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Why Tekla Structures is Different but Better for Pouring

Tekla Structures offers a series of pour-related functionalities which are like no others in the market. With the newest version of Tekla Structures, new functionalities will raise your work to the next level. 

For many concrete contractors, pouring is the most crucial step in a construction project. Therefore, efficiently and accurately managing this work is vital. We had a chat with Carlos Vasquez, our Product Manager for Cast-In-Place Concrete, to ask him why Tekla Structures is #differentbutbetter for this market. He also walked us through the main pour-related features available in Tekla Structures' latest version.


Could you tell us a bit about the pouring process and what you can do in Tekla Structures? 

Planning a concrete pour is always a vigorous process with many moving parts. Many concrete contractors do the pour planning at the bidding stage. Some of them are still using traditional methods and a lot of 2D drawings. After the contract is won, contractors face a race against time to collect all the needed information to execute their plans. Changes made in different design and construction workflows will impact concrete volumes, prices, schedules, and sequencing. This chaotic period is when Tekla Structures truly shines because it allows you to collect valuable constructible information through the power of a constructible 3D model.


How does a 3D model help exactly?

A 3D model is a virtual representation of a building or construction project. In Tekla, a 3D model can be quickly built, for example, from design intent drawings or existing models, including those done with other software. When the model has been created, it can be used throughout the entire construction process -from pre-construction to taking it to the site. A 3D model is a powerful tool for any team member working on a construction project. It becomes the single source of truth, always up to date, helping you create deliverables and any assets needed to execute a pour with confidence and accuracy. 

Tekla Structures has world-class features that allow you to create a constructible 3D model and make the most of it. You can calculate quantity takes-offs for bidding or estimation, plan pouring sequences, create construction drawings, perform constructability checks, and export and import layout points. 


Why is Tekla Structures #Differentbutbetter for Pour planning and execution?

Tekla Structures truly understands concrete contractors. You can accurately model formwork, embeds, openings, rebar, layout data, and structures of any material. Tekla and its constructible model offer you a detail level that enables you to build your entire construction project digitally. This means that you can visualize in advance what you are going to get when you build the building. 

Tekla Structures brings to you some patented features that are not available in any other software in the market. A feature that sets us apart from any other software is our patented and unique pour management technology. This allows you to have one single model to display design elements such as beams, slabs, and columns, but at the same time define the geometry of concrete pours.

Our pour objects represent the concrete volume to be poured. They are created automatically by merging touching concrete elements that share the same concrete grade, for example, beams and slabs. Using pour objects is particularly useful when you want to quickly and accurately report quantities of the concrete volumes to be poured. Additionally, merged pour geometries can be used to define pour sequences, display pours in drawings, and model rebars to follow the merged geometry. Finally, pour objects can be further split using Tekla’s handy pour break features.

Furthermore, Tekla’s pour units act as assemblies collecting all the information and elements needed to execute the pour, such as embeds, formwork, and rebar.


What's new in Tekla Structures 2021, and how the concrete contractors can benefit from those pour-related features?

In this new version, we have revamped some of our traditional features to make them more user-friendly. Here some examples: 

  • The copy and move command now features a preview which helps you determine precisely where objects are being moved.
  • The part offset keyboard shortcuts let you move and rotate Tekla elements such as slabs and columns much more easily and intuitively.
  • The split command for slabs and plates has been renewed to use the same usability of the pour break commands to make it easier and more user-friendly to create linear and polygonal splits on these elements.
  • Improvements to drawing dimension associativity lets you associate specific dimensions with an object at the moment of creation. This is especially useful when there are many objects, edges, or lines at the same location and you would like to unambiguously choose which object the dimension is meant to be associated with. 

For our customers modeling rebar, there is a tonne of improvements as well. For example, it is now much easier to model rebar along curved structures since our creation lines can now follow those curved edges.


We have also completely renewed our Shape Catalog, which is used by our customers who, for example, bring 3D geometries modeled in other software such as SketchUp or Rhino/Grasshopper. These range from formwork panels and accessories to whole bridge decks. 

Finally, I think our customers, both new and old, will love our new side pane instructor, which provides a quick and handy way to get guidance and help on the commands and tools being used.

Over the past year, we have also built useful extensions that will be game-changers in the way you model and collaborate, and those are now available on Tekla Warehouse. You can read about three of my favorite extensions in this article. 


Are there any pour-related improvements beyond Tekla Structures, such as Trimble's collaboration tools Trimble Connect and Tekla Model Sharing?

Yes, of course. We have made some essential improvements to our collaboration tools. Utilizing the "upload model" functionality, our users can upload a model directly to Trimble Connect with just one click. The new version supports uploading models with pours. This model gets digitally connected to Trimble Connect, so all stakeholders with access to the Connect project can have access to a constructible 3D model, updated regularly and in real-time.

You can see how it works in this video. 

We have also enhanced our overlay model functionality, which allows you to overlay 3D models stored inside Trimble Connect over your current Tekla Structure models. This feature now supports, for example, change management so that it is possible to visualize changes that have happened to these models over time.

The updated version of Tekla Structures has plenty to offer to concrete contractors. It delivers enhancements, improvements, and new features that simplify the user experience for more efficient workflows increased productivity and collaboration across project teams.


You can check What's New for Cast-In-Place in our webinar recording here.