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Steel detailing: Tekla vs Solid edge

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Hello all,

We are using solid edge for a long time as a steel detailing application. We were checking the benefits of Tekla through YouTube. It seems that it is very powerful for jobs like steel structure, steel truss etc.
There are several options like steel connection template with plates and bolts, which makes 3d work very fast. 2d can be automatically generated for a designated component. And many others.

Although the interface of Tekla and SE is quite different, we are hoping to get similar benefits from SE. Is there any one who has deep knowledge about these two softwares for steel detailing like curved steel shelter structure who can suggest us how we can make our SE workflow similarly powerful, fast and accurate?
Please suggest.


Betreff: Steel detailing: Tekla vs Solid edge


Hello @aslam,


well Tekla is a Software for Steel structure and Plants and Solid Edge is a machinery construction software.

In Solid Edge it exist the tool frame.

Frame created for little secondary steel structures like pipe supports and base frames for little components.

If you like to upgrade, this tool to a steel construction tool for complete building structure you need first to know that Solid Edge needs for this detailed constructions a lot of work memory 32 or 64 GB min.

If you try, the same with Tekla 16 up to 32 GB work memory for your PC is enough.

In addition, you have bigger problems with SE, the detailing from cutbacks with plates and bolts and so on.

My solution here is here use Tekla and export it to step.

IFC you can also import in Solid Edge but in the moment SE cannot import fine IFC files, so better use step.

Step files are not easy to create with Tekla. For this, it exists a Tekla IFC to Tekla step converter.


Hope this answers help you a bit.


Best Regards


Re: Steel detailing: Tekla vs Solid edge


We had a similar challenge a few years ago, we did your steel structures in Solid Edge, but spend to many ours during design, calculation and detailing.
We tried to do Tekla, and purchased a licence, but you need a tekla experienced person than, if you are used to solid edge its hard to go back to tekla, the user interface and methods are old.... we gave up.. but..
I have found a small subcontractor (6-8 persons) with Tekla, we have learned them the Geha specific constructions and this works great, they can calculate from the Tekla Model and we save a lot of money...
The big advantage of Tekla is that the drawings and documentation is done automatic.. so you can focus on the design. While we in solid edge spend a lot of our time in 2d drawings...


Do not spend your time in customising Solid Edge to do steelstructures it not suitable, hire a Tekla jock, or find a subcontractor.


The big advantage now is that we can use subcontractors for fabrication very, very easy, just handover the tekla output, with all drawing, cutting info, bom,s etc.. and they make it.. its a sort of universal steelstructure language.


I would love to have Solid Edge on that performance level in steel structures, but I asked  Dan (Staples) years ago, and he told me that this will not happen, unless I could confince him otherwise to allocate money to get this done. And this was a wise decison from Dan.


So I' m now running a Hybrid engineering department and I am happy with it... it,s fun...


Kind regards,


Jan Bos

Emmen, The Netherlands

Solid Edge user since Version 3.5 (1997)



Re: Steel detailing: Tekla vs Solid edge

Solution Partner Legend Solution Partner Legend
Solution Partner Legend

I totally agree with @Jan_Bos. Tekla has its focus on steel structure and you cannot be beaten it with a mechanical system in this area.

We have a customer sharing 3D data between Solid Edge and Tekla. The steel structure is done in Tekal and all other things including the complete mock up is in Solid Edge.

They tried the TEKLA-STEP interface to import the 3D-Data to Solid Edge but they failed because of the strange way TEKA is exporting the data. It was more or less the tessellated model and this is killing the performance. It took a weekend to import almost 70% of the data and Solid Edge was even unable to rotate the model.


The way we solved was to use a SDNF2Step interface. then you get a smooth and performant assembly of the Tekla model in Solid Edge



Betreff: Steel detailing: Tekla vs Solid edge


I'm thinking that the BIM data is not a brep solid body. So that makes translation difficult. Can someone confirm?

Betreff: Steel detailing: Tekla vs Solid edge


Hello @Stefan_Mitsch,


SDNF to step is great if you have already a working mapping file.

With this mapping file you can than translate near 90% of the steel structure.

But the other 10% you cannot translate easy.

Here it is much more helpful to have a good working IFC (2x3) to Step (Stp) converter.


Best Regards




Re: Steel detailing: Tekla vs Solid edge

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi @aslam


Going to blow my own horn here:


We (ab)use Solid Edge as our primary CAD environment for EPC/EPCM process plants. In addition to this we also use 12d and Tekla Structures alongside Solid Edge. Tekla is a very impressive rule based solution to create structural models very quickly.


Another good alternative to Tekla is Advance Steel which is nearly as good, which are able to export models that are not facetted, a major advantage by my experience. I recommend this option be evaluated and strongly considered should you not be committed to Tekla. (Un)fortunately Autodesk purchased this software from Graitek some time ago, so if you have access to Autodesk AEC you can play with this software already.


We have in-house developed software that is able to automatically export and convert models from Tekla to Solid Edge. And vice-versa provides reference models from Solid Edge near real-time for the Tekla modellers allowing them to have other disciplines visible within the Tekla environment. Without this custom automation software trying to get Tekla and Solid Edge to co-exist is very painful as a great deal of manual effort and time is required.