Medeek Wall Plugin


#828

You have been thinking about how to do levels/stories. In the future, would it be possible for wall numbers to correspond with the level/story number? Ex: Wall 1-1 or 101 on level/story 1, Wall 2-1 or 201 on level/story 2.

(Also, would there be a way for LayOut dimensions to reference SketchUp dimensions? Or, some type of future ruby script that would make it possible to edit SketchUp dimensions within LayOut?)


#829

I still need to add in the levels module. That will come into play for generating floor plans automatically and a number of other items.

Referencing dimensions between Layout and SketchUp is currently above my pay grade. I will need to do more research to see what can or can’t be done with the Layout API.


#830

#831

Here is another screenshot showing the inclusion of header callouts (text). I’m able to set the insertion point of the text and vertically I can adjust it perfectly however there does not seem to be a way to specify the justification of the text (left, right, center) so the user may have to make some minor adjustments as they bring the scenes into Layout:

Note that all of these dimensions and text callouts are being generated automatically by the plugin. When a wall panel is regenerated or modified the dimensions are updated accordingly. So any manual modifications will be blown away if you change the wall up. This of course is good and bad to some extent.

Good because it is fully parametric, bad because manual mods to the auto dimensions will not be retained if the wall is regenerated/modified.

Hopefully this feature will be a time saver for those needing to generate framing plans.


#832

Version 1.0.8 - 03.12.2019

  • Enabled auto-dimensioning for wall panels (to be used in conjunction with the Scene Generator for creation of framing elevations).
  • Added the Dimension Offset and Framing Dimensions parameters to the General tab of the global settings.
  • Added Dimension Layer 4 specifically for auto-dimensions (Layer tab of the global settings).

There is probably quite a bit more to be done here with auto-dimensioning of framing elevations, but at least I’ve taken an initial crack at it. We will see what the feedback is from my production builders and component manufacturers and then make any needed course corrections.

The model can get quite cluttered (and ugly to be honest) with all of these dimensions floating about. If you have layers enabled (which I highly recommend) then you can turn off the dimension 4 layer in the SketchUp layers tray and only toggle them on in the scenes that need to show the framing dimensions. This will remove the clutter from the scenes that you are primarily working in.

To further increase performance I would actually suggest not enabling the auto-dimensioning until you are at the tail end of your primary design phase then toggle it on in the global settings and regen your wall panels and they will then show all of the framing dimensions. From there proceed to generate your scenes for the framing elevations.

Some designers prefer to apply their dimensions in Layout rather than bringing them in from SketchUp. For that reason the Framing Dimension parameter exists and allows one to choose to enable or disable this feature.

I’ve been receiving a lot of questions on workflow lately and I am hoping to further flesh out the documents module to help automate more of that process.


#833

@donneyclark This can be done with components. I generate door and window schedules using the internal report tool in Sketchup export to excel and link to layout. It not optimal but it works. And door and window labels fill in and automatically report instance number from component.
I created a component that acts like a space object and reports room area and allows selection of finish material options through the component options. I can share more if your interested. Rudimentary but all native SU LO and excel.


#834

Thanks! Please share within original thread.


#835

I’ve made a few small changes to the icons of the primary toolbar with Version 1.0.8. Unless you are running 4k resolution (UHD) you will probably not notice any difference or you shouldn’t notice any difference. I need some feedback from both Windows and Mac users to see if my “fix” for the toolbar icons will work. Once I am assured that it is effective I will proceed to update the rest of the toolbar icons.

See API development thread here:


#836

Version 1.0.8b - 03.13.2019

  • Updated toolbar icons to be compatible with 4k (UHD) resolution monitors.

I have decided to go with the simpler solution of upscaling the icons by 2x in size rather than switching to SVG and PDF icons. The toolbar icons should now render properly with 4k (UHD) display devices.


#837

Before I proceed much further with the documents module, specifically with generating scenes for floor plans (and associated auto-dimensioning) I really need to put the project module into place. This new module will include a tool for assigning project meta data to a model (eg. customer, address, designer/architect, engineer, project title etc…). Even more importantly this module will include the levels tool which will allow the user to configure various levels/stories for a project.

In order to properly organize a model the wall panels really should be assigned to a specific level. Then automating certain tasks will become much easier and logical.

This module will also include a tool/interface for entering in site criteria (engineering!) for the specific job: Ground snow load, Seismic Data, Basic Wind Speed, Frost line Depth, Soil bearing capacity etc… Eventually this data will then be utilized by the engineering module to automatically run lateral and vertical calcs on the architectural -> structural model.


#838

Sorry to (possibly) add more complexity to this, but as I read it, I thought: “What about split levels? When the wall of one room is both the lower half of one adjacent room and the upper half of the room below the adjacent room, which ‘level’ does the wall belong to?”

I’m NOT likely to ever need an answer, at least not in what I anticipate modeling. So don’t consider this a feature request - although others may need it.


#839

It then belongs to its own level. Split levels are a separate level. Ever area that has a floor at the same height constitutes a level.


#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.


#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.


#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.


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.


#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).


#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


#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.