Creating custom Sections, Materials etc. in RAM Elements [TN]

 Applies To 
 Product(s):RAM Elements; RAM Connection
 Version(s):V8i; CONNECT Edition
 Area: Tables


RAM Elements 10.5 changed the way that custom materials, sections, connections, bolts, and welds are added to the database. These changes were necessary to permit RAM Elements to run with minimal privileges in security-conscious environments.

Creating custom Sections, Materials, Connections etc.

To create a custom material, section, connection, bolt, or weld, select the appropriate button in the Databases ribbon found on the Home menu. For specifics on adding Connections to the Ram Connection database, see [[Creating Custom Connection Templates]].

Screenshot of Databases ribbon

RAM Elements includes various groups of elements organized by country. These groups are locked and new data cannot be added to these groups. So a new custom group must be created. To do this, click the New Group button in the upper right (circled in the screenshot below).

Screenshot highlighting New Group button

Give the new group a name in the dialog box that appears, e.g. "Custom" or "My Sections". Upon clicking OK, the new group will appear on screen. New elements cannot be created until a new table is added to the group. To do this, click the New Table button just below the New Group button (circled in the screenshot below).

Screenshot highlighting New Table button

Give the new table a name in the dialog box that appears, e.g. "My Pipes". Except in the case of welds, the dialog box will also require additional information such as the type. Pick the appropriate type from those available. For sections, click on the button with "..." to the right of the Type box to open a window showing the available section types. Upon clicking OK, the new table will appear in the left column. From here, you can create a new item from scratch by clicking the New Item button (circled in the screenshot below).

Screenshot highlighting New Item button

To modify an existing item included with RAM Elements, it is recommended to make a copy in a custom group and then edit it. To do this, select an existing item in one of the groups provided with RAM Elements. Then click the Copy selected item to clipboard button (circled in the screenshot below).

Screenshot highlighting Copy button

Navigate to a custom group, select a table, and then click the Paste items from clipboard button (circled in the screenshot below). Note that the copied item must match the type of the table. Copy(1) is automatically appended to the name to prevent duplicate entries in the database.

Screenshot highlighting Paste button

Finally, edit the item by double-clicking its listing in the right pane, or click the Edit Item button on the right edge.

Note it is also possible to import a text file to define shapes, but importing from the clipboard generally works best. One strategy is to copy data to the clipboard. Paste that data into a blank spreadsheet. Then manipulate the spreadsheet as necessary, adding rows, changing values etc. Then copy the modified data back to the clipboard and finally use the "Paste Items from Clipboard" button to add a group of shapes at once.

Deleting custom groups

To delete a custom group, remove all items and tables from it. The empty group will be removed automatically when RAM Elements is closed.

Where are the custom sections saved?

The Folder for custom databases is set within the program under the File menu (a.k.a. backstage menu) Settings - General Configuration - User Folders.

The default location is something like C:\ProgramData\Bentley\Engineering\RAM Elements\16.2.0\Database

Ram Connection Stand-Alone uses a similar approach to user tables. 

How can I create a custom section that is not like any of the program types?

The program comes with approximately 200 different section types, and we recommend using those types whenever possible.

Refer to the program manual, Chapter 16: "Creating New Types of Sections with Macros" for details on creating sections with shapes that are not included.  Some limitations on the section type apply. Notably, the program can create open sections (like a wide flange), closed sections (like a pipe) or solid circular or rectangular shapes. For the open and closed sections, the program calculates the properties using thin line theorems. Thus, solid sections with openings can't be created. 

Tapered Wide Flange Shapes with Unequal Flanges

When defining custom built-up three plate sections that are to be tapered define a new table and use either the "Tapered_I" or "TP" profile. 


See Also

[[Creating Custom Connection Templates]]