Visual scripting and Tekla software

Check out this BIM awards customer project where visual scripting was used

Visual scripting allows engineers to unlock the full power of parametric design - building customized workflows, automating repetitive design tasks and handling complex shapes.

Modelling through visual scripting

Visual scripting offers a way to create geometry based on input data or parameters, by visually setting up logical and geometrical relationships in a graph. This way of working can be highly efficient and consistent. Any BIM information can be added or updated together with the geometry and managed from a central place.

Modelling of both simple and complex geometries can be significantly faster than traditional modelling and its engineering accuracy is assured, since the engineer can create and manage the design as a whole, rather than manually insert and manipulate individual parts. Because all the parts can be automatically generated and updated based on the parameter values, the engineer can effortlessly iterate through different design alternatives.

Value engineering is a simpler process since the engineer can easily test or discover solutions that they may otherwise not have had time to consider, allowing them to provide a better service to the client and the design team.

The visual script can be connected to input data from a variety of sources including CAD tools and Excel, which then drive the resulting geometry and the attributes.

 

Visual scripting for Tekla software

Tekla offers visual scripting capabilities for both Tekla Structural Designer and Tekla Structures through our integrations with Grasshopper.

 

Grasshopper is a visual scripting platform which is part of Rhino, a powerful 3D modelling software solution popular across multiple industries for its ability to create accurate models at any scale. Rhino/Grasshopper is commercially available from Robert McNeel & Associates. (Please visit their website to learn about an evaluation/trial possibilities).

 

Using Grasshopper with Tekla Structural Designer

The Grasshopper-Tekla Structural Designer live link enables algorithmic modelling, parametric design exploration, and data driven design for Tekla Structural Designer using Rhino/Grasshopper.

The link is a set of Grasshopper components that loads into the Grasshopper user interface and interacts with Tekla Structural Designer.

Grasshopper - Tekla Structural Designer live link

Prerequisites: You need to have Rhino (download) and Tekla Structural Designer (version 2019i or later) installed on the same machine.

Learn more and download from Tekla Warehouse.

More information in Tekla User Assistance.

Watch webinar: Parametric workflows with Tekla Structural Designer 

 

Using Grasshopper with Tekla Structures

With the Grasshopper-Tekla live link, you can create and manipulate native Tekla objects in real-time from Grasshopper, as well as query the Tekla model for information like attributes and object placements.

The link is a set of Grasshopper components that loads into the Grasshopper user interface and interacts with Tekla Structures.

Tekla Structures user interface showing the Grasshopper link

 

With the components, you can even bring complex Rhino shapes straight into Tekla Structures as items.

Prerequisites: You need to have Rhino (download) and Tekla Structures installed on the same machine.

Learn more and download the link from Tekla Warehouse.

More information in Tekla User Assistance.

Check out the frequently asked questions on Grasshopper-Tekla link

Watch webinar: Easy steps to more efficient bridge design workflow

 

Custom components created with visual scripting for Tekla Structures 

The Grasshopper Component uses the Rhino.Inside technology in Tekla Structures to let users get the benefit of visual scripting tools without needing to be exposed to the visual script itself.

The component shows up in the component catalog in Tekla Structures as any other Tekla component and has a traditional component dialog. The component can however trigger any Grasshopper definition in the background to generate objects in Tekla, without all the end users needing knowledge about visual programming.

Grasshopper component for spiral staircase

This means that visual scripting becomes a new way to create new Tekla component types, alongside the existing custom component editor and pure API programming.

To use the component, first select a Grasshopper definition in the component dialog. The dialog is automatically populated with properties that are extracted from the parameters in the definition, including distances, text input and Tekla catalog pickers. Once triggered, the component will ask you to pick required inputs in the Tekla model, and Grasshopper will then generate objects in Tekla.

 

Prerequisites: You need to have - installed on the same machine:

  • Rhino 7 or newer (not WIP) (download),
  • Tekla Structures 2019i or newer and
  • the Grasshopper-Tekla Live Link version 1.10 or newer (download

Learn more and download from Tekla Warehouse.

More information in Tekla User Assistance.

a more complicated Grasshopper script for a turning high-rise building
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