Medeek Wall Plugin


#685

There have been a lot of upgrades the last few months and as many of you know when you upgrade you lose your custom materials and also your presets.

The problem with the way it is currently setup is that this data is being stored in sub-folders within the plugin folder. When you uninstall the plugin the Extension Manager will blow away the entire plugin folder and also all of the custom data within your sub-folders.

Currently to maintain your custom library copy the sub-folder “library_mats” in its entirety to some other location on your computer. Once you’ve installed the updated version then copy your library_mats folder back into the plugin folder overwriting the default library_mats sub-folder installed by the Extension Manager. This will restore all of your saved custom materials and associated JPEG and PNG images.

This same method can also be employed for your wall presets, by copying the “preset” sub-folder and restoring it after an upgrade.

Please feel free to contact me directly via email or phone if you have further questions on this matter.


#686

I tend to install my OS and SU regularly, so a few years ago, I created a set of asset folders for SU and extensions (textures, styles, profiles, components, etc.) which works well for me. It includes items which are under development - so everything is contained in one place (theoretically).


#687

I am working on a method so that custom data will be retained when the plugin(s) are upgraded.


#688

I will include some typical handrail profiles:

The part numbers shown are from LJ Smith and should coincide very closely with their exact geometry from their shop drawings:

I have contacted them in hopes that they can provide me exact DXF or even SketchUp files so that I can include their full handrail profile line within the library.

Adding your own custom profiles is as simple as dropping your SketchUp files into the library/handrail sub-folder.

If you have some accurate profiles that you would like added to the plugin please contact me, I reserve the right to edit any profile for accuracy and/or not include it.


#689

Some of these profiles are rather complicated and will add a bit of weight to the model but surprisingly the performance was much better than expected:

A good example is the LJ6010 profile shown above, with something like 80 line segments making up the profile.

On a related note I am just about to wrap up the handrail piece of the stair module, however I am looking at the end treatment where the user selects the “RETURN” option.

For a circle profile I typically see a radiused return rather than just a 90 degree return however I am curious as to what the preference is or if there is a typical solution here.


#690

You can simplify profiles.

image


#691

And this one is 48 segments

image


#692

Version 0.9.9p - 12.01.2018

  • Added handrails to the stair module.

I rewrote a good chunk of the stair module this evening so this release probably resolves some additional issues with metric templates, as such I consider this version a critical update.


#693

I’ve been looking at a lot of stairs and handrails the last couple of days and I’ve noticed that at that the top of a run of stairs with open treads the handrail often terminates in a single riser or two riser gooseneck. Usually the two riser gooseneck is used where the handrail takes a ninety degree turn at a landing and then proceeds up another flight of stairs.

The single riser gooseneck is a bit confusing to me though. I guess it is used so that the handrail can transition to the landing rail height before it encounters the landing newel post.

Using a follow me algorithm is really not to difficult to generate the gooseneck:

What is the typical radius of the gooseneck (up-ramp)?

I’ve found some interesting and helpful information here:

I was wondering what to do about a handrail on a partially open stairs, now I know:


#694

This last week I’ve also had quite a few inquiries about including metal studs (CFS) within the plugin.

Unlike wood framing, metal framing (studs) has a more complex profile (c-shape) with numerous cutouts for wiring/plumbing.

Could one represent metal framing with a simple rectangular member (like wood) but somehow texture it in such a way so that it looks like a metal stud? Would this be acceptable to those designers that utilize metal framing?

What level of modeling detail is optimal for metal framing?

If you add too much detail and the model becomes heavy. Obviously one would not show every bend and corrugation in a steel stud (added to increase stiffness), however even modeling the stud as a c-shape with a lip involves quite a few more polygons than a simple rectangle profile (12 faces vs. 4 faces).

Then there is also the possibility of not modeling it as solid at all but just as edges and faces, so that the thickness of the steel is not represented. This would certainly cut down on the number of polygons but would break from my long standing practice of representing everything as 3D solids.

I typically use the pushpull or followme method to generate geometry within the API, however an edge/face type model would require a new approach to modeling.

I am open to suggestions.


#695

should work if you hide the geometry except faces with a png texture…

john


#696

I’ve had the debate of solid modeling with myself at times and I currently don’t model the thickness of sheet metal work like flashing. Stuff thinner than (pick a number) 1/4", 1/8" or 1/16" may not be worth modeling in a building sized model. I have decided to model 3/8" expansion joints, however, because they can be a real visual factor.


#697

Until someone sends me a model of a wall with steel studs, track and a couple of openings with headers etc… I will probably put this on the back burner for now. At this point I don’t have enough information in order to properly add steel framing to the plugin. More study will be required.

On a related note, what steel stud manufacturer(s) is the most commonly used for residential and commercial construction?


#698

Version 0.9.9q - 12.03.2018

  • Enabled “Over-the-Post” termination (single rise gooseneck and starting ease) for all handrail profiles.

The utilization of this termination option won’t really become important until I setup open sided stairs with the accompanying newel posts and balusters.

Also note that the delta Z for the starting ease and also the gooseneck is plus 4" for now, at some point I will probably want to allow the user to customize this height differential(s), but in the US market 4" seems pretty much standard.

View model here:


#699

I’m not even sure what to call this next tool that I am considering.

Perhaps the Blocking Tool would be the appropriate name. Basically I need to have a tool that will allow the designer to insert various/miscellaneous elements throughout the model. They may want these elements within a wall panel assembly (group) or outside of any group. The use of this tool would be primarily for additional studs or blocking.

The parameters would be:

Edit menu only:

Length: models units
Rotation: Degrees

Draw and Edit menus:

Size: CUSTOM, 2x4, 2x6, 2x8 etc…

Depth: in. or mm (grayed out when standard size selected above, available when custom size selected)
Width: in. or mm (grayed out when standard size selected above, available when custom size selected)

Category: BLOCK, STUD, JOIST, POST

Level: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (this parameter will be implemented in the future for wall panels, stairs and beams as well)

Material: LUMBER, LUMBERPT (custom materials from global settings as well)

Framing: 2D, 3D

If the elements are inserted within the wall panels, they must be retained during a regen, not a problem since I already have that issue worked out.

These elements will be fully parametric.

Are there any additional options or parameters that anyone else would like to see made available with this feature?


#700

Nathan call it a insertion tool. You could also insert electrical.


#701

If I was going to do an electrical plugin or module I would probably create an insertion tool that loaded predefined components (ie. switches, outlets etc…).

This tool will create simple rectangular members only. Which means I will probably remove the POST category since stand alone posts will require a whole host of other features such as wrapping and associated base and cap hardware.

I’ve had some feedback that this feature is probably not needed at this time, but I’ve also had some comments specifically requesting it. Before I progress any further feel free to voice your opinion on the matter. This is really quite a small module and most of the code will be recycled from the beam and stair modules so I don’t anticipate taking more than 48 hours to complete it however I don’t want to invest time into a feature that will rarely be utilized.

Ultimately the plugin is for you, not for me. I don’t design houses anymore, I just design the software that designs the houses. As such your opinion of what tools are made available carries more weight than mine does.


#702

I think the key issue with which I am trying to address with this new tool is best summed up when you compare SketchUp (SU) with Chief Architect (CA). Both can be used to model a structure, one is fully parametric but is quite locked down and restrictive while the other is very free form, allowing the user to do as they please. The downside to this freedom is that the program has no way of keeping track or making sense of all these custom changes and hence the parametric ability cannot natively exist.

CA does a nice job of keeping everything well contained but its 3D environment locks the user down too much in my opinion, and for the designer (who is not too different from an artist) who wants to express their creativity, I think this can be too restrictive.

Being able to insert “custom” geometry into the wall, roof and foundation assemblies, whilst categorizing and tracking it maintains the parametrics (and estimating) but also allows flexibility. Being able to retain this custom geometry after a regen is critical to the success of this paradigm.

In a nutshell the plugin is trying to maintain the flexibility of SU while giving the user the parametrics of a program like CA.


#703

Running the stair module through a few tests this evening, found one minor bug and was fairly pleased with the stair envelope for checking headroom height:

I’ve also added one additional termination (OTP with a 2 riser gooseneck) which is typically used where you go from one flight of stairs to the next as show below:

As long as the riser heights match (like they should) for each run of stairs then the 2 riser goosenecks matches up perfectly with the starting ease of the next run of stairs. Of course the specified hand rail height for each run must match as well.

Note that the white color (handrail fittings) components are not being automatically generated by the plugin those were manually inserted, however the brown sections of handrail are automatically generated and they matched up perfectly as expected (Z height). I left the fittings white so you can see what elements were required to be brought into the model.

These fittings will be included with the plugin in the library/handrail_fittings subfolder. If I get ambitious I may have to actually model up some volutes for the bottom of the handrail but for now the list of supplied fittings (for the LJ6010 profile) is:

  • S7011 (right handed)
  • S7019
  • S7020
  • S7021 (right handed)

You’ll also notice that in the top image I’ve created a landing with a 2x4 pony wall supporting it (sorry barely visible). When you go to create walls like this it would be nice to have the plugin ignore any surrounding walls and basically treat these walls as completely isolated from the rest of the structure.

With that in mind I reworked the auto-corner configuration algorithm ever so slightly, so that it is now possible to place any number of wall panels within an over arching group. What this does is effectively isolate these walls from any other groups within the model.

I will need to make some updates to the estimating module so that it is smart enough to look for groups in the root of the document with embedded walls. I will also need to make a video demonstrating this technique, and when and where it would be useful.

Granted, I have not extensively tested out this new feature so I would say proceed with caution but my preliminary testing shows that it is quite effective and convenient when modeling sub-assemblies within a larger context.


#704

Version 0.9.9r - 12.05.2018

  • Added a “2 riser gooseneck” Over-the-Post termination option for all handrail profiles.
  • Adjusted the auto-corner configuration algorithm so that wall panels can be placed within larger groups within the root of the model (wall panel isolation).
  • Fixed a bug in the Over-the-Post section of the handrail/stair module.