To begin the tutorial, double click on the RAM Structural System icon on the desktop. The screen that appears is the RAM Manager program. In the middle of the screen there should be a Bentley logo which indicates that you are running Release 14.00 (or later).
Before you even create your first model you can adjust the program defaults. The defaults cover everything from User Name, to Steel preferences and beyond. If you had another version of RAM Structural System prior to installing Release 14.00, those previous default settings should still be set. With each new version there are new defaults for new features which should be checked however.
Once that is complete it's time to create your tutorial model.
The model status lights keep track of the global status of the current model. The manager has 5 different light colors:
The manager also has a legend in the bottom left hand corner that gives live status info for each module.
There are several different criteria that can be set from the RAM Manager. These typically have an impact on all of the various design modules. Other, more specific design criteria are set within the individual design modules.
To pick the appropriate code for Live Load Reduction:
Notice that there are several Building Codes available for Live Load Reduction, including SBC, BOCA, UBC, NBC of Canada, BS 6399, Eurocode, AS/NZ 1170.1, China GB 50009-2001 and Hong Kong. Selecting certain codes will make additional criteria specific to these building codes available in the Criteria Menu.
Also, there are three check boxes under Determining Number of Stories. If you have not changed the installation defaults, the bottom two check boxes will be checked. This setting is used by the program to determine how many levels are supported by a column. Some codes establish a maximum Live Load Reduction depending on the number of floors supported by the column and differentiate between floor levels and roof levels. For more information on the use of this setting, refer to the RAM Manager on-line documentation.
To control whether or not the program automatically includes member self weight as part of the Dead Load case:
The program references tables in the analysis and design of all models. The Master Steel Table includes all section designations and section properties for all available steel shapes. The installed master tables reflect the current state of available sections. When changes to the section properties or availability are made by AISC or other governing organization we make every attempt to update the files accordingly. You may modify the master tables yourself with any text editor (e.g. Microsoft Word Pad), but we recommend that you make a copy of the file for alterations first, as the default files will be overwritten when the program is reinstalled. Master table files have the extension ".TAB" and can be found in the Tables subfolder wherever the RAM Structural System was installed. For more information on table format, please refer to the RAM Manager on-line manual.
Besides the master table of sections, the program also utilizes Design Steel Tables in the optimization of the steel members. There are Design Steel Tables for Deck, Column, Beam, Smartbeam and Joist; their extensions are ".DCK", ".COL", ".BMS", ".CAS", ".JST" (and ".KCS") respectively. The Design Steel Tables include a listing of the sections in a particular order, which affects the program optimization. You can customize these tables to meet your specific needs or create new tables. Again, the RAM Manager on-line documentation has a complete description of the format of the design tables.
For concrete members, the gross dimensions are always created directly in the model, but there is a Concrete Table which contains a list of reinforcement bar designations (names) along with cross sectional areas and diameters. All the reinforcement in the table will be available for use in the design of both concrete beams and columns. The Pan Joist Table contains a list of common pan sizes for use in pan joist construction. The reinforcement tables have extension ".REN" and the pan joist tables have extension ".PNJ".
The units for any model may be altered at any time. Changing the units does not affect the physical model size of an existing model, it only alters the reports and on-screen displays. It is important to note that when you create a new file and pick the units you are also selecting which set of defaults to use. Changing the units after the model is created does not affect which set of defaults the program uses.
There are several additional commands and settings which do not need to be invoked for the tutorial model at this time. These may be found under the Post-Processing and Tools menus in the menu bar. They include more criteria settings, report styles defaults, export options, etc. Feel free to examine or adjust the other items now.
The RSS feed at the bottom of the Manager window has news and links that are pertinent to you. Things like version updates and patches as well as Bentley news and product info can be found here.