Tekla Structural Designer 2016i Service Pack 3

Last updated November 20, 2017 by Tekla Structural Designer Development Team tekla-product-development-tsd-team-ug@trimble.com

Tekla Structural Designer 2016i Service Pack 3

This service pack should be installed to ensure optimum function of the program. Several improvements and issues have been resolved including:

Issues with Associated Bulletins

  • Analysis & Design - Notional Horizontal Forces/ Notional Loads/ Equivalent Horizontal Forces (NHF/NL/EHF) - All Head Codes - the issue applied only to FE walls and where the wall release “Continuous (incoming members pinned)” was set for both wall panel ends above/below a level.  In this case NHF/NL/EHF loads were not applied to the wall mesh nodes at that level.  Depending on the number of walls in a model and the extent of application of the release, this could result in a significant reduction in the notional loads to be considered.  The issue would in most circumstances be apparent from a review of the applied NHF/NL/EHF loads. See  Tekla Structural Designer product bulletin January 2017 (PBTSD-1701-01)  (13324).
  • Modelling - Bearing Walls and Concrete Walls - this issue relates to all models in which bearing walls intersected with concrete walls of both FE mesh and mid pier types.  In this case vertical bearing wall elements were created within the elements of the concrete wall.   This increased the stiffness of the concrete wall which could lead to concrete walls being designed for lesser load than might be expected and building sway resistance being stiffer than expected.  Where the issue occurred it would generally be evident by unusually high reactions at the intersection location(s) and large axial forces in the bearing wall elements within the concrete wall.  Bearing wall vertical elements are no longer created in this circumstance/location.  See Tekla Structural Designer product bulletin January 2017 (PBTSD-1701-02) (13216).
  • Australian Head Code - Steel Design to AS:4100 1998  - for beams subject to axial load + bending the “Combined Actions - Member Capacity” checks to Sections 8.4 were  not performed.  Where these governed design the result would be un-conservative.  This issue affected only versions 2016i SP1 and SP2 (v16.1.1.81 and released in Oct and Nov 2016 respectively.  See Tekla Structural Designer product bulletin January 2017 (PBTSD-1701-03) (52280, 52301)

Enhancements & Fixes

General & Modelling

  • Grid Lines
    • Show References - a new productivity feature allows the review and selection of objects that reference a gridline.  The feature is used by right-clicking over a grid line and selecting the Context Menu option “Show references…”.  A dialog is then displayed listing the referenced objects.  A listed object can can also be selected from the list to be highlighted in the active View.  The feature is of particular use when an engineer wishes to move or remove a grid line and needs to check which objects it references.  Note that if a Frame is selected all Frames will also then be displayed by shading.  This shading can be turned off via new control for Frame shading in Scene Content  (13258).
    • 2D Frame Views - in some circumstances when extended a grid line was still displayed with the original length in a 2D Frame view (13424).
  • Slab Panels and Patches:
    • All Types - Editing - a new feature is added which allows the size and shape of slab patches to be simply and easily graphically edited.  When selected, edit nodes are now displayed at the corners of the patch; any one of these can be selected (by a single click) then moved to another location.  A single edge of a patch can also be selected and similarly moved.  While the cursor is moved a dynamic preview of the new patch size is displayed.  During this stage snap points are displayed when the cursor is moved over any of; beams, walls, slab panel edges, an edge of the existing patch shape .  Snap points, or any other point, can be clicked or directly defined in the usual manner (via the tool tip F2 pick point command) to confirm the new shape/size (3739).
    • Panel Patches - Creation - when the engineer wishes to place a patch anywhere within a panel (rather than at the centroid) a new option is available in the properties window “Define corner points”.  When ticked on this allows the engineer to click two points to define opposite corners of the patch to define both its location and size.  With this unticked the behaviour is as before; the patch size is defined in the properties window and a single point clicked to define the location of the patch centroid (3740).
    • Slab Split and Mat Split - the intersection of a slab or mat panel item’s edge with a grid line can now be selected as a split line point.  In addition any point along a gridline can be clicked to define the start and/or end of a slab or mat split line.  Note that this option does not function with the edge of slab overhang items (51121).
  • Columns - Wind drift settings - controls for the Wind drift check are now included in the column properties dialog under “Design parameters”.  Formerly these controls were only listed in the Properties Window of selected columns (13110). 
  • Portal Frames:
    • Columns - Design Parameters - controls for Design Parameters are now included in the properties dialog of portal frame columns.  As per the above enhancement, these now include settings to control both the sway and wind drift checks.  As they form part of a grouped object, the full properties of portal frame columns are not displayed in the Properties Windows, hence it was not previously possible to control their sway and wind drift checks (13095).
    • Columns - Orientation - portal frame columns are now automatically oriented such that flange A is on the outside of the frame.  E.g. for a single span frame looking on elevation the LH column flange A will be on the LHS and the RH column flange A will be on the RHS.  Internal columns of multi-span portal frames follow the convention for the RH column.  Note that the member direction arrow (Scene Content > Portal Frames > Direction) is always drawn along flange A and so this can easily be graphically verified by viewing the direction arrow (52113).
    • Haunches - Editing - a program error would occur when selecting Fabrication = “Built from plate” in the edit Haunch dialog.  This could be worked around by selecting Derivation = “Special” under “Size” before selecting the Fabrication option.  This workaround is no longer necessary (52186).
  • Levels, Frames and Slopes - Select - a new option is added to the Structure Tree’s right-click context menu to select and highlight in the visible view any Level, Frame or Slope so it can be easily located.  All instances of the selected object type(s) will also then be displayed by shading.  This can be turned off via new controls in Scene Content for Level, Frame and Slope shading (3302).
  • Find/ Highlight - Nodes - automatic zooming to a selected node in a view would sometimes fail in the following scenarios; double-clicking a message for a node listed in Status Tree > Solver messages; using the “Zoom to selection” command for a node selected via the Find command.  Zoom now functions correctly in these circumstances (13422).
  • Tooltip information - Steel Beams - the beam camber value is now displayed in the Tooltip information for steel beams, for example a camber of 30mm will be indicated with the text “C = 30.0” (52189).
  • Member Loads - Properties Window - to aid in locating member loads listed in Status tree messages, an Element reference is added to the properties of a selected load shown in the Properties Window (3804).
  • File Opening- a program error could occur when opening a file which contained missing or unexpected data.  File opening and checking routines have been improved to better cope with this circumstance (13193, 13356).
  • Property Sets - Import - a program error could occur when importing a property set (13325).
  • Foundations:
    • Mats - the column drop option is removed from the Foundations ribbon as this does not currently function for foundation mat slabs (13324).
    • Pile caps - Pile Arrangement dialog - in some circumstances, when the rotation of a column was changed, its orientation was displayed incorrectly in the Pile Arrangement dialog (52185).
  • Diaphragms:
    • Column nodes - in some circumstances some column nodes were not correctly included in the rigid diaphragm of the slab item(s) they were connected to.  This issue most commonly affected only a small number of columns which were connected to slabs with curved edges with a small value of curvature.  Where it occurred this could result in excessive lateral deflection of such columns which would usually be apparent from the automatic sway check results (13282, 13273).
    • Review View - Diaphragm On\Off - a new “Mode” function is added to the Show\Alter state > Diaphragm On\Off command to either only Include or Exclude selected Nodes or Area Items (panels) from a diaphragm, in addition to the existing Toggle option.  This control is located in the Properties Window when the command is activated.  Additional tick box options are also included to control whether the command is applied to Nodes or Area Items  or both (3826).
  • Concrete Walls - Wall mesh beams:
    • For the circumstance of one-way spanning slabs connecting to a concrete wall, the program creates an element (a wall mesh beam) along the line of the slab/wall connection on to which the slab load can be decomposed where it spans in this direction.  For some geometries where the slab was sloped, the wall elements were not correctly created, producing a validation error (13165).
    • Only for FE concrete walls with sloped top edges, and for certain more complex geometries, the properties of the wall mesh beam elements along the sloped wall top could be extremely small.  This could result in excessive deflections and consequent Solver warnings regarding these.  Calculation of wall mesh beam element properties for this circumstance is improved (13122).
  • Bearing Walls - Material - the engineer can apply any material to a bearing wall, but it could be seen in the solver model information that the material used for bearing wall elements was always aluminium regardless of the material assigned to the wall panel.  This could appear confusing.  Behaviour is changed such that bearing wall analysis elements always use the default ‘Bearing Wall’ material, the properties of which can be viewed via Home > Materials > Material General.  These properties are fixed and so bearing walls have a fixed stiffness as intended.  The change only affects the analysis properties of bearing walls and it is expected the overall effect will be negligible, as their behaviour is not substantially altered. The self weight of bearing walls is unchanged - as previously, the calculation for this always uses the density of the material applied to the bearing wall  (52281).
  • Scene Content
    • A new control is added in the “Loading” group to control visibility of the polygonal load type (52424).
    • New controls are added to control the shading of Levels, Planes and Slopes (Inclined Planes) (13528).
    • View Configurations - Scene content settings were not saved with a view configuration and so were re-set to the defaults when a view configuration was opened.  Scene content settings are now saved to the view configuration (13396).
  • Foundations - Pile Catalogue - validation has been added to the catalogue to prevent deletion of a pile type that is assigned to piles in the current model.  Previously this was not prevented and a program error would result if such a pile type were deleted (52480).
  • Editing:
    • Mirror - a new more flexible mode “Pick destination point” is added which is used as the default.  This allows the definition of any two points in the model to control the mirror operation: the mirror plane is vertical, perpendicular to (on plan) and at the midpoint of the line defined by the two points.  Thus this option can be used to define a mirror operation in any direction and where construction points required by the other mirror options do not exist (3829).
    • Members - Characteristic - a program error could result when the characteristic of a member was edited from an analysis element to a column, or a truss member to a column (52202, 52247, 52258).
    • Geometry - Move - a program error could occur when moving columns to a location that was very close to the original location (52217).
    • Context Menu - Copy - a program error would occur if the Copy command was selected from the Scene right-click context menu if no objects were actually selected.  The Copy command is no longer displayed in the context menu in this circumstance (52180).
  • BIM Integration - BIM Status - the status of a copy of a member which had previously been exported was incorrectly set to “Exported” rather than “New” (52477).


  • Load Decomposition:
    • Wind Loading - in some circumstances, generally for more complex arrangements of beams and FE concrete walls, there were errors in the decomposition resulting in either or both of; warnings in the Decomposition Status tree stating that some loads had not been applied correctly; errors in the Load Summary check.  The load decomposition and check routines have been improved to better cope with this circumstance (12265, 13190, 13215).
    • Wind Loading - where the decomposition process calculated area or line loads with dimensions extremely close to zero, erroneous Decomposition warnings could result.  Furthermore, as they were graphically too small to be visible, it was impossible to review such loads listed in warnings.   Tolerances are improved to discount such loads from the decomposition (13183).
    • Slab Point Loads - where negative and positive slab point loads were applied of equal and opposite value, such that the net total vertical load was zero, an erroneous Decomposition warning was issued regarding point loads lying outside the panel area (12094).
  • Combinations - Head Code EC - when generating combinations and using the option “Combinations for the design of structural members (STR)” = Table A1.2(B) - Eq 6.10a & 6.10b, the generator only produced one combination for 610.b when no Roof Imposed load case existed.  This would occur for the default set of load cases created in new files unless a roof imposed load case was added.  The generator now produces two combinations for 6.10a&b in these circumstances (13319).
  • Variable Patch Load
    • Editing - a program error would occur when attempting to edit the geometry of a variable patch load in a 2D Frame view (52231).
    • Load Summary Check - the Load Summary check for variable patch loads calculated an incorrect value of Decomposable Load producing an error in the check.  The issue only affected the Load Summary check - the correct load was applied to the model and so analysis results were corrected (13178, 13198).


  • Beams forming part of a Seismic Force Resisting System (SFRS) - a program error could occur when Warning messages related to SFRSs in the Validation tree were double-clicked to highlight affected members (52224).
  • Slab/Mats - Point loads - a non-vertical load on a non-meshed slab produces a validation error listing the offending Load Case(s) and Slab item(s) in the Status Validation tree.  If the Load Case name for such a validation error was double-clicked to locate it a program error would occur (52303).
  • Head Code US - Steel Joists - a validation error “steel joists cannot support members or elements” was produced when members other than steel joists spanned onto a supporting steel joist.  No validation error is now issued in this circumstance allowing other member types to be supported by steel joists (13341).
  • Wall Panels - Overlapping check - in some circumstances an incorrect validation error was produced stating that panels were overlapping for panels that did not physically overlap (13386).

Analysis & Results

  • Response Spectrum Analysis (RSA) - Torsion - the RSA torsion load case was incorrectly always added at a factor of 1.0 for all Seismic Combinations, both ULS and SLS.  The issue affected Foundation Reactions and FE Wall results but not those for 1D elements.  The issue applied only to RSA and did not occur when Equivalent Lateral Force (ELF) was chosen as the Analysis Procedure in the Seismic Wizard.  It is expected that in most circumstances the overall effect of this on design results would be relatively minor.   The correct combination factor is now used (52528).
  • 2D Result strips - in some circumstances a program error could occur when trying to view these results for some combinations (13345).
  • Analysis Process:
    • 3D pre-Analysis - Meshing and Diaphragms - rarely, where the floor and slab geometry was complex, the analysis process would not complete due to a problem in assigning nodes to diaphragms during the Meshing and diaphragms stage (13318).
    • 3D pre-Analysis - Applying loads - in the following rare and specific circumstance this pre-analysis step could fail and prevent analysis; sloped slabs connected to walls for which all panels have their releases set = “Continuous (incoming members pinned)” (13131).
    • 3D pre-Analysis - Generating haunch elements - for models containing Portal Frames, rarely for some geometries this process could fail preventing completion of analysis (12788).
    • Analyse All - in some circumstances for models containing continuous beams the Analyse All process would fail to complete due to an internal error (13278).
    • Decomposition- Not A Number (NaN) error when viewing results - in rare circumstances an error could occur during the decomposition process that was not correctly flagged.  This allowed the analysis process to continue but no results were produced.  An error would then occur when attempting to view results.  Analysis decomposition checking routines have been improved to prevent this (13277).
    • Solver Model:
    • Meshing routines have been improved the avoid creation of very short analysis elements in more complex geometries (52193).
    • In some circumstances - generally for more complex geometries - it was possible that wall mesh beams were incorrectly assigned very small section properties.  This could produce Status Tree Solver warnings regarding mechanisms and excessive deflections following the Analyse All and Design processes.  Tolerances applied during the solver model configuration process have been improved to prevent this (13127).
  • Results View - Graphical Deflections
    • 1D and 2D Element Deflections - FE Chasedown - for models of slabs and beams, the deflections of the slab along the line of the beam should be the same as that of the beam.  In some circumstances however this was not the case.  Routines to determine the beam and slab deflections for FE Chasedown analysis have been improved to prevent this anomaly (13268).
    • 1D Element Deflections - 2D Views - to display deflections which occur out of plane of a 2D view - e.g. vertical deflections of floor beams in a 2D Floor View -  the deflection about the axis perpendicular to the plane is projected onto the view plane.  In some circumstances this could result in the direction of deflection displayed in the 2D View being in the opposite direction to that of the 3D Structure view, and when the 2D view was toggled to 3D mode.  The projection method is improved to display a consistent direction (13155).
  • User Defined Attributes (UDAs) - when a UDA was defined as a Type = Number and Source = Custom Value it was not displayed in item the Properties window for a selected item (13244).



  • Member Context Menu - Design Member - this issue applies only to the first release of version 2016i (and its subsequent Service Packs 1 and 2) and the right-click context menu command “Design Member”.  In this version - for consistency with other processes within the program - functionality was changed such that the command was governed by the “Autodesign” property of a member; the command was only enabled when the “Autodesign” property was set to On.  Following customer feedback the behaviour has reverted to that of previous versions - the command is now available regardless of the Autodesign setting (12963, 13153, 13205, 13206).
  • Tabular Data - Design Summary - Foundations - the Design Summary is now enabled for Pad Bases, Pile Caps and Piles enabling rapid review of their design status (51878).
  • Isolated Foundations - EC and BS Head Codes - Punching Shear - the maximum allowable shear strength to each code’s provisions is now applied in the checks for further perimeters beyond that of the column face.  It is most likely the maximum shear stress will occur at the column face, however the limit is now applied to the checking of further perimeters for consistency and in case they should govern (52291).
  • Design Process - Structure Tree Context Menu Options - it is possible to design a model in stages following an Analysis by right-clicking on parts of the structure in the Structure Tree - e.g. Levels, Frames or Sub Structures - and selecting Check or Design from the resulting context menu.   RAM usage during this process has been reduced to improve the effective use of this method (51833).

Head Code Australia

  • Steel Design:
    • Combined Bending Shear Minor - in some circumstances an incorrect minor axis moment was reported in the design details for this check.  This did not affect the reported Utilisation Ratio (UR) for the check (52355).
    • Shear Check Major and Minor - for CHS sections an incorrect value of nominal shear capacity Vw was displayed in the design details.  This did not affect the UR for the check (52343).
    • Lateral Torsional Buckling (LTB) - for simple beams (pin ended) with transverse load the Beta_m factor was being incorrectly set = -1.0 instead of -0.8 resulting in LTB checks being undertaken when not required (51964).

Head ​Code BS

  • Pile Cap Design - Shear Capacity - in some circumstances the piles to be considered in the pile cap one-way shear check were not correctly identified.  In this circumstance either not all necessary piles were considered or the check was not performed.  The process which determines the piles to be considered is improved to ensure the check is fully performed (52293).

Head Code India

  • Foundation Design - Design Settings - a new option is added in Design > Options > Foundations > General which allows the engineer to specify the capacity overstress allowance ? to be used in Foundation design for seismic combinations (51746).

Head Code US

  • Composite Beams- Design Status - in some circumstances when camber had been applied to a beam the Utilisation ratio (UR) shown in the cursor tooltip was incorrect and did not agree with the governing UR shown in the design details (13247).
  • Steel Joist Design - Uniform load check - in some circumstances the check for uniform load produced an incorrect result reporting a valid load as non uniform and preventing design.  The design value reported in this case was also incorrect and extremely large.  The uniform load check routines are improved to correct this error (13148).
  • Seismic Design - Steel Columns - a design error “Object reference not set to an instance of an object” resulted for steel columns forming part of an SFRS which were placed on top of concrete columns (13037).
  • Slab Design - Punching Shear - the calculation of the factor ?f for the fraction of moment transferred by flexure is corrected for edge and corner columns and for perimeters beyond d/2 (52096).

Reports & Drawings

  • Planar Drawings:
    • Beam End Forces - new options are added to control the member types for which end forces are shown in the drawing.  These can be found in Draw > Edit > Options > Planar Drawings > Beam End Forces > Display End Forces for (13221).
    • General Arrangement (GA) - layers are now added to include Gable and Parapet Posts in the GA drawing.  These can be found in Draw > Edit…> Layer Configurations > General Arrangement > Members > Steel > Posts (12123, 13053)
    • Slab/Mat Details - Patches - in some circumstances the patch reinforcement for some patches was not correctly shown in these drawing (13174).
  • Detail Drawings - Concrete Beams - Anchorage Lengths - for bent up bars at the ends of beams, the vertical dimension shown on the detail drawing was incorrect and too short.  The program was incorrectly displaying the “X” dimension - which is the length of the straight vertical part only - rather than the full vertical dimension including the contribution of the bend radius (r+D) - where r is the bend radius and D the bar diameter (13384).
  • Report for Member:
    • Composite Beams - US Head code - the concrete compressive strength of the composite slab, given under the heading “Slab”, was incorrectly shown as 0.00 ksi (13246).
    • Beams - Deflected Shape Diagram - an additional option is added to this report item’s Settings to choose either Strength or Service Factors for the diagram (13301).
  • Report Header - a program error could occur when editing columns and/or rows in the report header (13316).
  • Sway Report - BS & Eurocode Head Codes - in some circumstances the lamda_crit/ alpha_crit values shown in the report were incorrect and much larger than the correct values shown in Review View > Tabular Data > Sway (13260).
  • Export to Word/ Tedds - for Word 2016 the export to Word/Tedds did not contain the entire report as displayed in TSD (12602, 13210, 13211).


The number in brackets after an item denotes an internal reference number.  This can be quoted to your local Support Department should further information on an item be required.

32bit (x86) and 64bit (x64) Versions

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