André Häggman. Bachelor s thesis. Building Engineering - PDF

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André Häggman Bachelor s thesis Building Engineering Vaasa 2012 BACHELOR S THESIS Author: André Häggman Degree Programme: Building Engineering, Vaasa Specialization: Structural Design Supervisor: Kennet

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André Häggman Bachelor s thesis Building Engineering Vaasa 2012 BACHELOR S THESIS Author: André Häggman Degree Programme: Building Engineering, Vaasa Specialization: Structural Design Supervisor: Kennet Kurman Title: Application for calculating materials included in wall panel details in Tekla Structures pages 2 appendices Summary In my Bachelor s thesis for Citec, I have developed an application for Tekla Structures that calculates the amount of materials used in the installation of light-weight sandwich wall panels. Tekla Structures is a 3D-based modeling program that includes material data in its model, which makes it superb for making both drawings and material lists. Tekla Structures is mostly used in designing steel and concrete structures. The application consists of custom components, a report template and a macro that makes the final calculation and writes the result in a report. The result of this application is an accurate and time-saving calculation of the materials. Language: English Key words: Tekla Structures, custom component, template report, wall panels EXAMENSARBETE Författare: André Häggman Utbildningsprogram och ort: Byggnadsteknik, Vasa Inriktningsalternativ: Byggnadskonstruktion Handledare: Kennet Kurman Titel: Applikation som räknar ut material inkluderade i väggpanel detaljer i Tekla Structures sidor 2 bilagor Sammanfattning I detta examensarbete har jag på begäran av Citec utarbetat en applikation för Tekla Structures som räknar ut materialåtgången för montering av lätta sandwichpaneler. Tekla Structures är ett 3D-modelleringsprogram som inkluderar materialdata i modellen, vilket gör att programmet är ypperligt för att få fram både ritningar och materiallistor. Tekla Structures används främst för planering av stål- och betongkonstruktioner. Applikationen är uppbyggd av custom componenter, en report template samt ett makro som gör den slutliga beräkningen och sedan kör ut resultatet till en rapport. Applikationen utför en noggrann beräkning av materialmängder samtidigt som tidsåtgången förminskas väsentligt jämfört med manuella beräkningar. Språk: engelska Nyckelord: Tekla Structures, custom component, template rapport, väggpaneler OPINNÄYTETYÖ Tekijä: André Häggman Koulutusohjelma ja paikkakunta: Rakennustekniikka, Vaasa Suuntautumisvaihtoehto: Rakennesuunnittelu Ohjaaja: Kennet Kurman Nimike: Applikaatio joka laskee materiaaleja seinäpaneelien detaljien liittyen Tekla Structuresissa sivua 2 liitettä Tiivistelmä Kieli: englanti Avainsanat: Tekla Structures, custom component, template raportti, seinäpaneeli Contents List of appendices Foreword 1 Introduction Citec Tekla Background of the project Planning of the application Custom components Implementation Creating the Custom Component Modifying custom component settings Editing of input file Loading of detail materials Template editor Making of the template report Reflections and developments Sources Appendices List of appendices Appendix 1 Appendix 2 Input file for detail EW_-1 Detail Modelling with Custom Components, User manual Foreword Work efficiency is today highly emphasized. Developing working methods and software to maximize profit and minimize time consumption and costs has become increasingly important for companies in order to stay competitive on the customer market. Especially when thinking about cheap foreign manpower, it is highly important to constantly keep on doing development work for the purpose of producing services of high quality at a low price. My thesis has been all about automatizing the work for the envelope design team at Citec, by making an application that removes all manual calculations of materials included in the wall panel design. I have not done any kind of software programming before, so this has been something totally new and exciting to me. At the beginning it felt like quite a big task to dig into, but I have got invaluable help from coworkers and also from Tekla Helpdesk. The result complies with what the customer wanted and the envelope team has been very pleased with the application. At last I want to thank all the people who have helped me through the practical part of my Bachelor s thesis and made it possible for me to make the application good and easy-touse. I want to send special thanks to Kennet Kurman (envelope team Design Manager), Markus Vikström (Senior Application Specialist) and Peter Johansson (Project Manager) at Citec and also to the employees at Tekla Helpdesk. I have been in contact with these people throughout my thesis regarding challenges that I have not been able to meet by myself. André Häggman 1 Introduction 1.1 Citec Citec is a global company founded in 1984 with its headquarter in Vaasa. They provide multi-disciplined engineering and information management services for industry, and they specialize in the energy and power section. Citec is also well up in many other areas, for example rail vehicles, marine and process industries. The company has offices in Finland, Sweden, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and India. (Citec 2009). Due to the fact that Citec has designed over 1000 power plants around the world since 1984, energy and power industry is truly Citec s expert area. The company has approximately 1100 employees and had a turnover of about 60 million euros in (Citec 2009). From the former companies Citec Engineering Oy Ab and Citec Information Oy Ab, the company was merged into one Citec Group in At this time, the fund management Sentica Partners stepped into the company as a new majority shareholder with 67 percent of the shares. (Citec 2009). 1.2 Tekla Tekla Corporation was established in Finland in 1966 and has its headquarters in Espoo, Finland. The company also has offices in Sweden, Denmark, Germany and U.S.A among others. Tekla had a net sale of nearly 58 million euros in 2010 and an operating result of 10 million euros. The company employs more than 500 people and has customers in approximately 100 countries. (Tekla 2012). Tekla describe themselves on their homepage like this: Tekla develops model-based software products for the architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) market, for local government use and for power companies. Tekla Structures is one of the software developed by Tekla. This software is a Building Information Modeling (BIM) software, which makes it possible to exchange and visualize building information between all building disciplines through the same 3D model. Tekla Structures includes material data in its model, which makes it possible to get information about material weights, lengths and areas from the model. Tekla Structures is developed for designing steel and concrete structures. (Tekla 2012). 2 Background of the project As I was working as a summer trainee at Citec in summer 2011, I also discussed with my superiors about the possibility of doing my thesis work for Citec. After a few discussions it became clear that my thesis wo k should be about program development. One requirement was to develop and facilitate the calculation of detail materials. Calculation of materials used in the assemblage of wall panels has been a time-consuming part of the designing of Wärtsilä power plants. Detail materials have been calculated with an Excel template and a lot of manual work has been included. All details and their total lengths had to be inserted in the Excel template. The template had pre-defined materials for standard details and it calculated the materials from the given details. Still, all flashings had to be checked from the detail drawings and added to the calculation, since these were not predefined. It became my task to develop an application for Tekla Structures that calculates all the materials automatically and then gives an output to an Excel list. I dicussed with my supervisor Kennet Kurman and we came to the conclusion that the best solution is to create custom components representing wall panel details. At the kick-off meeting it was decided that my thesis should include the creation of predefined custom components for all standard details used in Wärtsilä projects. My thesis should also include a template report that calculates the amounts and then gives an output in the form of a material list which can be opened in Excel. The application had to be both quick and easy to use, and of course it had to make correct calculations. 2.1 Planning of the application To make the application easy to use I decided to create different custom components for each wall panel type. There are four different wall thicknesses for external walls and one thickness for internal wall panels, and each of these has its own details. After I had created the custom components and customized them for wall panel detail materials, I saved all details including their materials so that the details could be found in a drop-down list. With this solution I attained an organized system where you first choose the custom component according to which wall panels that are used, and then you choose the detail from a dropdown list in the custom component dialog box. To be able to calculate the amounts for different details I had to add a part to the component that symbolized the actual detail. This made it possible to define the length of the detail and in that way calculate the quantity of material needed on the basis of the total length. It was decided that I should create a template report to calculate the materials for every detail separately and then write the amounts in a list. This is done by Tekla s built-in application, Template Editor. Since the template report cannot separate between different attributes in order to sum up equal materials, a macro had to be produced. The macro s purpose is to read the report in order to select the wanted values from the report. The macro then sums up the amounts and writes them to a list which can be opened in Excel. This list is used for copying all the wanted information and then the information is pasted to the real material list template. The macro included in this application was created by Markus Vikström since I am not very familiar with programming. This would have been too big a task for me to include in my thesis work. 2.2 Custom components For defining parts, connections, seams and details, Tekla Structures contains a set of tools called custom components. System components are also included in Tekla Structures by default and often used for different kinds of connections between parts. Components can for example include fastening plates, cuts, welds and bolts for connecting two beams together. Custom components can be used in the same way as system components but they are customized by the user. On the basis of the needs, the user chooses which type of custom component is going to be created. The custom component type decides how the custom component is going to work and handle the parts selected as included parts. The different types of custom components that can be created are: connection, detail, part and seam. (Tekla Corporation 2012, pp.7-15). When a custom component is created, an input file with the same name as the custom component is inserted in the model folder under CustomComponentDialogFiles. This file defines the appearance of the custom component s dialog box. By opening this text file in for example Notepad, the file can be easily edited and tabs, fields, drop-down lists and even pictures can be added to the dialog box by using C programming language. (Tekla Corporation 2012, pp.49-55). 3 Implementation To give a clear picture of what I have achieved in my thesis, I am in this chapter going to go through every stage of making the application. This will also be a kind of user manual for making a similar application. I have divided this chapter into several subchapters to make it as clear as possible. 3.1 Creating the Custom Component To be able to define multiple materials in one part, I had to make a custom component. To make it easy to define details and their materials, all materials were written as a simple text. This means that no parts were inserted from the object or the part catalog. First I had to create a part that represented the actual detail. I made it as a beam to be able to model it both vertically, horisontally and diagonally. In this case I used a PL50*50 that was placed in the middle of the panel joint (see picture 1.). In this way it will not disturb the appearance of the wall panels in general arrangement drawings. The beam properties are not significant since the only actual function of the beam is to define the length of the detail. Also, the name of the beam will function as a detail mark in general arrangement drawings. This is described in chapter Picture 1. Making of custom component part. After I had created the part it was time to add it to a custom component. Custom components are created with the Custom Component Wizard (see picture 2). To open the wizard, go to Detailing in the main toolbar and select Component and Define Custom Component. Picture 2. Custom component wizard. 1/5 Choose from the drop-down list what type of custom component you want to create, then fill in the name of the component. In this case, Seam is chosen and the name EW_-1 is given to details for 100 mm wall panels. 2/5 Select the objects that will form the custom component. The two lowest wall panels and the steel profile are chosen as objects of the custom component. 3/5 Select one of the wall panels as the main part of the custom component. 4/5 Pick the other wall panel as the secondary part. 5/5 The start and end points of the steel profile are chosen as insertion points of the custom component. Click finish and the custom component is created. As shown in picture 3 a green cone is inserted at the bottom of the profile, which illustrates the custom component. Picture 3. Created custom component. 3.1.1 Modifying custom component settings By opening the custom component editor I could define the custom component in the way I wanted it to be. To open the custom component editor, first mark the custom component, right-click and choose Edit Custom Component (see picture 4). Picture 4. Opening the custom component editor. The custom component editor shows all parts included in the custom component, the custom component editor toolbar and the custom component browser. In picture 5, I show what the custom component editor looks like. Picture 5. Custom component editor, the beam as main part and the two wall panels as reference parts. To be able to define the length of the component profile, I had to bind the insertion points to the component planes. By doing this, the profile s nodes became the same as the insertion points of the custom component. In other words, I can define the profile to be placed between the given insertion points. 1. Select component planes from the drop-down list in the Custom component editor toolbar (picture 6). Picture 6. Custom component editor. 2. Mark the start point of the profile and right-click. Select bind to plane and choose the XY-plane at the position of the chosen point (see picture 7). Interrupt the command and repeat with end point. Picture 7. Custom component editor, binding insertion points to component planes. 3. When the variables menu in the custom component editor toolbar is opened, rows D1 and D2 have been added to component parameters. To link the profile name to custom component name, add a new row and select component name as value type (see picture 8). Picture 8. Custom component editor, variables menu. 4. In the custom component browser, go to Component objects Part General properties. Right-click on Name and select Add equation, then fill in P1_name as equation (see picture 9). The part name is then bound to the custom component name (Parameter1) and will automatically be linked to the name typed for the component. Picture 9. Custom component browser, link profile name. After I have exited the custom component editor, the custom component is found in the component catalog (ctrl + F). Search for the custom component name and the component is shown in the catalog window (see picture 10). Picture 10. Component catalog. Open the custom component by double-clicking its icon. The custom component dialog box did not by default have enough fields for the user to be able to fill in the required information about the details (see picture 11). Then, new tabs and fields had to be added to the dialog box. Picture 11. Component dialog box, primary. 3.1.2 Editing of input file In my case I needed to be able to fill in information about fasteners, sealings, insulations and flashings. All of these materials had to have their own tab with fields to fill in, to be able to give the required material information for each detail. In picture 12 I have shown a short example of how the input file can be customized and picture 14 shows the customized dialog box. Picture 12. Screen shot from edited custom component dialog file. The first row in picture 12 signifies that a new tab with the name Sealing is inserted and its position is 61. The following text defines the actual dialog box under the Sealing tab. At the beginning of the objects.inp file you can also find a detailed explanation of how the text code is structured (see picture 13). This file uses the same coding system as in the input files for custom components, but this one concerns all objects in the model. Picture 13. Screen shot from Object.inp. Picture 14. Customized Custom component dialog box. Since the dialog box for each detail was going to have the same appearance, the same input file could be used for all custom components. The only modifications that had to be made to make the file work with other custom components was the file name itself and the custom component name at the beginning of the text file. These two had to correspond to the name of the created custom component. As an example of the input files you can find the input file for custom component EW_-1 enclosed in appendix Loading of detail materials To make the custom component easy to use, I pre-loaded all the details including their materials and saved the details by their name. In this way, standard details became easy to find in the drop-down list in the dialog box, and the user can in a few clicks select the detail he wants to model. All fields in the dialog box were set as blank as default. This makes it easy to type in new materials when a non-standard detail is used in a project. When I started to pre-load the standard details, I began with details for wall panels with a 100 mm thickness. I consistently started from the first detail and typed its materials and required information in the empty fields. When one detail was ready, I saved it by its name and carried on with the next detail. Totally there were 230 details to be pre-loaded and each of these had to be correctly defined so as not to give an incorrect output in the end. When all the details had been saved, they could be loaded from the drop-down list in the dialog box (see picture 15). When a detail is applied, all its information is included in the custom component and the detail name is linked to the profile. As the profile name is the same as detail name, it is easy to insert detail marks in general arrangement drawings by using part marks. Detail marks are required for the site workers to know how each wall panel will be fastened and which materials the connection includes. Picture 15. Custom component dialog box, pre-loaded details for EW_ Template editor The template editor is a separate application included in Tekla Structures for editing templates. The application can be run from Tekla Structures but also as a standalone program. Templates can be used for defining text boxes included in drawings or for creating reports from the model. The forms that the template editor describes can be either in a graphica
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