I just made a minor correction to the code and re-uploaded Version 0.9.9z, this fix only affects users on metric templates.
Another minor bug found in the metric template with regards to 3 and 4 block corners. Not a significant enough change to roll the revision but I have updated the plugin and uploaded the corrected version.
Actually 0.9.9z.4, but whose counting.
I’m working on the plugin this evening and we’ll be to 1.0.0 shortly.
Version 1.0.0 - 01.15.2019
- The Medeek Wall extension moved from BETA status to initial full release.
- Added the Open/Close (icon and function) to the Medeek Wall Tools toolbar.
- Enabled opening and closing of all man doors: 90 deg. or 45 deg.
When using the Open/Close tool the opening angle can be toggled (45 deg. / 90 deg.) with the CTRL key on windows.
When the wall is modified, regenerated or moved the doors will automatically close up and return to their default state.
I may also extend this function/tool so that it can utilized with garage doors and windows but its not a high priority at this time.
At the same time I am not very happy that the gable and the shed wall tool is still not quite ready. These walls have gotten so complicated and so full of options that when you start introducing exotic geometry its almost like writing and entirely new plugin just to handle it all. I’m going to need a few more weeks and then I should have the gable and shed options out.
The door opening/closing tool as was actually a very simple piece to add in. I probably should have added it a long time ago but no one had ever asked.
When you open and close doors the wall itself and all of its components/elements do not get altered in any way so the nice thing is that a wall regen is not required. This makes this feature very quick and lightweight. All that is really happening is the door(s) are getting rotated into their new positions or back again.
Since the tool is persistent, you can easily go around the model opening and closing doors until you are blue in the face.
Version 1.0.0b - 01.16.2019
- Enabled opening and closing of all garage doors.
Toggling the opening angle will have no affect when you open a garage door, it only affects the man door openings.
With the garage doors the assumption is a 12" radius for the track of the garage door. When I further flesh out the Garage Door tab in the global settings I will make this parameter user definable. It appears that the most common radius for the garage door track is somewhere between 12" - 24". So for now I am using the minimum radius of 12" since it provides the least amount of headroom when the garage door is open but also allows for the least amount of installed space required (clearance between top of garage door and ceiling).
As I was pondering Basecamp 2018 and some of what I saw there in various presentations it caused me to wonder about architects and designers who seriously use SketchUp in their practices.
It seems there are two camps:
1.) Those who use SketchUp’s native tools to essentially model everything manually.
2.) Those who need less control and more speed (production designers/builders) and prefer to utilize plugins as much as possible.
I’m not saying one is necessarily better than the other but there are certainly some major advantages in my opinion if you can offload some of the more menial tasks to a computer (plugin).
Which camp do you fall into? and why?
If you are in camp #1 then what would it take to get you to convert to camp #2?
And of course the loaded question: What can I do to make the plugins even that much more effective and easy to use for those already in camp #2?
I would like to add the stand alone post/column module since I have had quite a few people asking about it recently.
However as you can see from the photo below the wrapping of such posts can get really involved:
At the very least I would like to have the ability to wrap the post and also provide the option for an outer wrap (pedestal) or wainscot (with option to specify and set the ledge height and width).
Should I also have an option for molding at the top (capital) and bottom (base)? Astragal?
Also if I do have the wainscot option is there a need for an air gap? and does the outer wrap or wainscot cover the wrap or does the wrap end at the outer wrap/wainscot?
These are some of the options I have in mind, as you can see there are a number of possible permutations by enabling or disabling certain features:
Each color denotes a unique material that can be specified by the user. Hopefully this should give enough flexibility when it comes to wrapping free standing columns.
For now I will stick with rectangular posts, circular posts/columns (greek columns) are a whole can of worms on their own.
Postscript: Now that I am thinking about it some more both the wrap and the wainscot will need an option for an air gap, since the wrap may be stone or brick and not butt up tight against the actual structural steel or wood post.
Postscript II: In some literature the wainscot or heavier base section of a column is called the pedestal. If there is a better term for any of these elements that I will be incorporating then please speak up now before I start diving into this module full throttle.
The answer is actually both.
To some extent, I can be picky and want to draw things my way and not be happy with the way someone else drew it or organized it. That’s particularly true of 3D Warehouse. For example, when I did a shipping container house, what I found in 3D Warehouse was either too simple (a box with photo textures applied to the sides) or way to many polygons (every edge beautifully eased with an 1/8" rounded corners). I ended up finding 2D plans and building my own my way. That’s part of the reason for the first camp.
I’m also under tremendous competitive pressure to be faster and cheaper or I won’t even get hired. If your stuff can keep me competitive, then I have to use it. To my mind, however, you don’t have to get 100% there to be effective. As you can see, some of the complexities of wainscoting or stair options, for example, explode into seeming bottomless work on your end. If you can get me 90% there in half the time, I don’t mind custom making the last 10%. That is still a big help.
So, the real world answer is a hybrid of both camps.
I’ve been having a conversation again with one of my mentors on the idea and concept of stories/levels in the plugins. I’ve come to the conclusion that assigning the geometry to levels is very powerful and I now have it very much in my mind to implement some form of a system that deals specifically with this issue.
All major assemblies (groups) that are created by the wall plugin (walls, posts, beams, stairs, etc…) need to be assigned to a level. This is important for a number of reasons.
1.) The Medeek Estimator will need to break out its estimate by level, currently it will order the walls by their name but really it needs to group them by level and then order them within each group. The same holds true for all other assemblies created by the plugin(s) or even geometry not created by the plugins that I want the estimator to include.
2.) Once I get further along to where I’m automatically setting up scenes and exporting those to Layout, DXF and/or PDF, again I need to organize assemblies by their level. A floor plan usually consists of walls on a specific level.
3.) The engineering module (way out in the future right now of course) will also need to know this information in order to make sense of the model.
Each assembly (main group) will have a parameter in its attribute library which specifies the level it is on regardless of where it actually is in space (in the model). The user of course can always change this.
There also needs to be a way that the user can set the Z height of each level and also set a specific level as “active” so that all new geometry (walls) is automatically placed on that level.
There also needs to be a way of adding new levels and deleting levels. If a level is deleted then the plugin should prompt the user where it wants to place any groups on that level being deleted and allow the user to select from available levels.
There should be a button that allows the user to hide all assemblies on a given level or unhide them. Probably another button that allows the user to select all assemblies on a given level, that would probably be useful.
I need to add a context menu so that the user can right click on any component or group (plugin geometry or not) and assign it to a specific level. For non-plugin geometry this means that a attribute library key is created for the entity and assigns it to a level.
I’m sure there are more things I am missing but of the top of my head and based on my recent thoughts on the matter this is what I’m coming up with.
Per customer request I will be adding in the octagon (fixed/picture) window:
The ratio of the window height to width determines whether it is a true octagon or an elongated one. As usual the possibilities are infinite. I think for now I will just utilize rectangular shutters for this window type until someone tells me otherwise.
Similar to the Oval/Circle window I’m not installing a ledge with the Octagon window, let me know if this should be otherwise.
I would put 45° blocking to support the edges of sheathing and GWB, especially the latter. Also, finish trim work needs solid wood to drive nails into.
You will notice that I am not putting the blocking in for arched, octagonal, or circular windows. The reason being is that framers have various ways they will frame these areas so I leave that minor detail to the carpenter. At some point I may add in this blocking but for now it is too ambiguous.
Version 1.0.1 - 01.18.2019
- Added octagon windows to the window draw and edit modules.
- Fixed a bug in the license and registration module.
I’ve never actually seen an octagon window with ext. shutters so for now I will use rectangular shaped shutters on octagon windows until told to do otherwise.
I kind of forgot how much work it is to add in a new windows shape, there are so many options and elements and each one must be dealt with: sheathing, cladding, framing, trim, casing, shutters, band boards, frieze boards, water boards, wainscoting, labels.
The good news is that as I add in more window shapes/types a lot of the code begins to overlap so I can usually cobble together the logic based on work I’ve already done, which of course is easier and faster than creating something from scratch.