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Beckhoff TwinCAT 3

Downloading TwinCAT 3

  • At the top of the website click on Download.
  • On the new page that opens, under the heading Software click TwinCAT 3.
  • Now click on the first entry named TE1xxx | Engineering.
  • Now click on the entry TwinCAT 3.1 – eXtended Automation Engineering (XAE).
  • In the Download – Cart window that appears click Start Download.
  • Now create an account and log in to download the software.

Installing TwinCAT 3

  • Double click the setup file (TC31-Full-Setup.3.1.xxxxx).
  • Welcome Screen -> NEXT.
  • License Agreement -> I AGREE -> NEXT.
  • Enter User & Organisation -> NEXT.
  • Setup Type -> Select Complete -> NEXT.
  • Click INSTALL.
  • Click FINISH when install complete.
  • Click YES when asked to restart PC.


Startup guide for TwinCAT and Experior

Navigate to the bottom right systray in Windows and right click the TwinCAT logo. Left click the TwinCAT XAE to startup TwinCAT.

Either open a project or make a new one.

  • File -> Open -> Project
  • File -> New -> Project

Then select TwinCAT XAE Project, give your new project a name and click OK.

Right Click PLC in the Solution Explorer and select Add new item.

Then select Standard PLC Project, give it a name and click Add.

It should then look like the following picture:

Now you are ready to program (for a video tutorial see: Learning PLCs with Structured Text).

When you are done programming you need to build your solution like the picture below shows:

Then you can activate a 7 day Trial License if needed.

Type in the shown characters.

Then Activate the Configuration.

Press OK and restart in RUN mode.

The icon in the systray should turn green.

Now two things can happen. Either TwinCAT goes into RUN mode or it shows an error.


If you get the error save your work and restart your computer. Open the BIOS menu and navigate to advanced features or security and activate virtualization technology (Intel VT-x). Then you should be able to get TwinCAT in run mode.

Another known error is if vmware is running in the background. Close vmware.

In RUN mode press the Login button.

Press YES to download the program to the softPLC.

Press the RUN button.

Now go to the Experior model you are programming.

Press the Communication tab, right click somewhere in it and select the Beckhoff ADS.

When clicked the Properties window shows on the right. Change the Port to be the same as TwinCAT’s – usually that is 851.

With the TwinCAT softPLC running in the background right click the Beckhoff ADS and select Read Symbols.

Experior now detects the variables defined in the programming.

You can choose not to do this. Then you will need to name your Experior variables yourself. The name should contain the program name first eg. “MAIN.start”.

Select a component in Experior and look for PLC Input in the Properties tab (in this case I have selected a Pushbutton).

If you did use “Read Symbols” you can chose the variable from a list. If not you will have to write it in the Symbol – SYM field.

Now this pushbutton in Experior will operate the variable named “start” in TwinCAT.

To be able to operate your model you will need to connect the Beckhoff ADS to the TwinCAT soft PLC. Right click the Beckhoff ADS in Experior and press Connect.

In TwinCAT you will see the play button is lit. Press it.

TwinCAT is now in run mode and running your program.

So if you put Experior in Run/Play (p) mode you can see the programming run the model you have build or are operating.

You will see the variables change from FALSE to TRUE if the Pushbutton is pushed.

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