String Theory - Dec 2013 - Searching the Forums

Last month I offered some tips on how to compose a good question for the best response in the forums. Statistics show though, that 90% of forum users are consuming information instead of creating it. So, this month, I’d like to tell those users how to find information on


If you’re not familiar with the forums, you might not know what type of content is available there. Most of it is question and answer ‘troubleshooting’, where a user had difficulty and the other members give advice on solutions and work-arounds. Some of it is resource-sharing, such as when a new version of a software package goes live and users share links to new feature lists, evaluation articles and feature demonstrations. Another type of content is educational, since AUGI hosts old course handouts for Autodesk University (AU) and Revit Technology Conference (RTC) in the forums. These classes are an excellent source of tutorials on specific topics, so I hope you have checked them out. All of these types of threads will show up in your search results.

When searching, the first thing you should be aware of is the character limits. The minimum is 3 letters, and the maximum is 84. What if you’re searching for a really short word? If you bracket the term in asterisks, it will work. Like, *FM*. You can find more tips on the operators available in this thread:

There is a search box at the top of the forums, where you can input a search term at any time. Or, to conduct an Advanced Search across the forums, click on the magnifying glass without typing anything.

This allows you to restrict your search to certain users or time ranges, as well as to dictate whether you’re searching through the contents of an entire thread, or just its title.

You can also search within each individual forum, to help narrow down your options.

If you’re more comfortable with a Google Search, why not do a site-specific search with ?

Or you could type in your search term, then enter the restrictor “”.

Bearing in mind that the google search results will not return results from ‘off-topic’ or other non-public forums, because only logged-in members can see those areas.

And, as I requested last month, please come back and post the answer or resolution to any questions you’ve asked on the forums, so that the many people who are searching for answers know whether or not the offered solution(s) worked. And, if you see someone who has taken the time to come back and share with everyone, use the forum reputation or useful thread/post tools to recognize that.


Alright, back to our highlighted forum threads!

CAD Management – Keeping a Journal of Work

User Maverick91 asked the other members how they track their work through a journal or log, to efficiently reference later.

Coloradomrg suggests using Excel, to enable sorting through dates or project numbers.

Cadtag says that he prefers a To Do List app which is specifically suited to manage tasks.

ReikaJapan and AlexCAD both think that Microsoft One Note is good because of notes, the ability to add images, searching, and synching across devices.

Wanderer noted that she used to use an Access database for tracking tasks over many years, but, was switching over to using Google forms to feed to a Google Docs spreadsheet. Using Excel’s Pivot Tables can achieve some of the same results and summaries that a database query can, when trending or calculating ROI based on a lot of accumulated task data.

Robot Structural Analysis – RC Beam Analysis

Jpo82 poses the following question “Has anyone else encountered any problems when you have tried to do RC beam calculations in Robot? In my case I have a ribbed RC slab, slab thickness is 250 mm and height of concrete beams (modeled as simple bars) is 1000 mm. I do get some results but when I try considering axial forces in calculations Robot crashes every time.

I think these axial forces should be taken into account since now I have a maximum bending moment ~500kNm in ULS and at same point I have also a 500 kN axial force. If you multiply this axial force with eccentricity of beam you get additional 200 kNm of bending moment. So does anyone know can I take this axial force into account in Robot or do I have to design these beams by hand calculations?”

Pawel.Pulak reports that “It was fixed in Service Pack 3 for ARSAPro 2014. The update can be downloaded using Live Update or the link below: .” Offering an additional tip “Notes from RC provided reinforcement modules can be copied and printed when using Results > Calculation Note from the pull-down text menu.”

Revit MEP – BIM Kickoff Meeting Document

RobertB shared “This is a documentation format that we have been using in the Pacific Northwest to help document critical information related to a Revit project's setup and collaboration. This FAQ was discussed in the August 2013 AUGIWorld issue. Many companies along the West Coast of the USA have embraced this FAQ or a modified version of it for their own use.
The advantage to this FAQ compared to a BIM Execution Plan (BxP) is that the FAQ concisely addresses specific issues related to Revit project setup whereas the BxP is usually too general in nature.
If you have suggestions for the FAQ please share them here and I will continue to update for everyone.”

ModelBoss compliments the document and recognizes that it addresses issues that MEP firms are aware of, but, that Architectural companies might not be considering.

Daniel.Morrison suggests more be added to control coordination (the when and the how), in order to protect all the players involved and to ensure the utmost efficiency.

This document contains 50 questions that need to be asked and answered prior to the start of a new project. It’s a good, concise read, and I would recommend it.

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