RAMSS 3D Viewer [FAQ]

 Product(s):RAM Structural System; 3D Viewer
 Version(s):10.0 and later
 Area: Graphics

Why are my graphics chunky or blocky looking?

RAM Structural System uses open GL based graphics. Many graphics adapters are set up for high performance, but reduced quality graphics which is preferred for high speed gaming, but not really necessary for engineering work. With these adapters there is usually a way to improve the quality but the program also has an option to override the graphics adapter and let the operating system handle the graphics in our 3D viewer. To use this option got to RAM Manager - Tools menu - Defaults Utility.. - (Last Option) 3D viewer - and set Smoothing = None.

This should eliminate the chunky type graphics or triangulated graphics you might see.

The same tip can also fix problems where some element types (particularly the columns) are not showing up at all.

I modeled a roof with multiple slopes, but in the 3D view the deck is a single sloped plane shooting up.  How do I fix this?

Starting in version 14.0, the program will display the surface of the deck in 3D.

For a sloping deck to function correctly in this regard, the deck must be input using a separate polygon for each sloping surface. In other words, for a gable roof, two deck polygons should be defined, one for each side or slope of the roof.  A whole-floor application of the deck is no longer sufficient.

It is suggested to snap to the beam end points when defining these decks, since the beam end points have exact elevations which are derived from the supporting column or wall elevations. Here's a better way to lay out the deck polygons for the model illustrated above:

Even slight imprecision in the support elevations (i.e. warping of the deck) can cause this anomaly in 3D.

The analysis results will only be affected if the warped deck is part of a semirigid diaphragm in RAM Frame or is defined as a two-way deck.

Why is it difficult to select a specific member in 3D? 

RAM Structural System performs best when the model is reasonably close to the world origin (0,0). When models are imported from Revit or dxf or ISM it is a good idea to check that the resulting model is close to (0,0), otherwise some things can become more difficult. Selecting a specific member for example can become harder, but more importantly, some of the calculations which are limited to a set number of significant digits could be compromised if the model is many miles from (0,0). A utility to Move a Model has been posted under the Ram Data Access area in cases where you need to move a model after the fact, but keep in mind, some information will be lost.

See also [[Can't Select a Member in Plan, Elevation, 3D View]]

Why are some of the members not shown in the Design Module or 3D view?

Within each design module there is a tool called View - Nonpertinent Members that can be used to control how the other members that are not being designed in the current module should appear. The options are Normal (all members are drawn the same), Lines (single line mode for non-pertinent members) or Hide. Pick any option other than Hide to see all members.

The ability to turn off the display of member types (e.g. gravity columns or lateral walls) and the slab/decking is also possible through the View - Members dialog or the Hide/Show icons on the toolbar.

Finally, as with all graphics related issues, updating the graphics adapter driver is advised.

To identify what type of video card is installed in your computer, please follow these steps.

Windows XP

  1. Go to the Start Menu and select Settings – Control Panel.
  2. Double-click on Display.
  3. There are several tabs in the Display Setting dialog box. Select the Settings tab,
  4. On the Settings tab, click on the Advanced button.
  5. Again there will be several tabs. Select the Adapter tab.

The name of the video card will be displayed on the Adapter tab. Please refer to the manufacturer of
that video card to download the latest drivers.

  1. Windows 7
  2. Go to the display settings (via control panel
  3. Click Adjust resolution on the left
  4. Click advanced Settings in the middle

The dialog that appears should have an Adapter Tab with information about the graphics adapter.

My file crashes when I try to use the 3D view, what can be done?

If the 3D view crashes for any file, then it is a problem with the graphics and updating the graphics adapter driver, settings the smoothing option to "none" or reinstalling the program are the most likely solutions as discussed above.

If it crashes for a specific file, not all files, then it could indicate some corruption in the unique ID structure or a problem with the slab display. 

If the unique IDs have become corrupted, this can usually be fixed by deleting and then redefining the story data. We recommend that you take a screen grab or write down the story information first so that it's easy to recreate. Regretfully this process will purge the model of vertical braces and wall openings, so it should be done in a copy of the model first.

If the slab is the problem it can usually be resolved by deleting the openings or re-assigning the slab edge. Again, we recommend working with a copy of the model when testing this.

For models that still crash the 3D view, it's best to send the problem model to the technical support group through a Forum post or file a service request: https://apps.bentley.com/srmanager/ProductSupport .

The program encounters an error opening 3D view

This can happen launching it from Modeler, Column module, Frame module. The log reads, "error info:...Database Version, Model Database Version 15.80 can not be read in by DA Version 15.60, eID=25657"

Please perform a clean installation of RAM Structural System.

The 3D view, and Ram Steel Column show nothing but a blank screen

Beside the suggestions above, such as a clean installation of the program, there could be a problem on multi-monitor setups to display the graphics on a specific monitor. To diagnose this, test in a single monitor setup and confirm if the graphics appear or not. If they do then check for graphics adapter driver updates, etc. 

See Also

RAMSS Modeling [FAQ]

RAM Frame Meshing and Segmentation [TN]