Solid 2 Plates

Last updated November 10, 2016 by Tekla Structures Extensions USA

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

Solid 2 Plates

Purpose and description

This tool reads the faces of solid objects that are created in the model and created contour plates on top of each face. This makes it easier for users to model in ductwork, bins, hoppers, etc. first as generic objects using the beam and polybeampart of a certain shape that is created as a continuous chain of beams passing through points that the user picks

The segments of the polybeam are straight, but segment intersections can be curved. For example, a beam that follows a zigzag line is a polybeam.

command with parametric profiles. This is easier than the user having to manually model in plates for each duct face. The plate(1) part that represents a flat structure

(1) In some contexts, for example in analysis, the term plate object may be used to refer to plates.

(2) plate that represents a steel structure

(2) Plate is mainly used as a connection piece or as a floor plate.

objects created are grouped together as an assembly and use saved away contour platepart whose outline form the user defines by picking three or more points

The user can define the shape of the contour plate parallel to the work plane. The profile in use defines the thickness. The corners of the contour plate can be chamfered.

properties settings.

System requirements

Environments:   Any
Languages:   English Translatable
Industry segment:  (Steel)

Installing Solid 2 Plates

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.
  2. Install the application by running the appropriate package downloaded from Tekla Warehouse.
  3. Open Tekla Structures
  4. 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 in the Applications and components side pane will appear.

Using Solid 2 Plates

To use the application:

  1. Model in parts using the beam or polybeam command with rectangular or transition type parametric profilepredefined profile whose cross section dimensions the user can change by using parametric variables

    properties. This part(s) should form the geometry of your ductwork.
  2. Open the contour plate properties dialog box and fill in the appropriate thickness, name, and other properties that the plates created by this tool should use and save those properties away. NOTE: Most likely you will want the At depth option set to Behind.
  1. Launch the tool from the tools macrosaved series of actions that includes instructions for a program

    Macros are located in the applications and components catalog. They are recorded or created manually and stored as .cs file in a folder defined with the advanced option XS_MACRO_DIRECTORY.

    Macros can, for example, be used for creating drawings or reports.

    Macros are sometimes used to run an application.

    dialog box or the newly added toolbar that will appear after installation. Notice in the Contour Plate Properties drop down you will see the saved away settings you just created in the Contour Plate properties dialog box.
  1. In addition there are a few more options for you to choose from;
  • Create Assembly – each time you run this tool, the resulting plates will be grouped as an assembly. This works for both options; “From Part” & “From Surface.”
  • Delete Original Parts – This option only works when using the “From Part” option. When checked the original parts that you select to create the plates around will be deleted when you finish with your selection.
  • Copy Cuts – This option only works when using the “From Part” option. If your parts have cuts in them; penetrations for example, not end cuts or fittings; those cuts will copy to the resulting plates. NOTE: Some manual manipulation to the cuts and cuts parts may be required.
  1. When you press the “From Surface” button this will prompt you to pick a surface in the model (make sure you are in fully solid mode) to create a contour plate on. The command will repeat itself, right click and Interrupt or press Esc when done.
  • If you have the Create Assembly option on the new contour plates will be grouped together as an Assembly (not with welds but using the “add to assembly command” in the Tekla Open APIapplication programming interface that lets third-party applications integrate to and communicate with Tekla Structures

    Tekla Open API enables, for example, customizing Tekla Structures.

    ). The first plate created will become the father part.
  1. When you press the “From Part” button, you will be prompted to pick the solid objects you want to convert to plates. Once you have completed picking the parts, press the Middle Mouse button and Tekla will then cycle through all of the parts you picked and convert them to plates. The original solid part object will be deleted from the model if you have that option checked.
  • If you have the Create Assembly option on the new contour plates will be grouped together as an Assembly (not with welds but using the “add to assembly command” in the Tekla Open API). The first plate created will become the father part.

Picture of new plates when using the Create Assembly option.

Before picture using the “From Part”

After picture using the “From Part”


NOTE: There is a limitation in using the saved away contour plate properties in that any user defined attributes saved in the Contour plate properties dialog box aren’t loaded up by this application, only the main properties.

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