Author Topic: Medeek Electrical Plugin  (Read 1213 times)

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Offline Medeek

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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2019, 10:29:18 PM »
First look at the output of the Light Fixture Module:







The plugin allows you to drop your own light fixtures into the library sub-folder so you can have as many custom light fixtures as you like (and I don't need to spend anymore time modeling things up).

The fancy ext. wall lantern shown was simply downloaded from the warehouse, minor edit to make sure the origin of the file was in the correct place and then dropped into the light_fixture sub-folder.  I will not be including this fixture in the distribution simply due to its size (1.2 Mb).  However I will include some basic lampholders like the Leviton 49875 shown.

Another thing to note, since the light fixtures are custom I will not be attempting to apply any material or color to them.  For that reason there is no need to explode the component into a unique group. 

I will add some additional simple light fixtures and junction boxes as time allows or as requests are made.

Currently the light fixture tool is limited to wall mounted fixtures.  I am still contemplating how best to deal with ceiling mounted fixtures and what type of system/organization to employ.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
Designer, Programmer and Engineer

Offline Adam Roby

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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2019, 11:35:28 AM »
If you add a ceiling mounted fan, you might want to consider adding some support structure as well.
I've seen a few people install a heavy fan on a box that was just toe nailed in and they've sagged or fallen. 
I think it should be standard practice to add a 2"x4" support on both sides of any ceiling fixture, in the chance that someone decided to install a heavy fan.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2019, 01:13:22 AM »
Pulling the global settings together:



Outlets tab:



The estimating piece will be after I release the BETA. 

I'm almost ready to put this new plugin out there but I'm waffling on whether to spend some additional time on the draw tool and see if I can't make the plugin work with any (wall) geometry rather than just limiting it to an add on for the Medeek Wall plugin.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Offline Medeek

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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2019, 04:31:25 PM »
*** BETA RELEASE ***

Version 0.9.0 - 02.14.2019
- Created the Medeek Electrical Plugin, utilizing SketchUp's Ruby API.
- Added tools to create switches, outlets, low voltage outlets, load centers and lights.

Download the BETA version here:

http://design.medeek.com/resources/medeekelectricalplugin.pl


Just a reminder that this plugin is currently dependent on the Medeek Wall extension to function.  Also a new version of the Wall plugin is required in order to retain the electrical components within the wall panels.  The upgraded version of the wall plugin will be released later tonight.

Items needing further attention:

- Ceiling light fixtures.
- Parametric ability (edit menus for all fixtures).
- Combo switch/outlets 
- Estimating
- Ability to use the plugin with any wall geometry (non-plugin dependent)
- Link to purchase plugin within Account Manager (currently only a TRIAL version is available)
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Offline Medeek

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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2019, 08:32:34 PM »
Version 0.9.0b - 02.15.2019
- Added additional Carlon and Raco octagon boxes into the Light Fixture module.



Per customer request I've added some additional electrical boxes. 

The full list of junction boxes available for light fixtures is:

Junction Boxes: Carlon (B518, B520, B620H), Raco (111, 112, 119, 128, 146, 164, 175, 177)

The reason I have to add these boxes in is because I need to hard code in the dimensions so that the plugin knows what the width is when the box justification is toggled to left or right.  Its not a big deal, it only takes me a couple minutes to add in a new box and its dimensions.

If you have a particular box or light fixture you would like to see added please let me know.

As far as other international standards (British, France, South Africa etc...), I would be excited to add these in as well but I don't have the time or the energy to model up quality, low poly models of typical boxes, faceplates and electrical components.  If you would like to see these added to the plugin I would need to have low poly models provided to me.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Offline Medeek

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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2019, 08:46:01 PM »
Version 0.9.1 - 02.16.2019
- Enabled the ability to draw switches with any wall geometry (removed the dependency on the Medeek Wall extension).

I've been blasted with emails the last couple of days requesting that I make the plugin work with any walls, so I figured I might as well see if I can make this happen.

This is largely experimentally at this stage since dealing with random (walls) geometry can be a bit tricky.

I've only enabled this feature with the Draw Switches tool for now.  Once I am satisfied with its performance I can easily migrate it to all the other tools. 

The wall must be a group, and its faces must be only one level deep, not nested group within group.

Please download this latest release and attempt to break it, let me know your findings.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Offline Medeek

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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2019, 10:46:08 AM »
Tutorial #1 - Extension Overview:



Footnote:  The bug encountered at the 16:00 min. mark has been identified and corrected.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2019, 12:09:43 PM »
There is always more that can be done. Just remember though I am juggling four different extensions now, single handed and each one is very deep (and broad). So my time to devote to any one plugin or request is becoming much more selective.

If you would like to have a feature added I need more details:

1.) Most common configuration and manufacturer.
2.) Some indication of how much this feature would be used (does it fit the 90% rule).
3.) Commercial or Residential application.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Offline Medeek

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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #33 on: February 18, 2019, 11:41:55 PM »
Version 0.9.1b - 02.19.2019
- Enabled the ability to draw outlets with any wall geometry (removed the dependency on the Medeek Wall extension).
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2019, 07:19:42 PM »
Version 0.9.1c - 02.19.2019
- Enabled the ability to draw low voltage outlets, load centers and light fixtures with any wall geometry (removed the dependency on the Medeek Wall extension).

The plugin is now fully independent of the Medeek Wall extension and can function as a standalone extension.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Offline Medeek

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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2019, 11:36:42 PM »
Its funny how some of my best thinking is done when I am doing totally unrelated tasks.  While I was cleaning out my garage and mini-van on Sunday afternoon I slowly started working out how to handle ceiling mounted light fixtures, almost unconsciously before I was aware that I was working on the problem.

After giving this topic a rest for a few days and then revisiting it again this evening it is now clear to me that in order for this to work properly I really need a "Story" or "Levels" module or plugin that actually works across all of the plugins.  This Levels module is also needed for the other plugins in the mdkBIM suite, especially in relation to estimating.

This becomes critical for the electrical plugin because when you start placing fixtures into a ceiling you need to know where the floor is in relation to that ceiling.  Or to be more precise you need to know which floor to assign the light fixtures to so that the 2D symbols are drawn at the appropriate Z height and hopefully are at the same level as the rest of the electrical symbols for that level (ie. wall mounted electrical fixtures), regardless of the ceiling height.

If the absolute Z height of the Level is changed then the 2D symbols assigned to it will need to move up or down to make the adjustment.  The easiest way to do this is to place all of the 2D symbols (ceiling light fixtures only) in an over arching group that is separated from the separate light fixture groups themselves.  When the Level Z height changes you only need to move this main group and not each 2D symbol.

The potential downside with this particular system is that if you manually move one of the light fixtures in the X-Y plane or laterally then the 2D symbol does not follow it and is out of sync (out of position).  The way around this problem is to possibly setup an observer so that if a ceiling fixture is moved the 2D symbol is simply deleted and redrawn.  When a ceiling fixture is deleted a similar situation occurs, however the symbol will always belong to the appropriate main group and have a tag (instance name) that matches the ceiling fixtures so that it can be easily purged from the main group.

The draw tool will not only be looking at the group (ceiling group) but also at the face when placing the fixture.  The exact point selected on the face will determine the actual placement of the fixture.  The height parameter (fixture to floor distance) as it is currently defined has no meaning and will be greyed out however for certain suspended fixtures it can be used at the "suspended height" thereby determining the height above the fixture to place the junction box within the suspended ceiling.

There is quite a bit to consider when it comes to ceiling mounted fixtures, I'm sure I haven't considered every possibility yet and there may even be a fatal flaw in some of the organization explained above but at least I wanted to get some of my thoughts down in writing before they evaporated away like a morning mist under the noon-day sun.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Offline Medeek

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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2019, 11:22:29 AM »
I will no longer be posting updates to this thread.

If you are interested in new developments or the continuation of this thread please visit:

http://design.medeek.com/smf/
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #37 on: March 23, 2019, 11:24:41 AM »
Version 1.0.0 - 03.23.2019
- The Medeek Electrical extension moved from BETA status to initial full release.
- Created the HTML edit panel menu and enabled editing for load centers (service panels).
- Created the HTML edit safety device menu and enabled editing for wall and ceiling mounted safety devices (exit signs, smoke detectors, CO detectors, horn/strobes).
- Created the HTML edit light fixture menu and enabled editing for wall and ceiling mounted light fixtures.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #38 on: March 23, 2019, 08:19:54 PM »
Tutorial 2 - Light Fixtures (17:50 min.):

Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Offline Medeek

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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #39 on: March 26, 2019, 04:27:07 PM »
Justin Geis with SketchUp Essentials just posted a review of the plugin:



Overall I think the video is excellent however the demo was of version 0.9.6 so he was not able to demonstrate the parametric ability of the plugin.
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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #40 on: March 30, 2019, 09:16:38 AM »
I will be adding in an additional toolbar "Medeek Electrical II":



This toolbar will be for misc. electrical devices that do not fit neatly into the categories already provided (switches, outlets, low voltage, load centers, safety, light fixtures).

The first two items that will be added are:  Heaters, Vent (fans)

Heaters will include items such as cadet wall heaters, shop/garage ceiling mount heaters etc...

Vents will include typical ceiling mount vent fans for bathrooms, laundry and kitchens.  Regular ceiling fans and ceiling fans with lights will actually be included with the light fixtures module. 
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Offline Medeek

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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #41 on: April 01, 2019, 07:44:11 AM »
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #42 on: April 02, 2019, 06:48:58 PM »
Ultimately the number of included electrical devices and fixtures will probably exceed the amount of devices that I want to package as default with the plugin.  My thinking on this is that down the road I can provide "packs" that the user can drop into the appropriate plugin library sub-folder to add more pre-configured components to the plugin. 

For example the commercial electrician or designer may want a much larger selection of fire and safety devices than the average residential designer.  It doesn't make much sense to overly bloat the plugin size to include all of these specialized electrical components when most of the user base will not use them.  Rather it makes sense to provide these electrical device "packs" as an upgrade type feature where the user decides for themselves which additional devices they would like to have available for their use.

Also if enough people utilize this plugin it may also garner the interest of some of the manufacturers who then might be willing to provide some "official" models of their hardware (low poly preferably) for use within the plugin.  Looking at a number of manufacturer's websites lately and there is only a handful that provide any sort of 3D models and those are usually in Revit.  I would like to see more SketchUp models become available.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #43 on: April 03, 2019, 10:51:41 PM »
Version 1.0.3 - 04.03.2019
- Added an advanced option for outlets to display the outlet height with the 2D symbol.



If this advanced option proves popular I can also add it to switches, low voltage outlets, safety devices (wall mounted), and light fixtures (wall mounted).

This advanced option is per customer request.

On my own electrical plans I typically don't call out the switch or outlet height however in some cases I have provided a height call out with GFCI outlets installed in the garage.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #44 on: April 04, 2019, 11:00:16 PM »
First look at wall mounted (surface) fluorescent light fixtures:



First look at vanity light fixtures:

Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #45 on: April 06, 2019, 12:52:09 PM »
Version 1.0.4 - 04.06.2019
- Added the following light fixture categories and symbols: Surface, Recessed, Vanity, Ceiling Fan, Ceiling Fan w/ Light, Fluorescent (Surface Mount).



Now that I've reworked the light fixture module it is much more conducive to adding in additional light fixture categories/types, at some point I may even allow the user to add in custom categories.   I still need to add in the fluorescent suspended and recessed categories and their corresponding symbols.  However, I usually won't add in a category until I have a minimum of one default fixture to place into the library for that category.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #46 on: April 07, 2019, 05:45:00 PM »
Version 1.0.4b - 04.07.2019
- Added the following light fixture category and symbol: Fluorescent (Recessed).



Included fixtures are a 2x4 and 2x2 troffer.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #47 on: April 08, 2019, 01:32:20 PM »
Version 1.0.4c - 04.08.2019
- Added the following light fixture category and symbol: Fluorescent (Suspended).



The only other major type of lighting that is missing is track lighting and possibly some variants of existing lighting types that indicate they are LED rather than fluorescent or incandescent.

With fluorescent lighting there is a small text file in each library sub-folder that specifies the dimensions of the light fixture.  Technically the numbers for each light fixture can be set to any value (width, depth, length), they are only used to provide the wireframe preview and help with the placement if you toggle the fixture justification.  I will put out a tutorial on how to use these config files and setup your own custom fixtures.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #48 on: April 09, 2019, 10:52:46 AM »
Version 1.0.4d - 04.09.2019
- Added an advanced option for switches and low voltage outlets to display the device height with the 2D symbol.

Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
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Re: Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #49 on: April 10, 2019, 04:05:53 PM »
Version 1.0.4e - 04.10.2019
- Added an advanced option for wall mounted light fixtures to display the device height with the 2D symbol.



I also resolved a minor bug with the placement of wall mounted light fixtures so I highly recommend upgrading to this latest release.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.
Designer, Programmer and Engineer

 

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