Medeek Electrical


#103

At work, most of the residential grade 5-20R outlets we sell go into high end kitchens where in architect or homeowner anticipates use of high end plug in gadgets. Occasionally, we’ll sell 6-15R and 6-20R outlets for kitchens as well where the homeowner already has appliance purchased in Europe.

People building a home shop often put in roughly 1 240V outlet for every 3 120V outlets as higher power machines require them.


#104

Currently the Wall Plugin does not have a concept of rooms however eventually it needs to in order to handle interior items such as crown molding, chair rails and interior wainscoting.

Your right, if the room concept is further extended it could then be used for additional automated tasks such as laying out outlets (per code minimums) and even setting up default light fixtures.

I’ve already given this some thought since the interior molding was put on hold a few months ago when I realized that I needed to quantify the “rooms” in the house. However, more work needs to be done in order to make this real.


#105

First look at the output of the Light Fixture Module:

The plugin allows you to drop your own light fixtures into the library sub-folder so you can have as many custom light fixtures as you like (and I don’t need to spend anymore time modeling things up).

The fancy ext. wall lantern shown was simply downloaded from the warehouse, minor edit to make sure the origin of the file was in the correct place and then dropped into the light_fixture sub-folder. I will not be including this fixture in the distribution simply due to its size (1.2 Mb). However I will include some basic lampholders like the Leviton 49875 shown.

Another thing to note, since the light fixtures are custom I will not be attempting to apply any material or color to them. For that reason there is no need to explode the component into a unique group.

I will add some additional simple light fixtures and junction boxes as time allows or as requests are made.

Currently the light fixture tool is limited to wall mounted fixtures. I am still contemplating how best to deal with ceiling mounted fixtures and what type of system/organization to employ.


#106

Pulling the global settings together:

Outlets tab:

The estimating piece will be after I release the BETA.

I’m almost ready to put this new plugin out there but I’m waffling on whether to spend some additional time on the draw tool and see if I can’t make the plugin work with any (wall) geometry rather than just limiting it to an add on for the Medeek Wall plugin.


#107

+1 for this


#108

They should have the Wall plugin to be able to use the Electrical plugin! :money_mouth_face:


#109

hahaha, I too wish Nathaniel would enjoy success beyond measure

except in parts of the world where people don’t use drywalling that much it would prove to be a rather unpopular move


#110

Making the electrical plugin work with any wall geometry is less of a financial consideration and more of a technical hurdle.

When it comes to interacting with my wall panels I have a clearly defined entity I am working with. I know exactly what I’ve got and so the logic is fairly easy to devise and maintain.

If I am trying to place the electrical components into “any” wall, it becomes a bit more complicated. How do I know where the floor is (vertically)? Am I looking for just a face, group, solid, component as far as the wall itself is concerned. Any input in this regard would be valuable.


#111

I suppose it depends on your component composition and placement technique.


#112

*** BETA RELEASE ***

Version 0.9.0 - 02.14.2019

  • Created the Medeek Electrical Plugin, utilizing SketchUp’s Ruby API.
  • Added tools to create switches, outlets, low voltage outlets, load centers and lights.

Download the BETA version here:

http://design.medeek.com/resources/medeekelectricalplugin.pl

Just a reminder that this plugin is currently dependent on the Medeek Wall extension to function. Also a new version of the Wall plugin is required in order to retain the electrical components within the wall panels. The upgraded version of the wall plugin will be released later tonight.

Items needing further attention:

  • Ceiling light fixtures.
  • Parametric ability (edit menus for all fixtures).
  • Combo switch/outlets
  • Estimating
  • Ability to use the plugin with any wall geometry (non-plugin dependent)
  • Link to purchase plugin within Account Manager (currently only a TRIAL version is available)

P.S. - The link in the Account Manager is now live and the electrical plugin can be purchased.


#113

Version 1.0.4 of the Wall plugin is compatible with Medeek Electrical.

I am working on item #5 in the list above (removing dependency on other Medeek plugins) however it may take a couple days to really figure it out since it does complicate things when you take away a known variable (Medeek Wall Panel) and basically replace it with an unknown (any random wall like structure).


#114

Without fully understanding how your plugin currently works, here are some initial ideas…

If a user is placing a switch, for example, you could just offset the switch component origin by the height it is installed at above the floor, so the user then places the switch by clicking the intersection of the wall and the floor. You’d need to provide a way to change the installation height of each component, so you could install switches above countertops vs floors.

You could also require an initial click from the user to define the “current” floor reference, where you grab the Z height of whatever is clicked, and use that for the floor height reference. If a user moves to a different floor, maybe they can hold a modifier key to sample a new Z-height reference.

idk, just some ideas.


#115

There are a couple issues with embedding electrical components into unknown walls:

1.) The Z height problem: Since I am trying to track the height of the switch or outlet I somehow need to know where the floor is located, not absolute as much as where is it inside of the group that contains the wall geometry. The reason for this is that the edit menu will allow the user to change this height and without knowing where the floor height is there is no way to know the height of the switch or outlet.

2.) The other issue is rotation about the Z-axis, so that the electrical component is facing outward regardless of which side of the wall it is on. With my own Medeek wall panels this problem is easy because the groups origin and axis are always positioned a certain way with regards to the wall, hence I am able to determine or specify a “wallside” for a given electrical component and then offset it accordingly based on the wall construction (stored attribute library).


#116

Why not then specify that the behaviour of the plugin in non-Medeek walls is dependant on the specified axis position / orientation.

It’s easy enough for a user to change group/component axes, that it’s a small task relative to the time-savings of the plugin for placing electrical components.

As for the kitchen outlet vs standard wall outlet, that could be addressed with a (contextual) pre-pick for any non-standard heights, which is set for normal wall outlet (typically 12") by default.


#117

Well, if you do what I suggested, and require the user to set an initial Z height via mouse click before actually inserting the objects, your plugin could “hold” that reference, and “save” that parameter inside every single component that gets placed in the model. So each electrical component would end up having an attribute with its own Z-height reference. You could provide functionality that lets you select multiple objects, and set a new Z-height reference.

The user can also set a new Z-height reference at any time, so that new electrical objects placed in the model are relative to the new Z-height.

I think it’s safe to assume that using the electrical plugin on basic geometry vs a Medeek wall would simply be anchoring the component to a face which represents a wall. SketchUp does have the “Glue to Surface” which automatically orients the component depending on the face you are hovering over. I think the user should be expected to manually place the electrical component on the interior or exterior of the wall, depending on where they want it.


#118


This video shows the component setting (glue to surface). But also note that I offset the origin of the component, so that I place the component at the intersection of the floor & wall, establishing the Z-height reference that way. I think this is the most simple solution. Each component can have a default height value.

The gluing feature is a setting that can be applied to a component in native SketchUp. The tricky part is getting your Axes set up correctly. If I remember correctly, the blue axis needs to be perpendicular to the surface.


#119

Version 0.9.0b - 02.15.2019

  • Added additional Carlon and Raco octagon boxes into the Light Fixture module.

Per customer request I’ve added some additional electrical boxes.

The full list of junction boxes available for light fixtures is:

Junction Boxes: Carlon (B518, B520, B620H), Raco (111, 112, 119, 128, 146, 164, 175, 177)

The reason I have to add these boxes in is because I need to hard code in the dimensions so that the plugin knows what the width is when the box justification is toggled to left or right. Its not a big deal, it only takes me a couple minutes to add in a new box and its dimensions.

If you have a particular box or light fixture you would like to see added please let me know.

As far as other international standards (British, France, South Africa etc…), I would be excited to add these in as well but I don’t have the time or the energy to model up quality, low poly models of typical boxes, faceplates and electrical components. If you would like to see these added to the plugin I would need to have low poly models provided to me.


#120

How about a more general challenge?

Ability to place wall boxes anywhere EXCEPT where they conflict with studs! In other words, not restricted to being adjacent to a stud.

Our customers accomplish this with the use of one of the Caddy TSGB (Telescoping Screw Gun Bracket) series of products. Here’s a link to one of them. Using them and standard depth metal 4sq boxes with plaster rings allows exact placement of boxes anywhere a stud doesn’t interfere.

Other manufacturers have solutions to the same problem, implemented differently.


#121

Have you been tracking the overall size of an average house model using all your plugins?

Any issues there?


#122

Model size is a huge concern for me, no pun intended.

This is why I’ve taken the time to create my own series of good quality, low polygon electrical fixtures. The sheer number of these elements in the model will quickly grow it to something unmanageable unless special care is taken to prevent that.