Sheathing with the corner option set to “LAP”:
Version 0.7.6 - 06.04.2018
- Added the option for Glulam Beams for window and door headers.
- Cladding corner treatment now has MITER and LAP available as two additional corner options.
- Sheathing corner treatment now has LAP available as an additional corner option.
- Cladding materials selection extended to include all SketchUp materials currently in model.
- Minor bug in exterior corner trim corrected.
- The update status message in HTML edit menus (wall, door and window) moved to top of form for better visibility.
Good God man! Are you obsessed?
Seriously, I’m impressed with the sheer speed you’re managing to show in knocking off your punch list!
I suppose I am a little obsessed right now, but I realize I am working against the clock on this one. Even though I am hoping for a good response from the SketchUp design community, the orders, even with the promotion, are only trickling in.
In order to garner more interest and uptake the plugin needs to be further along and have more features as well as stability. If I can’t increase the uptake I will be forced to abandon the project (or at least devoting my full attention to it) and I really don’t want to loose the momentum I have right now.
So I am scrambling, trying to accomplish as much as possible before I have to ultimately change gears and possibly go back to the corporate world. When that time comes I will continue the development, as I have done with the Truss Plugin in the last two years, but at a decreased rate.
I also realize that the competition in this arena is only beginning to heat up and in order to grab a certain segment of that market share I need to establish this plugin as quickly as possible and also make it “hard to beat”. So yes, I am quite motivated for a number of reasons.
I am currently setting up the garage door module, it is very similar to the door module but will have a few additional (specific) parameters.
What you’re doing is superb. The effort and commitment involved is only to be applauded.
However, you’re coming up against the issue (I fear) most SU plug-in developers come up against and that’s that SketchUp as a software package just isn’t being used by anywhere near as many people/practices as it once was.
My theory for this is that it’s been allowed to simply drift (list?) and has not been developed at anywhere near the required speed or to the level it could (and very much should) have been over the last decade and so many practices don’t now consider SU to be anything other than an old-school conceptual toy. The upshot of this being many have moved onto other modelling packages (read Formit/Revit, Rhino etc) and have left SU behind. Just look at the level of interaction on this site or even Sketchucation, it’s very low compared to other forums. That’s because SU has become niche. There are many of us who stick with it (bit like an old car club) because we love the software so much and grew-up with it (so to speak) but Millennials (I’m just Gen X, as I suspect most on here are) have no real love for SU, especially when all they’ve learned is Revit/Formit/Rhino at Uni.
It was an open goal for about a decade and Trimble consistently missed the easiest of targets, choosing only to add tiny iterative improvements (?) or additions. This caution (or lack of foresight) will probably cost SU dear in the long run. They won’t admit it (and will probably state the opposite) but I’m guessing sales of SU are actually reducing year on year. I’ve spoken to a reseller recently off the record and they said as much.
This saddens me greatly because SU was my first real foot into 3D and I love it, despite the frustration-fest that is LayOut and it’s endless issues, and I hope SU survives and prospers, but it feels to me like the package as a whole is tailing off and will likely fade away.
Apologies for the negativity. I’m sure many SU die hards will fire back with rants about how I’m talking cobblers but having worked in the architectural industry for 25yrs at many and varied practices I’m telling it as I (reluctantly) see. I very much hope I’m wrong.
All that being said, it may well be that developers like yourself ARE the future of SU. I hope so and I hope Trimble realise this (unlikely as they haven’t shown they’re quick on the uptake to date) and start buying up some of these plugins and adding them into SU as vanilla items so it becomes the tool it always should have been - and removes the compatibility issue when swapping models with someone who doesn’t have that particular plugin. (I’d hoped this might have happened when they dragged Thom Thom over from Scandy (London?) but nothing’s really changed).
All power to you fella. We do genuinely appreciate what you’re doing. I just hope you can make it pay long term and it is a great success.
What is real? The multi-billion Marketing Machine of AutoDesk let us believe that there is only one software-package and tends to be very protective about its fileformats, BIM-procedures etc. This is also a Gen X point of view, iMO, What I see is that the next generation (Millennials) are far more ‘Open Minded’ and very conscious about collaborating in a professional enviroment then the ‘old skool’ generation. They don’t care what tool to use, that’s right, they might not have a ‘real’ love for specific software, but they ‘love it when a plan get’s together’
Look at this Trimble-site how many different softwarepackages they have. And that is just one company. The key is that somehow, they will all have to work together. Yes, for some of the old generation, SketchUp looks like ‘a toy’. But you are not gonna get everybody on the same level as a multi-disciplined-engineer-with-a-universal-degree. There are also plenty of construction people who need to draw something quick, dirty and raw.
A Millennial I recently spoke about how they use SketchUp in their Building Company loved the ‘Open Mindness’ of Trimble towards collaboration (BIM) and had some pretty cool examples.
I was going to reply but in hindsight this isn’t the place for this type of discussion, this is for Wall Plugin feedback, and it’s beginning to resemble a hijack. I should have sent the message as a DM. My bad.
Feel free to speak your mind, it is conversations like these that I gain the most from, sometimes a shot of reality can help make a course correction that is much more valuable than all the technical talk in the world.
As much as I love the technical aspects and the nuts and bolts of creating this plugin I also realize there is the big picture and the marketing aspect that need to be considered in order to make this plugin a success.
I agree that SU is severely lacking in a lot of basic features that other CAD programs have and the Layout engine and features does need further improvements to bring it up to speed. But at the same time this is exactly the reason there is an opening here for me to create this type of plugin. If SU was already on the same playing field with Revit there would be no need for this wall plugin.
My goal is to provide a tool that the user can easily learn and employ in the creation of BIM models within SketchUp. The plugin will encompass design, engineering and estimation (BOM) all in one package.
Perhaps I am a little ambitious in my vision seeing that I am merely one programmer sitting at a keyboard, but given a few more months I think it is certainly achievable.
In a nutshell, this plugin will hopefully bring SU up to the same level as Revit and Chief Architect and eventually beyond.
Working with a designer this morning has exposed a few minor bugs with the auto-corner configuration. I’ve already addressed those and the function is that much more robust.
I am now addressing another flaw with the wall creation tool (line and polyline) so that it retains the last used parameter values while creating multiple walls. I originally thought I had this enabled but determined with further testing that it was not fully implemented.
I will probably roll out a sub-rev. in a couple hours that addresses all of these issues and then jump back onto the garage door and gable wall module programming.
Nathaniel, I hope you achieve this too. I find working with Revit utterly painful at times (about as painful as LayOut tbh) but it’s so much better with it’s parametric engine and document handling advantages. Your plugin(s) will go a long way to getting SU to these levels.
Just had an interesting conversation with a professional estimator about the plugin this morning.
He reinforced what already I’m seeing with this plugin and how it relates to design, designers and architects.
As I’ve mentioned previously the plugin audience is three fold and the design side probably will utilize the 2D and 3D (no framing) mode the most. The reason being is that most designers are not overly interested in how the structure goes together, their main concern is the layout and placement of windows and doors.
The full framing mode will have more utility among the engineers, panel designers, estimators, contractors and DIYers.
A building design is really no more than a concept and it takes a whole team of professionals to take something off of paper (or pdf) and make it into a physical reality.
Once I have the design side of this software put together and reasonably solid I will begin focusing on the engineering and estimating pieces.
This estimator talked at length about the disconnect between himself and the architects. My goal is to help heal this disconnect and get everyone on the same page, I think we can do this.
Version 0.7.6b - 06.05.2018
- Auto-Corner Configuration algorithm revised to handle “stepped” walls.
- Wall “Draw Tool” configured to retain most recent inputs from user. Parameters not shown in UI default to global settings.
This sub. revision is actually fairly significant and worth upgrading to since it addresses a major flaw in the UI.
Version 0.7.6c - 06.05.2018
- Added the option to toggle between standard stud sizes and custom (user defined width x depth) sizes with the “Walls” tab of the global settings.
Note that within the wall edit menu the stud width and depth can be adjusted independently regardless of the standard stud size option being enabled.
Updated the vendor page to reflect all of the products listed within the plugin:
Version 0.7.6d - 06.05.2018
- Fixed a bug with the wall sheathing and cladding so that door openings are properly cut out even when the vertical offset parameter is negative.
I incorrectly assumed that this state would never occur but apparently there are situations that involve reverse brick ledgers where the sheathing and cladding is lifted up in this fashion.
Okay, I normally don’t like to publicly rant and call someone out but some recent comments on this thread about the state of SketchUp really has me thinking.
Like many other design professionals out there I never really considered SketchUp seriously for anything other than casual projects at home or a really quick and dirty mock up to try and demonstrate a point to someone who had trouble visualizing things in 3D. I think this was in large part due to the fact that SketchUp was free, had a very basic toolset (I did not know about plugins back then), and had no way of creating construction documents.
For me, as a structural engineer, a drawing program is only really useful if I can get construction documents or details out of it. For this reason I have pretty much stayed with AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT for most of my cad drawings. Arguably AutoCAD and SketchUp are completely different animals, one is really good at 3D and the other is really good at 2D.
Without a really solid and robust 2D document engine SketchUp can’t possibly compete with the big guys out there. So the further development of Layout is absolutely critical in my mind. SketchUp or Trimble should be really throwing their weight behind beefing up Layout and making it what it needs to be.
Where I am upset with all of this, is the fact that when you consider that I have been able to create this plugin by myself (mediocre programmer) in about two months (real cost of labor approx. $10,000), and then compare that with the deep pockets of SketchUp and Trimble and the lackluster improvements to Layout it makes you begin to wonder.
Surely SketchUp could hire a few more programmers and really focus on improving Layout rather than coasting along and wasting so much time and effort on this web based version of the product (that does not generate any revenue). I just don’t get it.
Without a strong 2D document engine SketchUp will not be taken seriously by the vast majority of design professionals out there, I feel very strongly about this. This is hurting SketchUp’s bottom line and possibly a driving factor in the recent move to eliminate Make and try to force the quasi-professional users to upgrade to the paid version. I view this as an act of desperation, not good.
As they say you can bring a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Rather than forcing the issue SketchUp needs only to make the product more attractive and functional by augmenting and improving Layout, this would instantly solve a number of marketing and financial problems that SU might be having, as implied by recent comments on this thread.
Look, SketchUp is by far the best 3D engine out there, its fast, its quick, easy to learn, intuitive and has an amazing API, with an improved Layout it would be unstoppable and the best CAD solution out there. Please throw more resources and money at improving Layout, it would not only help SketchUp’s bottom line but it would inevitably help me out as well, as a SketchUp plugin author, and many more as well.
This morning I am spending a little extra time on the auto-corner config module and the related module that checks for tee intersections. It has been brought to my attention that this area of the plugin is not as robust as it needs to be. I’ve already made a number of minor corrections and augmentations but if anyone has a particular case that is throwing an error or unexpected result please send that information along.
I need some feedback on another marketing strategy for the plugin. I’m thinking about creating a lite version Medeek Wall Plugin LT, this version would only have the 2D and 3D (no framing) mode available to it. The interior of the wall (framing, studs, headers etc…) would not be included in the LT version, nor would holdowns and any engineering or estimating features.
The LT version may be more suitable for some designers who do not want to be bothered with the details of the construction and are only interested in the layout.
The ability to insert windows and doors as well as all of the trim and casing options would still be available in the LT version.
What would you suggest as the regular price for an LT version? Is there any interest in this direction?
As a designer, I am interested in The LT version as described.
I personally would gladly pay for the full version just to get the functionality you describe for the LT version.
I don’t think asking half of the full version price for an LT version is unreasonable.
Thanks for you good work!
Amen brother. The development of the software as a whole is nowhere near where it could and should have been. It drives me mad. As I said, it was an open goal, yet Trimble missed it, big time. So many have now moved on to pastures new.
As a prime example of their lack of focus on what’s important, I (and many others), have an issue with zoom speed in LayOut. It’s always been WAY too slow but has inexplicably been reduced further (to a crawl) in the 2018 iteration and makes doing anything in LayOut like swimming through treacle. This issue is a fundamental error or omission by Trimble. Something which needs sorting yesterday. I posted up about this on here months back and all we got from Trimble was “yeah, this is known issue”. Nothing else. No fix. Just ambivalence. It’s terrible customer service. A decent programmer sorts that issue in a few days and then Trimble issue an update or patch, but NO, they seem more than happy to just maybe add it into the 2019 release and meanwhile they’re paying customers can taking a running jump, despite having shelved out our hard earned for something which doesn’t work as required. It’s simply not good enough…we need to stop being all 2018 and so accepting and understanding of everything (and at our expense) and start being more 1995 and calling out this sort of poor service and demand we get better.
[I did partially sort it using X-Mouse control, a third party mouse utility, but it’s not 100% accurate and why should I have to find the solution to their issue]
And another thing, a few YouTube vids showing you how to create a screw thread and the like aren’t, in truth, going to help anyone other than the occasional “model messer and fiddler” who uses the free version anyway. How does it help anyone design buildings and get them built? i.e. me, that being someone who’s going to spend money on renewing a SU licence each year. Where’s the incentive? They’re reducing SU down to a novelty modeller when it could be, with some genuine research and development, (almost) all things to all design professionals like ourselves.
Tbh, they’re actually really lucky (count your lucky stars Trimble) that because a number of us have loved using it for so long (well before Google and Trimble came to the party) that we’ve desperately hung around these parts hoping for the quantum leap forward it needed but which has never come. My guess is that in 10yrs SU will be no more.