Tekla Open API: Customizing Tekla Structures for Streamlining of Steel Fabrication Workflows
Tekla Structures is a leading 3D modeling software used by the construction industry for designing and detailing steel and concrete structures. A key capability of Tekla Structures is its Open API which enables developers to build custom applications seamlessly integrated with the software.
This blog post explores Tekla Open API and how it can be leveraged to customize Tekla Structures and optimize steel fabrication processes.
Steel fabrication processes typically consist of multiple complex stages, from design and detailing to actual fabrication and installation. These workflows can be time-consuming, labor-intensive, and prone to errors, resulting in delays, cost overruns, and rework. Moreover, modifications to the original design can significantly complicate the process if the BIM model has already been generated.
Fortunately, Tekla Open API enables streamlined steel fabrication workflows and minimizes risks of errors and rework. Using Tekla Open API, steel fabricators can integrate their design, modelling, estimating, scheduling, and production tools into one streamlined process. This allows for faster and more accurate detailing, estimation, and production, even when design changes are required.
A Glimpse of Tekla Open API
Tekla Open API is a software development kit (SDK) that allows developers to create custom applications that interact with Tekla Structures. The SDK includes a set of programming tools and resources that enable developers to customize the software to meet specific project requirements. In Tekla to customize using Open API we can use programming languages like C# and automate the repetitive task.
Using Tekla Open API, developers can:
- Create custom plugins that add new functionality to Tekla Structures.
- Automate repetitive tasks by developing scripts that can be run within Tekla Structures.
- Integrate Tekla Structures with other software applications.
- Extract data from Tekla Structures and use it in other applications.
Tekla API to Streamline Steel Fabrication Workflows
There are several ways in which Tekla Open API can be used to streamline steel fabrication workflows. Here are a few examples:
- Creating custom connections and components:
Custom connections and components can make the fabrication process faster and improve the quality of the final product. Tekla Open API allows developers to create these custom parts to meet specific project needs. This saves time and increases accuracy compared to manual fabrication. By automating the use of these custom parts, steel buildings can be detailed more efficiently.
- Automating the creation of fabrication drawings:
The creation of fabrication drawings can be a time-consuming process, especially for complex steel structures. With Tekla Open API, it’s possible to automate the creation of fabrication drawings, saving time and reducing the risk of errors. Developers can create custom plugins that use Tekla Structures to generate fabrication drawings based on predefined rules, layouts specifications. This can speed up the detailing process and reduce the time required for manual drawing creation.
- Integrating Tekla Structures with fabrication equipment
Integrating Tekla Structures with fabrication equipment can help streamline the fabrication process. For example, developers can use Tekla Open API to create custom plugins that automatically generate CNC machine files for cutting and drilling steel members. This eliminates the need for manual data entry and reduces the risk of errors in the fabrication process. Additionally, developers can use Tekla Open API to integrate Tekla Structures with other software applications used in the fabrication process, such as inventory management software and ERP systems.
- Automating the Creation of Material Lists and Reports
Creating a list of materials is an important part of the fabrication process. This list can be used to make reports like a Bill of Materials (BOM) that are used in different systems like inventory and finance. With the Tekla Open API, it’s possible to make this list automatically, which saves time and reduces mistakes. Developers can make special tools that use Tekla Structures to make the list based on specific rules and instructions. This can make the process faster and more accurate.
How we are using Tekla Open API for end-to-end automation of the Drafting Process.
At Stridely Solutions, we have developed a solution that uses a Json file to automate the detailing process and generate a BIM model automatically. Users can then modify specific components of the building, which will trigger all the necessary plugins to modify the entire model based on the draftsman’s needs. This makes modifications easy and saves a lot of time while reducing errors.
Benefits of using Tekla Open API
- Enables tremendous reduction in lead time and allows seamless collaboration among users on any project.
- Users are also able to collaborate seamlessly with their peers on any given project due to the cloud-based nature of the solution, thereby making the process much more flexible & productive.
- Real-time modification and rectification of BIM Models using Tekla Open API is possible, which helps to incorporate modification of end users and generate revisions in the entire process with ease & lighting fast pace.
- Integration with new features like VR (virtual reality) & AR (augmented reality) will be supported by Tekla.
Tekla Open API provides steel designers and fabricators with a powerful toolkit for customizing Tekla Structures to suit their unique needs. Whether automating repetitive tasks, integrating with external software, or developing custom plugins, the API delivers a flexible and extensible platform to boost productivity and streamline complex workflows.
Stridely Solutions has leveraged Tekla Open API to automate PEB steel detailing processes and model customized steel connections, achieving significant gains in efficiency, accuracy, and flexibility. We have realized the potential of Tekla Open API and encouraged other Tekla users to explore its capabilities.