Rebar Export

Last updated April 1, 2021 by Tekla Structures Extensions USA

Software version: 
Not version-specific
Not environment-specific
United States (Imperial)
United States (Metric)

Rebar Export

Purpose and description

The Rebar Export extension is an exporting featurepart of Tekla Structures functionality that is maintained and owned by Trimble Solutions and that is included in the Tekla Structures installation

specific to rebar detailing. This extension exports the machine data required for manufacture to either aSa or Soule type files. The Soule export produces an xml file, the aSa export type creates a TEK file. This extension is intended to be used in conjunction with the Organizertool that is used for categorizing and managing model information, object properties and object property queries, and model object classification

Organizer consists of two tools, object browser and categories.

, where the Organizer helps you view what is released and the status of each bar and bar group.

System requirements

Environments: US Imperial, US Metric
Languages: English

Installing Rebar Export

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


  1. Close Tekla Structures (if running)
  2. Download MSI or TSEP Installer from Tekla Warehouse
  3. Install and run MSI/TSEP Installer
  4. Start Tekla Structures
  5. Open a model
  6. Before version 2016: A new toolbar icon which will launch the tool should now be visible when a model is opened. For 2016 version and newer: a new thumbnail under Ungrouped items in the Applications and components side pane will appear.

Using Rebar Export

To use the feature:

  1. Launch Rebar Export
  2. Fill in options as needed for using correct 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.

    fields and export settings
  3. Input information about the appropriate header tab for export type, some fields are mandatory and will be flagged if left blank
  4. Select reinforcement elements in the model to export
  5. Click the Export Selected button

User Interface

Output Options:

  • You must choose a file name with extension. The extension determines the type of export that is created. If the export is relative to 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.

    location, the path gets abbreviated.
  • You can leave the Use Model Filter option unselected, allowing the export for all selected bars. If you check this option, then you must specify a valid rebar filter to limit the selected or model bars to a smaller group.
  • If you have Tag Bar in Model option checked, it will add user defined attributes to all bars the export file is created for. The following values are tagged: release name, release status, and release guid. The release name comes from the header information for that export type.
  • The status is from the drop down box on the first tab page of the main user interface. The guid is created internally and is unique for each export instance. If the check box is not checked then no user defined attributes are added or removed from exported bars.
  • You can choose to export selected bars only or entire model. It is recommended to export small groups in releases as you would have them ordered and manage bars using the Organizer feature in Tekla Structures. Once released you can create rules for colorization and managing the bars based on any of the fields above that get tagged.

aSa Header:

This tab is used to set all the information that is needed when creating the aSa file. All fields with red ‘x’ are required fields needed for aSa file creation, you must enter something before you are allowed to export.

  • Release Name: Name of the release (used for tagging as well)
  • Job Number: Number of the project. (click the … to grab the information from the Project Properties)
  • Job Name: Name of the project. (click the … to grab the information from the Project Properties)
  • Customer Name: Name of the Customer
  • Rebar Grade: Job specific default grade for deformed bars
  • Plain Grade: Job specific default grade for smooth bar
  • Form Code: 2009AT is the standard code for earlier versions of aSa software, only the newest versions support the expanded fields in the 2R/2P row for longer marks and end preparation codes, also the 2010BFI outputs multiple additional bent rows 2D
  • Unit Type: Dropdown to choose Imperial or Metric (Hard/Soft)
  • Description: Field that allows you to describe the release
  • Drawing Number: If there is a drawing created that is associated to the release (Not required for export)
  • Detailer Initials: Where the detailer can place their information
  • Max Trailer Weight: (lbs/kg) Field to input the max weight that a truck/trailer can hold

*Note: The grade value in the individual bar row is blank if it matches the job specific default grade, otherwise it is reported in output row(s) as unique.

Soule Header:

This tab is used to set all the information that is needed when creating the Soule file. All fields with red ‘x’ are required fields needed for Soule file creation, you must enter something before you are allowed to export.

  • Job Id: Id of the Job
  • Release Id: Id of the Release
  • Description 1: Description of the release
  • Description 2
  • Bid Item
  • Structure
  • Date Wanted
  • Detailer Id
  • Drawing Id
  • Color
  • Kit UDA Name (Name in Tekla of uda for setting/getting “Kit” end prep values)
  • Unit Type (Metric, Imperial)

Bar Tagging

The following fields are tagged in the model upon each button press to create a release (if checked option is turned on to tag bars):

  1. Release Status (RELEASE_STATUS) > part of default localization for usimp/usmet
  2. Release Name (RELEASE_NAME)
  3. Release Guid (RELEASE_GUID)


This extension includes some options that can be changed that affect the tagging of reinforcement in the model and the export file contents. Each setting saved creates a unique file with extension “.relSet”. New setting files are created to …/<CurrentModel>/attributes/ folder. Settings files are read from all system folders including 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.

by default.

  • User Defined Attribute Settings: Allows users to change the Tekla Structures uda names used to tag rebar
    • Release Name
    • Release Status
    • Release Guid
    • Bar Coating
    • Deformed Type (deformed, smooth)
    • Start End Prep Code
    • Finish end Prep Code
  • Pre-Rounding Length Setup
    • You can pre round the values before they are exported here. Overall length and leg individual bend lengths are rounded independently. If you are already rounding in the rebar_config.inp in Tekla Structures, this may not be needed, make sure you use options that complement each other and not contradict here. If you are already rounding to ½” in rebar_config.inp, then don’t round to 1” increments here, you don’t need to round both places and should definitely not use different values.
  • aSa 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.

    • Add Marks for Straight Bars in Export: option is for if you want marks to be added for straight bars when exported. This can help you coordinate the results of the file, it is optional for most file imports but can give warnings to end user importing files.
  • Hide grade in sub rows
    • This options turns off the grade reporting in the 2R/2P and the 6R/6P rows, it will only be reported in the 1A job header. The grade is a combination of the rebar ‘grade’ from Tekla structures, pulling the string from the right of the “-“ character, E.g. A706-60 => “60” and then adding the 1st character from the rebar coating uda string value, E.g. G. You can customize the rebar coating drop down/option values in your objects.inp file.
  • Switch grade for weldable rebar (affects A706 and A706s grades)
    • Affects row output 2R/2P and 6R/6P. If checked it swaps grade from yield number to grade type. E.g. A706-60 => “A706” is reported for grade instead of “60”.
  • Advanced
    • 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.

      Export Type: If you use the IFC create export file it will create new file with rebar only in working directory with release name in specified format.

Creating Export

If the user would like to create releases for fabrication, they will need to first select the bars in the model that they will wish to create a release for. Tekla recommends using the Organizer to manage the releases.

  1. Once the bars are selected in the model, click the icon to open Rebar Export.
  2. Select the output file path, this also allows you to pick the format that Tekla is going to use (aSa/Soule).
  1. Input the required information in the header tabs of the format you are using (aSa in this example)
  1. Make sure that everything is selected correctly and then click Export Selected
  1. Once the export is complete, the bottom will tell you it succeeded
  1. Check the file to ensure that everything was exported corrected.

Tapered Bar Groups

  • This extension does not support tapered group export!
  • It is recommended to model such rebar as 'rebar sets'. Rebar sets are exported as single bars. If you model a rebar set as step tapered types you will get best results.

Additional information

  • It is very important to have the Rebar Shape Managertool that is used for customizing the bending shapes of reinforcing bars

    Rebar shape manager can be used for bending shapes only and not for any other reinforcing bar properties.

    setup before using any rebar export feature, this will determine how bars are recognized and all available bending dimensions that can be exported. Make sure all standard bars your company uses are recognized properly and have all the correct dimension output mapping needed to fabricate that bar.
  • Customize your objects.inp for Coating uda field as needed, this affects aSa and Soule export, add the string values that are needed in output. Only the first character of the string values are used, for aSa this is a prefix to grade in sub rows, for Soule this is the full value in xml used for Coating.
  • This extension will only recognize true reinforcing bars for exporting.
  • If the reinforcement shape is unknown, the shape in the export file will be “UNK”. The bending values for these will not be correct, you need to add the recognition and dimension mappings for each unknown shape to Tekla Structures via the Rebar Shape Manager, then export the files again.
  • Please send help or feedback to our help desk:

Rounding of units

  • The values from Tekla Structures are fetched using report properties. The template values may be rounded from Tekla before this extension gets the data depending on your settings in the rebar_config.inp which affects all template output. These values are then pre rounded on top of that according to your setup in Options in this extension, but the output format is hardcoded. This affects both aSa and Soule file format export.
  • The final rounded output of the aSa file format is hardcoded per specification requirements. If set to metric, the units are rounded up to nearest whole millimeter.
    • Section 2R/2P/2D – bending dimensions are in FFIIQ format (feet, feet, inch, inch, quarter) and rounding is set up to nearest quarter accordingly. Theoretical length is FFFII (feet, feet, feet, inch, inch) and rounding is set up to nearest inch accordingly.
    • Section 6R/6P – length is FFII (feet, feet, inch, inch) and rounding is setup up to nearest inch accordingly.

Objects.inp Setup

The necessary extra attributes that are used in this extension to export data correctly are by default included in the usmet/usimp role for reinforcement. If you are using other environments, these uda’s will need to be added to your custom setup of Tekla Structures for this extension to work properly. Download the latest usimp or usmet environment package, then browse to find ...\usimp\us_roles\castinplace\inp\objects.inp. Open that file and search for tab_page("REBAR_RELEASE"). These attributes in this tab page are the ones used by this extension and general rebar workflow in the model for release management.

End Prep Values

If you are exporting using the “2010BFI” option, the end prep values in row 2R are expanded to 3 characters each in the right hand area. You can modify the setup for the END_PREP_END and END_PREP_START in your objects.inp files to have the 3 letter character designations that export to aSa if you choose. This setup would look more like:

unique_attribute("END_PREP_END", "End Prep (End):", option, "%s", yes, none, "0.0",   "0.0")

value("", 2)
value("LEN", 0)
value("SCA", 0)
value("THR", 0)
value("SBV", 0)
value("DBV", 0)
value("XYZ", 0)


End Prep Export Value Logic:

  • The uda end/start prep name you set in Options, determines which uda field for each rebar the values are pulled from and type. This must be either integer or option/number type only. Value stored to reinforcement is always integer value in core and API. The corresponding string value for that integer option can only be fetched if defined in the model environment (combined objects.inp files). There are two values, one for start, and one for finish end of the rebar.
  • General Logic:
    • The uda type should be set to option/number (drop down list) type.
    • If the string value is two characters or more and the string value starts with a single character and then "- " character: then only the first character is exported. E.g. "S- Saw Cut" => eports "S", "V- Single Bevel exports" => "V". This list can be customized in your objects.inp setup file, the export tool will read whatever string equivalent for the stored integer is available and export the first character only. This works the same if the string drop down list is a single character only.
    • If the uda type is set to option/number (drop down list) and the string value is 3 characters or more, the first three characters are exported
    • If the uda is Not defined or setup as option/number type in your objects.inp, then the stored integer value is exported. E.g. 0, 1, 2, 3

Coating Value Logic:

  • The uda coating name you set in Options, determines which uda field for each rebar the values are pulled from and type. This must be either integer or option/number type only. Value stored to reinforcement is always integer value in core and API. The corresponding string value for that integer option can only be fetched if defined in the model environment (combined objects.inp files). There is a single value for each reinforcement objectbuilding object that represents steel bars that are cast into the concrete in such a manner that the steel and the concrete act together in resisting forces

    Reinforcement types include reinforcing bars, reinforcement meshes, and strands.

    (rebar groupgroup of reinforcing bars that are side by side and have identical properties, except the possible variation in bar lengths

    is single object).
  • If the uda is Not defined or setup as option/number type in your objects.inp, then the stored integer value is exported. E.g. 0, 1, 2, 3
  • aSa Specific Logic:
    • If the uda type is set to option/number (drop down list), the first letter character after the "-" in the corresponding string will be exported. E.g. "1 - Black" => "B", "3 - Galvanized" => "G", "5 - Epoxy" => "E".
    • If coating is not set, the value will be blank in export.
  • Soule Specific Logic:
    • If the uda type is set to option/number (drop down list), only the first character in the corresponding string will be exported. E.g. "2 - Smooth Round/Black" => "2", "I - Smooth Round/Epoxy-Green" => "I", "5 - Epoxy-Green" => "5".
    • If coating is not set, null value then output is set to "0"

Grade Value Logic:

  • The base string value is pulled from the stored grade value chosen when the rebar is modeled, this is the same as the report templatetemplate that is used for creating a report

    property "GRADE", it is not customizable in the export process using a uda field. The values which are available when modeling is defined by the system setup file rebar_database.inp which can be customed by user as needed. Please note changing this file does not affect rebar already modeled, it only gives different table options during the new reinforcement creation process.
  • aSa Specific Logic:
    • Everything to the right of the "-" is exported, the character limit is 4, everything else is truncated. E.g. "A615-60" is exported as => "60". Whitespaces before or after are trimmed.
    • If the grade is weldable and you have turned in in the options to switch grade for weldable rebar (hardcoded as a706-60", "a706-60s), then everything to the left of the "-" is exported. E.g. "A706-60" is exported as => "A706", "A706-60s" is exported as => "A706".
    • If the resulting grade string is less than 4 characters (not common) then only the first character is exported. E.g. "A82-70" is exported as => "A"
    • If the resulting grade string is less than or equal to 4 characters, those 4 characters are exported.
  • Soule Specific Logic:
    • Grade string is not changed, exported value is the full grade string as defined by user when modeled.

Import Errors:

  • Do not mix imperial and metric grades/sizes. Make sure to setup export options are set to Metric for metric grades/sizes OR Imperial for imperial grades/sizes
  • Grades and sizes are setup in environment/model rebar_database.inp. If changed in the setup file it does not change existing rebar in models, that must be done manually to swich.
  • When using Imperial use standard grades (E.g. A706-60, A615-60) and sizes (E.g. #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #14, #18)*
  • When using Metric use standard grades(E.g. 420, 420W,) amd sizes (E.g. 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 29, 32, 36, 43, 57)*

*When using other grades and/or sizes make sure those are setup as recognized sizes and grades in aSa software before importing
*If you get an import error from aSa regarding "Invalid grade" or "Invalid size" check your model and rebar_database.inp for proper rebar sizes and grades that match what aSa rebar is expecting to receive as input.


Quick feedback

The feedback you give here is not visible to other users. We use your comments to improve our content.
We use this to prevent automated spam submissions.
Content rating: 
Average page rating: 1.8 (4 votes)
Refresh page after voting to show updated result.