Neither. It was for a small business to connect all their drops to a 24 port (plus WAN) switch. Their router stood between the WAN port of the switch and the incoming cable internet modem. And the room was just slightly larger than a closet. Nobody other than the owner CARED if they saw wires, much less neatly bundled wires as is my custom.
Tomorrow I will finish modeling up some typical load centers (breaker boxes) like the one below (200 Amp, 40 Spaces):
I’m not going to put any special logic into this module yet, just a simply positioning and selection. However at some point it would be really cool to use the plugin to setup the various breakers and identify circuits as well as assign specific elements to a circuit.
For now three sizes of breaker components are provided and it is up to the user to manually configure their panel if they so choose to do so, otherwise is is more representational than anything else.
When it comes to setting the vertical height of the load center what is the method used to measure from the floor? Center, Top or Bottom of the panel?
I will provide some common panel sizes (spaces): 24, 30, 40, 42, 54, and 60.
My breakers are based on the SquareD QO series as are my load centers however they are considerably simplified to maintain a low poly count.
Also for now I am only going to provide flush mount and not surface mount however I will probably enable both in the future.
View model here:
Various load center sizes, view model here:
All load centers are 200 Amp except for the 24 space unit which would be rated for 100 or 125 Amp.
Looking really nice. Not that I want to send you even further down the rabbit hole, but will you include subpanel sizes?
Talk to me about subpanels, I need more specifics. What sizes are you interested in. Brands?
Also with regards to the panels previously posted, I’ve done my best to make them as dimensionally accurate as possible. Unfortunately, Square D does not publish the details on the front panel and the door so I have had to take some liberty here and try to approximate the layout based on mere photographs of these load centers (ie. Home Depot, Lowes). I actually talked to one of their support engineers and the best I could get was the CAD files for the box.
So long story short the reason for the variation in door placements (vertical location) is because I was trying to match to photos, which is rather unreliable. I may have to revisit these panels once I have better data acquisition. This weekend I will be visiting my local Home Depot with pencil, pad and measuring tape.
Headed out for the evening, but will gather some references once I’m back and post them.
The inside of these boxes and the breakers are very simple and low poly. The idea is mostly to convey the number and location of breakers and overall dimensions:
In the parameters for the load centers I identified the following options:
1.) Style: Flush Mount, Surface Mount
2.) Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor, Outdoor
3.) Height: Distance from floor to bottom of box (in./mm)
4.) Breaker No.: 6, 8, 12, 24, 30, 40, 42, 54, 60
5.) Amperage: 100, 200
6.) Main Lug: Main Breaker, Main Lug
7.) Adv. Options: None Currently
There is no material/color assignment.
I’ve created a 6 and 8 breaker box (main lugs only). I will need to add in additional boxes that only have main lugs and not a main breaker for the other sizes, but that is work for another day.
I’m failing to grok why you went to the level of detail of modeling the interior. Which is to say, it looks to me that you’re forgetting the forest while concentrating on the trees - or on the individual leafs!
Placing the box for planning code required clearances for doing an interior design layout. That only needs the box/cover.
Having most of the options you have planned - so they can be on a call out - I’m OK with that, but still only needs the box/cover for the SketchUp model.
Planning conduit runs where a non structurally aware electrician might otherwise critically weaken the structure with improper routing also only needs the box/cover. Or do you also plan to track down the knockout pre-punches of every back box so that planning conduit runs can land exactly on a pre-specified knock out?
Interior designers who use high quality renders for presentation of ideas would, I’m fairly sure, render with the cover closed.
I’m unfamiliar with BIM at all but the conceptual level. But even there, if I were designing the details of a BIM system, the most I can conceive of specifying is the brand and part# of a particular load center - perhaps so far as a circuit breaker schedule, but I just can’t imagine, even in this case, the need to model the circuit breakers.
The only case I can imagine where any but the most details obsessed modeler would model the details of the interior is for the only load centers I’m aware of (that are available in the US) where you can see the interior with the door closed: A few of the Leviton load centers.
OK. There are probably still some small breaker count interior load centers that, instead of having door-in-door designs, have the front panel also serve as the deadfront, with the breakers visible and no door at all. But even there, it’s only the visible part of the breaker that might need modeling.
As an aside, I should mention that Leviton has been in this market in the US for about a year now and have a couple of other distinctive features:
- They’re the only load centers I’m aware of that aren’t grey! Their NEMA1 load centers are white!
- The breakers have the clearest indication of their status (on/off/tripped) that I’ve seen
- The Arc Fault, Ground Fault, and Dual Function breakers have status LEDs for each additional form of protection.
Different brands? Why are you doing this work yourself? With the exception of the Leviton I just mentioned, they all look so similar - especially when closed - that pre-building every brand’s load centers seems a waste of time.
Time that, I imagine, would be better spent on other things like:
- Shed Walls
- Developing a standard for an importable representation of variations of things like load centers - to let other’s create their own if they aren’t satisfied with the ones that come with the tool(s). The number of light fixtures alone boggles my mind. No matter what you choose to include, someone will want a variation - or something completely different!
- I’m sure you have many other, much more widely useful features on your punch list.
All of your arguments are to a certain degree valid, however a few things to add some context to the discussion and perhaps some clarification:
1.) I never said anything about modeling runs of wire or conduits or knockouts. That is a level of detail that is beyond the scope of this plugin and probably will remain so for quite some time unless customer requests somehow change my mind on this topic.
2.) Notice how simple the interior of the boxes are, and also the interior side of the breakers. Nothing more than a rectangular box. A fully loaded breaker box is 100k or less, very reasonable (low poly count) for just about any model I would say. Yes, the initial thought process and modeling took a bit of time but once I had the initial breaker box the rest were cake walk.
3.) I am doing this work myself because I could not find any models online or anywhere for that matter, that were dimensionally accurate enough for my liking and also I needed to provide models that are not only accurate but also low poly (just the right amount of detail represented).
4.) At some point (not now) the breakers will become very important in that the user will be able to actually plan out their circuits with the plugin. For now it is very easy to re-arrange and assemble your breaker layout manually. Most people won’t go to this level but I’m not talking about most people.
This plugin also targets the electrician and he or she may find it useful to have the ability to setup the breakers in the box and perhaps even label them.
Additionally the Electrical Estimator module will count up those breakers (type and no.) and report it, so the BIM piece comes into play as well.
5.) For now I am not pre-building every brand, I am only providing a generic brand that just happens to look like Square D QO series. At some point I may have to model every brand, but that is something for another day. If people want to model some of the other brands or standards that I can include in the plugin that would certainly make my life that much easier, but the models must pass my level of scrutiny and must meet certain criteria.
6.) Yes, I have a lot of work to do on the other plugins, especially the foundation plugin which lacks any sort of parametric ability at the moment. Perhaps this is my way of taking a small breather from all of the other larger projects I have going on. Even when I’m on vacation though it is hard to leave the programming alone.
While I could quibble with some of what you just said, I’ll refrain from that level of detail.
Suffice it to say that, if this level of detail is how you take a “mental break” from the larger things, than I’m less worried about your burning yourself out!
For wall mounted light fixtures what is the most common type of electrical box used?
Indoors? 1 gang, 3/0, and 4/0 sell about equally.
Outdoors? 3/0 and 4/0.
What would be the advantage of the 3/0 over the 4/0?
The 3/0 is smaller so less room for tucking your wires in. I would prefer the 4/0.
Almost none, unless you run into a fixture whose base is too small to cover the 4/0!
Perusing the selection of electrical outlets and boxes at my local Ace Hardware this morning it became painfully obvious that I should have added the option for “amperage” to the outlet parameters.
Standard and Decora outlets now are available in 15A or 20A:
I’ve never actually seen this type of outlet (NEMA 5-20R) installed in any residence I’ve ever lived at or in any new construction I’ve worked on but I’m sure it has its place.
Currently the 240V outlets are limited to only 30A and 50A outlets. At some point I may add in NEMA 6-15R and NEMA 6-20R if there is call for it.
Just a reminder to everyone that is following the development of this plugin:
This plugin is an add-on plugin/extension. In other words it currently only installs switches, outlets, low voltage outlets and panels into the walls that are created by the Medeek Wall extension.
At some point I may attempt to extend it to allow for operation with any solid walls but for now it is limited to working with the geometry created by the mdkBIM suite. There are a number of technical issues/reasons for this which I will not delve into at this time.
Since it is not a stand alone plugin and is dependent (currently only on the Medeek Wall extension) I will probably not charge as much for it if it were a standalone extension. As such I am thinking about $20.00 USD for a permanent license with a $10.00 USD renewal for upgrades.
Eventually it will be packaged with the mdkMEP suite but for now it is a standalone purchase and separate from the mdkBIM suite.
It will eventually include its own estimating module which again is separate from the Medeek Estimator (Wall Plugin). I really haven’t gotten that far yet but I will solicit feedback from the user base of this plugin once I release the BETA and determine how we want to put that together.
Electrical boxes for light fixtures:
I’ll start with the simple nail mounted 3/0 and 4/0 boxes (Carlon B518 and B520). I should also add the hanger bar variants as well but I’ll need to purchase a few more samples from the local hardware store first so that I can create semi-decent models.
@medeek, does your wall builder have any “knowledge” of rooms? Meaning, is there a way to identify spaces as a “room”, as opposed to just a bunch of walls? If so, I was thinking it would be cool to automate the placement of receptacles, so many per room, minimum distances from walls, etc. Of course this would be a future feature, but was just curious what your thoughts were on this topic?