Author Topic: Wall Plugin for SketchUp  (Read 16849 times)

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Offline Medeek

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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #100 on: June 03, 2018, 10:18:37 AM »
Grabbed some code from the Truss Plugin this morning and now Glulam Beams are available for window or door headers:



The species or types of Glulam beams available are: Western Species, Southern Pine, and UK, Australian and South African varieties.

Its nice to be able to recycle some code, allows one to implement something very quickly.

I'm currently working on the corner cladding issue and adding in the option for a LAP or MITER corner treatment. 
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #101 on: June 03, 2018, 06:21:18 PM »
As a follow up to a  previous post about a day ago I've enabled the wall cladding menus (draw tool and edit menu) so that option (A) as previously discussed above is now a reality:



I find this solution a potentially a bit messy since all materials are available within the drop down so there is a possibility of duplicate listings but overall it seems fairly robust and offers the flexibility needed so that the user can define their own materials within SU rather than having to rely on the plugin for a static list of pre-defined materials.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #102 on: June 03, 2018, 11:13:31 PM »
4" brick facade (Corner Config: LAP) with a 1" air gap and 7/16" sheathing:



The mitered corner configuration for cladding is also now working.

I will address a few other small issues tomorrow morning and then release 0.7.6.

I've been told that I need to add a lapped option for the sheathing as well since leaving the corners open like we do in the western US doesn't work out so well in the southeastern states.

I think the next big item on the list I'll tackle is the garage doors so that at least we have one or two options for that available.
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #103 on: June 04, 2018, 07:11:17 AM »
I've switched to CSS tooltips which allows me to utilize not only text but also graphics:



I recognize the need for a detailed manual however I find that tooltips like these can be much more useful and instantly accessible.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #104 on: June 04, 2018, 10:12:56 AM »
Version 0.7.6 - 06.04.2018
- Added the option for Glulam Beams for window and door headers.
- Cladding corner treatment now has MITER and LAP available as two additional corner options.
- Sheathing corner treatment now has LAP available as an additional corner option.
- Cladding materials selection extended to include all SketchUp materials currently in model.
- Minor bug in exterior corner trim corrected.
- The update status message in HTML edit menus (wall, door and window) moved to top of form for better visibility.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Offline Don_P

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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #105 on: June 05, 2018, 01:48:01 AM »
The tooltips look good. Being a guy, a manual usually gets filed.
Does anyone actually miter sheathing? It is good to know if you're lapping when you do framing layout so you can hold that side back 1/2"... so it is not only lap but which direction.

When framing I pick the layout corner, the corner of the house that all measurements from both directions originate from.

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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #106 on: June 05, 2018, 07:55:35 AM »
Working with a designer this morning has exposed a few minor bugs with the auto-corner configuration.  I've already addressed those and the function is that much more robust.

I am now addressing another flaw with the wall creation tool (line and polyline) so that it retains the last used parameter values while creating multiple walls.  I originally thought I had this enabled but determined with further testing that it was not fully implemented.

I will probably roll out a sub-rev. in a couple hours that addresses all of these issues and then jump back onto the garage door and gable wall module programming.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #107 on: June 05, 2018, 08:01:52 AM »
The tooltips look good. Being a guy, a manual usually gets filed.
Does anyone actually miter sheathing? It is good to know if you're lapping when you do framing layout so you can hold that side back 1/2"... so it is not only lap but which direction.

When framing I pick the layout corner, the corner of the house that all measurements from both directions originate from.

That is kind of my thinking as well with regards to the manual, I'm not particularly fond of reading them but I guess some people are.  I like the tooltips because if you have a question the (simple) answer is right there instantly accessible, rather than having to dig up the manual and then peruse down through it until you find the right topic.  People these days want instant info, manuals are a bit old school but still necessary.

I've never seen sheathing mitered hence I've only given the two options (LAP and FLUSH).  Currently I have the plugin setup to lap the outside framed corner, the inset corner is held back.  I suppose this is a rather arbitrary way of handling this but it was the only way I could fully automate the lapping without any further user input.  I may need to give this some additional thought.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #108 on: June 05, 2018, 09:10:04 AM »
Just had an interesting conversation with a professional estimator about the plugin this morning.

He reinforced what already I'm seeing with this plugin and how it relates to design, designers and architects.

As I've mentioned previously the plugin audience is three fold and the design side probably will utilize the 2D and 3D (no framing) mode the most.  The reason being is that most designers are not overly interested in how the structure goes together, their main concern is the layout and placement of windows and doors.

The full framing mode will have more utility among the engineers, panel designers, estimators, contractors and DIYers.

A building design is really no more than a concept and it takes a whole team of professionals to take something off of paper (or pdf) and make it into a physical reality.

Once I have the design side of this software put together and reasonably solid I will begin focusing on the engineering and estimating pieces. 

This estimator talked at length about the disconnect between himself and the architects.  My goal is to help heal this disconnect and get everyone on the same page, I think we can do this.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #109 on: June 05, 2018, 12:44:18 PM »
Version 0.7.6b - 06.05.2018
- Auto-Corner Configuration algorithm revised to handle "stepped" walls.
- Wall "Draw Tool" configured to retain most recent inputs from user. Parameters not shown in UI default to global settings.

This sub. revision is actually fairly significant and worth upgrading to since it addresses a major flaw in the UI.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #110 on: June 05, 2018, 04:04:08 PM »
Version 0.7.6c - 06.05.2018
- Added the option to toggle between standard stud sizes and custom (user defined width x depth) sizes with the "Walls" tab of the global settings.



Note that within the wall edit menu the stud width and depth can be adjusted independently regardless of the standard stud size option being enabled.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #111 on: June 05, 2018, 05:18:45 PM »
Updated the vendor page to reflect all of the products listed within the plugin:

http://design.medeek.com/resources/wallpluginvendors.html
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #112 on: June 05, 2018, 06:42:02 PM »
Version 0.7.6d - 06.05.2018
- Fixed a bug with the wall sheathing and cladding so that door openings are properly cut out even when the vertical offset parameter is negative.



I incorrectly assumed that this state would never occur but apparently there are situations that involve reverse brick ledgers where the sheathing and cladding is lifted up in this fashion.
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #113 on: June 06, 2018, 09:12:36 AM »
This morning I am spending a little extra time on the auto-corner config module and the related module that checks for tee intersections.  It has been brought to my attention that this area of the plugin is not as robust as it needs to be.  I've already made a number of minor corrections and augmentations but if anyone has a particular case that is throwing an error or unexpected result please send that information along.
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #114 on: June 06, 2018, 09:54:03 AM »
I need some feedback on another marketing strategy for the plugin.  I'm thinking about creating a lite version Medeek Wall Plugin LT, this version would only have the 2D and 3D (no framing) mode available to it.  The interior of the wall (framing, studs, headers etc...) would not be included in the LT version, nor would holdowns and any engineering.

The LT version may be more suitable for some designers who do not want to be bothered with the details of the construction and are only interested in the layout.

The ability to insert windows and doors as well as all of the trim and casing options would still be available in the LT version.

What would you suggest as the regular price for an LT version?  Is there any interest in this direction?
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #115 on: June 06, 2018, 05:03:37 PM »
I've added the two beam icons to the columns toolbar:



The following beam types will be available:

- Glulam
- Sawn Lumber
- Timber (5"x5" and larger)
- SCL (LVL, PSL, LSL)
- Steel (W, C, L, HSS)

A placement parameter will allow one to specify Top Center or Bottom Center.

A ply (qty.) parameter will allow for multi-ply beams, this is typical for LVL beams and sawn lumber.

My idea on this draw tool is to have the HTML menu stay open allowing the user to draw as many beams as desired with the ability to change any of the settings within the HTML menu and then being able to resume drawing beams.

If this type of menu/tool system works well I will probably adopt something similar for the Wall Draw Tools.
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #116 on: June 06, 2018, 05:36:28 PM »
Had an interesting email today on the complexity of the plugin.  I agree that the menus are a bit daunting even for myself, and I even know what each parameter is and does. 

I've discussed this previously in the thread with an idea to go to an HTML menu that hopefully might be less "scary".

The problem really is that to fully define a wall with all of the flexibility needed the number of parameters quickly goes through the roof.  Case in point, look at the edit window menu here:

http://design.medeek.com/test/web_dialog_editwindow.html

People like the simplicity of SketchUp, that is what has drawn many of us to it.  Then I turn around a throw a bunch of menus at you with 15-20 parameters each, I can understand how this can be a bit much for many people.

As I've been contemplating this problem and trying to find a solution (compromise) I've come up with the following idea.

Essentially have the draw wall tool present an HTML menu not to dissimilar from the current HTML edit menu.  However organize the options that turn off the various advanced options into highlighted headers with all of the sub-details hidden unless those particular header items are enabled.  It may take a few iterations to get this right but I think it would be better than the current system of multiple menus that pop up one after the other.

I'm not a software developer or a GUI expert but when I hit upon the right solution I will know when it is right.

As far as decreasing the depth of the plugin, that cannot be done.  What can be improved upon is the ability to better manage that data and organize and present it in a more concise and clear fashion. 

This is the reason for the extensive global settings, the user can enable or disable the default behavior for a number of parameters and options allowing the user to precisely determine to what level of granularity they wish to take their model.

For instance many people probably don't want to model the cavity insulation (personally I don't find it that useful) but if that level of detail is needed it can be turned on in the insulation tab of the global settings.

Please continue to send me your feedback.  I have lots of ideas on how this plugin should go together but I've changed gears a few times already when shown a different way.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #117 on: June 07, 2018, 08:24:51 AM »
Version 0.7.6f - 06.07.2018
- Added the ability to lock the cursor to the X or Y axis for the "Draw Wall Tool" (line and polyline) by pressing the SHIFT key.
- Added the ability to lock the cursor to the 45 deg. and 135 deg. axis for the "Draw Wall Tool" (line and polyline) by pressing the CTRL key.

Also note that I fixed a couple of bugs I accidentally created when making the code adjustments for version 0.7.6e, I managed to break the plugin for all TRIAL users.

Therefore this is a critical update, please remove the prior version and install this version which will fix the error introduced last night.  This is what happens when I try to get too much done in one day.
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #118 on: June 08, 2018, 11:54:57 PM »
Version 0.7.7 - 06.08.2018
- Created the Medeek Wall Plugin LT, a lighter version of the plugin with internal wall framing, estimating and engineering removed.
- Horizontal and Vertical sheathing materials added to the pre-installed plugin materials.



Note that the June promo does not apply to the LT version of the plugin
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #119 on: June 09, 2018, 07:55:43 AM »
I've been getting a lot of feedback on the UI lately, for good reason of course (it's terrible).

The wall draw tool with its multiple menus is what I am talking about.

After reviewing various suggestions and giving it some more thought I think the solution is two fold:

1.)  Go to an HTML menu, similar in design to the current edit menu that remains open during wall creation and allows the user to make changes during wall creation with the polyline tool (ie. changing wall height on specific wall segments that are in a drop down living room).

2.)  Enabling user presets where all of the basic and advanced parameters for a wall are saved to a user defined preset that can be instantly recalled within both the wall draw and edit menus.  For example, this would allow the user to quickly define and then recall a 2x6 ext. wall with a 1" air gap and brick cladding, rather than having to peruse through all of the settings every time and recreating the wheel just to put together a standard wall type.

Certain parameters would not be saved as part of a wall preset.  I haven't nailed down exactly which of those parameter to exclude but my first shot at it would be:

- Wall Length
- Wall Group
- Wall Framing (2D, 3D etc...)
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #120 on: June 09, 2018, 10:06:59 AM »
Version 0.7.7b - 06.09.2018

- Horizontal and Vertical plywood sheathing materials added to the pre-installed plugin materials.





I realize this a fairly insignificant item, but it was user requested and one of those things I could knock out in about 10 minutes or less.
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #121 on: June 09, 2018, 11:32:08 AM »
I'm actually not a big fan of Tyvek, at least not in our marine environment on the beach out here in western Washington but I do know it gets used a lot.  This is the OSB + TYVEK option:



Only the outside face of the sheathing gets the Tyvek material and the sheathing group gets the generic OSB material.
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #122 on: June 09, 2018, 08:11:25 PM »
Version 0.7.7c - 06.09.2018
- Tyvek + OSB material added to the pre-installed plugin materials.
- Added 2D construction line options for sheathing, cladding and gypsum within the global settings.



Taking it a bit slow today, just a few minor items and some small fires to put out, catching a bit of a breather.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #123 on: June 10, 2018, 02:37:39 PM »
Version 0.7.7d - 06.10.2018
- Added 2D (construction or solid) line options for sheathing, cladding and gypsum within the global settings.
- Fixed a bug within the corner trim module (trim width).
- Added additional standard metric stud sizes: 36x68, 36x98, 36x148, 36x198, 48x72, 48x98, 48x148, 48x198
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Wall Plugin for SketchUp
« Reply #124 on: June 11, 2018, 07:08:09 AM »
This is the direction I am going with the Wall Edit Menu UI and Draw wall Tool:



Notice the wall presets section at the top of the UI, here you can delete, load or save a preset wall template.

The actual templates will be stored in a simple text file within a sub-folder called "presets", that way the user can also manually edit the wall preset file and even cut and paste presets from other users into their preset file.  This solution offers the most flexibility and user control in my opinion.

Loading a preset will re-populate all of the parameters in the form below except for the excluded items.

The save function will create a new preset (with user entered name/description) based on the currently listed parameters in the form.

Does this make sense? and the better question, am I missing anything here?

Hopefully this new addition of presets will speed up the wall creation process and spare the user from having to recreate a specific wall type from scratch each time they start a new model or session.

I still have not fully arrived at what the excluded parameters should be in the wall preset functions so please provide any feedback in this regard.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
Designer, Programmer and Engineer

 

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