I have been looking at Robot for several years now. I tried the demo in 2011 and 2012. I am a long-time user of Autodesk products (Civil 3D, Architecture, ADR) and I am attracted by Robot because it is an Autodesk product now.
Each time I look at Robot I get the impression that not much is happening in development and that Robot is neglected by Autodesk. There are no updated manuals or tutorials or support or training seminars and the GUI has no relation to other Autodesk products and does not have the quality feel of Architecture.
Autodesk has a huge opportunity to take the lead among the likes of RISA, Ram, S-Frame, and SAP2000 with a comprehensive user friendly structural design/analysis package that integrates seamlessly with Revit and Autocad. For my part I am looking for some leadership and innovation and committment from Autodesk to this venture.
For some calculations sometimes we need to take into account different Young modulus depending of the nature of load cases. This is expected for a single model, to avoid duplication of model data. We see such requirements in Eurocode and also AISC codes.
The section builder tool is very good, although there are some problems.
- the naming convention is USELESS. only being able to give a 4 letter description is very limiting.
- not being able to save a new profile as a concrete beam is limiting. the section definition only allows reduction of moment of inertia for steel sections, and any user defined section can only be used as a "steel" section.
It would be very beneficial to make the input and display of beam restraints more user friendly as the current method is not straight forward. This is the only reason I avoid using Robot for Portal Frame design.
I have attached a pdf screenshot from another program which is the easiest I have come across to input beam restraints. It also shows an overall structure view of the restraints so it is easy to see if there is a restraint out of place. I find it can be easy to get member restraints backwards or upside down without this view. Just a tick box in display to show restraints would be fine.
Setting restraint points is much quicker because its done from one dialog box for all restraints. This may be something which could be developed in the short term with excel using macros and linked to Robot by creating a new Member Type?
Please see http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/Robot-Structural-Ana
Add to the parametric section tab more sections such us C,U, Sigma. Definig general dimensions, thickness AND BEND RADIUS.
Obviously calculating them as thin walled sections when thinner than 3mm.
Please, this is ESSENTIAL
Working on my last project (it's an concrete structure, about 150 000 nodes and 170 000 FE-s) I was extremely annoyed by Robot Str 2013 general performance. For example, changing an load value is operation with time consumption not less that half of minute on quite modern hardware (core i7 etc.). Changing values in tables is not much quicker...
I understand that you can recommend to use diaphagms instead shell etc, but in general - performance of Robot is not the best one, I can say the worst one. Now it is 2013 year and yes, sometimes we have to analyse and calculate models with more than 3 bars...
Here I do not speak of calculating time, meshing time - it's only problem of general performance, for example, changing load values in large scale models. So, my Idea is to optimize code (I'm fully understand that it can take a lot of time) to make Robot works much quicker.
Problem: The table editing tools in Robot are slow and have poor functionality. Usually it is better to copy the table to Excel and edit it there, but this can cause trouble (example: planar loads on contour becoming planar loads in my experience). Besides, for small changes this should not be neccessary.
Solution: Advanced table editing module or two way link to excel for all tables. Allows quick editing of tables, making changes to the model only when the user clicks apply.