How to Use Preferred Sections and AutoSize
Preferred sections and AutoSize are two powerful features that enable you to quickly specify the members you'd like to work with for a specific project, saving time by providing a quick access list of your favourite sections. AutoSize instantly selects the most optimal beam from your preferred sections list so you can always be sure you're using the best solution without trial and error.
How to Specify Preferred Sections
Adding Preferred Sections
Alternatively, you can copy preferred sections from a previous project if you already have an established list you like. You can also use this function to easily save client preferences by pre-creating template projects for each client that you can copy from.
Editing Preferred Sections
To edit existing preferred sections, click the edit button in the project details page to add and remove the sections you have specified.
Using Preferred Sections
Preferred sections can be used two ways:
- Via the member selector - whenever you open the member selector, your preferred sections will always appear at the top with a star by default.
- Via AutoSize - whenever you click the magic wand button AutoSize will run and automatically select the most optimal section from your preferred list.
How to Use AutoSize
AutoSize eliminates trial and error member selection by automatically choosing the most optimal section from your preferred sections list.
To use AutoSize, you'll first need to specify your preferred sections and then create or select any existing member calculation. Once you're on the calculation page (for example, a timber beam), you can click the blue magic wand icon next to the member selector and AutoSize will automatically select the most optimal member from your preferred sections list.
AutoSize does not currently check across materials. Even if you have timber and steel preferred sections specified, AutoSize will only check the preferred sections for the material of the currently selected template (for example, it will only check steel sections if you're working on a steel beam). To check sections for a different material type, you will need to first use the change material function, and then run AutoSize.
If none of your preferred sections work then AutoSize will let you know you need to add larger sections to your preferred section list, manually select a larger section using the member selector or member type dropdown field, or change materials (for example, swap from timber to steel).
Bonus Round: Saving Client Preferences
Architects and builders often have their preferences for what materials they like to work with, or are available in there region. It can be hard to remember what these are, especially in larger organisations with many engineers working across clients.
Client preferences can easily be saved and shared using preferred sections by creating empty projects named after clients with their preferred sections specified. In this way, engineers can easily create a new project, click to copy preferred sections from existing, and look up the client project they want to copy from.