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Tekla Civil Integration

Last updated October 23, 2015 by Area Finland Service tekla.support.fi@trimble.com

Software version: 
Not version-specific
Not environment-specific

Tekla Civil Integration


1. Introduction
........1.1 Connecting 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

to Tekla Civil model and surfaces
2. Setting the coordinate transformation between Tekla Civil and Tekla Structures
........2.1 Quick transformation by selected surface
........2.2 Create transformation by picked points
........2.3 The transformation parameters
3. Importing surfaces from Tekla Civil
........3.1 Area selectionmethod of selecting objects that are included in a certain rectangular area of a model

In addition to the selected area, selection switches and selection filters control which object types are selected.

of the surface
4. Insert beams along saved line geometries
........4.1 Fetching the line geometries
........4.2 Defining properties of the beam to be inserted
5. Exporting surfaces from Tekla Structures to Tekla Civil
........5.1 Defining the model folderfolder that is used for storing files associated with a model

Tekla Structures stores all files associated with a model in a folder it creates with the same name as the model database (.db1).

In multi-user mode all users access the same model folder.

and surface name
........5.2 Determining surface by beam
........5.3 Testing the exported surface

1. Introduction

This document is a brief user guide for using the interface application to import surface models from Tekla Civil to Tekla Structures and back. The application is implemented using Microsoft .NET Framework.
The main features of the application are:
• Setting the coordinate transformation between Tekla Civil and Tekla Structures
• Importing desired surfaces from Tekla Civil to Tekla Structures as triangle networks
• Inserting beams to defined line geometries
• Exporting defined beam surfaces back to Tekla Civil

For communication with Tekla Structures, the application utilizes Tekla Structures programming interface .NET API. For communication with Tekla Civil, the interface library provided by Tekla Civil is used.

1.1 Connecting the application to Tekla Civil model and surfaces

The first taskin the task manager, a representation of a piece of work that needs to be carried out in order to complete a project

is to connect the application to the Tekla Civil model folder. Different surfaces are stored in the folders named with the number of the model folder. You can select the model folder from the browser. The available surfaces can be selected from the “Surface name” drop-down menu.

Picture 1. Connecting the application to the Tekla Civil folder

2. Setting the coordinate transformation between Tekla Civil and Tekla Structures

To be able to work in Tekla Structures coordinates, you must define a coordinate transformation between the Tekla Civil model and the Tekla Structures model. The transformation is set based on the corresponding XY plane points in both systems.

The transformation can be set in two ways:

2.1 Quick transformation by selected surface

Quick transformation by selected surface makes an automatic coordinate transformation according to the selected surface so that the surface is imported near to the Tekla Structure’s origo. This coordinate transformation should be used as a preliminary transformation.
Select the surface name from the drop-down menu and click the Quick transformation by selected surface button. The transformation is created and the text “Active transformation by surface“ is displayed. After the quick transformation, you can import the surfaces.

Picture 2. Setting the quick transformation by selected surface

Picture 3. Importing a surface using quick transformation

Picture 4. Imported surface by quick transformation

If wanted, you can create a second coordinate transformation by picked points for more convenient alignment of the surfaces. If you apply a second coordinate transformation, the imported surface using the quick transformation should be as small as possible and it should be imported in native format. For large surfaces, Area selection* should be applied. *See chapter 3.1

2.2 Create transformation by picked points

Create transformation by picked points creates a transformation between the two lines you picked. The first line (= two points) defines the wanted direction of the surface in Tekla Structures coordinates and the second line (=two points) defines the reference lineline between two reference points

For example, if the user picks two points to position a beam, these points form the reference line, and handles appear at the line ends.

Reference lines can be used in snapping in a snap switch.

. The reference line is in most cases easiest to pick from the imported surface, for example, along the measurement line of the road (ML). Between the picked lines, an affine transformation is created. This means that the line length and Z coordinates do not have an effect on the transformation, only the XY-location and XY-direction of the lines. This coordinate transformation should be set carefully only once. After this, save the coordination transformation settings and apply the same transformation to all imported and exported surfaces.

Picture 5. Picking the two points that define the location and direction of the surface

Picture 6. Picking the two points that define the location and direction of the reference line

Note that Tekla Civil coordinates are always in global coordinates and they are not affected by the transformation. Only the transformation parameters are recalculated.

Picture 7. Coordinate transformation by picked points

Picture 8. Imported surfaces by quick transformation and by picked points

2.3 Transformation parameters

You can check the transformation parameters using the Show/Hide parameters button. Level coordinates (Z) are in global coordinates both in Tekla Structures and Tekla Civil. Scaling factor and transformation parameters cannot be changed manually.

Picture 9. Coordinate transformation parameters

3. Importing surfaces from Tekla Civil

A surface is imported as a triangle network to Tekla Structures. Triangles can be imported either as native Tekla Structures objects or as an IFC reference modelmodel which the designer can use as an aid when building another model

A reference model is created in Tekla Structures or in other software and can be inserted to Tekla Structures. The reference model appears together with the model but it is not modified by Tekla Structures. The user can snap to reference model points.

For example, an architectural model, a plant design model, or a heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) model can be a reference model.

. In 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.

format, the programmatically constructed user interface 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.

is used to produce the IFC reference model.
After you have set the coordinate transformation, all the wanted surfaces can be imported. Select the surface name from drop-down menu, select the object format and the 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.

to help the organization and visualization of the surfaces.

Picture 10. Imported surfaces

3.1 Area selection of the surface

If the surface is large and only a small part of it is needed, define the area for the surface to be imported.

Picture 11. Area selection for the rock surface

Picture 12. Imported surface by area selection

4. Inserting beams along saved line geometries

4.1 Fetching the line geometries

With the insert beam functionality, you can create beams to the line geometries that are defined in the surface. The available lines of the surface are shown in the “Available lines” box. Note that line geometries are predefined in Tekla Civil and not all surfaces have these geometries. This means that the Surface name must be set correctly before fetching the lines.
You can activate the line geometry by clicking the row.


Picture 13. Fetching a line geometry of the surface

4.2 Defining properties of the beam to be inserted

When you have fetched the lines, set the beam properties. Beams can be created as 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.

or as beam segments. Set the beam parameters, profile and beam position. Note that beam segments follow the defined geometry lineline on an object’s geometry determined by the object’s shape

Geometry lines can be used in snapping in a snap switch.

but the surface information (width, skew) is not automatically recognized.

Picture 14. Defining beam parameters

Picture 15. Inserted beams in the geometry line

5. Exporting surfaces from Tekla Structures to Tekla Civil

5.1 Defining the model folder and surface name

The Export surface function exports the selected beam surfaces from Tekla Structures to Tekla Civil. Similarly as in the import case, set the Tekla Civil model folder and target surface first.
Define a new surface name. The target surface cannot be an existing surface. The application will create a new folder for the surface with next free surface number.

Picture 16. Setting the model folder and surface name

5.2 Determining surface by beam

Pick a reference beam for determining surface and select a polygon to determine the surface. Terminate the picking with the middle mouse button. Then select consecutive beams from which the surface is created.

Picture 17. Selecting beam for cross-section points

Finally, the surfaces of the selected beams are exported. Points are added to the surface set in the Surface name. The surface file surface.dat and .dtm files will be included in the surface model folder.

Picture 18. Selecting beams and exporting surface

5.3 Testing the exported surface

Export can and should be tested with surface import.

Picture 19. Import of the exported surface

Note that the program makes minor adjustments to the surface when it is exported to Tekla Civil. As a result, the surfaces may have some inaccuracy.

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