From StruCad to Tekla - time to move on?

AceCad switched Strucad to Tekla

Trimble Navigation and Tekla’s acquisition of StruCad puts the companies in position to lead the technology development of 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM) software for steel detailing and fabrication. Richard Brotherton, Executive Director to AceCad Software Group, talks about AceCad’s experiences on Tekla software after switching their StruCad software to Tekla.

If you want to switch to Tekla software, contact local Tekla office


Richard Brotherton, AceCad, part 1

Richard Brotherton, AceCad, part 2

Why is it beneficial to move from StruCad to Tekla Structures?
In addition to developing StruCad, AceCad runs a very successful drawing and design office which is involved in a significant amount of projects globally. So, we are in a very good understanding on what is required from software and that contributed to writing our own StruCad. One could say we would have been the hardest people to move across, being the users and makers of StruCad. Still, we saw the benefits of Tekla very quickly.

Was it difficult to start using Tekla?
The users picked up the software easily. The modeling is easier, and the industry's changes and variations are very easily handled in Tekla. We benchmarked our first two jobs, and I hate to say this, but actually Tekla beat StruCad! 

When we switch from a software to another, to us it is important we get the same level of productivity as before. Particularly smaller companies may fear they cannot afford a drop in productivity. I can't lie there is none, but switching to Tekla it is like getting used to driving a new car. Products have lots of similarities and you get familiar soon.

What kind of benefits you have experienced after AceCad switched from StruCad to Tekla?
The business benefits come first. Tekla software is used more widely globally, so it has opened us to bigger potential markets and more job opportunities. With Tekla, we have now won some projects we would have before priced higher because we had to work around some of the StruCad’s limitations. Tekla does not have the same limitations so we just go on and use it. You can dig a hole with your hands, get sore hands and need get your nails done, or use a spade, dig the hole quicker and have calluses on your hands. Taking Tekla is like taking an excavator and digging a very big hole very quick.

From your point of view, is it beneficial to quickly swap to Tekla?
Absolutely. Not only on the commercial basis, but also for the productivity gains. We felt it was better to take the productivity gains upfront than later on. It is wise to move over now with Tekla’s good deal.

Tekla software has traditionally been used in construction industry, and even concrete builders use it. Why should a steel detailer run Tekla on his computer?
At the moment market is all about BIM. There are composite materials and complex projects with steel, concrete, and bar interacting with steel. If you can't see, model or interact, it is incredibly hard for a modeler to do his job. Tekla's combination of concrete and steel in the same software gives you immense amount of power for your job. In StruCad we had to work around which caused errors and costly changes.

So Tekla can make life easier for steel detailers, too?
As a tool for steel detailer... it is the best. It helps to keep the project costs down, as you see what you are doing in terms of connections. Our detailers picked up the custom components very quickly. The drawing options and different styles are important for us as a subcontracting drawing office, as we can jump from one client to another and their drawing style. StruCad could never do certain styles.

Would you recommend using Tekla?
I highly recommend moving across to Tekla on business and user basis. We are very happy with moving to Tekla.

About AceCad’s StruServices and Tekla Structures
StruServices - AceCad Software’s sub contract steel detailing division
StruServices - steel detailing service is a widely chosen partnership route to obtain superior project quality and performance on all types of commercial contracts.

The StruServices - steel detailing team have extensive experience as a result of working on a variety of worldwide contracts, all differing in complexity and often with high architectural or intricate industrial content. With regular involvement and unique understanding of design and build contracts, the StruServices team are able to deliver and exceed expectations on all structural steelwork contracts.

Tekla Structures is the most advanced BIM (Building Information Modeling) software on the market. It provides an accurate, dynamic, and data-rich 3D environment that can be shared by all project parties. The very detailed as-built models enable the highest level of constructability and production control. Centralizing data into the model allows for more collaborative and integrated project management and delivery that translates into increased productivity and elimination of waste.