to different embeds according to part name.

This is the Special assemblies editor dialog.

At the top right, you need to save the "standard" as the name of the part you want to replace by this symbol. Each part can have its own symbol.

Insert: Defines where the symbol will be placed.
Embed Centerpoint - Places the symbol at the center of part or assembly it replaces.
Parent nearest edge - Places the symbol at the nearest main part edge.

Draw line or polyline Select the type of line to draw
Undo, redo, clear Manage the done drawing action or clear all drawn geometry
Visualise
Grid
Line length
Visualisation settings to assist in drawing and checking the symbol shapes.
Scale Select the symbol scale in millimetres or centimetres
Symbol shape reference point Shape Centerpoint - Define the position of symbols center point. In this case, it is located at the center of the shape of the symbol.
Grid Centerpoint - Define the position of symbols center point. In this case, it is located at the center of the bounding box of the symbol.
Top Edge Centerpoint - Define the position of symbols center point. In this case, it is located at the center of the top edge of the symbol.
Parent nearest edge - Define the position of symbols center point. In this case, will find the closest symbol point to the edge of the parent part.
Replace Defines which parts will be replaced.
'Each part' replaces each part within mount part sub-assemblies.
'Assembly' replaces the entire assembly with one symbol placed at sub-assembly centerpoint.
'Main part only' replaces the entire assembly with one symbol placed at sub-assembly main part centerpoint.
Orientation Defines the orientation of the symbol.
With 'Always upright' symbol will be always directed up.
'Upright with panel rotation' - Symbol will be directed towards the top of rotated element.
'Lengthwise' finds the longest side of bounding box of the symbol that you created and turns it that way.
'Modeling direction' has symbol is directed according to the axis between part handles.
'Towards nearest edge' has the symbol is directed towards the nearest edge of the father part.
Insert Defines the reference point in embed where symbol shape will be placed at.
Embed Centerpoint - Places the symbol at the center of part or assembly it replaces.
Parent nearest edge - Places the symbol at the nearest main part edge.

 

Best practices for modeling, exporting and validating (PXML)

General:

In general, designers should aim to model with good precision taking into account the fabrication requirements of the products.
The required level of accuracy varies from product to product, and different details need to have exactly correct geometry and others can be included as ‘attributes’ that will be sufficient for production purposes.
As production needs only certain amount of information, some data needs to be in drawings that won’t be used within the export-files and vice versa.
The goal is to have an error-free model, which is modeled in a disciplined and structured fashion so, that it will be easy to include or exclude information in both drawing and export file creation.

All information will be used by production and therefore it is very important to have them correctly, also export might be prevented if data is missing (such as material data or other).
Object geometry will be used for plotting and shuttering as well as fabricating the mesh and cut&bend reinforcement.

Additional information can be brought to both the drawing and production file using model UDAs, these can be within each object, or from project level.
This is done on Order Data, Slab and Mountpart Data and Reinforcement Data –tab pages in export dialog.
Some mandatory fields have to filled as agreed, such as project number, product type and drawing number, otherwise import is prevented.

The best practice is to
1. finish the detailing of a product
2. do a test export of that product with ready-made setting  (for that product type) and inspect the resulting file and make any adjustments if necessary
3. start editing the drawing.
4. finalize the drawing and send the drawing and a production file for team-member for approval
5. later on a responsible person will send the production files in suitable sets
6. control the design status on object-level within the model to keep track of design, approval and changes, as well as the export files sets.

Modeling

It's recommended to collect agreed best practices in a modeling guidelinedefinition of the distribution and direction of the reinforcing bars in rebar sets

The spacing of the reinforcing bars is measured along the rebar set guideline. The rebar set guideline can be a line, or a polyline that may have corner chamfers.

document.

Each 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.

should have a distinct NAME and CLASS setting, to later control the export content.
These should be documented in model classification table or within modeling guideline.

Make sure to be careful with profiles and materials.

 

Hierarchy
In the model objects are represented hierarchically.
The object to be exported is a ‘cast unit’ and within the cast unit there is the concrete ‘main part’.
Double wall second shell should be added as sub-assemblyassembly in a nested assembly that is subordinate to a parent assembly

to main part.
Standard sandwich panel outer layer can be added as cast unt.

Other parts or reinforcement can be attached to this main part directly, or by first formulating a ‘sub-assembly’, which will have it’s own hierarchy and main part.
Any embed sub-assemblies should have only 2 levels of hierarchy with a clear main part.

Orientation
As a rule of thumb, slabs and panels will be laid out on their wide face, with no extending parts or rebars towards the pallet, and any embeds and gaps that require additional filler pieces against the pallet.
These filler embeds should have 0 weight and should be excluded from drawings.

Cuts
Cuts can be either included in

  • lot contour or openings

  • as edge shape in contour

  • filler embeds

  • excluded completely

Any through-openings are good to have in the lot, no special action needed.
Edge shapes such as chamfers and grooves are recognised automatically as line attribute.
Any recesses should be added as embeds by using class, name or filter in mountpart selection.
Any recesses that should not be plotted or eg. cuts within embed components that don't affect the production should be excluded in main tab.

For standard elements with cut profiles, the profile can be included as attribute information.

To enable settings for these it's useful to list cuts in model objectobject that is represented in a model

A model object is either created in a model or imported into it.

classification table.

Example chart of classes for modeling cuts:

 
 

Embeds

Each embed should be added as sub-assembly to the main cast unit, to ensure that there will be only one plotting presentation for each embed on the pallet.
These are usually modelled with ready-made components, it is important to check that the tools have correct materials and attributes and that the embed hierarchy is correct.

Any embeds with multiple parts or rebars should be tested to see how they will be represented in PXML.
It's usually better not to use geometry of each part within sub-assembly.

 

Validating:

 

Export to UXML

Summarised workflow for exporting UXML-files

The application dialog is separated into several tab-pages, the most important ones will be on the main general tab, which is covered in this section.
The UXML-export format can be chosen on the general tab.

 

1. Start Tekla Structures using the appropriate configuration.

2. Before you select the cast units to export, set the top in form face of the cast units, set Unitechnik Product Type -UDA correctly for each main part and perform numbering.
If you skip setting top in form face or numbering, Tekla Structures will notify you.

3. Run Precast Production Export in the Applications & Components

4. Select the cast units that you want to export.
For selecting the assembly, ensure that the Select assemblies selection switch is active when you select the elements.
Part selection works as well, but it will export the whole cast unit with their content.

5. On the General tab, use the setting Part selection by class to enter the classes of the objects that you want to Include or Exclude, separated by spaces.
For example, enter 51 52 53 and select Exclude.

6. Check and correct the exported rotation of the cast units in Plane rotation.
Define from which plane and origin the geometry of objects will be written.
The origin can be defined from the four angles of the element, affecting the direction of the element on the production pallet.

7. In Export shape, define the precision level of the shape.
The precision can be set to Bounding boxrectangular border with the smallest measure within which all the selected points that position the model objects lie

In Tekla Structures two-dimensional bounding boxes are used in drawings and three-dimensional bounding boxes in models.

, Simplified
or Exact:
Exact: Exports the exact geometry with recesses.
Simplified: Close to the exact shape, but the geometry variation in the Z direction lots is limited to 15 layers in complex elements.
We recommend that you use this option for improved performance and clearer output.
Bounding box: Exports a rectangular shape according to the most external corner points.
Bounding box is sufficient if you only want to export very simple objects, only mesh or rebar geometry, or just quantities and product attributes.
Openings and shuttering line attributes cannot be scanned with this option.

8. Select the Export format and export type Version to Unitechnik and 7.0.1

10. In Export file, give a folder path and the file name.

You can use the browse button ... to specify the export-folder.
By default,  \Unitechnik\ folder will be created in the current 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.

.

To customize the export file name in the Advanced export file name dialog, click Advanced:
• Drag the desired item from the Sources-area to the File name mask-area.
• To remove an item, drag it out of the File name mask-area.
• For user-defined attributes or text, type the content, and define the maximum number of characters.
• Drag the desired Separators between the different parts of the file name.
• Click OK when you are done

If you have defined sufficient settings for separating in the export file name, you can select one of the following in Export to:
One file to write all information and objects in one file
Individual files (cast unit) to write each cast unit in one file
Individual files (meshes) to write each rebar mesh in one file

11. On the other tabs in the dialog box, give more detailed information on what information and geometry is written in the files and how.
You can first try with the default values and change them when necessary.
The settings on the tabs are described in the following sections.

12. Click Export.
The file is exported, and the log shows the export process and possible errors.
Recommended that you the user checks through the log file and validates the resulting UXML-files using a viewer such as UniCADview from Unitechnik.

Tips for export speed

In general, exporting complex geometry takes longer to export, and if there's several parts or reinforcing bars attached to the cast unit, make sure they are added correctly, modeled with suitable class and mapped properly in export-settings.

The following export settings affect performance: 

  • PXML version 1.2 is faster than 1.3 as it contains less data
  • Exporting numerous objects within one file
  • Exporting individual files with incorrect logic for naming and separating, which results in one file being overwritten repeatedly
  • If log file is open in a viewer during export
  • Exporting individual meshes.
    • Slows down export speed
    • If the export content is not properly filtered, each separated file will have all the content (multiplied) besides meshes
  • Exporting contour shape
    • Export shape -settings 'Exact' or 'Simplified' slow down the export when there are lots of recesses, especially with round-shaped cuts.
    • Use Part Selection by Class with exclude to control the cutparts and geometry
    • If the cuts are in the profile and not modeled-cuts, eg. hollow-core slabs, recommended to use 'Full-depth with cuts'
  • Combine orders -function slows down export speed.
  • Mountparts
    • Make sure the classes of each attached embed part are set correctly in the dialog or excluded in the export, otherwise will result in incorrect result and drasticly reduced export speed.
    • Especially the non-steel parts which haven't been defined as mountparts with class or additional lot will be incorrectly created as separate concrete objects
    • An insuitable part defined (with class-attribute) for mountpart or eletric tubes
    • Embeds consisting of multiple parts should be defined as a sub-assembly with a sensible main part.
    • The main part bounding box results in best export speed
    • The entire sub-assembly accurately is most complex and therefore slowest
  • Braced girder classes defined for incorrect rebars or modeled braced girders not identified correctly
  • Using line attributes
  • Unfolding reinforcement
  • Including additional attributes in the info fields, especially with individual reinforcing bars
  • 'Draw geometry in model' -function slows down export

Release notes

Version 2.3

General

- Added a new 'Export shape' -option 'Corner points only' - Only supported by specially configured factories and plotters.

- Revised the 'Secondary concrete parts' -function (previously 'Include attached parts') and added a function to only export concrete main part geometry.

- Revised the Advanced Symbol Editortool in Tekla Structures that is used for creating and modifying symbols to be used in drawings, reports, and templates

The symbols are saved in symbol files.

for plotting embeds with symbol geometry, including new options to determine relative insertion points within the symbol, the embed and within the element itself. Also now the relative insertion point is visualised in the editor, and the scale can be controlled.

- Added a new option for sorting mountparts within the file hierarchy.

- Added a new option for exporting chamfers as mountpart with sinple line geometry

- Added an user option to force embed orientation direction to be upright for standard embeds and 90 degrees for circular embeds. Automatic determination by embed dimensions and relative location remains the default logic.

- Added an user option to limit the cut & bend rebar to certain rebar types when using 'Group loose rebar' -function 

- Added an user option to control the line attribute code for special formwork (manual shuttering). Default option remains 0002.

- Enabled using a UT_MESH_TYPE UDA to override the automatic mesh type.

- Enabled exporting a grouped bar group mesh to be designated as a single mountpart 

- Fixed the problem with quick clicking the tool in A&C would accidentally export the selection with wrong settings and broken geometry 

PXML-export

- Changed the writing sequence of the concrete lots to be always counter-clockwise starting from bottom left

- Added an user option to include 'Exposure class' as a data attribute

- Added a rebar shape mode 'Schematic' - Changes only the bar shape representationthe way that the information included in a model is represented visually

type without affecting the geometry

- Added user option to either simplify the insulation layer geometry or export it with cuts. Improved the handling of cuts, and added support for more polygon lines.

- Improved the handling of scanning the lot layer shape of sandwich walls with turning corner

- Improved the automatic rebar type logic to recognise mesh wires that are relatively on same level and direction regardless if they're different size. Also top face mesh will also become layers 1 and 2 in case there's no other mesh in bottom face.

- Enabled using UT_REBAR_TYPE UDA to override bar group's automatic rebar type.

- Improved the logic for writing Order ItemPosition in PXML 1.3

- Fixed the error of 'Group to mesh' preventing export

- Fixed the Order Area calculation to be the sum of lot areas, as expected

- Fixed the wrong depth positions for double wall grouped girders and mesh bar groups

Version 2.2 

General:

- Default API parameters have been changed for more successful background operation.

- New option to disable pop-up warnings during export

- Fixed the problem with running the tool by double-clicking A&C icon, and then running a parallel export process through the dialog, which lead to vastly incorrect coordinate values

- Expanded the file name editor with new options and more fluent character limiter option

PXML-export

- Enabled adding data to all Order info fields

- Geometrical objects are now rounded to 0.5mm accuracy for length values (in metric environments)

- Rebar mesh now have their own offset coordinate values, and their wires have relative coordinates to this mesh insertion coordinate

- File name editor 'Template' -option now supports integer-format properties

- User option to control drawing revision markuser-created symbol that indicates a change in the model or in the drawing, and in which information about the change is enclosed

Information enclosed in a revision mark is shown in a revision table.

- New option to write total thickness of the product

- New option to define layer for lots and mountparts

- New option to limit mountpart orientation direction to always be upright

- New options for separately defining specific info data for mesh grouped from rebar groups

- New option to write 'production machine' to rebar objects

- New option to include braced girders within the mesh block

- Unitechnik Reinforcement Type UDA can now be used to override automatic rebar type

- Log message improved when all concrete parts (or rebars) needed for export were filtered out

- Date-type properties are now correctly written according to system locale settings, instead of integer value

- Cutparts can be defined as mountparts again

- Braced girder type read correctly according to settings again

- Mountpart article number read correctly again

- Reading drawing & revision mark improved

- Export application settings for mountpart data are now correctly read from loaded settings already at application start-up

- Special Shapes library reading in has been improved and it can now be read from Firm Folderfolder that is used for storing Tekla Structures-related files customized for a particular organization

A Tekla Structures user can, for example, customize a company’s cloning templates and save them in a sub-folder located under the firm folder. After this, the customized cloning templates can be used in all projects carried out for the company.

path

- For sandwich wall products, info fields are now always read from cast unit main partmain part that exists in a cast unit

The cast unit main part in a concrete cast unit is, by default, the part with the largest volume of concrete.

The user can change the cast unit main part.

- Bent mesh with a cut are now unfolded more precisely in complex cases 

- Rebars modeled with rebar sets are now correctly exported as rebar groups or mesh depending on settings

- Double wall embed content now always exported according to modeled assembly hierarchyarrangement of assemblies that describes the manufacture and erecting of the actual assembly to be built

and depth positions

- Reverted Application name to 'Tekla structures' to prevent errors when reading in at receiving interface

- Fixed a problem with complex embed sub-assembly to be exported numerous times

- Fixed export crash due to alphanumeric or invalid rebar grade sizes

- Standard setting updated to have more valid default size for pallet

UXML-export

- Rebar geometry calculation setting has been revised to only have "Centerline" and "Outer Edge" options.

- Cutparts & chamfer to mountparts now exported correctly again.

Version 2.1

PXML-export

- Filtering has been renewed for all designation fields. Now filtering by using Name & Class (either can be used side by side) or using a saved model selection filterfilter used for defining which object types can be selected

Selection filter chooses model objects or objects in drawings according to object properties.

Selection filters can be standard or user-defined.

For example, selection filters can be used to select parts for drawings or analysis.

. Make sure to re-save your setting, as the previously designated class values are lost when running the new version of the tool.

- New option for 'Include attach parts' for combining added & attached secondary concrete parts into one PXML-object

- Product name now read correctly from multi-part cast units

- New option for defining PXML-Slab Product Part

- New option to simplify exported reinforcement to 'Production geometry only'. Reinforcements are exported by position into shapes and quantities without relation to the precast element,

- New option for 'Export shape' 'Reinforcement only', which will exclude all concrete lot and mountpart data from export. Improves the speed of export and can be used to streamline rebar export for cut & bend production. Use with 'Production geometry only' to export only rebars or mesh.

- New option for sorting PXML-reinforcement objects within the file

- 'Group to mesh' can now be used simultaneously with 'group loose reinforcement' using the same template property

- 'Exclude bar groups' now doesn't affect bar groups that are designate to be grouped into mesh

- Mesh unfolding now supports group-to-mesh bar groups

- Unfolding mesh with multiple wire diameters will now have all the diameters correctly

- New orientation option 'Lengthwise' to auto-orient elements according to their modeling direction front- / top-face without the need to set top-in-form face. Use eg. with hollow-core slabs and columns.

- 'Export shape' - 'Full-depth-cuts' now handles hollow-core slab profiles by ignoring the cores but includes the openings and notches. 

- Exporting mountpart and insulation with sub-assembly hierarchy has been improved

- Insulation is now automatically attached to the first shell of double wall products

- Exporting cuts within insulation has been fixed

- 'File name string length' -function now affects 'Counter' as well

- Removed unnecessary warnings for 'lot not at z=0' in certain cases when it's allowed

UXML-Export

- Mesh objects are automatically recognised as UXML-steelmat

- Round embeds now have a valid rotation angle

Version 2.0 (for TS 2019, 2018i and 2018)

- Renewed versioning and compatibility to TS-versions

- Added 'Open file after processing'

- Enabled in Developer -configuration

- Improved surface treatmentbuilding object that represents finishing of a part

The term surface treatment is used in concrete detailing. For concrete parts surface treatment includes surface mixes, tiles, and flat finishes, such as troweling and sandblasting.

The term surface finish is used in steel detailing. For steel parts surface finishes include fire-proofing and unpainted areas.

export when it's modeled within concrete

PXML-export

- Changed the hard-coded default values to be 0 for Double Wall 'Turn width' and 'Turn move X'

- Extended braced girder value fields

- Improved export speed drasticly

Version 2018.1.2 / 2018.0.3 / 2017.1.5 / 2017.0.8

PXML-export

- Added Tekla Structures version into Header

- Added option to export insulation both as lot and mountpart

- Added a warning when lot has z-offset (not on pallet)

- Added support for imperial rebar sizes

- Added new standard settings into installer

- Added double wall support

- Enabled exporting cuts in surface treatment mountparts

- Enabled 'Orient to pallet' for bent & unfolded mesh

- Enabled 'Cut outer groups' for mountparts protruding lot in z-direction

- Improved 'Cut outer groups' for rebar mountparts

- Changed so that embed bounding box setting doesn't affect insulation and electric tubes

- Changed electic tube thickness to tube diameter instead of bounding box

- Fixed incorrect unit density for lot

- Fixed lot contour for diagonal cuts in outer edge

- Fixed lot contour for elements with attached parts

- Fixed line attribute override using surface objectmodel object that is created on the face of a part or a pour object

Surface can be used to calculate surface areas, such as formwork areas.

- Fixed mountpart orientation angle

- Fixed braced girder period length

- Fixed mesh unfolding

- Fixed export of mesh into one mountpart

UXML-export

- Added a new 'Surface smoothing' Unitechnik-UDA to automatically set production flag

- Added new standard settings into installer

- Added double wall support

- Improved embed plotting

- Fixed production thickness values

- Fixed rebar grouping
 

Version 2018.1.1 / 2018.0.2 / 2017.1.4 / 2017.0.7 / 2016.1.8

PXML-export

- Added a new function to auto orienting meshes to pallet plane and  longitudal direction

- Added new options for mapping embed types and automatic logic to recognize electric tubes, insulation and cut blockouts.

- Added initial support for API controlled export - please contact Trimble for documentation and support

- Added more options for lot and surface naming or adding information 

- Improved scanning of concrete geometry with all different shape options. 

- Improved handling of complex item embed shapes, faster and less errors. Recommended to use embed bounding box shape

- Improved grouping the multi-part cast unit such as PPVC/PBU into one PXML-product automatically

- Improved support for special product types such as insulated panels

- Improved support for rebar set grouping

- Fixed cut blockouts to be correct thickness if the cut extended above or below the concrete contour

- Fixed geometry recognition of certain very complex 3D rebar shapes

- Fixed missing translation strings

- Fixed issue of duplicate lots with incorrect settings

- Fixed the reading the special symbol plotting settings

- Fixed the issue with placing surfaces into incorrect coordinates 

- Fixed the crash when exportng invalid rebar geometry

- Fixed the converting mesh into mountparts creating multiple objects 

UXML-export

- Added checking for ensuring correct data field length

- Improved reinforcement handling and added automatic rebar types

- Improved embed plotting, electric tubes now placed according to centerline

- Improved support for rebar set bar groupng

Version 2018.0.1 / 2017.1.3 / 2017.0.6 / 2016.1.7

PXML-export
 

- Added a new way to control element orientation on pallet. Surface object UDA UT_PALLET_BASE set in Unitechnik-Tab can be used to designate the side of the element that is the bottom face against the pallet surface. Can be used to rotate 3D-elements such as staircases, and does not require changing the top-in-form or numbering

- Added PXML location system fields into Order data -tab (Structure, building and sub-storey)

- Added 'Text, templates and formulas' -option for several order, slab, mountpart and rebar infofields. Use brackets [ ] for templates and paretheses ( ) for containing formulas.

- Added user option for Slab Product Part -field, use 'Automatic' to manage double wall shells correctly

- Added user options to control element weight using different weight attributes 

- Added user options to control the concrete volume for lots. If exported file contains more than 1 lot, be careful when using the template-options

- Added a user option to exclude or include attached parts before handling the concrete geometry (was not possible before as they have same class as parent part)

- Improved full-depth cuts & bounding box geometry handling with 3D-elements

- Improved the handling of 'Individual meshes' -export option. Use counter or mesh position in naming and filter out other reinforcement for ensuring valid export with correct amount of files.

- Improved bent rebar geometry handling and unfolding functionality

- Enabled automatic PieceCount writing the quantity of elements (usually 1 for each element).

Version 2017.1.2 / 2017.0.5 / 2016.1.6

PXML-export

- Enabled excluding reinforcement by using 'Part Selection by Class' -option

- Added user options to control rebar angle and length roundings'

- Improvements in line attribute scanning

- Improvements to concrete lot volume calculation

 

Version 2017.1.1 / 2017.0.4 / 2016.1.5

PXML-export

- Added more rotation options on main tab - 'Flip Z-axis' and 'Rotate to fit to pallet' (uses pallet size on Pallet tab)

- Added a new option to export shape geometry with external contour including full-depth openings on main tab: 'full-depth cuts'

- Added a new option to export attached concrete parts as separate lots with 'Additional lot by class' on main tab

- Added an option combine several objects into one order on main tab: 'Combine Orders'

- Added an mountpart plotting option to have eletric piping as simple lines on Mountparts-tab

- Added an mountpart plotting option to have chamfers as plotted simple bounding boxes on Mountparts-tab

- Added an option to export meshes or rebars as unfolded

- Added more options for Order, Slab, Mountpart and Reinforcement data fields such as 'Cast Unit UDA' and 'Template'

- Rebar bending diameter now included in the export

- Improvements to rebar geometry export such as translating modeled 90-180 degree hooks to production logic

- Fixed mountpart orientation when rotating the slab

- Improved the line attribute scanning logic, now any non-standard edge shapes or outside tolerances will be 0002.

- Improved export speed
 

Version 2017.0.3

PXML-export:

- Added support for exporting sandwich wall layers within one slab

- Improved managing of special symbol shapes in SpecialShapes-folder
 

Version 2017.0.2

PXML-export

- Added an option for manual line attributes control using surface object in 'line attributes' -tab. (Needs modified objects.inp) in PXML

- Fixed crash when exporting elements with cuts

- Enabled user option to set mountpart plotting to bottom of the pallet, (bottom level coordinate  z=0)
- Fixed to automatically install to US environments

- Improved exporting cast units consisting of several sub-assemblies

- Improved warning messages for incorrect mountparts and braced girders
 

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by jackie

Any PXML or UXML "FREE" viewer or tekla viewer for this?