Tekla Tedds review by David Chadwick, Construction Computing magazine.
The latest version of Tekla Tedds provides more than just a library of engineering calculations for structural and civil engineers.
Written by engineers for structural and civil engineers, Tekla Tedds is designed to take the hard work out of designing and analysing both structural and civil engineering designs and covers virtually all conceivable loading calculations - seismic and wind, continuous beam and rolling load analysis, beams and columns in steel, concrete and timber and all associated connections, including base plate connections.
It’s supported by a multi-material library of code-compliant calculations which not only enable engineers to become more productive using the simple and easy-to-use software but enables them to present the results of their calculations in logical, informative and easy to inspect documents, eliminating errors and rendering Excel spreadsheets obsolete. Additional personalisation enables engineers to use Tedds to customise their reports within Word, or using the software’s desktop publishing features, or to create and use their own calculations. All of the calculations in the library are professionally designed to meet a range of international design codes, including Eurocodes (Sweden, Norway, Finland, UK, Ireland, Singapore, Malaysia), USA, British Standards, Australian and Canadian).
New features for 2023
The latest version of Tekla Tedds includes a number of new features introduced since my last review of the software more than four years ago, the most important of which are interoperability and integration with Tekla’s other applications. Tekla Tedds is now even easier to use, enabling engineers to create calculation proformas to run repetitive series of standard calculations, and it can now be used for temporary works and site hoardings.
Instead of using Excel to handle engineering calculations they are integrated within Tekla’s principal applications – Trimble Connect, Tekla Structures, Teklas Structural Designer and Tekla’s Timber Design solution. This means that analysing the load bearing capabilities of Steel and Timber trusses, portal frames, concrete elements, etc., can be carried out without leaving the design software.
An example of this, calculating the loads involved in a retaining masonry wall module, shows how straightforward the process is whilst demonstrating the complexity and thoroughness of all of the individual calculations that Tedds submits, and which are involved in a single segment of a building. The calculations available cover every conceivable load bearing aspect of the retaining wall, including supports and angles, soil composition and densities and even water tables. Following the logical path through the calculations ensures that nothing need be missed, or that inexperienced engineers leave out anything crucial.
Accessing Tekla Tedds from Tekla Structural Designer, structural engineers are faced with a comprehensive browser showing the complete library of available calculations, covering every load bearing element within a structure. Selecting ‘the load bearing wall’ module displays a list of the calculations involved as a reminder, before the component in questions is displayed. Engineers are then asked to enter dimensions and details for the many separate calculations involved – starting with the geometry of the wall.
Individual components may have varying configurations – probably cantilevered or propped for retaining walls - and Tekla Tedds makes allowances for this, enabling engineers to select whichever is appropriate. Loads can also be applied to wall centres as vertical loads, or to any point along the base, demonstrating the software’s flexibility within specific modules.
After entering key data and performing all calculations, Tekla Tedds analyses the results, and displays material densities, pressure coefficients and bearing pressure distribution, and highlights, on the component drawing, positive and negative loads – or horizontal if they are relevant.
Once satisfied, detailed output reports can be set up showing section details, general arrangement sketches, all variables and calculations used, and additional detailed drawings if required to highlight critical issues.
Integration with Trimble Connect
Simplifying the handling of engineering calculations is just one of the benefits of Tekla Tedds, though. Engineers don’t work in isolation on a project and can use the software to collaborate to share design analysis data with their colleagues. Trimble Connect provides the cloud-based platform that enables them to invite other professionals to mark-up or audit their results, and the software’s Word capabilities provide engineers with the ability to layout results in formats confirming to company standards, or suitable for rapid assimilation by non-professionals.
Tedds for Word is actually integrated within the MS application, enabling engineers to attach company logos, pictures, and to incorporate input from other applications or to link files, or use Word’s copy and paste functions to transfer the results from calculations into other documents. You can even use the software’s Excel Link tool to incorporate Excel spreadsheets from other sources, or to link to separate external files.
A simple process. Entering the calculations in Boolean format or as linear equations in an Excel format grid sets up the calculation, ready to use. Tekla Tedds can also recognise all of the units within each field, including Greek characters and sub and superscripts. The results of each of these single calculations can be saved or used for further calculation, or the data updated as appropriate. The calculations created can be named and saved to the extensive library of calculations, to be used for similar analysis in future projects.
Accessing the database of calculations using the Tekla Tedds Library Access System, gives engineers access to the whole range of calculations, but it also allows them to create and modify their own sets of calculations and to share them with other engineers.
Getting on board with Tekla Tedds
After subscribing to Tekla Tedds within Learn.trimble – a low cost investment that will provide substantial cost savings on each project – structural and civil engineers will be directed to the substantial amount of video tutorials on-line, covering a wide range of calculations in each of the structural and civil engineering disciplines. It starts off by recommending which of the numerous training videos to follow, and which additional resources to use. The videos are supported by the Tedds product guide, release noters and setting up procedures, and if you run into problems – a troubleshooting Q and A. New Tekla Tedds users are also supported by customer success engineers to assist them in getting on board as quickly as possible.
A 30 day trial is also available, free of charge, which allows users to download Tekla Structural Designer LT together with Tekla Tedds. You can also register using your Trimble identity by signing into your Tekla Online Profile and accessing the free trial by using the Activate Licenses tab and try Tedds out using the free eLearning materials. Similar access is available to student engineers after they have created a free Trimble Identity.