Using Tekla Structures Object Representation Filters is one of the best ways to find and eliminate your Tekla mistakes. In this article, I give away and demo my Tekla Object Representation Filters templates.
When you download my package files then copy Objects_Represent.inp file to your (template) model folder and don`t worry, it works well with your other inp files (these inp files are friendly and get well along). All other filter files you should copy to Attributes folder.
Big thanks to Inseneriprojekt OÜ who allowed us to use their Tekla Structures model, Ristiku 22 apartment building, for demoing our awesome Tekla Representation Filters package.
1. DESIGN PLAN
Your client has given the schedule when they need different elements design to be ready for the fabrication. According to the given schedule, your project manager has planned and set when the engineer should work on what part of the building to get things ready on time.
Now the engineer can easily see which elements should be finished, ongoing or not yet started, and importantly, not allocated a planning date. Such elements should have dates added on the assembly level. For this I used Tekla own User Defined Attributes, under “Workflow” tab, planned design start and -end dates.
2. DESIGN STATUS
It’s one thing to have a plan, another thing is keeping an eye on the real situation. For this reason, I have added a new User Defined Attribute (don’t worry, it is included in the package), where the engineer, modeller, or draftsman can add each element status.
On one hand, it gives a very good overview for the project manager or client providing an overview of all elements by their status; nothing ready, conceptual ready, model ready, model checked, drawing ready, drawing checked, issued, and finally, changing.
But on the other, it helps different coworkers to work together. For example, a draftsman can see what elements are modelled and he can start working with the drawings; or the senior engineer sees what elements have been finished and he can check it over for approval. A similar system can be used for installation, transportation, and more.
3. ELEMENT HEIGHT
The main concern here is around transportation limits, but it can be helpful also when planning fabrication (e.g. dividing precast wall elements into different sizes of pallets/tables). Color all elements by their size categories to ensure that all elements do not exceed the prescribed limitations.
4. ELEMENT LENGTH
As with element height, color elements by their length categories in order to determine which prefabricated elements might need special transport arrangements or even splitting into two separate elements.
5. ELEMENT WEIGHT
Again, coloring elements by their weight groups to ascertain whether specialised transport or lifting crane options need to be sourced.
View the elements that are locked in model. It may be good for example with elements that already in place on the site and which cannot be modified anymore. I use for locking elements Tekla Structures native tool “Locks” that you can find from Tekla ribbon, under “MANAGE” tab.
7. ORGANIZER FLOORS
An overview of elements based on their floor of construction, set by Tekla Organizer. A good reason for this check is that some elements (e.g. columns) which span more than 2 floors might be placed on a certain floor automatically due to its center of gravity. However, for the order of construction, you may need to reallocate that element to a lower floor.
8. BOLT SIZE
View bolts in the project by their size.
9. BOLT WORKSHOP/SITE
Useful for checking if a bolt has been correctly assigned as either workshop or at site – a very simple yet costly mistake to avoid!
10. COMPONENT CONCEPTUAL
Using Tekla Structures Graphite license, Tekla will create conceptual steel and -concrete components.
Elements that have something done or whom any connection has been done with a conceptual component can’t be numbered and because of that, you can’t create a shop drawing either of these elements. All these conceptual components need to be converted to detailing components in order for numbering to be made possible. You can’t miss any! In these cases, this coloring filter is just super to find quickly what components are conceptual and need to be converted.
There are some companies who have optimized their licenses so that some engineers are creating conceptual components and then other engineers with licenses of detailing components capabilities will finish the project. Having many and big projects like this, the problem will not be anymore about finding the conceptual components, but converting them all one by one into detailing components and sometimes there can be one conceptual component inside another conceptual component. In this case, I recommend taking a look at our tool that will go through all conceptual components and converts them into detailing components automatically. Go and see the demo video HERE
11. IFC HEA PROFILES
Check the IFC reference models that are coming in. This way you can get a very quick overview of something that has been modeled by someone else. In this case, I used HEA steel profiles, but in the same way, you could use Object Representation Filters for ANY IFC parameter. Tip! Use Inquire tool in order to see what parameters this IFC model has included and basically all of them you can use in your filters.
This image is from another ifc reference model created by Ghasem Sabzehali – you can see it here.
12. OBJECT PHASE
Elements arbitrarily grouped and colored by project phases that are created using Tekla Structures native tool Phase Manager.
Tip! If you take a look to this Object Representation Filter then you can see that I have not made for each phase a new filter rule line. Instead, I used the “color by attribute” option. You can use any attribute, but the downside is that all the colors are set automatically and you can’t control them.
13. SUB-ASSEMBLY EMBED
See all assemblies which are not added as a sub-assembly to any assembly or cast unit. Most frequently it happens with embeds, that are not added automatically to our element sub-assembly and we should do it manually.
14. SUB-ASSEMBLY LEVELS
Check all parts that has been added to another element as sub-assembly. In some cases they have to be added as sub-assembly, but in many cases they should be added as (part) of the assembly. This small mistake can cause problems on drawings – these parts are not coming to correct table or not listed at all.
A view showing all objects which are not yet numbered. This filter is not coloring the elements that are modified after previous numbering and should be numbered again.
16. CONCRETE MATERIAL
Color all concrete parts by the concrete material grading. Especially useful is to bring out the parts that have still undefined concrete grading (colored to red).
17. FIRE RESISTANCE
Color steel parts by their fire resistance class. I used in this filter also a new User Defined Attribute, that is included in the package. Projektibüroo didn’t use my User Defined Attribute in this project, so I set the Fire Resistance class to some parts myself for demoing purpose.
18. HOLLOW CORE HEIGHT
Color all hollow core objects by their height. To make it more clear, I used Tekla View Filter to show only hollow cores.
Color all parts based on their material type. Some engineers are using this coloring style even for their everyday work. Depends on your taste 🙂
20. STEEL MATERIAL
Color all steel parts by their grade. Again, especially useful in identifying objects with no grade assigned and updating them wherever necessary.
21. STEEL PLATE THICKNESS
Color all steel plates by their thickness.
A general tip (also useful to do with this filter) is to review all the filter rows (in this case plate thicknesses) which are definitely not being used in the current project and removing them, as there are only so many colors that can be used, and too many values here will see either colors being repeated or similar colors being used, which can potentially be confusing to look at in your project.
22. PART WIDTH
Color all (wall) parts by their thicknesses. You can clear up the view by using a Tekla View Filter and show only walls.
23. POUR NO
Color all cast in place pours by their assigned pour number. Once again, useful to identify (in red) any pour which has no assigned pour number. Don`t forget to set Advanced Option XS_ENABLE_POUR_MANAGEMENT = TRUE and then on Tekla ribbon, under Concrete tab, turn ON the Pour View. In this project, Projektibüroo didn`t use pours and for demo purposes, I played around with them myself.
24. (RKAS KESKKONNAKLASS)
This filter is specific to the governmental requirements of Estonia, so it can be deleted if not relevant to you. In my package, it brings out only the elements that are missing the User Defined Attribute value, but you can add similar way different coloring rules for showing different values.
25. (RKAS KOMMENTAAR)
This filter is simply “Comments”; useful to be able to see elements which have some kind of additional commentary attached to them. This is particularly useful if more than one person is working with the project. I created a new User Defined Attribute, but it comes with the package, just as all others.
26. (RKAS MATERJALID)
An example of a UDA, in this case, the name of materials in the local language can have a principle Tekla translation assigned manually or by using Tekla Organizer. Again, useful for spotting any elements in red which have not been successfully translated.
27. REBAR DIAMETER
Color all rebars by their diameter.
28. REBAR FUNCTION
Color all rebars by their function. We can use this Tekla Object Representation filter only if the modeller follows TSGuide modelling rules, where we have given different classes to rebars with different functions. In this project this company used its own modelling rules and for this reason, we can’t use the coloring filters correctly.
29. REBAR LENGTH
Color rebars by their length. In Estonia, the maximum rebar length is 12m. Accordingly, this filter allows you to identify any rebar beyond that length and decide where it should be split.
30. REBAR MATERIAL GRADE
Color rebars by grade. Besides of seeing different rebar grades with different colors, you can easily identify any rebar where the grade is Undefined (colored red).
31. REBAR SPACING
Color all rebar groups by target spacing. Use Tekla View Filter to show only rebar groups.
NB! This coloring filter colors the rebars by the maximum spacing value of a rebar group. So, if there are different spacings in one rebar group, the color for some rebars in this group is not accurate as all the rebars get color according to the maximum spacing value.
32. REBAR UNKNOWN SHAPE
Colors all rebars that have undefined shape. You can always add these new shapes into your Tekla Rebar Shape Manager and problem is solved. Projektibüroo didn’t have any undefines shapes in this project, so I let my imagination run wild to create these… interesting… rebars 🙂
33. REFERENCE COLOR RED
In many times 2D reference drawings might be in a low contrast color (or even matching, eg. white on white), so being able to assign a uniform contrasting color (not only red, but any, like black, blue, etc) can be very useful.
34. WELD SIZE ABOVE
Color welds by size above. You could do something very similar for below if needed.
35. WELD WORKSHOP/SITE
A view separating welds that should be completed at the workshop versus those to be completed on site. You don`t want to mix them up.
BONUS (not in the demo video)
Mirko from Switzerland wrote and asked if we could somehow use “color by attribute” rule with e.g. steel part profiles? We may not want to create a separate filter rule for EVERY profile. It`s almost impossible because there are too many possibilities. By default in the Color by attribute list, there isn`t PROFILE attribute available, but my workaround is here:
1)Create a new User Defined Attribute for steel parts (part level). E.g. like this
2)Use Organizer to divide steel parts into category groups by PROFILE and let Organizer write this information to new UDA. It`s similar to my language translation trick. NB! Notice that only these categories that are with light gray background (located in the middle of categories list) can write information in UDA fields.
3)Use this User Defined Attribute in Object Representation Filter and voilaa – all different steel profiles will have different colors. Just don`t forget to synchronize Organizer (this one category is enough). All User Defined Attributes are in this Color by list available.
I hope these MRFs (Model Representation Filters) are useful for you! Feel free to use these filters however you like. They could be a starting point for your own filter set, and you can remove any of the ones which are not relevant to you, your project, or your jurisdictional standards.
To find from your models more common, but costly modeling mistakes, check out our popular TSGuide Model Checker tool.
Go also read our previous article Tekla 2021 top features.
Tekla Structures grandmaster and TSGuide OÜ founder.