March 19, 2024

Tekla’s 2024 updates focus on improved collaboration around BIM

With BIM now an accepted tool, being able to collaborate around the data is the next big step to take.

Tekla is Trimble’s software solution for 3D modeling with a number of different products designed for, among other things, designing, analyzing designs, and automating calculations. Last week, the company announced a number of improvements coming to the Tekla line with the introduction of the software’s 2024 versions. The updates come to Tekla Structures, Tekla Structural Designer, Tekla Tedds, and Tekla PowerFab

While there are some specific updates across each of the products, which we’ll get to a bit further down, the theme among all of these updates is collaboration. Trimble describes collaboration as “one of the deciding factors for the success of BIM” in their announcement of these updates, indicating the importance they have placed on streamlining communication around BIM models. The new 2024 versions include “industry-standard communications improvements,” according to the company.

There are improvements and additions made to a number of different Tekla solutions, as noted above, but the bulk of this announcement is dedicated to Tekla Structures, a BIM platform which serves as something of an unofficial flagship for Tekla. Trimble says that the 2024 version of Tekla Structures “provides an enhanced user experience for staying on schedule and on budget. It provides engineers and detailers — who work on complex geometry projects — access to more intuitive modeling with fewer iterations from the start.”

As for specifics for the improvements, they point to automated tools for steel and precast unit drawing creation. Additionally, their change management tools play into the collaboration theme, allowing for efficient paths to work across divisions, teams, and stakeholders in general. Trimble also points to a stronger alignment with industry workflows through the support of open standards, including BIM Collaboration Format (BCF), which allows multiple collaborators to effectively work within a model throughout different phases of a project. Finally, Tekla Structures 2024 includes “enhanced” interoperability with other solutions – both from Trimble and third parties – as well as licenses now including Trimble Connect Business Premium and Tekla Model Sharing for an all-in-one solution.

Along with improvements to Tekla Structures, Trimble announced improved 2024 versions for Tekla Structural Designer, Tekla Tedds, and Tekla PowerFab. For Structural Designer, users can now take advantage of a new Staged Construction Analysis tool, which “takes into account that there is a sequence in construction and loading.” Structural engineers will also be able to use reference models from other disciplines to check compatibility.

As for Tedds, which is the structural engineering calculation solution within Tekla, there is now an updated library of predefined structural calculations and custom calculation capabilities, along with masonry design for US codes, steel angle design for European and US codes, and retaining basement wall analysis and design for European and US codes.

Finally, within Tekla PowerFab 2024, they have built on an improvement from last year’s introduction of visual change management and job cost estimation tools. This includes improved workflows for these tasks as well as an integration with BCF Topics, which gives companies using different software the ability to collaborate.

These improvements on their own are nothing revolutionary, but they speak to some crucial aspects of this new era of construction technology, and specifically the usage of BIM. As these tools have become more popular – even required in some locales – they’ve helped to streamline an industry that was desperate for improved efficiency. However, as BIM has become more common, the next step is ensuring that everyone can easily view all relevant models and data. In other words: Improved collaboration. There is still room to grow, but Tekla’s 2024 improvements highlight the shift towards this focus, a trend that should only continue in coming years.

 "Improving coordination between all stakeholders on projects is key to ensuring the industry can deliver projects on time, budget and schedule. The Tekla 2024 versions are another significant step in bringing all those stakeholders closer together," said Michael Evans, senior product director, Trimble engineering and BIM solutions, in a statement.

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