Tekla Structural Designer 2018 Service Pack 4

Last updated August 8, 2018 by Tekla Structural Designer Development Team tekla-product-development-tsd-team-ug@trimble.com

Tekla Structural Designer 2018 Service Pack 4

This release will upgrade your Tekla Structural Designer installation to 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 Tekla Structural Designer 2018 Service Pack 3 (version you can find details of enhancements and fixes included in all previous releases in Tekla User Assistance (TUA) and Tekla Downloads via the links below:

Licensing & Installation

  • Licensing - no new license is required for this version.
  • Installation - this service pack requires Tekla Structural Designer 2018 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 may not open 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

  • [TSD-896]1 - Steel Members - Check Design - this issue applies to all Head Codes and relates to the checking of parts of a model following an analysis using the Structure Tree context menu check commands, such as ‘Check Plane’ and ‘Check sub structure’ etc.  For these commands no check was performed for steel members in the selected part and their design status was not updated.  It is possible the engineer could miss this and think a design had been performed.  Note that the context menu design options such as ‘Design Plane’ did function correctly.  For more information please see Product Bulletin PBTSD-1808-1.

Fixes & Enhancements

General & Modelling

A number of fixes are made to improve performance and stability.

  • [TSD-616]1 - Solver View - Solver Models - in the solver model view we have restricted the options to list only analysis models as used in previous analyses.  We have removed the option to preview the model that would be used in a future analysis because this seemed to cause confusion.  However, anyone who really wants this capability can re-expose it by holding the control key while right clicking to access the full solver model list as previously.
  • [TSD-157]1 - Edit - Merge Planes - a new “Merge Planes” command is added to the Edit ribbon.  Where a model contains very close planes, as can often occur in imported models, for example, this command allows the user to merge two planes by selecting a destination plane and then a source plane. Where possible, everything on the source plane will be moved to the destination plane, and the source plane will be deleted. If the merge is not possible, a message will be given in the Process window and the model will be unchanged.

    PleaseNote: The Merge Planes is a powerful and flexible command, but care must be taken to select appropriate destination and source planes.

  • [TSD-856]1 - View Configurations - Open View - opening a view via the Manage View Configurations dialog did not function correctly, when opened all saved views would be blank (saved view configurations still functioned correctly when applied to Report View items).  This issue relates only TSD 2018 first release (v18.0.0.32) - in which the issue was introduced - and subsequent versions and is fixed in this release.
  • [TSD-491]1 - Copy and Move - Slab Panel Patches - Edit>Copy is enhanced to allow copying of slab patches to destinations that were not allowed in earlier versions.
  • [TSD-674]1 - Portal Frames - Editing - base offsets were not correctly considered following model edits which impacted Portal Frames - such as changing level values or grid line locations - resulting in incorrect changes to frame geometry/ location.  This could be worked around by setting base offsets to zero before adjustment then reinstating them.  Base offsets are now correctly considered and the workaround no longer required.


  • [TSD-430]1 - Copy Loads - Patch loads can now be copied on Roof Panels using the Edit > Copy Loads function.


  • [TSD-811]1 - Panel Loads - for panels with their diaphragm option set to Semi-rigid, applying in-plane line loads caused an incorrect validation error preventing analysis.  This relates only to version 2017i - in which the issue was introduced - and subsequent versions.

Analysis & Results

  • Seismic RSA Analysis:
    • [TSD-882]1 - Storey Shears - Seismic RSA - values for Storey Shear are no longer given in Tabular Data or Reports for Seismic RSA cases or combinations as they did not provide a useful result.
    • [TSD-693]1 - Seismic Torsion - All Headcodes - where the user opts for, or code guidance requires, scaling of the combined RSA modal response lateral base shear to static (ELF) procedure base shear, the resulting scale factor is no longer applied to Seismic torsion loadcases.   Since the Seismic torsion loads are derived from the static procedure base shear distributed to levels they are already scaled and hence applying the scale factor, as was done in previous versions, produced over-conservative values.
  • [TSD-504]1 - Results View - Beam End Reactions - previously a limitation prevented certain Beam End Reactions from being displayed in 2D results views. This limitation has now been removed.
  • [TSD-472]1 - Slab Deflection - Iterative Cracked Section Analysis (ICSA) - previously, ICSA  would fail in levels subject to analysis containing slab items of types other than concrete [e.g. steel decks].  Furthermore, flat-slabs and slab on beams that were set to be post-tension would erroneously be included in the analysis.  Now, slab types other than Reinforced Concrete Flat Slab, Slab On Beams and Foundation Mat are ignored in the ICSA analysis which will compete provided there is at least one of these valid slab types in the model.
  • [TSD-216]1 - Nonlinear Analysis - Non-linear Spring Supports - for models with foundation mats with non-linear springs set, or supports with similar settings, if the total capacity of the nonlinear springs is exceeded in a load case or combination, non-linear analysis can continue for a prolonged period and ultimately fail to solve.  Now for such models a quick check is performed at the end of a linear analysis to determine whether the total reaction at a spring support, or over a mat with non-linear springs applied, exceeds the capacity.  When it does a warning is now issued in the Analysis Status tree, as shown in the picture below.  The engineer can perform this quick check prior to proceeding to non-linear analysis.  In general we recommend it is good practice to run a linear analysis even on non-linear models as a matter of course, to rule out simple mistakes and issues such as mechanisms, before proceeding to non-linear analysis.



  • [TSD-61]1 - Steel Design - Beams with Web Openings - a significant speed improvement is made for deflection calculation of beams with web openings. This applies to BS, EC and US headcodes.
  • [TSD-318]1 - Isolated Foundations - Pile Caps - a new option is introduced to add flexibility to the consideration of an upper limit on the pile one-way shear critical section length in pile cap design.  The engineer can now opt to apply a limit or not, and to set the maximum length to be considered when the limit is enabled, allowing control of the level of conservatism in the check.  The new setting is available for both Global Settings [for new models] and Model Settings (for existing models] and is located in Design Options > Concrete > Foundations > Isolated Foundations > Piles > Pile one-way shear checks.
  • [TSD-859]1 - Slab Design - Individual Panel/Patch Design - program operation for this was changed in the previous Service Pack 3 such that the Design option responded to the object’s current auto-design setting.  When autodesign was unchecked then only a check was performed - i.e. no changes to reinforcement would be made.  Since this is inconsistent with the convention applied for other member types, this release reverts to the previous behaviour: when Design of a single object is requested the Design process is performed - regardless of the autodesign setting - and additional reinforcement is selected if necessary.
  • [TSD-103]1 - Review View - Design Status - whenever Characteristic, Element type, Material type, Construction or Fabrication are changed, the UR and Status are now cleared. Previously a prior design status for a member type that is within the design scope would remain when any of these properties were changed resulting in the member being beyond scope and no longer subject to design.

Head Code US

  • Steel Design - Columns:
    • [TSD-559]1 - Review View - Design Status - for multi-stack columns, the pass/fail design status colour of the critical stack was assigned to all stacks so for example, where only one stack failed, all stacks would be assigned a fail status.  Now the individual status of each stack is displayed making it easier to visually identify critical stacks.
    • [TSD-789]1 - Combined Forces check - in some circumstances an LTB check was performed when not required for lengths with the flange in tension.

Repo​rts & Drawings

  • Reports:
    • [TSD-468]1 - Beam End Forces - in the Beam End Forces Report, the 'Beam Reference' column previously held both the reference and the section. This has now been split into two columns making it easier to sort by section when the report is exported to Excel.


1 This number is an internal reference number and can be quoted to your local Support Department should further information on an item be required.

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