Performance issues when working with complex items

Software version: 2020 - 2021

Last updated February 5, 2021 by Carlos Vasquez

Not environment-specific

Performance issues when working with complex items

Question: I am experiencing performance issues when working with complex items. Is there anything I can do?


Performance of items is directly related to the complexity of the shapes the items use. The main driving factor to increase complexity is a high number of faces a shape has.

Items with high complexity can affect performance in many ways: opening of models, zooming and panning, inserting, copying and moving items, snapping to item geometries, item previews, creation and opening of drawings, interaction inside the drawings, etc.

In recent Tekla Structures versions there have been improvements made to alleviate a lot of these performance issues.

Steps to troubleshoot:

1a. Make sure you re-import all shapes using Tekla Structures 2018i or a newer version. The newer the better. You need to re-import the original geometry files in their original format (in .dwg, .skp, .ifc, etc.) not from .tsc which is just a zipped version of the old shape. In newer versions, the import function has been optimized to create lighter items and even smaller .tez files which define these shapes (found inside the ShapeGeometries model folder).

1b. If you do not have the original geometry files, you can run the Shape cleaner extension that is available in the Applications & components catalog in Tekla Structures 2019 and newer versions. This extension mimics the import of the geometry files.

2. On the modeling side, turn on DirectX rendering and re-open the views. DirectX rendering has been optimized to work with complex geometry. If using DirectX rendering makes performance worse, you either do not a powerful enough graphics card, or you do, but you have not instructed the graphics card to be used with Tekla Structures. 

For Nvidia graphics cards for example, you need to do this from the NVidia Control Panel:

For more information on using a graphics card with Tekla Structures, refer to these other articles:

- How to check the graphics card used for Tekla Structures
Selecting the correct graphics card for Tekla Structures in Windows

3. Check what is your setting for XS_USE_DASHED_HIDDEN_LINES from advanced option (available only in 2020 version and newer). Setting this to TRUE generally improves performance, but in some special cases such as using certain very complex shapes, it might in fact decrease performance significantly. Set this to FALSE, re-start TS and check if this helped.

4. On the drawing side, there are some tricks that could be used to increase performance:

  • Make sure only those parts and items that you want to show are included in a drawing view. In other words, make the depth of the view as small as possible, only to include those objects that will be visible. The reason is that the objects that are not directly visible in a view but are fully behind other objects still have to be processed and be rendered as "invisible".
  • Items can be rendered with the Bounding box representation. You can select this from the part properties of the drawing or a drawing view. Depending on the scale and arrangement of items in the drawing view, this can be a perfectly fine way to represent items in the view, and will significantly increase performance.

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: 5 (1 vote)
Refresh page after voting to show updated result.