Rebar import from Tekla Structural Designer

Last updated March 12, 2020 by Tekla Extensions - General Design

Software version: 
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Not environment-specific

Rebar import from Tekla Structural Designer

This tool extends the Tekla Structural Designer integrator tool in Tekla Structures with functionality to import rebar design intent.

This document only describes the rebar import. The documentation for the model importimport of a model from another software to Tekla Structures

Tekla Structures supports several different formats to import models.

can be found here.


The rebar import requires you to have Tekla Structural Designer installed on the same system.


Note: The installer targets a specific Tekla Structural Designer Service Pack. Depending on the actual Service Pack used, after install you might need to manually copy and replace the TSDAPI.dll from the Tekla Structural Designer install folder to the Tekla "\nt\bin\plugins\Tekla\Model" folder and restart Tekla Structures. If this is the case, 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

will give you an error message with instructions when you're trying to import rebars.

  1. Locate your Tekla Structural Designer installation folder containing the tsd.exe executable (e.g. C:\Program Files\Tekla\Structural\Structural Designer 2017) and run "tsd.exe /reg" from a command prompt.
  2. Download and install the rebar import tool from Tekla Warehouse.
  3. Restart Tekla Structures and open a new model.
  4. Click File > Import > Tekla Structural Designer. The importer is updated with a new tab called Rebar.



The Tekla Structural Designer importer still works as previously if you import .cxl files (described here). To import rebars, you need to have access to the original Tekla Structural Designer file (.tsmd) instead. When you select a .tsmd file as the import file in the integrator tool, the following options on the Rebar tab will become enabled:

  • Import rebars - Enable or disable all rebar import.
  • Delete old rebars - Deletes any reinforcement previously created with this tool.
  • Grade conversion file - A text file that contains conversion information for the rebar grade and size. First create a text file with the extension .cnv. In the text file, enter the TSD grade name, the equal sign (=) and then the corresponding Tekla Structures name. The size mappings for that grade can then be listed on the rows underneath the same way, indented by a tab. For example:
        Gr. 60=A615-60
  • Native bars - Create the rebars as normal Tekla Structures bars.
  • Reference bars - Create the rebars as a 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.

    that will be saved in 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.

  • Single bars only - Don't try and group the rebars. If this option is disabled the rebars will be imported as rebar groups where possible.
  • Beams - Import rebars for beams.
  • Columns - Import rebars for columns

In version 2018, you will have the following options as well:

  • Simplify bars - The bars will be imported without any hooks or curtailments and longitudinal bars in beams will be cut off before they enter the columns at the end points.
  • Once per design groupgroup of physical parts that Tekla Structures uses when it searches for optimal profiles for steel parts and optimal reinforcement for concrete parts

    - bars in parts belonging to the same design group (e.g. column or beam) will be added only to one of the groups (e.g. column or beam).
  • Walls - Import rebars for walls.

Click one of the Import buttons to start the import. First the model will be converted and imported, then the rebar information will be imported according to the options that are used.


The import is for rebar design intent, and the imported reinforcement should not be considered fully detailed.

  • Only rebars for beams and columns can be imported (2018 adds walls).
  • Rebars can clash with each other.
  • Rebars will be created as rebar groups where possible, but e.g. column main bars will always be created as single bars.
  • No cover thickness attributes are used, instead rebar handle points are modeled at their physical locations inside the parts.
  • Hooks are created using handle points rather than hook attributes (2018 imports them as attributes)


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by aaron Forster

Is there a version for 2020?

by Tekla Extensions - General Design

Hi Aaron, this functionality is now included in the Tekla Structures 2020 installation.