Tekla Structures 14

This review explores the new release of Tekla’s BIM application for structural engineering, which features a revamped task-oriented user interface, a more flexible and efficient licensing system, improved design coordination with change management and clash detection of reference models, a new construction management module that integrates with leading scheduling applications, and a vast array of video tutorials that greatly reduce the learning curve of the application.

URL: http://www.aecbytes.com/review/2008/TeklaStructures14.html

7 thoughts on “Tekla Structures 14

  1. You wrote: “Complex application that still relies heavily on numeric input in dialogs for many operations; does not directly integrate with other architectural and MEP BIM applications.” I ask: is it possible for it to do what it does without complexity? And, as a more detailed model of portions of the building than an architectural or structural BIM, is full integration even theoretically possible? For the components it addresses, Tekla contains more information, generated not by automated processes but by the input of knowledge stored in a human into the A-BIM or S-BIM. THis would imply a one-way street and limits to integration.

  2. The question on complexity is a very interesting one, and I would like to thank Leo for bringing it up. I don’t believe that just because an application is powerful, it also needs to be complex and the complexity has to increase in line with its capabilties. This is where the challenge of developing a good user interface comes in. If an application starts off by being able to do 10 tasks with an intuitive user interface, chances are that the interface will still be intuitive even when its repertoire has been expanded to 100 tasks. SketchUp is a great example of this. As far as Tekla is concerned, many aspects of its interface are quite archaic (for example, the use of a dialog box to open views), which probably come from its origins as Xsteel close to 40 years ago. The developers are continuing to modernize the application with every release, but there still remains a lot of work to be done. And given the relative ease of use of a competing application such as Revit Structure and the momentum Revit is gaining in the industry as a whole, I think the developers of Tekla have to make every effort to catch up on the usability front to do justice to the tremendous power and capabilities of their application.

    With regard to integration, I certainly think it is possible for Tekla to explore direct integration with an application like ArchiCAD, which now includes an MEP module as well. The integration would make for a full suite of multi-disciplinary applications that can then compete head-on with suites such as Revit and Bentley.

    Interestingly, these were the only two Cons listed in the Product Summary section of my review, following a whole slew of Pros. I don’t think any application ever reaches the stage of perfection, otherwise the developers would simply stop developing it any further! Every application needs to be continually improved, in light of new user requirements and the capabilities of competing applications, and as a reviewer, I try to look at an application objectively and see the areas for improvements.

  3. Tekla Structures is a great software for me. I am using it in all structural detailing disciplines (steel, precast, and cast-in-place). The only limitation I find is that Tekla Structures cannot make offset splicing in cast-in place detailing.

  4. No doubt Tekla Release 14 is a great software. But I concur with Lachmi on the question of complexity. I have been trying to learn the program for the past two months and I am still an amateur! I cannot even do the basic things with the program (it was even worse for the old versions which are user-unfriendly). If I compare this with SketchUp (or even ArchiCAD), it took me a few hours to be able to use those programs. Tekla has to do something about this!

    I have a problem of knowing how to do analysis of the structural model with Tekla v14. The process is just a mess! Help menu does not help at all. Tutorials none at all! I think there is something wrong somewhere as far as complexity is concerned.

  5. I am a senior in steel design/plant design in Germany. Please be informed that this product ranges between 6,000 to 19, 000 dollars. The service and support is poor, unfriendly, and unprepared for the questions usually to be expected from users engaged in practical building design projects. There is practically no solution to modelling built-up sections, and the link to analysis software is null so far.

  6. I am touched by Klaus Scherr’s remarks, although they seem a bit harsh. “The Link to analysis software is null…” I thought I was the only one left out. I think Tekla should do something about this issue… make it user friendly!

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