Hidden Gems in RAM Structural System

In keeping with the essence of the spring holidays that are upon us, this blog will be light and fun and sprinkled with helpful hints.  Every piece of software has small little tools/features that often go undocumented and (unfortunately) unnoticed by most users.  Some of these have been around for awhile, some are new.  Enjoy!

RAM Structural System (RSS v14.05)  Hidden Gems: 

  • Dynamic Rotation in 3D view

3D view has been in RSS for a while but chances are you are using the 3D view more now that RAM Frame has updated it's GUI.  Use the CTRL and left mouse button to dynamically rotate.  Use CTRL and the middle/wheel of the mouse to zoom in and out.  Click and hold the left mouse button for pan.


  • Change Polygons, even add additional nodes

The Decks and Surface loads dialogs have a change polygon tool.  When using this tool you can stretch or redfine the boundaries.  When your cursor approaches the mid point of a side of a polygon the add node option is available, left mouse click and the node will be added.


  • Feet/Inches toggle

This is an oldie but a goodie and likely overlooked by most of us.  Any dialog where you enter a dimension - grids, wall openings, beam add off grid, etc. - has a feet/inches toggle.  Convert existing values or switch on the fly how you indicate a location.

The column grid dialog also has a move command allowing you to nudge the grids over rather than figuring out the new global coordinate.



  • Assign Springs in lieu of gravity columns or walls

Everyone knows that Frame considers only lateral elements and that Frame will mesh any two-way slabs.  What happens when you have a two-way slab that is supported by gravity members  only at its edge?  If Frame ignores the gravity members the slab will essentially be unsupported. 

In the Criteria>Diaphragm dialog you have the choice to consider the gravity members (themselves) or to consider the gravity members as a spring.  Consider this criteria wisely, it will affect the behavior of your structure.




I had fun putting this together.  I  hope you had fun reading  it.  Did you know about these?  Will they be useful to you?  I  love to get feedback from users. 

I have some nice blog topics in development.  Check back in two weeks for a more technical topic .

Don't let projects get you overstressed, RAM gives you strength. 


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  • Thanks Ann Marie! I have another question. I have a difficult time to manipulate the graphical interface on the RAM Modeler. For example, if I zoom in/out, the screen doesn't focus on the ideal area what I want and always fall in the wrong spot. Is there a "Pan" tool/short keys similar to CAD? Thanks!

  • Ann Marie -

    Regarding the change polygon tool for decks and surface loads - how do I access this tool in RAM Modeler?  I'm assuming this tool will allow me to drag edges of slabs or surface loads in lieu of deleting and re-defining.  This sounds like a great time-saver... please help me find the tool!