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5 ways to customize Tekla to boost your competitive advantage

One office and one construction worker looking at a computer screen with a productivity graph

Tekla software allows you to choose the level of customization which suits your business needs. The software is ready-to-use and powerful out of the box, but if you need something extra to meet specific business needs, there are several paths to choose.

The level of expertise and programming knowledge required for each of these varies. Let's start from the easiest.

1. Out-of-the-box parametric BIM modeling tools

Tekla software runs in a 3D BIM environment with real-time visualization and active model-analysis which is well suited to the needs of a designer in the construction industry. Parametric relationships are automatically created between 3D modeled elements of the BIM models, allowing change-managed workflows. This maintains a single source of project truth for designing, reporting and documenting.

2. Component library in Tekla Warehouse

Tekla Warehouse is your repository of ready-to-use components and tools that assist you to achieve even better productivity levels. Access to the vast library of Tekla Warehouse plugins is included in your Tekla Structures subscription (or maintenance agreement).

3. Your own Custom Components in Tekla Structures

As your team becomes comfortable with the in-built parametric nature of BIM modeling, you will find situations where you wish to quickly propagate similar parametric modeling situations throughout the project model, such as with steel connections or embedded supports.

Your Tekla team may also wish to create entirely new parametric tools like secondary framing systems which are driven by intelligent and easy-to-use user interface dialogues. This is possible with Tekla Structures custom components, allowing the software to work in a targeted and effective manner according to your project needs.

4. Tekla API programming 

As expected of all good software, Tekla Structures, Tekla Structural Designer and Trimble Connect offer an application programming interface (API). The API allows skilled users and developers to add new functionality to the software by writing a program or script.

Tekla APIs allow programmers to change elements and data directly or to access the data. It is also possible to combine Tekla APIs with other APIs to create an customized ecosystem for solving critical workflows for maximum project and business performance. You will need programming skills to use the API, but the access to API is included in your subscription.

5. Visual scripting powered by Rhino / Grasshopper

Thanks to the open approach of Tekla software, you get easy access to our partner network offering new customization workflows that deliver great value. A popular example is our partnership with Robert McNeel & Associates and their software, Rhino / Grasshopper. 

Grasshopper is a separately licenced graphical algorithm editor popular with progressive AEC design offices around the world. Grasshopper is tightly integrated with Rhino’s 3D modeling tools and requires a low knowledge of programming or scripting.

By connecting your model (either in Tekla Structural Designer or Tekla Structures) to Grasshopper scripts and even to Rhino geometry, you can greatly increase your ability to make and manage change. This is done by establishing visual, systematic and geometric relationships between parts of the project and external dataset feeding into the project. 

Learn more about visual scripting and Tekla software.