Synchronize user-defined materials in models and databases

Tekla Structural Designer
2023
Tekla Structural Designer

Synchronize user-defined materials in models and databases

When you define an object, its material properties are initially read from the appropriate material database. Subsequently, the material properties are held separately within the model itself. This means that you can open Tekla Structural Designer on a second computer and run the model, even if the model contains user-defined material properties that don't exist in the material database on the second computer.

In the above scenario, you are not actually required to add the missing properties to the database on the second computer. It may however be beneficial to do so if you anticipate that you will need to re-use the property in question in new models - see Add to Database below for further details.

A second scenario is potentially more problematic. This can occur for example if a user-defined material is applied to a model and a property of the material is subsequently edited in the database after the model has been closed. Because the material properties are held separately within the model, it will continue to use the old property values. In such case, we strongly suggest to manually synchronise the model's user-defined material with the database - see Update from Database below for further details.

Warning: Once you edit a user-defined material which is already used in multiple models, the properties might be different in each - the only way to ensure the properties are synchronised with the current database is to open each model and run Update from Database.

Add to Database

Because model properties and database properties are held separately, situations can arise where a model that was initially created on another computer is using properties that don't yet exist in the database when it is opened on a different computer.

Consider the following scenario:

  1. A user-defined material is added to the Materials database.
  2. The user-defined material is applied to a model.
  3. The model is saved and the program closed.
  4. The same model is reopened on a different computer.

In this situation the properties exist in the model but don’t yet exist in the database on the new computer. Because the properties in the model and the database are kept separate this doesn’t cause a problem - when the model is analyzed the user-defined material properties are available.

If you think you will require the same user-defined material for future models, you can run Add to Database as follows:

  1. On the Home ribbon, click Materials.

    The Materials dialog box opens.

  2. Go to the Model page.
  3. To locate only those materials that don't yet exist in the database, select Show only objects not saved in the database.
  4. Select the desired objects in the Material data objects in model list.
  5. Click Add to Database
The selected material data objects are added to the appropriate database.
Note: You can only use Add to Database to add new properties to the database, you can’t use it to update an existing object of the same name.

Update from Database

Because model properties and database properties are held separately, situations can arise where the model is using different properties to those currently in the database. The following scenario provides an example of how this can occur:

  • A user-defined material is added to the Materials database.
  • The user-defined material is applied to a model.
  • The model is saved as the program is closed.
  • The program is re-started (without reopening the same model).
  • The properties of the user-defined material are edited in the Materials database.
  • The model is reopened.
Note:

There would not have been a problem if the model had been kept open when the properties in the database were being edited - the issue only arose because the program was restarted and the model was not re-opened before the database edit occured.

Warning: Once you edit a user-defined material which is already used in multiple models, the properties might be different in each - the only way to ensure the properties are synchronised with the current database is to open each model and run Update from Database.

To force a model to adopt the properties in the database, you must run Update from Database as follows:

  1. On the Home ribbon, click Materials.

    The Materials dialog box opens.

  2. Go to the Model page.
  3. Select the desired objects in the Material data objects in model list.
  4. Click Update from Database
The selected material data objects in the model are updated from the appropriate database.
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