Hey all,I’ve recently gotten into Sketchup for a home design project and noticed there are pretty limited options for stick framing. I’ve only come across Medeek & Framer so far, and I ran into the limits of Framer quickly so I’ve been using Medeek. Medeeks toolset is pretty impressive, but when things start to get more complex (especially with roofs) it starts to fall apart, leaving a lot of tedious, manual work that could be automated. Not to mention all the times it’ll randomly place a stud in a totally wrong and weird spot, or the dozen+ times its crashed on me so far.
As well as being a builder, I also happen to be a somewhat experienced programmer, so making my own plugin is within the realm of possibility, but it would be a timesink.
So to conclude, some questions:
Are there any solid options for framing plugins that I’ve missed?
If I were to put the time into making a new plugin, is there a viable/worthwhile market for it that would be willing to pay, say, $100 for a license?
Continuing the above question, at a certain point in complexity, do people even use SketchUp anymore, rather than a more advanced software like Revit?
There is a program called PlusSpec (plusspec.com) out of Australia that does framing. It is $870 per year for a subscription. Initial cost can be a bit steep.They have an estimating module, which might be good for your building business. There is a free triaI.
I have the Medeek extensions and have had pretty good luck with then and Nathan is good about providing tech support. You are correct about the roof tool though it does not always complete the task of drawing everything. Foundation and Floor both work well.
With regards to crashes I’ve noticed that an inferior graphics cards is often the culprit. Specifically if you edit a wall or assembly and immediately pan or rotate the model while it is updating the geometry I’ve noticed this will sometimes trigger a crash on certain computers/graphics cards.
If you notice a stud in the wrong spot save the model as a separate file, then strip out everything except for the wall in question and any connected walls then send me the file for analysis. Usually the issue is not the plugin but the plugin being used in a way that was not intended or the walls not arranged correctly. If it is a legitimate bug I like to rectify these as quickly as possible.
Per the change log you can see I have been very active with regards to addressing bugs.
When it comes to walls the big three plugins are PlusSpec, Framer and Medeek (mine).
House builder was the first such plugin like this that I am aware of but it was very rudimentary and was never progressed very far.
Out of all the plugins I have probably worked the most on the Wall plugin and then the Truss plugin. The Truss plugin was started in Oct. 2015 and the Wall plugin was started in earnest in Apr. 2018. I have spent the last 7.5 years working on these plugins and since 2018 I have worked on them full time.
Given enough time and/or resources I don’t doubt a superior set of plugins can be created that ultimately put my plugins to shame. However to achieve this be prepared to invest quite a bit of time and money or both.
I doubt hardware is an issue here. On my desktop I have a GTX 1080 (Soon to be upgraded) and a RTX 3050ti on my laptop, and Ive noticed fairly low GPU utilization (20-30% peak) on my laptop.
Will do next time.
The goal wouldn’t be to put mdkBIM to shame or replace it, I do find a lot of its capabilities impressive, but instead to provide an alternative toolset with more of a focus on some QOL features, which would perhaps mean trading away some of the more in-depth features like load-calculation that mdkBIM provides. Not to mention, I probably wouldn’t build any foundation tools, more than just being able to throw down a monolithic slab.
I’m just spitballing here though, to be honest, more than anything I’m just a dev looking for some side-project ideas that might generate some income down the road.
On a side note, is there some way to pop a hole in a lumber floor joist system and its sheathing and have it generate the blocking? And additionally, any insight as to why the Gable option on a complex roof doesn’t seem to work?