Other Enhancements and Fixes

Tekla Structural Designer
Tekla Structural Designer

Other Enhancements and Fixes

In addition to the major features, there have been other improvements made to modeling, design and many other areas in Tekla Structural Designer 2021.

General & Modeling

  • A number of additional fixes which are not detailed explicitly here are also made to improve general performance and stability. An example of this is given directly below:

    • [TSD-8916] - Solver model - the meshing of wall panels is improved to better handle connection to supporting columns and beams at corner nodes which, in some circumstances, could produce errors preventing analysis and design completion. For the circumstance of the wall corner node being inside a column section, the connection is now made in preference to the column, avoiding any beam rigid zones also within the column section.

      • Note that due to these changes, some existing models with rigid zones turned off will have the existing analyses invalidated automatically on opening in this release so these analyses must be re-run.

  • [TSD-6878] - Views - Selection Display - the display of selected objects is improved to aid visualization and modeling as illustrated in the picture below. Where selected objects were previously alway opaque (below left) - thus obscuring the graphical information within their area - they can now be transparent (below right) allowing you to clearly see entities and grid/ construction lines when, for example, making graphical edits to such entities as panels (of all types).

    • Selection transparency is controlled by a new setting Home > Settings > Scene > Graphics > Selection Style with option of “Transparent + Outlines” (default) and “Opaque” (previous behaviour).

    • Slabs - additionally, when selecting slab items, only the individual slab is now colored with the selection color, rather than the entire slab as previously.
  • [TSD-7659 & 7660] - Wall Panels - a new General 'Rectangular' property is added to wall properties (listed at the top Properties window during wall creation) the default for which is on. This facilitates the modeling of rectangular walls - when active you need only click on any two opposite corners of the panel shape to create a wall in a 3D view. The new setting should also help prevent the unintentional modeling of non-rectangular walls (by inadvertently selecting a slightly incorrect construction point/ intersection during modeling).

    • The new setting applies to all wall panel types as follows; Concrete Meshed walls, Concrete Mid-pier walls (can only be rectangular so the setting cannot be disabled for these), General (meshed) walls, Wind walls.

    • Note that the new setting also applies when graphically adjusting the corner nodes of wall panels as illustrated in the picture below - after you have selected a wall panel then one its corner nodes, the Properties Window changes to show only the Rectangular edit ‘mode’ option. This will be checked on by default for a wall created with the setting on, and off otherwise. You can then enable/ disable this setting as you require - when enabled the wall shape remains rectangular and only a single node needs to be moved to another point to adjust the wall height and/ or width, the top of the wall remaining horizontal.
  • [TSD-7837 & 8545] -Member & Wall Properties - Height/ Length information - the Properties Window data and entity tooltip information for selected members/ walls are enhanced to include the length/ height of selected entities, so you can quickly see this without needing to search in properties or measure it. The new information is added in a number of locations as detailed and illustrated below:

    • Columns and walls - the stack/ panel height is shown in brackets adjacent to each stack/ panel properties group (continuous columns/ walls) and also in the properties for each stack/ panel or the single stack/ panel.

    • Beams - the span length is shown in brackets adjacent to each span properties group (continuous beams) and also in the properties for each span or the single span.

    • Tooltip - the information is also added to the cursor tooltip displayed when it is over an entity in a view; for walls the Length and Height is now included and for line elements the Length is included.

  • [TSD-7722] - Slabs - Direction - to make it clearer and aid with modeling of slabs, the direction angle property of two-way spanning slabs is now termed “X direction”, as illustrated in the picture below. This also shows how the X direction corresponds with the span direction icon for two-way slabs; the blue icon arrow shows the X direction, the angle being measured from the horizontal on plan.

    • The text displayed for the property when it is selected now also explains its significance; “X direction - Used for analysis and reinforcement alignment”.
  • [TSD-7722] - Slabs and Wall/ Roof Panels - the span direction of these can now easily be graphically edited, in both 2D and 3D views, using the mouse as follows (applies to both one-way and two-way spanning and all slab/ wall/ roof panel types):

    • Step 1 - select the slab/ panel item.

    • Step 2 - select the span direction icon.

    • Step 3 - the Properties Window now lists the direction mode options of “Align with edge” and “Define by 2 points” - select the desired mode.

    • Step 4 - select either a slab edge (of any slab item) or two points, depending on the selected mode, and the slab direction will automatically be set to the appropriate angle.
  • [TSD-7636] - Steel Cellular Beams - Cellular beams have been added to the list of steel section types available for Thailand when this country is selected in the Select Section dialog. This allows users to build their cellular beam section database specific to this country, making them readily available during modeling when selecting section sizes.


  • BIM Integration - Tekla Structures -there have been significant improvements to integration with Tekla Structures for the 2021 releases, especially for the transfer of rebar design intent information from Tekla Structural Designer to Tekla Structures. For optimum integration install both this release and Tekla Structures 2021 on the same computer. For more information please see the Tekla Structures 2021 Help Topic Tekla Structural Designer Import and Export. Please note the following:

    • For optimum performance of rebar transfer to Tekla Structures, ensure you set the following In Structural Designer; in Model Settings > Structural BIM > Export > Continuous Objects ensure the following are enabled:

      • Separate objects for each stack > Concrete columns

      • Separate objects for each span > Concrete beams

      • Separate objects for each panel > Shear walls

  • Remoting API - first featured in the 2020 release, the Tekla Structural Designer Remoting API provides an interface for different kinds of applications to interact with the analysis model and results in Tekla Structural Designer. For more about using the API please see the getting started page in the Tekla Developer Centre. The API is further enhanced in this release as follows:

    • In terms of data extraction it provides access to:

      • Forces, displacements, camber and ecc. moments from member loading analysis at zero, max and any other position.

      • Additional results (wall and result lines, vibration and buckling analysis, seismic RSA).

      • Foundation reactions for RSA seismic and envelopes.

      • Construction points, point groups, levels, frames, slopes, slab items, slab openings, slab patches, slabs, roofs, structural walls, wind walls, supports, piles.

      • Architectural grids and construction lines.

    • In terms of model creation it allows:

      • Model and horizontal construction planes.

      • Architectural grids and construction lines.

      • Construction points.

      • Analysis elements.

    • It is also now possible to access the API remotely through a LAN or WAN.


  • [TSD-4597] - Load Cases/ Combinations dialog - when making changes to the checkbox settings (such as “Active” for example) for a selection of a large number of combinations, the update process could take a significant amount of time in previous releases, during which it seemed the program was not responding (potentially up to several minutes where there were 200+ combinations). The time taken in such a case is now reduced to around 1s or less. This is a general improvement which applies to all similar list activation/ deactivation options within the program, but is likely to be most apparent in the load combinations dialog where a large combination list is relatively common.


  • [TSD-7779] - Ancillaries - Imposed Load Cases - for the Eurocode (all Country NAs), the ψ and ϕ factors of the automatically created Ancillary Imposed load cases now have the following default values ( which were previously zero); ψ1 = 1.0, ψ2 = 0.9, ψ3 = 0.8, ϕ = 1.0. This also applies to those of the new Equipment Load entities introduced in this release.
    • The engineer may wish to use different ψ / ϕ factors for certain Ancillary/ Equipment loads. This is also now enabled in this release by the addition of a new property setting for the Imposed Loadcase with options of ‘default’ and a list of the existing other imposed loadcases, as illustrated in the picture below for an Area Ancillary (also applies to Line Ancillaries and Equipment loads). This operates as follows:

      • When set to “default” the operation is as previously - the imposed loads are included in the automatically created imposed loadcases (which will be created if they do not already exist).

      • Otherwise you can select from the list of existing imposed loadcases to include the Ancillary/ Equipment imposed loads in one of these (the automated imposed cases will not be created if they do not already exist).

      • For Pipework Ancillaries and Equipment loads, the new Loadcase option is only listed when the setting for their Operating & Testing Content Loadcase Type is set to “Imposed” in Model Settings > Loading > General.
  • [TSD-8425] - Snow Loading - US Head Code - a new property for snow drift loading "Do not apply balanced load" has been added to improve the application of multiple drift loads to the same roof panel. Previously it could be difficult to correctly size subsequent drift loads after the first drift - which included the balanced load - was defined. The operation of the new setting is as follows:

    • New models/ drift loads - the first drift applied to a roof panel has the balanced load applied so the new setting is disabled. For any subsequent drift loads applied to the same roof panel, the setting is automatically enabled so it does not have the balanced load applied but uses that of the first drift to determine its drift load and extent. This is illustrated in the picture below.

    • Existing models - you can enable the new setting for existing subsequent drifts and turn off Balanced load “Override load value” setting to correct these if necessary.


  • [TSD-6123] - Validation Status - an inappropriate Validation status “Validation is outdated” message could be issued following certain operations that did not affect the status. This applies to the following operations and is fixed in this release; Slab design, Slab patch design, Punching check design, Report content editing (either model or element), Pad base design, Pile cap design, Design Mat.

  • [TSD-7596] - Wall Panels - a new validation check has been introduced in this release for the shape/ orientation of wall panels to flag cases where they are not quite rectangular and/ or vertical, since such situations are probably due to modeling errors. When this situation occurs a new validation warning is now issued; "Wall panel almost but not exactly rectangular and vertical". The warning will be issued in the following cases:

    • A side edge that is between 1mm and 50mm out of true vertical, or

    • A top/bottom edge that is between 1mm and 50mm out of true horizontal.

    • Note that a new 'Rectangular' property is also added to wall properties (default 'on') to help prevent the unintentional modeling of non-rectangular - see the details for issue TSD-7659 & 7660 in the General & Modeling for more on this.

Design - General

  • [TSD-8468] - Review View - Design Utilization Ratio (UR) - the legend banding and colors are adjusted to improve the clarity of the view as follows:

    • Legend banding is changed so that everything below 50% is in single group (accessed via Home > Settings > Scene > Utilization Ratio)

    • The colors are changed such that green indicates a ‘good’ UR condition (applies to UR > 0.9)
  • [TSD-3382] - Interactive Concrete Design - Column & Wall Tie/ Link Spacing - All Head Codes - the design summary table in the shear design related tab of the interactive design dialogue (titled “Ties” or “Links” for columns, depending on the language set, and “Lateral” for walls) for reinforced concrete columns and walls has been enhanced to now report required areas of reinforcement and reinforcement utilization ratios where these were missing previously. The enhancement also ensures that the design Pass/Fail status is consistent between the check details and the interactive design dialogue.

  • [TSD-7238] - Pile Caps - All Head Codes - a new iterative analytical method of distributing loads to multiple support points assuming rigid body behavior has been developed for this release and is now used to calculate the pile loads for isolated foundation Pile caps. This is expected to produce somewhat different pile load distributions for asymmetric pile layouts to the method used in previous releases*.

    • *We would note that all practical analytical methods of calculating the distribution of pile forces assuming (infinitely) rigid behavior are approximate. The previous method followed well-established and logical engineering principles to give a reasonable and realistic distribution for the majority of pile layouts, but had acknowledged limitations, particularly for unsymmetrical pile layouts. The new method addresses the limitations for such layouts and will give different/ improved results when these circumstances apply.

Design - Head Code US

  • [TSD-8360] - Seismic Design - Steel - it is now possible to use structural hollow section columns in an ordinary moment frame (OMF) SFRS, in line with the requirements of AISC 341. Note the following:

    • This applies to rectangular, square and circular hollow sections.

    • Use of hollow section columns is still beyond scope for IMFs and SMFs.

    • Seismic classification is not applicable and Flexural torsion under axial compression is not checked.

Design - Head Code Eurocode

  • [TSD-8802 & 8869] - Steel Design - Partial Safety Factors - making steel design more flexible, it is now possible to set your own user defined partial safety factor values. As shown in the picture below, this is enabled by the new setting Design > Steel > General > “Use user defined partial safety factors''. The settings are also found in Global Settings > Design for the Eurocode country Settings Sets where they can be set for all new models. When enabled, you can enter your own partial safety factor values to be used in steel design. This enhancement applies to all Eurocode Countries and NA’s.

    • As part of this change, the Design settings for Composite Beams and Steel Joists have been grouped, together with the new Steel > General settings discussed above, in a new main “Steel” settings group. This change applies to all Head Codes.


  • [TSD-5371] - View Items - an issue is fixed in this release with the display in reports of consecutive view items with applied saved Wind View Configurations which caused the item to not display with an error "The image could not be generated!".


Note: The number in brackets before an item denotes an internal reference number. This can be quoted to your local Support Department should further information on an item be required.
È stato utile?