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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 »

In the Near Future: Tekla Software 2018 for Steel

March 8th, 2018 by Susan Smith

In a recent Webinar, presenters Tiina Lehtinen, marketing manager, Trimble; Oxana Kyllonen, application manager, Trimble; and Eric Beyer, product manager, Trimble outlined the sneak preview of Tekla Software 2018 for Steel.

The new Tekla Structures 2018 is designed to be more productive with your drawings and modeling.


In the ongoing renewal with Tekla’s user interface, they have continued the work with Property Pane. All different property dialogs you had in previous versions were inconsistent and could make your screen a mess. One common Property Pane for all common objects, is now easy to learn and use.

Object properties are now accessed through Property Pane. All of the object properties are available in collapsible groups. When you change a property, it is highlighted so you know the property has not yet been applied. You will know whether you have committed changes or not.

Save load is also available. Like old dialog boxes, you can check things off and modify only a few select properties.

All the modified properties are loaded into the Property Pane. Property Pane becomes even more powerful when working with multiple objects. If there are varied properties you’ve selected that will be highlighted in the dialog, you can then click on that dropdown list to see what have been selected and how many objects have those different properties. If you want to make them all consistent with a single property, just select from the list, and again hit enter to apply those values. The beauty of this is it works with different objects of the same type but with different objects of different types and the common objects can be modified easily from the single Property Pane.

This makes your modeling really powerful and easy, reduces errors. It is customizable.

Undo History

This features is all about helping you save time, and help when you are undoing actions. You can see it under history build up. All you have to do to go back in time is click on a row and it will take you back where you were, so you can see what you may have done by accident, as well as easily undo or redo many accidents at once. Sometimes you have selected a number of areas in a model and then click somewhere and lose your selection. Now with the select previews command, you can easily reselect everything you have selected, both in the model and in drawings.

Direct X Graphics

DirectX Graphics is about a better modeling experience. It offers much clearer visuals, less eye strain, and it is easier to see what you’re doing. It is easier to see when you’ve done something wrong, in an area you didn’t think you were working. It improves rendering, shading, improves contrast. If you’ve got a sufficient graphics card you’ll find graphics performance is better than OpenGL.

  • Better contrast and clarity of detail,
  • Special where the shadowing effect is much longer
  • Less intrusive hover/highlight
  • Much clearer selection highlighting.
  • Better visualization of distance particularly in perspective mode.
  • Automatically hatch when you have overlapping images.
  • Better image quality with fewer jagged lines.
  • Def quality is better so less objects peeking through other objects when they’re far away.

Model Sharing

Modeling sharing is the online solution to multi-user, enabling large distributed teams to work on the same model even when they are not connected all the time or able to be online all the time. It provides increased productivity for the whole team, and we have a lot of strong features for 2018. There is a strong focus on productivity, and of course reliability, and the numbering has been more robust. There are fewer change lines so when you read in a change package, you’ll spend less time checking the changes and less time tracking changes. Model folder file manager has been updated as well. Spend less time thinking about changes and more time focused on your modeling and drawing activity.


The new mark placement can be turned on. New markups have new intelligence placement and are placed more clearly than in the previous version. There are both arranged marks and aligned marks.

There are multiple other improvements for markups. Drawing Content manager can add multiple marks, fine tune them, can control markups quicker. These are useful features when working on the ability to control how well marks are identified in drawings.

Spiral Beam

Spiral Beam makes it easy to create stringers, handrails and ramps. It provides easy input and detailing and editing – control sweep rise, and radius

  • Accurate detailing
  • No roll in the profile
  • maintains a constant up direction for the cross section along the spiral path

New in 2018 is

  • improved tessellation, accurate modeling;
  • Depth offset, easy and accurate alignment
  • DM improved, snapping steps to zoom
  • IFC, export as BREP

Spiral Staircase 2.0 Extension offers easy modeling of spiral staircases:

  • Dynamic UI with live update
  • User plate or profile stringers
  • Steps modeled as items, plates or custom components
  • Modify key options and dimensions directly in the model

Bent Plate Improvements facilitate:

  • Easier editing – move handles out of plane
  • Bent plate custom components – automate bent plate details
  • Improved control of unfolded orientation – desired fabrication output

Welding – Compound Welds

Bevel + Fillet & Groove + Fillet

  • Separate size for both fillet and the bevel/groove weld
  • Weld solid & weld preparation supported
  • Available in manual drawing welds too

Welding enhancements include double sided polygon welds with

  • Back side weld now possible
  • Intelligent back side creation
  • Can follow multiple segments
  • Edit back side polygon

Weld preparation details

Dimensioning plug-in extension

Automate heavy plate drawings

  • Create plate drawings with automatic section views for edge preparations
  • Views automatically created, dimensioned and oriented according to the preparation

Point Clouds

Leverage and coordinate with scan data

  • Layout against existing structure scans
  • Compare as-built scans to the model

Point cloud support includes

  • All Common formats
  • Support for color when available
  • Snap to points for layout and measure.

Point Clouds in Tekla Structures include

Point Cloud Manager extension:

  • Convert raw cloud point data
  • View converted point clouds
  • Combine several points clouds into one larger point cloud
  • Export a smaller area of a point cloud
  • Analyze converted data

Tekla Warehouse includes add-ons for better productivity and higher quality, tools for modeling and drawings, libraries and templates. These are easy to install and import, and to share internally and globally.

Extensions from the Warehouse include:

Updates to productivity improving tools based on your requests

  • Modify model object properties from a GA drawing
  • Metal Framing tools – easier to use
  • No paint area – productivity increased
  • Pattern line – enhanced libraries for faster use
  • Rebar hole – more flexible detailing


Better support for workflows

  • Use phase to define work packages
  • Force separate marks for issuing, ordering, etc.

New option to compare Phase in numbering

  • Parts and assemblies in different phases will get different numbers.

Construction Objects are easily managed.

Construction objects can now be assigned to a phase

Filtering of construction objects is now possible

  • By phase
  • By type

Drawing Printing

Better output for communication. Improvements based on requests

  • Better usability of line colors
  • Preview is faster, loading is optional
  • Record printing macros and playback.
  • Improved reliability
  • A drawing scales to fit available paper size

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Categories: AEC, apps, architecture, building information modeling, collaboration, construction, engineering, file sharing, infrastructure, plant design, point clouds, project management, Tekla, Trimble

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