Working collaboratively with Trimble Connect

Added June 16, 2021 by Tekla User Assistance tekla.documentation@trimble.com

Software version: 
Tekla Structural Designer 2021

Working collaboratively with Trimble Connect

Working collaboratively with Trimble Connect

Trimble Connect is a project collaboration tool allowing project stakeholders access to reliable, up-to-date project information. It is available as a cloud-based platform (Trimble Connect Web) and a Windows application (Trimble Connect for Windows). Projects are synchronised between the Windows app and the cloud.

Note: To learn more about Trimble Connect, see:
Note: You need to have a Trimble Identity before you can start using Trimble Connect

Trimble Connect Project Explorer is used within Tekla Structural Designer to control the flow of information between the open model and a Trimble Connect project.

With Trimble Connect Project Explorer you can:

  • link a Tekla Structural Designer model to a Trimble Connect project
  • create and rename folders in a Trimble Connect project
  • view a file list and rename files in a Trimble Connect project
  • upload an IFC of the model to a Trimble Connect project
  • upload drawings
  • upload reports
Note: A Tekla Structural Designer model can only be linked to a Trimble Connect project from the Trimble Connect Project Explorer and not from the web or Windows apps. The model must be linked before any information can move between Tekla Structural Designer and Trimble Connect.

Launch Trimble Connect Project Explorer

  1. Log in using your Trimble Identity, (if not already signed in).
  2. On the BIM Integration tab, click the Trimble Connect droplist.
  3. Select Trimble Connect


    Trimble Connect Project Explorer opens, either as a docked window, or as a tab on the right of the interface.

    Available projects are listed with link icons as below.

Tip: If the project in which you want to collaborate is not shown, try clicking the refresh button to synchronise with the cloud. If it still not shown you would need somebody with the appropriate permissions to create it, or grant you access, using Trimble Connect Web, or Trimble Connect for Windows.
Tip: If a 'Cannot find linked project' message is displayed, this indicates either that you do not have permission to view the project; or, that the project to which the model was previously linked has been deleted - in this situation you would need to click 'Unlink' before you are able to link the model with another project.

Link or unlink a project

To link to a project:

  1. Click next to the project you want to link to.

    When the model is linked, the project name appears at the top of the window and the icon changes as shown below.

    Any folders or files in the Trimble Connect project that you have read access to are also displayed.

To unlink from a project:

  1. Click to unlink the project.

    The full list of available projects is displayed once more.

Create folders, rename folders, rename files

When you link to a Trimble Connect project the existing project folder structure is displayed. You can add to this, if required.
Note: You can only create but not delete folders in Trimble Connect Project Explorer. Folders can only be deleted in Trimble Connect Web, or Trimble Connect for Windows.

You can only rename folders and files to which you have write access.

To create a folder:

  1. Right click in the Trimble Connect Project Explorer window.
  2. Select Create folder and enter the folder name.

To create a subfolder:

  1. Right click on an existing folder.
  2. Click Create folder and enter the folder name.

To rename a file or folder:

  1. Right click on the file/folder.
  2. Select Rename

Upload an IFC file of a model

  1. Right-click on the folder where you want to create the IFC.
  2. Select Upload New IFC file
  3. Follow the steps in the Export to IFC wizard to create the ifc file.
    1. Adjust the location and rotation of the model, and click Next
    2. Specify the export names of material grades, and click Next
    3. Specify the ifc file name

    The ifc file will appear in the selected folder, then after an 'assimilation' process it will be possible for collaborators to view the IFC model in Trimble Connect.

Note: If the model is subsequently updated, you can upload a new revision of the ifc file. To do this, right-click on the ifc file name and select Upload new version of IFC.

Upload a multi-member drawing

  1. Open a view displaying the part of the model that you want to include in the drawing.
  2. On the Draw ribbon, click the drawing type.

    The DXF Export Preferences dialog box opens.

  3. Select Upload to Trimble Connect
    Note: The above option is only available after the model has been linked to a Trimble Connect project.

    A default drawing name for the upload is displayed.

    If required, the drawing name and upload folder can be changed by clicking […] to open the Trimble Connect File Browser.

    The Create link between model member and uploaded drawing option is not applicable to multi-member drawings, so this option cannot be selected.

  4. Click OK

    The drawing will appear in the selected folder, then after an 'assimilation' process it will be possible for collaborators to view the drawing in Trimble Connect.

Note: The Defaults button on the DXF Export Preferences dialog box can be used to set a default file location, output target and link creation option. The options defined here will be true for the whole model.

Upload a single member drawing

  1. Highlight the member for which you want to create a drawing.
  2. Right click, then from the context menu select Generate Drawing

    The DXF Export Preferences dialog box opens.

  3. Select Upload to Trimble Connect
    Note: The above option is only available after the model has been linked to a Trimble Connect project.

    A default drawing name for the upload is displayed.

    If required, the drawing name and upload folder can be changed by clicking […] to open the Trimble Connect File Browser.

  4. To link the model member and drawing, click Create link between model member and uploaded drawing.

    See the Link a drawing or report to an existing IFC topic below for more details about this option.

  5. Click OK

    The drawing will appear in the selected folder, then after an 'assimilation' process it will be possible for collaborators to view the drawing in Trimble Connect.

Note: The Defaults button on the DXF Export Preferences dialog box can be used to set a default file location, output target and link creation option. The options defined here apply for the whole model.

Upload a model report

  1. Open the required report in Tekla Structural Designer.
  2. On the Report ribbon, click PDF Upload
    Note: Both PDF Upload and Upload Settings are only available after the model has been linked to a Trimble Connect project. (The latter can be used to set a default file location, output target and link creation option that applies for the whole model.)

    The Upload Report dialog box opens and a pdf name for the report is displayed.

    If required, the pdf name and upload folder can be changed by clicking […] to open the Trimble Connect File Browser.

    The Create link between model member and uploaded report option is not applicable to model reports, so this option cannot be selected.

  3. Click OK

    The pdf will appear in the selected folder, then after an 'assimilation' process it will be possible for collaborators to view the report in Trimble Connect.

Upload a member report

  1. Highlight the member for which you want to create a report.
  2. Right click, then from the context menu select Report for Member

    The report is displayed in Tekla Structural Designer.

  3. On the Report ribbon, click PDF Upload
    Note: Both PDF Upload and Upload Settings are only available after the model has been linked to a Trimble Connect project. (The latter can be used to set a default file location, output target and link creation option that applies for the whole model.)

    The Upload Report dialog box opens and a pdf name for the report is displayed.

    If required, the pdf name and upload folder can be changed by clicking […] to open the Trimble Connect File Browser.

  4. To link the model member and report, click Create link between model member and uploaded report.

    See the Link a drawing or report to an existing IFC topic below for more details about this option.

  5. Click OK

    The pdf will appear in the selected folder, then after an 'assimilation' process it will be possible for collaborators to view the report in Trimble Connect.

Link a drawing or report to an existing IFC

When drawings and reports are uploaded they are automatically linked to an existing IFC file as long as the appropriate option is selected (Create link between model member and uploaded report / Create link between model member and uploaded drawing).

It is important to save the Tekla Structural Designer model after exporting the IFC to Trimble Connect so that the link between the two is stored in the TSD model.

Linking reports

Linking of reports occurs for member reports only. If there are 3 IFC objects associated with one member (eg a 3 span beam) there will be a link created on each of the 3 IFC objects.

Linking drawings

Linking of drawings occurs for member drawings only. If there are 3 IFC objects associated with one TSD member (eg a 3 span beam) there will be a link created on each of the 3 IFC objects.

Check linking progress in the Process Window

The progress of the linking is logged in the process window. This will show the number of successful/unsuccessful links that have been created.

There are a few reasons why linking could be unsuccessful:

  1. The member associated with the report/drawing does not exist in IFC model

  2. Connection to the Trimble Connect project is lost

  3. IFC model was not successfully uploaded

Open Trimble Connect to a model view for an IFC

  1. In the Trimble Connect Project Explorer window, right-click on the IFC file to be viewed.
  2. Select Open in Trimble Connect Web, or Open in Trimble Connect for Windows as required.

    Trimble Connect opens the linked project and displays a view of the selected ifc.

Open Trimble Connect

To open Trimble Connect from the ribbon:

  1. If not already signed in, click log in (at the top right of the interface).
  2. On the BIM Integration tab, click the Trimble Connect droplist.
  3. Select select Trimble Connect Web, or Trimble Connect for Windows as required.


    • Trimble Connect Web: This launches the in-browser web app. If the open model is associated with a Trimble Connect project, the project itself is opened, otherwise a default Trimble Connect page is opened.

    • Trimble Connect for Window: This launches the Windows application. Again, if the open model is associated with a Trimble Connect project then that project is opened.

To open Trimble Connect from Trimble Connect Project Explorer:

  1. Right-click on a folder in the Trimble Connect Project Explorer window.
  2. Select Open in Trimble Connect Web, or Open in Trimble Connect for Windows as required.

    The in-browser web or Windows app is launched and opened at the selected folder.

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