There is really no difference; all files give you the same capabilities. The default files are setup differently because there are usually additional load cases and plans for a mat (lateral load cases, soil bearing plans, etc.). With some work, you could turn any elevated slab file into a mat file and vice versa.
This cannot be done with the current version - you need to open the file and recalculate. We expect to add this feature in a future version (but the “save with results” files will be huge).
Yes. See Chapter 13, “Using a CAD Drawing”.
No. For straightforward geometry it may be quicker to draw “from scratch”. It can be useful to specify a grid and then use snap to grid to locate columns and walls.
Yes. It is sometimes a good idea to delete the imported drawing as it affects the extent that Concept displays and prints as well as the file size on disk. Any DWG or DXF file can be re-imported if necessary. If you moved the imported drawing or structure after the first import then the new import will not match. You can move the new drawing if necessary.
Yes, from any plan just go to File > Export Drawing. See “Exporting a plan” on page 155 of Chapter 33 for more.
Yes, a template file contains everything a normal file includes (such as specification settings, plans, etc.) but has no objects. You can create a template from any RAM Concept file by choosing File > Save Template. Concept saves a copy of your file without any objects and with the .cpttmp filename extension. Copy an existing template file by choosing File > New and clicking Copy File... to create a new file based on the template.
Regretfully, custom templates only work with new files, they cannot be applied to existing files nor used with files generated automatically using the Ram Structural System or ISM interfaces.
Yes. You could create a template that is suited to RC design, such as eliminating the Initial Service Load Combination and Initial Service Rule Set, and unchecking the Consider as Post-Tensioned option in the span segment properties. See “About templates” on page 6.
RAM Concept models cannot be saved to an earlier version of the program. If you need to send a model to someone using an older version of Concept, you might try installing Structural Synchronizer and export an ISM repository. The repository can be imported into the older version if it is ISM enabled.
ISM Structural Synchronizer CONNECT Edition v.10.00.01.32
Information on ISM:
Unlinking Ram Concept Files from Ram SS
Structural Product TechNotes And FAQs