Medeek Wall Plugin

#840

The Medeek Project module will actually form a new plugin within the mdkBIM suite. For now there will be no cost associated with this “add-on” plugin. I am separating this module out into its own plugin because the features it enables are designed to work with all three plugins rather than just the wall plugin. I will probably also move the Medeek Estimator into this plugin as well.

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#841

Two new plugins that will then bring the total number of the plugins in the mdkBIM suite to five will be:

Medeek Project
Medeek Engineering

The engineering plugin is still a little ways out but the shearwall module (not for calcs but for adding the actual shearwall into the wall panels) will actually be part of the Wall plugin.

Initially I will allow the user to create segmented or perforated shearwalls. I am actively looking for practicing engineers and engineering firms who would like to become involved a chance to become a development sponsors and be listed in the sponsors section of my plugin pages. Primarily the role would involve testing and feedback and any additional comments that they feel should be voiced.

I realize that many aspects of the architectural elements and estimating are far from finished and I am not taking my focus off of those in any way however I do want to lay out the template/foundation for where I am hoping to take all of this.

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#842

The Shearwall Module icons and toolbar:

A good portion of the necessary code for this module will be borrowed from the Simpson Strong-Wall module with some distinct differences.

#843

Please take a look at the latest Podcast by Aaron (SketchUp) on residential construction:

I agree 100% with John Brock, there is no need to go to Revit, we should be able to design, engineer, estimate and construct a building using only SketchUp. Revit has no place in the residential construction market.

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SketchUp Talk: Residential Construction
#844

After listening to Aaron’s latest podcast on the state of the residential construction market and how it relates to SketchUp I think I have at least a few points that I would like to add to what has been said.

The residential construction industry has been notoriously slow to change I think many of us can agree on that but I also do see a paradigm shift and the industry appears to be on the the verge of upgrading to the “high tech” world of BIM and 3D modeling like its commercial and industrial cousins already have.

The reason for this shift seems to be three fold in my opinion. The first reason is that the 2008 financial crisis caused everyone to tighten their belts just a little more. Methods that worked before were just not good enough anymore. Further increasing efficiency and eliminating waste became the necessity. This need for more control of the process requires better models and a better understanding of the actual amounts of materials being used. As Brock noted, 2D plans only get you so far, they leave a lot of the structure undesigned or unaccounted for. An accurate 3D model eliminates waste and requires the designer to fully understand and contend with the structure. Clashes and potential flaws are much easier to identify and fix prior to the actual construction in the field.

I see a big push by production builders to pre-fab wall panels in a controlled (shop) environment. This allows for better quality control and also for less skilled laborers since all of the thinking has already been done for them. Each wall panel has an accurate framing plan associated with it and it is no longer up to the individual carpenter to decide how to build the structure. The skilled carpenter has and will become a thing of the past. The new construction laborers will be more like worker bees and less the skilled craftsman they once were.

This brings me to the second reason for the shift. The upcoming generation (millennials and Gen Z) are less savvy when it comes to the trades and using their hands. These are the generations raised on Angry Birds and Pokemon Go. For some reason they seem to lack some of the skill and craftmanship associated with the skilled laborers and carpenters of the past. Asking them to cut stair stringers and hip rafters/jacks makes their head spin. This lack of skilled laborers in the field further necessitates the need to further automate the design and build process and take the thinking out of the hands on the job site.

Finally the third biggest reason for the paradigm shift is the moving on of the Baby Boomer generation (the old guard). Most of the boomer generation saw a major point of inflection at the crisis in 2008 - 2012. A lot of retirement happened and continues to happen. Before the crisis even in my own family my Dad was building spec homes in Utah like their was no end in sight. The crisis completely took the wind out of his sails and even though the housing market has recovered he did not. At 72 years old he doesn’t have the energy or the drive to start over and so has consigned himself to retirement. I think this same story is not unique to just my family but to many other small and medium builders out there as well.

The industry is now run by my generation (Gen X) and maybe some day by the millennials (perhaps somewhat of a scary thought still). With the changing of the guard comes new ideas and new methods. My generation was raised on computers and tech, we are not afraid of bringing this new beast into the workplace and finding ways to leverage it to our advantage. Working from emails, screens and PDFs come naturally, paper is nice but not a necessity anymore. Resistance to change will always be there but BIM and other “technological concepts” are far more likely to take hold among this newer generation of construction professionals than the previous one.

So yes, the residential construction industry is on the verge of change in my honest opinion. In fact, I think many professionals are actively seeking the vehicle of change (eg. Revit, Chief Architect, ArchiCad, AutoCad, SketchUp), based on my many conversations (email and phone) with various players in the field. Unlike the commercial industry, no single player has taken a firm hold of this market yet, its still too early and the smoke and dust literally has not settled.

This is why there is such an urgency by myself and other developers (PlusSpec, John Brock, etc…) to try and put together a system(s) which would allow SketchUp to become a significant player in this emerging market. In the next few years the battle lines will be drawn and someone or something will emerge from the fray to dominate the residential (BIM) design and construction market. My goal is to make sure that SketchUp is able to capture that prize. I am hopeful that Trimble/SketchUp can also recognize the seriousness and magnitude of this paradigm shift and their potential role within it. As such increased development and efforts on improving the performance of Layout will go a long ways in cementing their position of strength within the marketplace.

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#845

I apologize if I have offended any of the younger crowd with my (broad brush) comments on the lack of perceived skills in the up and coming generations (millennials, Gen Z). I do think they possess some qualities that my generation is missing but at the same time there does seem to be a serious brain drain as the old guard retires (baby boomers).

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#846

Hi Medeek,

An interesting topic indeed, however it does appear that SU-HQ has no interest or will to add any proper architectural parametric tools for common building elements such as doors/windows, stairs, roofs, floors etc & relies on extension developers like you to come up with the goods needed.

I was disappointed when I learned this news some 18 months ago, as I was hopeful until then, SU-Pro would be a more usable architectural tool without lots of add-ons, no offence of course to extension developers.

Therefore, I don’t think SU-Pro will ever capture that prize as you say, as other CAD products have these as part of their tool set, even FORM-Z FREE & BRICSYS-SHAPE (free) have some basic tools in this regard.

Being one of those Architectural customers, I’m now looking at those products more so lately than my SU-Pro.

SU-Pro certainly isn’t anywhere near Chief-Architect or ArchiCAD for a proper architectural tool set, however if you want that, then pricing of those are way more expensive. I’ve never understood why those users would need SU-Po, perhaps too complex to use may be ?

Price has to be a driver & consideration for this & BRICSYS-BIM seems to be well positioned for this BIM audience in the next few years, as its pricing isn’t that daunting for single man offices compared with Chief-Architect or ArchiCAD. The other thought is suitability to international markets, for example, Chief Architect still seems to be looked upon for use in the USA & no good for EUROPEAN construction. I don’t know why this is, but I’m sure it has the tools to cover EUROPE as well, perhaps it’s a marketing thing ?

Over & out,
CJT1963

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#847

SketchUp has always relied on its developers for added functionality. SketchUp is really just a blank slate with a few basic tools. The plugins are what make it actually useful in my opinion.

What surprises me though is that no other larger entity has come along before myself, John Brock, Didier Bur or PlusSpec and tried to create a architectural tool set for SketchUp, or even SU itself. One can instantly see the utility and potential market here, at least I certainly can.

SketchUp or some other larger entity with deep pockets could almost instantly put together an architectural suite (within SketchUp) that would completely squash any of the work I’ve done up until now.

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#848

Hi Medeek,

The Extensions are very useful & I have a few I use quite a lot, your ones are excellent & mainly for countries where the timber frame house market is single walled stud panel open frame with various claddings/sidings. PLUS-SPEC wall tools have the ability to form cavity wall construction with a cavity & an outer leaf in brick or rendered blockwork. This was of particular interest to me as UK based & we seem to build most of our homes with cavity wall construction.

I did buy PLUS-SPEC in the early days & it is a great product, however subscription-based software (renting not owning) doesn’t sit well with me & when Extensions cost more than the host product, it’s a big NO for me.

Extensions per-se do compete with each other quite a lot, but all quite unique, some free & some paid for. I’ve not thought about a larger player entering the SU-Extension market & developing a SUPER-BIM architectural tool set.

The development cost may outway the extension cost, for me, it would have to be a perpetual licence & not more than 50% of the host software.

Another factor is confidence of your investment, i.e. how long in time will a third-party product be supported yearly & work with SU-PRO’s yearly updates ? For this reason alone, I wouldn’t invest my time in costly extensions, I would want these to be part of the programme.

Over & out,
CJT1963

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#849

Clayton,

Last year my cabinet making plugin required 1 line of code change to allow for the new htmldialog vs the older webdialog. The plugin still worked with SU 2019 - it just wouldn’t let you use the faster htmldialog.

The point is - I am not worried in the least about Future Proofing my plugins because from year to year they just work.

I recently had feedback that my SimpleDXF didn’t work on a Mac. Turns out the Sketchup ruby api is wrong and has been wrong for Macs as it pertains to openpanel and savepanel. Now that it is fixed - It should work on a Mac for a long long time.

The point I am making is that at least some of the developers can produce very robust code.

Garry

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#850

All of my plugins made the jump from 2018 to 2019 without a single line of code changing. The only problem I am having currently is supporting MacOS and its problem with modal windows. I am also still supporting as far back as SU 2015.

What you are willing to pay for a product should not be factored on what other software cost but how much revenue it will bring you. If you use a particular software how much time will it save you versus not using it. That should be the driving factor as to whether that software is worth the money.

The percentage at which a software justifies itself is an interesting question to be sure. If a piece of software will save (make) me $10,000 in a given year is it worth paying a $1,000 subscription for it? How about $100,000 in savings. I’m curious as to what percentage most design professionals would consider reasonable or acceptable. I do think that this number will also be somewhat influenced by what crowd your talking to (ie. AutoCad, ChiefArchitect or SketchUp users).

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#851

Hi Medeek,

I think your last point would be in an ideal world scenario, however not all can afford or willing to pay unreasonable costs for software no matter how time saving they may be.

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#852

This is the same reason why I am disappointed about Sefaira and SketchUp Studio.

#853

I believe that the Medeek plugins are affordable.

#854

Hi Donney Clark,
I think you’re not quite getting this thread, inferring I think Medeek’s Plug-in’s aren’t affordable. This of course was not so, it was generalising about a larger fictional developer, company I guess, developing a SUPER-BIM architectural tool set & those potential costs & processes.

Forums are just great for Chinese whisper traps… :roll_eyes:

Over & out,
CJT1963

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#855

I was wanting/trying to give a little bit of input because I was worried by miscommunication/misunderstanding.

The company I work for has purchased the mdkBIM suite before it was the mdkBIM suite. I saw the Medeek Wall plugin in a video about 6 months ago, then I talked with my boss about all three (3 at that time) Medeek plugins. I feel that the Medeek plugins are a better return on investment and have more potential compared to other extensions.

IMHO, it seems like some of the recent posts would be better suited for the Medeek BIM thread.

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#856

I’ve been putting out a few fires the last couple of days and one thing that I would like to provide some clarity on is the current system that handles custom data from the User.

Specifically I am talking about wall presets, custom materials and custom headers.

Currently this user generated data/settings is stored within the plugin subfolder within the following three sub-folders: preset, library_mats, library_headers. Within each of these sub-folders is a simple text file that acts as the database and where all of the parameters are actually stored.

When the plugin is uninstalled SketchUp deletes the entire plugin subfolder and hence any custom settings stored in these files/folders are removed as well. The long term solution to this problem is to store this information in a folder that is outside of the plugin folder itself (change up the way the plugin is storing this information). The short term solution is to simply copy these three sub-folders to a different location (back them up) and then uninstall the existing plugin and then reinstall the new version. Once the upgrade is complete then you can simple drop the contents of the backed up sub-folders into the plugin sub-folders overwriting the (default) config files and you get all of your wall presets and custom materials and headers back.

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#857

What about an automated process - when you choose to uninstall, you are asked if and where you would like to save your custom data?

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#858

I don’t know if there is a way to do that.

I think the better approach is to simply store this data outside of the plugin folder so that it is unaffected by upgrades or uninstalls.

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#859

I store all my custom SU data in outside folders for safety, but that system still lacks the automation process when reinstalls are required.

I would say that in principle, automation with software apps is a key requirement, inherent in the way apps are built and operate.

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