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  6. From Tekla Structural Designer to Idea StatiCa Connection
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  2. BIM Expert
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  4. Tekla Structural Designer
  5. From TSD
  6. From Tekla Structural Designer to Idea StatiCa Connection

From Tekla Structural Designer to Idea StatiCa Connection

This article explains how to send one or more Tekla Structural Designer nodes to Idea StatiCa Connection, using BIM Expert.

1. Preparation in Tekla Structural Designer

The conversion is based on the .cxl file format. The .cxl file format is an XML based neutral file format that allows applications to link with Tekla Structural Designer. Tekla Structural Designer accepts and produces files in the .cxl neutral file format.
  1. Create the model as usual.
  2. On the BIM Integration tab, click Autodesk Revit Export. The BIM Integration wizard opens.
  3. Adjust the location and rotation of the model, and click ‘Next’.
  4. Select the items that are included in the model, and click ‘Next’.
  5. Specify the export names of material grades, and click ‘Next’.
  6. Specify the file name and location.
  7. Select whether the file is exported for the first time, or whether you want to update an existing model.
  8. Click ‘Finish’.

2. Send model from Tekla Structural Designer to Idea StatiCa Connection

2.1 From Tekla Structural Designer to BIM Expert

In the Model tab, select ‘Import’. Next, choose ‘CXL’. Click  to continue.

The model is now in BIM Expert.

2.1.1 Material & section mapping

Most common materials and sections are mapped according to the TSD neutral file mapping conventions. If there is no match found, a default section and material will be applied. You can specify these defaults in ‘File > Settings > CXL’

2.2 From BIM Expert to Idea StatiCa Connection

In the Model tab, select ‘Export’. Next, choose the destination software, namely Idea StatiCa. Click  to continue.

2.2.1 Settings Version

Select the desired version of Idea StatiCa. Model type

Choose between model types analysis or physical:

  • The analysis model will only send independent analytical bars, as defined in the analytical model:
    • When bars are continuous in reality and grouped into a physical group, this is ignored.
    • Existing connections (e.g. from Tekla Structures, Revit or PowerConnect) are also ignored. Only the analysis members will remain. All physical elements (bolts, welds, connection plates, … ) will be ignored in the transfer.
  • The physical model will send physical elements, that is
    • Continuous bars (if properly grouped)
    • Connections including all physical elements (bolts, welds, connection plates, … ). Connections are always in the physical model defined.

If you choose physical model, it is recommended to opt for ‘Use data from analysis model’, as this will use the load and result information from the analysis model.

It is good practice to check ‘Export loads’ and Export results’ unless you want to define the loads again in Idea StatiCa Connection. Destination

Select the destination ‘Idea StatiCa Connection’.

2.2.2 Select nodes and connections

In the next window you get an overview of the model, where nodes and connections can be selected to be transferred. On the left side, ‘Connections in Idea StatiCa’ holds a list with all connections to be sent to Idea. The list is empty by default.

Depending on the choice of model (analysis or physical) and whether there are physical connections present in the model, this window can have different layouts.

Analysis modelPhysical model

You will see the analysis ‘bar’ model, with square nodes at the intersection points. If there are physical connections present in the model, you will also see the physical model and a list of recognized connections.

Click on a node in the Analysis model to select all connected bars (shown in red) and hit ‘Add selection’ to add them to the list.  Already added nodes will be displayed in blue.

If physical connections are present, you can also select these nodes from the physical model, but only the ones that are already defined in the list. When you select a node, the physical model will zoom to the selected item.


If you selected the ‘Analytical model transfer’, all physical elements (bolts, welds, connection plates, … ) will be ignored in the transfer. Only analysis bars will be sent – even for physical nodes. That means that all connection elements (e.g. bolts, welds, plates, ..) must be redefined in Idea StatiCa Connection.

You see will the physical model, with all cross-section drawn.

Add a connection by either:

  • Selecting one or more existing physical connections from the list and click ‘Add selected’
  • Selecting an existing physical connection from model, by clicking one the connection part (e.g. haunch, end plate, bolts, … ) and click ‘Add selection’. The whole connection will be highlighted in red.
  • Selecting multiple physical bars:
    • First click on an empty white space to ensure nothing is selected
    • Select physical bars (highlighted in red) and click ‘Add selection’

Hit ‘Continue’ to continue the transfer to Idea StatiCa.

2.2.3 Saving the model

Choose a folder to save the conversion files (IOM etc).  We recommend to have a separate BIM Expert folder, where all your models are stored.

2.2.4 Open the model in Idea Checkbot

Idea Checkbot will launch automatically.  A ‘New’ tab, a new project is proposed and the project name and project folder are filled out accordingly. Click ‘Create project’ to start.

2.2.5 Load the nodes

Click ‘Import > Bulk’ to load all nodes. Depending on the number of nodes selected and the amount of results in model, this can take a while.

Select a connection from the list of project items and click ‘Open’ to open it in Idea StatiCa Connection.

3. Final steps in Idea StatiCa Connection

In case you have sent the analytical model, you need to add bolts and connection plates to build up your model.

In case you have sent the physical existing connections, you will see the already defined connection.  Other physical bars will need to be completed with bolts, welds, connection plates etc.

4. Get started with BIM Expert

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