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3D modeling for Conceptual Design just got easier with Tekla

Cross section of Tekla model over steel hall with slab on ground and sandwich element walls. Base insulation has been modeled with the Floor layout tool.

Tekla Structures' strength is the object-oriented model that is traditionally close to production. With the new functions, it will be easier to also work with Conceptual Design in Tekla and thus the need for a separate 2D software disappears. The Layout tools function contains functions that are especially useful for Conceptual Design, where the user can quickly access various geometries and ready-made settings.


Conceptual Design is characterized by the parts of a building that make up the foundation and provide measurement bases and frame solutions for prefab projectors. It also includes a range of other parameters such as load calculations, moisture, heat, cooling, waterproofing, ventilation, sound, fire, frost, and contraction, to name a few.

- Conceptual Design has traditionally been designed in 2D and therefore designers have used software other than Tekla for this part of the design. But there are many advantages to instead projecting Conceptual Design in 3D, for example, the revision possibilities which are outstanding, says Anders Jonasson, Senior Consultant at Trimble.

Better usability

According to Anders Jonasson, the fact that general constructors have not taken the step to 3D modeling of Conceptual Design is due to the fact that the programs were perceived as too detailed to produce documents for early stages when the material has not usually been decided yet. However, with the new features incorporated in Tekla Structures, designers can work with Conceptual Design with significantly less effort than before. There are now more ready-made settings in the program and the Layout tool has been expanded with functionality that increases ease of use.

What are the advantages of projecting Conceptual Design in Tekla?

1. The revision possibilities already mentioned, a model becomes so much more visually clear than a 2D drawing, which is useful for those involved in the project who do not have the designer's trained eye. It also becomes easier to detect any problems earlier.

2. Increased automation and robotization also place higher demands on a detailed model, for example, to be able to use the information in the model to program excavators and cranes, emphasizes Anders Jonasson.

3. Traceability of the building components, which is now also required by authorities. And if everything is modeled as a 3D object, it makes documentation considerably easier.

4. Fantastic assets management tool, when everything is documented down to the object level. And in the end, it also facilitates the demolition process, so that you can easily distinguish between what can be recycled and what should go to the landfill, notes Anders Jonasson.

Compatibility with other software

With the simplified handling of Conceptual Design in Tekla Structures, it also becomes easier to get other software to talk to each other. The client often uses a different program than Tekla, as does the ground contractor, so compatibility with other software is essential. In Tekla, you can import .dwgs from a 2D drawing and use them as a template for further modeling.

- When we move towards a more industrialized construction that widely takes place in workshops and factories instead of out on site, we get a completely different quality assurance and avoid sudden solutions on site. But that, in turn, requires more solid foundation work, which requires more components to be projected in 3D, concludes Anders Jonasson.

Learn more about how constructible modeling leads to more efficient building