How to calculate the external surface area of a complex structure?

Software version: Not version-specific

Last updated May 9, 2019 by Tekla Global Support

Not environment-specific

How to calculate the external surface area of a complex structure?

How can I calculate the external surface area of the structure that needs to be painted?

One of the solutions is to add “Surface Treatment” to all of the surfaces whose surface area you want to calculate.

This example shows how to get the external surface area, or the surface area that will be painted, of a complex steel column.

  • 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.

    must be added to the surfaces/areas that need to be calculated

    Here are some articles on how to do this:

Adding surface treatment (video tutorial)
Adding surface treatment to parts

When surface treatment is added to the external surfaces of the column, it looks like this:

  • If there are some surfaces that need to be partly painted, or there are some areas that need to be subtracted from the added surface treatment, the “UP-Unpainted” surface treatment must be added to that area.

The image shows a surface treatment of a part face with subtracted "UP-Unpainted" surface treatment.

  • As it is possible to get the volume and thickness of the added surface treatment, the surface area can be easily calculated. There is a simple template added to this article to show some basic principles on how to calculate that.
    In this template, it is set that surface treatment with name “UP-Unpainted” is not printed in the report.

Package icon SURFACE_AREA.zip1.26 KB
surface treatment
surface area

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