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Using Excel in connection design

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Using Excel in connection design

You can link system components and Excel spreadsheets, so when a component is applied or modified, an associated Excel spreadsheet application can be run. The configuration information is passed from the component to the spreadsheet, calculation run within the spreadsheet and component properties passed back to the connection. You have the option to use Excel in connection design for all steel components that have a Design tab in their component properties dialog box.

Tekla Structures includes sample spreadsheet for connection design and a template spreadsheet you should use to create your own spreadsheet applications to use with Tekla Structures components. Before you start: Create the connections and parts. Create the Excel spreadsheet for connection type, or use a predefined file. See more in Setting up Excel files . To use the Excel spreadsheet for connection design: 1. 2. 3. 4. Double-click the connection to open the connection properties dialog box. Go to the Design (or Design type) tab and select Excel in the External design list box. Click Modify. The connection properties are transferred from Tekla Structures to a connection type specific Excel spreadsheet, where the properties are calculated. 5. The calculated properties are saved to an output file. 6. The modified properties are transferred back to Tekla Structures and the connection is modified according to the changes.

Topics

Setting up Excel files Sample implementation Indicating component status

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Setting up Excel files

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Setting up Excel files

The following list describes what kind of files are needed for performing connection design with Excel: Visual Basic script file linking Tekla Structures with external software. Excel spreadsheet containing calculations. Component type specific spreadsheet, which contains predefined calculations. When you run the connection design, the connection properties and information of the main and secondary parts are transferred to the Input and Component sheets of the spreadsheet. Connection specific result file, which displays the modified connection properties is stored to model folder. This file is created automatically from the Calculation sheet of the spreadsheet. The file is updated each time you modify the connection. Calculation results can be stored as Excel spreadsheet, HTML or PDF format, depending on how calculation spreadsheet is configured. File names and locations Excel.vb file (located in the ...\nt\bin\plugins folder) defines the Excel spreadsheet file names and the locations. Excel searches for the spreadsheet in the following order and with following name: 1. File named "component_ + number or name + .xls", from the current model folder: ..\*model folder*\exceldesign For example, ..\test_model\exceldesign\component_144.xls 2. File name and path defined with variable XS_EXTERNAL_EXCEL_DESIGN_PATH : XS_EXTERNAL_EXCEL_DESIGN_PATH (=%XS_DIR%\environments\countryindependent\exceldesign\) + "component_" + number + ".xls" By default, the result file is stored in the model folder, and named with component ID (For example, component_9502_res.xls).

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Sample implementation

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Sample implementation

Below is descibed the contents of an Excel spreadsheet which is used for End plate (144) connection: When user clicks Modify in the End plate (144) properties dialog box, Excel.vb file calls Excel spreadsheet named component_144.xls. Contents The sample spreadsheet includes the following sheets: Inputs (user inputs on connection dialog). Tekla Structures transfers the component properties from the component properties dialog box to this sheet.

Component Tekla Structures transfers the component geometry and information on the main and secondary parts (for example, part profiles) into this sheet. The component attributes in the spreadsheet are the same as in the corresponding .inp file. See more about .inp files in Input files. This sheet includes calculations (the calculations can be as Visual Basic macros in the sheet).

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Sample implementation

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Calculation Summary of calculation is collected to the Calculation sheet. This page or full Excel spreadsheet can be stored as a report of the calculation.

Outputs Excel adds the modified values to the Output sheet. These values are tranferred back to the connection and connection in the model is modified accordingly.

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Indicating component status

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Indicating component status

When you use Excel in connection design, you can have Tekla Structures use different colored component symbols to indicate the status of a component in the model. To do this, include the error attribute on the Output page of the Excel spreadsheet for the component. The possible values are: Value 1

Color Green

Status Bolt edge distances are sufficient. Passes the connection design check using the UK and US design codes embedded in the system.

2 3

Yellow Edge distance(s) are insufficient according to the value in the Coefficients properties in the Options dialog box (Setup > Options). Red Tekla Structures cannot calculate the component properties. Possible reasons include: Incorrect connection direction Incorrect workplane Inappropriate connection selected The connection design check was carried out using the embedded UK and US design codes and the connection cannot support the loading defined by the user.

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Using Excel with custom components

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Using Excel with custom components

You can link Excel spreadsheets to custom components, for example, to check connections. For custom components, you need to add the property Use external design to the custom component dialog box: 1. Select the component, then right-click and select Edit custom component. 2. In the custom component editor, click to open the Variables dialog box. 3. Click Add and enter the following information:

4. Save the component and close the custom component editor. The custom component dialog box now contains the Use external design property. Spreadsheet location The template spreadsheets are located in folder ..\TeklaStructures\11.2 \environments\country_independent\exceldesign. By default, Tekla Structures searches for the spreadsheet in the following order: From the model folder: ../*your model*/exceldesign/ From folder defined with variable XS_EXTERNAL_EXCEL_DESIGN_PATH Spreadsheet name The name of the file must be component_*component name*.xls. For example component_custom1.xls for a custom component named custom1. For more information on the required Excel files, file locations and how to perform the connection check with Excel, see Using Excel in connection design .

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10.02.2006

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