Tekla Structural Designer 2017 Service Pack 1

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

Tekla Structural Designer 2017 Service Pack 1

This release will upgrade your Tekla Structural Designer installation to Tekla Structural Designer 2017 Service Pack 1 version number and should be installed to ensure optimum function of the program.   It includes a number of new features together with enhancements and issue resolutions as detailed below (a number of more minor fixes are not listed).

If you are updating from a version earlier than Tekla Structural Designer 2017 (version you can find details of enhancements and fixes included in all previous releases in Tekla User Assistance (TUA) and Tekla Downloads.  You will find all the main releases listed in the Knowledage base area of TUA under Release notes while those for Service Packs can be found under Updates.  Links to release notes together with the version number can also be found in Tekla Downloads (login required).

Licensing & Installation

  • Licensing - no new license is required for this version.
  • Installation - This service pack requires Tekla Structural Designer 2017 to be installed and will upgrade to version
    • Previous Versions and file compatibility - Files from all previous versions can be opened in Tekla Structural Designer 2017 Service Pack 1, however note that once saved they cannot then be opened in an older version.  If you wish to retain this option we therefore recommend using the File > Save As… option to save a new version of the file and retain the original.

Issues with Associated Bulletins

  • Steel Design - Eurocode - this issue relates to the Eurocode design of steel members.  For asymmetric I/H sections to EC3 the classification limits for Class 1 and Class 2 sections could be classified as Class 2 or better when it should be Class 3.  For more information please see Product Bulletin PBTekla Structural Designer-1704-1 (53013).
  • Steel Joist Design - Deflection check - this issue relates to the Head code United States (ACI/AISC) and design of steel joists.  The “Design Load” used in the deflection check of LH and DLH joists could be higher than the correct value potentially producing an unconservative design result.  For more information please see Product Bulletin PBTekla Structural Designer-1704-2 (13499).

Enhancements & Fixes

General & Modelling

  • Review View - Show\Alter State - the Review Ribbon > Show\Alter State commands have been rationalized and their functionality improved (3659):
    • To simplify the Ribbon, a number of commands are now moved from dedicated buttons to drop-down options in the Properties Window.  These are accessed via a new Show\Alter State ribbon button - when activated the desired command - e.g. “Punch check position” - is selected from the “Attribute” option drop-list at the top of the Properties Window.   Note that, for convenience, a few of the more commonly used commands such as “Auto\Check Design” retain ribbon buttons and are also available via the new Show\Alter State button >  drop-list.
    • Auto\Check Design - additional control is added to the Properties window to set the Attribute to be edited with options of either “Autodesign” or “Stud autolayout”. 
    • For most of the commands a new Filter feature is added to the Properties Window to control both the visibility of entities by their current setting, and also which are “active” (i.e. those which can be edited) by their type and characteristic (where appropriate).   Inactive but visible entities are shaded a light transparent grey for which there is an opacity control also in the Properties Window.
    • Column Splices - 2D Views - the window edit operation (click-and-drag a window to select multiple items) has been added to the Column Splice command when operative in 2D views so the engineer can select multiple nodes at the same time, as column splices are normally applied at the same level (53164).
  • Grids - Rationalize - a new feature is added to automatically remove unused grid lines, construction lines and planes.  This is accessed via the Edit Ribbon; Edit > Rationalize.  After running this a summary of changes made is listed in the Process Window (13425).
  • Slabs:
    • Precast - when the “Non-structural” topping option is chosen the Dry and Wet weight per area for the slab becomes editable and is set to an initial value.  The initial value was incorrectly set to a very low value of (slab concrete density * 1E-6) = 0.0025 = 0.003 kN/m2 (to 3 sig. figures).  This has been corrected so the default value is now more reasonable e.g. 2.4 kN/m2 for Bison 150mm slab units  (13626).
    • Composite - the values for the Dry and Wet weight per area for the slab are removed from the Properties Window as these are not the values used by the program and could cause confusion.  Thus this is a value display issue and does not affect design results.  The values previously displayed were for a solid concrete slab which did not take account of the metal deck profile shape and weight, while the weight actually used by the program (which could be reviewed in the Load Analysis view) did (13650, 13804).
    • Overhangs - where overhangs met at a re-entrant corner an overlap would occur producing a validation error and requiring one overhang length to be adjusted to remove this.  Overhangs are now automatically adjusted to accommodate this geometry and manual adjustment is no longer required (13612).
    • A program error could occur when trying to create a slab in an inclined plane (53137).
  • File Saving - Error - rarely an error dialog titled “Error!” could occur when saving a model containing missing or unexpected data.  Saving and file checking routines are improved to handle this (13633).
  • Steel Columns - Geometry - improvements are made to the rendered drawing of steel column sections in graphical views for some less common model geometries in which odd rendered shapes  could occur at member ends (13682).
  • Edit - Move - a program error could occur when attempting to move a selection of columns and attached brace pairs (13706).
  • Portal Frames - Editing - a program error could occur for some ‘miss’ frames containing valleys when attempting to edit the frame via the right-click context menu option (52999).
  • File Opening/Closing:
    • Opening:
      • A program error would occur when opening a file which contained a slab without slab items (13852).
      • A program error would occur when opening a file which contained walls with zero thickness.  Any such walls are assigned an arbitrary thickness of 0.1mm and a validation error is issued so they can easily be identified and amended (13599).
    • Closing  - a program error would occur when closing any file after viewing the details of the drift, seismic drift, or sway report for any column(s) (53010, 53073).
  • Bim Integration - Structural BIM Import - a program error could occur on import when unexpected materials were encountered in the CXL file (13836).
  • Steel Beams - Australian Head Code - a program error would occur when editing an existing beams properties and changing the Fabrication from “Rolled” to “Plated” (52988).
  • Analysis Element - Material Type - a program error would occur when the Properties Window > Material Type was switched to Timber and the characteristic was set to analysis element (53038).


  • Variable Patch Load - a program error would occur if - in an attempt to edit the load geometry - a node of a selected variable patch load was selected in a 3D view (note that the patch load geometry can only be edited in a 2D view currently) (52226).
  • Perimeter load - this issue only applies to Tekla Structural Designer 2017 (v17.0.0.37) in which design the Perimeter load feature was introduced - rarely for certain geometries a program error could occur when trying to add such a load to a level (53206).


  • Analysis -  rarely, an erroneous Analysis element too short validation error could occur where no such short elements existed.   Validation routines are improved to prevent this occurrence (52967, 13711).

Analysis & Results

  • Analysis Process:
    • Concrete Walls - Spring Supports - the analysis process could fail with an internal error “Object reference not set to an instance of an object” where intersecting concrete walls were set to have vertical spring supports (13645).
    • Chasedown - rarely, the analysis process could fail at the “Calculating Chase-down combinations” stage in some models in which internal data was incorrectly configured following model edits (13661).
    • Load Decomposition - rarely, for certain complex geometries, the load decomposition process could fail preventing the completion of analysis (13745).
  • Solver Status Tree - Deflection Warning Limit - when US Customary units are set the deflection limit for (excessive deflection) warnings is now given as 40 in rather than 39.270 in (52866).
  • Concrete Walls - Mid Pier - changes to wall extensions were not reflected in the self weight of the wall following analysis.  Since wall extensions are usually small the error in load would usually be minor.  The issue could be worked around by un-checking and re-checking the wall “use mid pier” property - this workaround is no longer required (53212).



  • Concrete Design - the design process would become unresponsive in model files which contained user-defined materials and/or reinforcement grades and sizes that were not in the global Material Database.   This could be worked around by adding the missing items to the Material Database (via Home > Materials > Model > Add to Database for missing items).  Materials in the model file are now accessed by the design process and the workaround is no longer required (13062).
  • Concrete Members - Interactive design - if a beam, column or wall was designed, then the reinforcement grade changed without re-designing, there were problems when the interactive design dialog was opened.  If bar sizes of the original and changed grades did not match, then no bar sizes were displayed in the interactive window for the mismatched size(s). Program errors could occur when attempting to set bar sizes in this circumstance.  The interactive design bar size fields are now populated in this circumstance and no such errors occur (53166).
  • Steel Design - Steel Grades - when a user-defined steel grade existed with a name less than four characters long and was assigned to any steel members, errors would occur during the design process (53169).
  • Sway Check - rarely, the column sway check was not performed at the end of the design process.  Where this occurred the sway check could be completed by running Analyse All (Static).  This workaround is no longer required  (13598, 13622).
  • Design Settings:
    • Concrete Design - Reinforcement - the operation of settings is enhanced to facilitate using the (concrete) design code of one country with reinforcement from another.  Previously the Country for reinforcement (Design > Options > Concrete > Beam (Column, Wall..etc) > Reinforcement Settings > Country) always defaulted to that of the design code, regardless of the global setting.  The global settings now take precedence so an engineer can create a settings set with different design code and reinforcement countries (3951).
    • Design Forces - the setting Design Options > Design Forces > Concrete Beams > Torsion Force %... is now hidden when the Head code is set to other than Eurocode as it is only applicable to the Eurocode (52956).
  • Slab Design - Punching Checks
    • Previously it was not possible to add a punching check onto a sloped slab - a program error would occur if this was attempted (53030).
    • This issue only occurred in Tekla Structural Designer 2017 (v17.0.0.37) - in which punching shear reinforcement design was introduced - and in the following very specific circumstances; models for which the original Head Code was Eurocode; with existing punching checks defined while this Head code was set; which had punching checks on duplicate floors; after the Head Code was changed to British Standards.  In this circumstance a program error would occur when the “Design Punching Shear” process was run.  This could be worked around by setting the duplicate levels to unique.  The workaround is no longer required (53157).
  • Order Lists - Import - import is now enhanced to cater for the circumstance of the editing of one of the built-in order files and its distribution to others who wish to import this edited list to their own PCs.  Previously this would result in an error on import due to a value in the import file being identical to the existing built-in order list (4025).
  • Composite Beam Design - Westok EC - this issue only applies to Tekla Structural Designer 2017 (v17.0.0.37) in which design for composite Westok cellular beams to the Eurocode was introduced.  Auto-design of transverse reinforcement did not function (53174).

Head Code Aus

  • Steel Design -  Portal Frames - the design process for portal frame columns could fail producing a design error status (13635).

Head Code BS

  • Steel Design:
    • Combined Axial + Bending Check - for class 2 I sections the minor axis effective plastic modulus was underestimated by a small amount due to use of the flange thickness instead of web thickness in the calculation of b/T (53057).
    • Composite Beams:
      • Connector Layout - this issue generally only affected models created in earlier program versions.  When Auto layout was set and a design was run the correct number of studs appeared in design results but was not shown in the graphical views in which the number of studs remained zero.  This affected both the beam attributes displayed in 3D and 2D views and and the drawing of studs in the member view.  The number of studs applied is now correctly updated and displayed in all relevant views (13674).
      • Slimflor sections - a Beyond scope Design status is now assigned to any composite beams using these sections.  Formerly an Unknown status was assigned.  This applies to other asymmetric sections which are beyond the current scope of composite design (52843).
    • Non-composite Beams - Slimflor sections - for major axis bending a “Not A Number” error would occur in the lateral torsional buckling (LTB) check for sections for which Iy (minor axis inertia) was > Ix (major axis inertia).  The check is now omitted in this circumstance since major axis LTB does  not occur where Iy > Ix - a message to this effect is issued  (52400).

Head Code EC

  • Concrete Design - Beams - the presentation of the equation for minimum number of link legs displayed in design details incorrectly omitted a “+1” at its end.  The equation displayed calculates the required number of spacings and hence the number of legs is this value + 1.  This issue affected only the equation displayed in the result details, not the result itself which is unchanged (13766).

Head Code US

  • Slab Design - Punching checks - for models set to US Customary Units the default point load breadth and depth are now set to 4 in rather than 3 15/16 in (13630).
  • Steel Design - Braces - Compression - where the Compression > Effective Length factor, Kz value was edited to other than unity this was not correctly reflected in the effective buckling length used in the axial compression - flexural torsional buckling check in which the full member length was still used (13739).

Reports & Drawings

  • Model Report - Report Contents - “View” chapter – if a View Configuration of a 2D view of a mat foundation was selected that included deflection contours, the deflection legend was omitted (13551).
  • Report Header - Logo - the logo image is now automatically shrunk to fit in the width of the cell in which it is placed (13582).
  • Detail Drawings
    • Concrete Walls - in some circumstances - generally for walls with very short length and/or panel heights - the wall detailing drawing could fail to generate (13627, 13794, 13797).
    • Concrete Beams - when Design Groups for concrete beams was turned off the sequence of beams in a drawing still followed the grouping sequence rather than that of the beam reference is ascending order (13712).
    • A new option is added to control the labelling of multi-span beams; Draw > Edit > Member Details > Beam Detail > Style > Beam Labels > Label every span of multi-span beams.  The default setting for this is off (3604).
  • Planar Drawings:
    • Foundations - Foundation Layout - this issue affected only the the first release of Tekla Structural Designer 2017 (v17.0.0.37) and did not affect earlier versions - an error was introduced which prevented the generation of any drawing showing a foundation detail under a wall (13701).
    • Beam End forces - this issue was introduced in the first release of Tekla Structural Designer 2017 (v17.0.0.37) and did not affect earlier versions.  If the Beam End Forces drawing was generated directly after running a Design Process no end forces were added to the drawing.  To workaround this it was necessary always to run Analyse All (Static) directly before producing the drawing in order for it to show forces.  The workaround is no longer required (52985).
  • Material List - Punching Checks - a 'Stud Rails' summary table is now included in the Material List report (3963).


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

Service packs are available for both 32bit (x86) and 64bit (x64) versions of Tekla Structural Designer. Before downloading, check which version you have currently installed via the Information button at the top right of the Tekla Structural Designer window, then download the appropriate service pack

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