Medeek Wall Plugin


#344

Version 0.8.2 - 06.28.2018

  • Added the ability to draw and edit beams with the Beams/Column Toolset.
  • Glulam, PSL, LVL, LSL, Timber and Lumber beam types added to the beam module.
  • Start and end cut options (miter,firecut) added to the advanced options for beams.

View model here:


#345

The currently available beam types are:

  • Timber
  • LSL
  • Lumber
  • Glulam
  • LVL
  • PSL

The number of plies can be 1, 2, 3, and 4

Glulam species are currently Western Species and Southern Pine.

SCL lumber (LVL, LSL, PSL) are the US industry standard sizes (Weyerhauser, Boise Cascade, Louisiana- Pacific).

The miter cut puts the diagonal facing the bottom, the fire cut puts the diagonal facing the top.

The materials shown are the default (built-in) materials for the plugin if the materials option is turned on. I’m not totally in love with the various textures I have for LSL, PSL, LVL and Timber but it is better than nothing I suppose.

For the timber and LVL option you can see that the end and edges have there own material assigned. Also if you apply a custom cut (after the fact) the way I have the materials assigned should allow you to maintain the proper end grain appearance.

The only thing really missing is steel beams which should not be too big of a leap now that I have the whole beam system/module in place.

Tomorrow I will jump back on the garage door module and see if we can make some headway with that.


#346

Version 0.8.2b - 06.29.2018

  • Steel: Wide Flange (W) beam types added to the beam module.

I’ve only added five wide flange sizes thus far. I just need to know what sizes are most typically used and I can add them in.

Note that miter and fire cuts work with the steel beams as well.

I was also thinking an advanced option for steel beams might be a nailer plate on top and/or bottom of the beam, again feedback in this regard will determine if I pursue this further.

Another thing to note with beams is that you can move them around just like any other object in SketchUp using the SU move tool, unlike the walls. Technically you can move the walls with he SU move tool as well its just they won’t stay connected if you do.

Another advanced option for beams would be a hanger library which can be added to or modified by the user. I am already doing this sort of thing for window and door components so it isn’t a big stretch for beam hangers.


#347

Version 0.8.2c - 06.29.2018

  • Added a hanger library (customizable) and the ability to place hangers at the start and/or end of a beam.

Hangers shown are: HU612, LUC26Z and LUS26

The hanger library is located in the “hangers” sub-folder of the library folder of the plugin.

I have a few Simpson Hangers included but any of these can be modified and additional SKP files can be put into this folder. The plugin will automatically allow the selection of any components found within this sub-folder when selecting hangers for beams within the draw and edit menus.

I have contacted Simpson Strong-Tie in an effort to get a few more of their more common hangers that I can then simplify and include in the plugin. I am particularly interested in the HUCQ series.

In order to minimize polygon count I typically eliminate most of the holes in the hangers and also any curved surfaces, the goal is to keep the file size below 50 kb if possible.


#348

The ability to easily add in components into the library is kind of nice. After about an hour of work I added in the following Simpson column caps just to give it a go:

  • CCCQ6666
  • CCOQ6
  • CCQ66
  • CCTQ666
  • ECCLLQ666
  • ECCLRQ666
  • ECCQ66

It was as simple as dropping the files into the folder, no coding required.

The parametric ability to change the “hanger” at each end is vital when setting something up like this. Not saying you would actually build this but I’ve worked on some local designs with complex porches that easily rival this monstrosity.

I will roll these components into the hanger library on the next sub. revision, probably tomorrow.

P.S. I will also include the following caps and hangers:

  • CCOQ4, ECCOQ4
  • CCQ44, CCQ46, CCQ64, CCQ88
  • ECCQ44, ECCQ46, ECCQ64, ECCQ88
  • HUCQ410, HUCQ412, HUCQ610, HUCQ612


#349

Version 0.8.2d - 06.30.2018

  • Created a number of low polygon count Simpson Strong-Tie hanger and column caps.

The full list of included hangers and column caps can be found here:

http://design.medeek.com/resources/wallpluginvendors.html

Any hardware included with the plugin are custom drawn by me to reduce polygon count and standardize layers and materials.

If you would like to see specific hardware added please email me the manufacturer, part numbers and reference material. For Simpson hardware I typically refer to their literature and their various DWGs files found on their website.


#350

Per an inquiry and post on the other board I’ve given exterior trim closer scrutiny and have the following observations and thoughts:

1.) The wainscoting is really a separate feature from the exterior trim even though they do interact.

2.) Currently the only option (feature) available with exterior trim is the corner trim and of course the window and door trim, the following three additional items need consideration and will be added to the exterior trim module:

a) Frieze Board: at the top of the cladding (width and thickness)

b) Band Board: somewhere midspan on the wall (width, thickness and height on wall)

c) Skirt Board/Water Table: at bottom of the cladding (width and thickness)

3.) Three additional parameters are needed to determine whether the three boards cut through the corner trim or terminate at the corner trim, see examples below:

The same holds true for what to do where the boards meet door or window openings and their trim. In the picture above the skirt board cuts the man door trim however the band board does not and terminates at the trim. Also one must consider the case where the frieze or band board bisects the window or door only partially.

In the image below the band board terminates at the door trim:

In the image below the band board bisects the window partially and replace the windows bottom trim:

It’s complicated, but we must start somewhere.

Additionally with wainscoting it would be nice to be able to terminate or start the wainscoting at any arbitrary distance along the length of the wall, this would allow for a 48" return for brick or cultured stone rather than only being able to terminate at the corner.


#351

Changing gears from exterior trim to gable walls you can see in the image below that a symmetric gable wall with equal wall heights and equal pitches is only the tip of the iceberg. In the example below the pitches are equal but the start and end wall heights differ by four feet. One could also have different roof pitches so the pitches may differ as well.

Theoretically one could draw a scenario like this with two “shed” wall panels butted up to each other except for the problem that the door would bisect this wall junction, hence it must be drawn as a single wall panel.

Also note the double stud placement at the pitch break. This may not be typical for all builders but I would recommend this more conservative approach rather than a single stud at the pitch break.

Looking at this wall segment it occurs to me that wall panels that connect to this panel at the corners or tee into it cannot be treated the same way rectangular wall panels connect with lapping top plates.

Again, things just got a little more interesting.

The most common (balloon framed) gable shapes are probably the following:

  • Shed (monopitch with different start and end wall heights)
  • Symmetric Gable (equal pitches and equal wall heights)
  • Non-symmetric Gable (equal/unequal pitches and equal/unequal wall heights)
  • Symmetric Gambrel (dual pitch equal and equal wall heights)
  • Hip (equal pitch, equal wall heights with a flat middle section)
  • Clerestory (equal/unequal pitches with equal/unequal wall heights with a kneel wall at pitch break)

Please feel free to add to this list. I believe the first three of this list are the highest priority.


#352

I’ll start with the band board. The updated exterior trim menu now appears as so:

The band thru corner parameter causes the band board to cut through the corner trim boards and extend all the way to the corner (mitered).

The four additional parameters should be sufficient to fully define the band board. The band board trim thickness is the same as the corner trim, I’m assuming that typically you would want these various trim boards to all be the same thickness? If not then an additional parameter for the band board thickness is required.

By the time I add in all of the parameters for the frieze and water table the menu is going to get quite large, which can create problems for people working on laptops with small screens. My only option at that point is to remove some variables from the draw wall tool ext. trim menu (still available in the global settings and wall edit menu) or go to an HTMl menu.


#353

Its now been a little over a month since I released the initial BETA of the plugin:

http://design.medeek.com/resources/wallpluginchangelog.html

June has been a very active month, as documented by the changelog.

There is still a lot more to do and some small fires still exist so July should also be relatively busy month as well.

Wrapping up some loose ends and fixes are on the top of the list as is the gable wall module. Fortunately, a lot of code for this new module will be recycling of existing code but due to the complexity of gable walls it will probably take a couple weeks to really pull it all together.

From a marketing stand point I am a little concerned with the interest level in the plugin. I fully expect that the actual purchases of the plugin will still be low since it is still in a beta stage however I am surprised that more people are not at least downloading the plugin and trying it out. This is cause for some concern.

Any thoughts on lethargic response would be helpful. I am always open to changing direction or marketing strategies if common sense or certain factors dictate it.

I apologize if the plugin is “too deep” for some, my intent is not to overwhelm or even over complicate things. Unfortunately, buildings are complicated structures and as my previous post on exterior trim has shown even fully defining a sub-system within a structure can get a little crazy at times. To be perfectly honest, a couple months in and I’ve only really scratched the surface. The engineering and estimating and auto-layout modules are stilling waiting in the wings.

I don’t think my pricing is too high or asking to much, but I realize it might still be a bit to bite off for some considering the current developmental state of the plugin. I guess what you have to realize is that you are not paying for two or three months of coding you are actually purchasing everything I’ve done up till now plus two more years of full time development. So I do think it will be good value for the money.

I also realize that the SketchUp community has a slightly different mentality than the rest of the design world. We are used to a lot of quality plugins and even the SU software coming at no cost or a greatly reduced cost when compared with other drafting/design software and tools out there. We are hesitant or unwilling to accept subscription type licenses (myself included). With all that being said perhaps a different business model would meld better with the SU design community. Any thoughts in this regard would be greatly appreciated, please send your comments directly to nathan@medeek.com.


#354

Version 0.8.3 - 07.02.2018

  • Added a band board option to the exterior trim module.
  • The “band thru corner” option allows the band board to cut through the corner trim.


#355

Just to follow up on the recent beam hardware library addition, here is a collection of the current selection of hangers, post caps and beam seats:


#356

I’ve been thinking about moving to an SKM based user library for material selection and assignment. The only problem I see with this is that it would require SketchUp 2017 or newer so it would effectively end my compatibility with older versions of SU.


#357

Version 0.8.3b - 07.03.2018

  • Fixed a bug with the wall edit menu so that it loads default global settings for advanced wall options as required.

Note that the band board can also be combined with wainscoting:


#358

Version 0.8.3c - 07.04.2018

  • Release date and sub. revision numbers are now correctly reported in the global settings license tab.

#359

I’m a bit of a perfectionist, which I will readily admit can be my undoing sometimes.

The LVL edge texture was really bugging me so I created a slightly better one:

An 14" deep LVL 3-Ply beam with an HUCQ612 hanger.


#360

Preview of the updated Trim tab of the global settings. I’ve organized it a little better into vertical and horizontal elements for the exterior trim:

I’ve also added the missing Wainscot Cut parameter and the new parameters for the Frieze and Skirt boards (with drip cap).


#361

Frieze, Band and Skirt boards:

In this instance the skirt board is thru the corner, also notice the drip cap has been enabled for the skirt board.

All three of these horizontal trim elements can also be combined with the ext. wainscoting.

There is still some fine tuning I need to do with regards to how these horizontal elements terminate at window and door openings when trim is wrapping these elements, I will be looking at this tomorrow.


#362

Testing the wall presets with the new trim features. The example below shows the water table terminated at the corners, compare to the previous example.


#363

Version 0.8.4 - 07.05.2018

  • Added frieze and skirt board options to the exterior trim module.
  • Added an optional drip cap to the skirt board (dimensions can be set in the global settings).
  • Similar to the band board the skirt and frieze can cut through the corner trim.
  • Each wall panel now has a name assigned to it, which can be edited in the wall edit menu.
  • LVL beam depths now include 22" and 24" beam sizes. LVL edge texture has been updated.

After much discussion and thought regarding my current marketing strategy for this plugin I’ve come to the following conclusions:

1.) The amount of work required to make this plugin reach its full potential is significant. Each of the sub-modules is literally a plugin in and of itself (ie. Windows/Doors, Estimating, Engineering, Beams etc…) If I keep going this plugin will be much more than just a plugin, it will be piece of software that begins to rival other design packages like Chief Architect and perhaps even Revit.

2.) Based on my previous experience with my other plugins the renewal rate on these plugins is quite low which is slowly pushing me towards some sort of subscription based licensing. However, I find this licensing model very distasteful so that prevents me from adopting this type of model at the present. Even if I where to go this route all of the existing customers would be grandfathered in with a permanent license.

3.) Compared to other design software out there my pricing is very low. To some degree this is actually hurting sales since the price is too low for many design professionals. What I mean specifically is that they look at this price and they have a hard time taking it serious, “It must just be TOY at that price”. At the same time the casual/DIY user probably finds the current price a bit too high for their liking. So I am currently in a sweet spot where the plugin will not be purchased by either market.

4.) In order to keep pursuing this plugin (and others) with the amount of intensity and effort that I am currently expending I need to focus on the professional market.

In approximately 10 days I will be raising the price of the plugin to bring it more in line with other professional plugins like ConDoc Tools and others. I haven’t settled on the new price but it will be at least double what it is now. The LT version will also probably see a slight increase however I would like to try to keep it accessible to the casual user and DIYer market.