Design and detail transmission towers more efficiently with PowerPack for Advance Steel, an aid to sustainability

2 November 2023Advance Steel, PowerPackdigital transformation, PowerPack for Advance Steel, structural engineering, sustainable design, transmission tower



written by Philippe Bonneau and John Bennett


Designing transmission towers for supporting high-voltage electric lines to connect energy-distributed generation plants is a challenge. It involves engineering, detailing, fabrication, and erection considerations, all aimed at providing reliable, safe, and efficient electrical transmission. In addition, it can minimize adverse impacts on the environment and communities, aiding a sustainable future for all.

looking up into center of power transmission tower

Transmission Tower Designer is a new tool in PowerPack for Advance Steel, which offers powerful 3D parametric design capabilities.

With it, Autodesk Advance Steel users can create various components of a transmission tower in 3D, such as the tower legs, crossarms, bracing, and other structural elements.

This tool provides several features to control the arrangement of the tower, combined with several bracing schemes within the overall structure.

Advance Steel screen showing graphic of power transmission tower

Towers:  Example tower and dialog box

Key Advantages

Transmission Tower Designer combines a series of macro elements to control the complex structure associated with towers:

  • Automation of tower creation.
  • Numerous bracing schemas.
  • Multiple options for tower configuration. Multiple section size selection, combined with multiple alignment options.
  • Library for standard configurations.
  • Multiple locations enabled using Advance Steel copy tools.

The tower macro is based upon the following basic schema for construction . . .

line drawing of transmission tower elevation

close up of transmission tower segment

details of transmission tower segment

Towers: Cage and segments schemas

. . . with additional features for cross arms and tower top options.

green and red call-outs of top, cross arms and cages of black line drawing of transmission tower blue 3D representation of transmission tower

Towers: Overall arrangements

The Transmission Tower macro is based upon a rectangular base plan arrangement, then a series of cages and segments. There is an option to apply bracing elements within the fields of those segments, based upon several divisions between the fields.

Following are useful definitions:

Cages: Main parts of the tower body which have different slopes.

Segments: Cage divisions – the number of segments of a cage is equal to the number of leg divisions.

Fields: Equal segment divisions made by the selected bracing system.

Divisions: Equal parts of a field made by the web bracings (above and below the horizontal) for XBS and KS types of vertical bracing.

The main cage arrangements can be sloped or vertical or a combination of each type, based upon the cage segment.

There are elements in the macro for the creation and placement of tower arms and a tower top element, including multiple variations of these configurations.


Command Location

The Tower Designer command is located under the Structures Vault palette, with a specific tab for Tower Designers. Select this and then the Command button to start the Tower Designer command. The creation of the tower is based upon the current UCS 0,0,0 location; typically a user would start at WCS.

Advance Steel on computer screen with purple components in background, 3D transmission tower picture in picture

Towers: Tower Designer command button

Product Help

Check the Product Help for full documentation of the Transmission Tower Designer tool in PowerPack for Advance Steel.

PowerPack for Advance Steel (

PowerPack for Advance Steel tower designers tab

Towers:  Online help page

Try It Yourself

To complement this, there is a guided walkthrough, which is available under the ‘Online resources’ on ‘How to use Towers’:

how-to-use-towers.pdf (

cover page of How to use Towers

The user guide explains how to achieve a tower configuration and explores the basics of the macro through the placement of a series of elements.

side-by-side graphic of blue line drawing of transmission tower and Advance Steel Transmission Tower menu

There are many other combinations and possibilities within the current tool, so this guide is only the starting point for the user to explore them.

Watch This 3-minute Video to Learn More

Discover how you can easily model Transmission Towers in Advance Steel with this video showing how to use the dedicated Tower Designer tool in PowerPack for Advance Steel:

Push the boundaries of Advance Steel with PowerPack for Advance SteelContact us today to learn more.



New call-to-action

How Computational Detailing Will Revolutionize Structural Engineering for Future Building Systems

30 April 2024Advance Steel, Computational Design, Structural designCarol Dunn

The digital era presents opportunities for structural design to transcend conventional boundaries and embrace creativity. The intersection of computing, structural…

How to retrieve missing details from the Document Manager: 5 scenarios

20 November 2023Advance Steel, Autodesk Software, Structural designJanet Black

Document Manager tip: You can avoid using the "Register Documents to Model" toolset in Advance Steel if your workflow to…

Tech Tip: 4 Steps for Creating a 1½” Diameter Threaded Rod

19 October 2023Advance SteelJanet Black

Following are the steps you can use in Autodesk Advance Steel to create a 1½” diameter threaded rod.