Tekla Structural Designer 2017i Service Pack 4

Last updated March 5, 2018 by Tekla User Assistance Team axosoft

Tekla Structural Designer 2017i Service Pack 4

This release will upgrade your installation to Tekla Structural Designer 2017i SP4 version number and should be installed to ensure optimum function of the program.   It includes a number of enhancements and issue resolutions as detailed below.

If you are upgrading from a version earlier than the most recent Tekla Structural Designer 2017i SP3 (version you can find details of enhancements and fixes included in all previous releases in Tekla User Assistance (TUA) and Tekla Download.  You will find all the main releases listed in the Knowledge 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 Download service (login required).

Licensing & Installation

  • Licensing - no new license is required for this version.
  • Installation - this service pack requires Tekla Structural Designer 2017i to be installed and will upgrade this to version
    • Previous Versions and file compatibility - Files from all previous versions can be opened in this release 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.
    • 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

Issues with Associated Bulletins

  • Steel Beam Design -  US Head Codes - Cantilever Deflection - for the Live and Total Deflection checks, incorrect design values of zero were used and an incorrect pass status assigned when the cantilever free end was the start (end 1) of the beam.  For more information please see Product Bulletin PBTSD-1802-1 (14716).
    • The issue is fixed in this release.
  • Modelling and Analysis - Concrete Buildings -  Slab meshing - in very specific and relatively rare circumstances the concrete slab 2D element mesh was not correctly connected to a supporting beam or wall.  Resulting errors in design forces would tend to be conservative for slabs but potentially unconservative for supporting beams/walls.  Where this issue occurred it would generally be clearly apparent from reviewing deflections and unexpected failure of slab design due to it spanning a greater distance.  For more information please see Product Bulletin PBTSD-1802-2 (14502, 14614).
    • The issue is fixed in this release.
  • Steel Design - BS Head Code (All Countries) - Braces - for braces in tension using flat, double-angle or structural hollow sections (SHS, CHS & RHS), the tension capacity check uses the gross area Ag of the brace rather than the net area Ae , producing an unconservative design result.  For more information please see Product Bulletin PBTSD-1802-3 (14658).
    • The issue is addressed in this release for flat sections but remains for double-angle and structural hollow sections.

Enhancements & Fixes

General & Modelling

  • Performance and Stability - a number of fixes and enhancements are made to improve program stability and performance.
  • Show\Alter State:
    • Sway/Drift Check - a new Review Mode is now added allowing graphical assessment of the Sway/Drift checks.  Additional information giving the Dir1 and Dir2 Sway/Drift values and overall status is added to the tooltip information displayed when a column is cursored over when the mode is active.
      • Note that this new mode functions for BS and Eurocode Head Code models only currently (4178).
    • Column Splices - the Window operation (click and drag with the cursor to define an enclosing box to apply)  is now added to the Column Splice Toggle and Set On/Off Modes allowing editing of splices for multiple columns - e.g. at an entire floor - in a single operation (4477).
  • BIM Integration
    • Robot and STAAD Export:
      • In some circumstances a program error could occur during the export process (53055, 54471).
      • In some circumstances an exported Robot (.str) file would fail to open in Robot (53055, 54555).
      • Some aspects of the TSD analysis model were not correctly exported to Robot, notably rigid diaphragms and certain types of load (54562).
  • Portal Frames - Haunch End plate - edits to haunch end plate values are now retained - previously they reverted to the original values when the Portal Frame edit dialog was closed (54391).

Analysis & Results

  • Analysis Process - the analysis process could be terminated before completion in models containing wind loading applied directly to walls with their releases set to “Continuous (incoming members pinned)” (14578).


  • Wind Wizard - Eurocode Head Code - a program error would occur on completion of the Wind Wizard when a wind wall was > 200m in height, despite the entry of a valid  Site Ground Level such that the building height used by the Wizard was <= 200 m.  The Wizard is enhanced to cater for this circumstance and correctly sets the wall reference height to the difference between the top of the wall and the maximum of the bottom of the wall and the Site Ground Level.  Note that the Site Ground Level will be invalid if the top of any wall is at or below this level  (14143, 53759, 53760).
  • Panel Loads - Polygon load - the decomposable load for polygon loads with a concave outline could be incorrectly calculated  (14087).



  • Concrete Design
    • Slabs:
      • The design process for the Scene context menu “Design Slabs” command would override the un-checked auto-design setting for individual slab panels, thus auto-designing panels which the engineer might wish to be checked only (for their assigned reinforcement).  The behaviour is now consistent with design of multiple members of other types:  the un-checked auto-design setting is only overridden when the panel is selected in isolation and right clicked to design (13140).
      • Slab and Mat panels - Auto-design - the auto-design property is now set on by default for newly created slab and mat panels so that they are auto-designed, rather than just checked by default, during a design run (54420).
  • Composite Beams - Deflection - Camber - where the calculated camber was greater than the deflection for a particular load case, the difference was incorrectly added to the value used in the post composite deflection check.  This would produce an over-conservative design and, for existing models, could result in beams which were formerly passing failing the check.  This issue relates only to version 2017 SP3 ( released Dec 2017) in which it was introduced and is fixed in this release (14655).
  • Steel Design - Braces - Flats - auto-design did not correctly select an optimum size resulting in the final, and generally largest, size in the design order list being selected (14688).

Head Code EC

  • Steel Design - Plated Sections - Weld check:
    • Negative values of major axis shear were ignored in the weld check.  The maximum absolute value of major axis shear is now used (54560)
    • Improvements are made to the identification of the critical combination for weld design (54559).
  • Concrete Design:
    • Walls - Design Details - the equation and code reference are now given in the Bar Limit Checks for the maximum vertical bar spacing check (54318).

Head Code US

  • Seismic Design - Steel Columns - a design process error would occur, resulting in an error status for design, for columns in the following circumstance; columns forming part of an SFRS (Seismic Force Resisting System) with steel joists connecting at a level, or steel beams connecting at a point where there was no construction level (14710).
    • Note that steel beams which form part of an SFRS must be connected to columns at a construction level in order for seismic design to be carried out correctly.
  • Concrete Design - Beams - Deflection - the following enhancements are made to deflection checks for concrete beams to ACI 318 08 and 11.
    • Flanged beams;
      • Inertia of cracked section - where the neutral axis lies within the flange depth, the equations for a rectangular compression region are now used in the calculation of cracked section of inertia. Formerly the flanged section method was used resulting in an underestimation of the inertia value.   (54261).
      • Gross Section Inertia - it is now ensured that the moment of inertia of the gross section is the same within a span regardless of the considered compression or tension faces​.  The distance to the most extreme tension fiber is also calculated based on the gross moment of inertia.​  Formerly a reduced gross moment of inertia could be calculated at the supports (54266).
    • Gross Section Inertia - an effective inertia is no longer calculated in the regions where a beam is not cracked - in this case the inertia of the gross section is now used directly in calculations (54264).
    • Tension regions - these were fixed to being at the top at the supports and bottom at the span.  Although this would be the most typical case, others are possible. Tension regions are no longer fixed but are identified as top or bottom at the relevant positions based on the loading stage major moment sign (54267)
    • Design details terminology - improvements are made to some terminology used in design details; First cracked section moment of inertia (..)" is renamed to "Cracked section moment of inertia (..)" and "Cracking moment of inertia" is renamed to "Cracking moment" (54268).
    • Live load deflection - as the deflection due to live loads was calculated by subtracting the calculated dead load deflection - "selfweight + X% Dead" - from the full service load deflection - "selfweight + Dead + Live", the final result could still include the deflection due to (1-X%) of the dead load, thus overestimating the deflection.  A new loading stage with full dead loads is now introduced to ensure the deflections due to live loads only is correctly calculated (54234).
    • Maximum area of tension reinforcement As,max - for regions adjacent to support regions, the calculation of maximum area of tension reinforcement did not recognize the provided compression reinforcement when it was not required by design.  In this circumstance the calculation is now changed from using the required area of compression reinforcement to the provided area (54592).
  • Composite Design - Stud Layout - where both LRFD and ASD combinations existed, LRFD combinations were still considered for auto-layout of studs design when the Resistance Code for Composite Design was set to ASD (54238).
  • Steel Design - Combined Forces Check - for steel design to AISC 360-05 and AISC 360-10, the enhancement to the factor Cb is now included in the design of steel members combined forces check for doubly symmetric sections subject to axial tension with bending (54403).

Reports & Drawings

  • Report for Member - Steel Trusses - a program error could occur when generating a report for member for a steel truss without sides spanning between columns.  This could be worked around by removing the picture from the active Steel Truss Member report prior to creating the report.  The workaround is no longer required  (14727)
  • Report:
    • Beam End Forces - improvements are made to cater for the following circumstances;
      • Beams that lie in more than one of a level, frame and plane - formerly these were listed multiple times and are now listed only once for their referenced plane;
      • Beams with no plane reference - formerly these were excluded from the report and are now included in the “Other” table (14415).
    • Connection Resistance - an error could occur during report generation for models with steel beams designed for other than gravity combinations (14610)
  • Drawings - Punching Shear Checks - for checks with shear reinforcement applied to columns with alignment offsets and rotation such that the local axes of check were at an angle to the global axes, punching shear rails could be drawn inside the column section (14660).
  • Member Details Drawings - Concrete Beams - columns connected within the span of beams - e.g. transfer columns - were either drawn as connecting beams or omitted entirely from the detail drawing.  They are now correctly represented in a similar way to supporting columns at span ends (14681).


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.

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