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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

New Tekla Products Combine Analysis and Design Process into Seamless Workflows

November 16th, 2015 by Susan Smith

Kevin Lea, Product Manager, A&D Solutions, Tekla, a Trimble Company and Andrew Norman, Tedds Product Manager, Tekla, a Trimble Company talked about the recent release of the new version of Tekla® Structural Designer software that enables structural engineers to analyze and design steel and concrete buildings efficiently by combining analysis and design into a single, seamless process. And new features for its Tekla® Tedds 2015, a software that enables structural engineers to automate repetitive civil and structural calculations.


AECCafe Voice: The press release says that engineers can use “one product all the way through to code- compliant design.” Is this really feasible in today’s world where there are so many BIM solutions and other solutions employed in a building project?

Kevin Lea: Engineers often have a toolkit of software solutions for different analysis and design tasks. For example, they may use one software solution for analysis, another for steel design and a third for concrete design. With Tekla Structural Designer, we have combined all of these into one solution.

This saves time and also provides several other benefits to engineers:

  • One solution and one interface: Eliminates the need to learn or relearn multiple software solutions. Tekla Structural Designer also allows engineers to work in one solution, rather than switching between multiple software solutions.
  • Easy collaboration: On a single project, there are often several different analysis and design software tools being used that are not compatible and require team members to manually control the sharing of data. With Tekla Structural Designer, engineers create a single model with a single data set for all their analysis and design needs, which enables a smoother and more effective integration process when sharing model data for BIM collaboration.

AECCafe Voice: Will Tekla Structural Designer interface or integrate with other design options such as Autodesk Revit and Bentley BIM?

TSD screenshot_JPG

Kevin Lea: Tekla Structural Designer offers two-way synchronization with both Autodesk’s Revit and Tekla Structures. Models can be past back and forth and the software will manage the process and color code the models to demonstrate items that have been added, deleted or amended.

AECCafe Voice: What are some of the seismic enhancements that customers may have been asking for that are now in the new version of Structural Designer?

Kevin Lea: We added Response Spectrum Analysis in the design procedures to compliment the existing equivalent lateral force methods. Tekla Structural Designer now addresses the analysis and design requirements for both Eurocode and US codes for low seismic regions.

AECCafe Voice: Have customers expressed time savings already with beta versions, or can you calculate roughly what time savings there may be with the automation of structural analysis and design tasks in this new release?

Kevin Lea: After only 6 months, we are getting great feedback on how flexible and quick it is to create full 3D models with Tekla Structural Designer. Customers are already seeing productivity gains on this fact alone. We also have clients sending Tekla Structural Designer models back and forth with other software solutions over 100 times!

AECCafe Voice: How does Tekla Tedds allow engineers to “better analyze and design concrete beams and masonry bearings…” I’m assuming for the American market as well as European?

Andrew Norman: Tedds eliminates time-consuming hand calculations and cumbersome spreadsheets by allowing engineers to automate structural and civil calculations. It includes a broad library of pre-written structural and civil calculations to US design, British Standards, Eurocodes, Australian and Canadian codes, as well as the ability to write, save and distribute professional custom calculations, just like those provided in the pre-written libraries.

The library of pre-written calculations can be thought of as a collection of ‘mini-applications’ all held within the main Tedds product. Updates can either be new calculations, enhancements to existing calculations or changes to the main product. This is a bit different from Tekla Structural Designer or Tekla Structures, which are used to model and design full structures in one large application.

If we are speaking only about the most recent updates then here’s a bit more information:

Users can design concrete beams to the Eurocode (European Union standards). Engineers can now model and analyze a complete 2D frame and then design each beam, all within these single integrated calculations. This is a time saving, as historically each beam would have been designed individually in a separate calculation.

Tekla Tedds also includes a new calculation for designing masonry bearings to Eurocode. Engineers can now check the resistance of the masonry beneath multiple concentrated loads to determine whether or not additional strengthening is required. This provides a quick and efficient solution that many engineers need on a regular basis.

*Note these updates are not applicable to the American market. We did release new US steel analysis & design calculations in June, which you can see here:

AECCafe Voice: How does Tekla Tedds integrate with other software outside the Trimble community?

Andrew Norman: Tedds has an Application Programming Interface (API) that allows anyone to integrate Tedds with other software. All that is needed is knowledge of a Windows programming language that supports the Microsoft Component Object Model (COM) architecture.

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Categories: 2D, 3D, 3D PDF, AEC, AECCafe, apps, Bentley Systems, BIM, building information modeling, Civil 3D, Cloud, collaboration, construction, engineering, file sharing, IES, integrated project delivery, mobile, rendering, Tekla, terrain, traffic simulation, Trimble, visualization

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