Author Topic: Development and Updates for the Medeek Truss Plugin  (Read 78394 times)

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Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Truss Plugin
« Reply #360 on: June 29, 2017, 05:16:46 am »
Here we go again:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/128644708/medeek-construction-plugin-library

After a dismal turnout for the original truss plugin campaign I never thought I would consider another kickstarter campaign. However, I have recently been contacted by various companies/organizations seeing if I could further develop the plugins so they could use them on a almost daily basis. Based on these conversations I can see there is a real need for this type of modeling and the momentum appears to be picking up.

Another critical piece is my own level of knowledge and skill set with the SketchUp API. After spending the last two years working through the truss plugin I feel that I've finally reached a point on the learning curve where I am able to bring a lot to bear and ultimately push the development to a critical mass.

My limiting factor now is only my time and in order to devote more time to the project I need some backing.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 06:25:22 am by Medeek »
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Truss Plugin
« Reply #361 on: July 02, 2017, 03:04:01 am »
I've been looking at some floor truss layouts and it appears that within a given truss set or assembly the chase will line up across multiple spans as I have shown here:



View model here:

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model/25d2af3a-a5e6-498f-b2eb-8f4b773927ca/Floor-Truss-Study-3

Generating a new truss component for each separate span is not too difficult, similar to generating a new step down hip truss component every 24".  One thing to note is that a polygon outline will only work for floor trusses if the angles are all orthogonal, at least the bearing walls where the trusses terminate.

I'm a little unclear how to deal with the ladder trusses at the transition between different spans, perhaps someone has a 3D model or pictures giving me some clarity in these areas.

It took me about 15 minutes to create this complex floor truss set using the rectangular floor truss tool (3 separate truss sets) and the trim tool, not terrible but it would be so much better if I could achieve the same result in a matter of seconds with no manual editing.

Cutting holes in the floor and having the hole cutting tool able to regen the proper trusses is also a hot item related to this discussion.  That would make the floor truss feature actually functional as a real world design tool.

Another issue is multiple chases within a truss set.  One central chase seems the most typical but two chases positioned within the central third of the truss span also appears to be quite common.  So far I have not seen more than two chases in a given floor truss span, probably for good reason.  The ability to create two chases rather than just one is now on the "todo" list.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Truss Plugin
« Reply #362 on: July 03, 2017, 07:53:59 am »
Tutorial 5: Hip Truss Sets (24:32 min.)

Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Truss Plugin
« Reply #363 on: July 04, 2017, 02:43:41 am »
On my Kickstarter campaign there was a recent comment regarding the pricing of my plugins.  I have been giving this some thought recently and I thought I might also share my remarks on the board as well:

I agree that there is certainly an argument that I charge too little for these plugins and I have wrestled some with this problem. Others have also privately messaged me or emailed me with similar remarks and recommended that I bump my prices, sometimes tenfold.

The current reasoning behind my low pricing structure can be summarized with the following points:

1.) All of these plugins are currently in a developmental phase. Unfortunately, I have not been able to exert my full time efforts at this development so progress has been slow. I find it hard to charge a "fair amount" for a product that in my mind is still flawed and imperfect. My "todo" list is currently about 60 items and written out covers about 2 pages. To charge a "professional" price requires that one provide a "professional" service or product, I don't feel like I'm there yet.

2.) I have looked at some of the competition such as Pluspec and others who charge considerably more than I do. Again the sophistication of the their product exceeds my own so the price differential is warranted. But more importantly I'm not a huge fan of pricey design software, that is what has led me to SketchUp in the first place. The SketchUp community in general has adopted this mindset (in my opinion) and I don't feel that they would get behind an expensive solution.

3.) I am also trying to keep the plugin within the reach of the casual user (DIY'er), someone who simply wants to model up a single house or garage for their own personal use. In some cases the trial version of the plugin(s) will work for that but I have recently limited it quite strictly so any serious design work will require a registered license.

4.) I have also considered a subscription model, but my own distaste of that licensing mode has kept me from going down that road. Once your purchase a software you should be able to use it indefinitely as it stands. Additional payment should only be required if you are requesting an update or added functionality.

5.) What better way to discourage copy cats and the competition to price it too low as to make it worth their while. No one in their right mind will try to recreate what I have done with trusses when the payback is so little and the effort is so large.

With all of that being said I do think that the sweet spot, which still meets the requirements of the above points, may still be a bit higher than what I am currently charging. I need to find the correct amount to charge so that the above points are carefully balanced with the fact that I need to be able to justify the amount of time and effort I spend in developing these products.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Truss Plugin
« Reply #364 on: July 05, 2017, 12:54:25 pm »
If I ever do build my office I was thinking of doing some sort of cedar siding and then putting my logo or some of my other designs on the exterior:



View model here:

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model/1bc480bd-0bc9-4f5a-b6fe-441d73c84183/Medeek-Office-with-Logo

Some of my other designs are here:

http://www.wilkersonart.com
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline Itworx4me

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Truss Plugin
« Reply #365 on: July 05, 2017, 01:05:57 pm »
I would love to know how you're doing the cladding.  8)

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Truss Plugin
« Reply #366 on: July 08, 2017, 03:15:34 am »
Version 1.9.4 - 07.08.2017
- Added energy/raised heels for triple howe truss (3 variant: wedge, slider and vertical w/ strut).
- Metal plate connectors now enabled for triple howe trusses.



Below would be a typical example of a 60' span using a triple howe truss. 



However, in most cases where the design calls for taller walls one would probably go with a steel building or CMU block walls.  This was the case on a building I designed about 10 years ago (Wasatch Building Supply, Utah) that had 20 ft. walls.  Its too bad I don't have an interior photo showing the trusses inside the warehouse roof, its quite a sight to behold.

Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Truss Plugin
« Reply #367 on: July 13, 2017, 10:43:02 am »
Version 1.9.5 - 07.11.2017
- Added energy/raised heels for quad fink truss (3 variant: wedge, slider and vertical w/ strut).
- Metal plate connectors now enabled for quad fink trusses.



This concludes the updates needed for common trusses.  I still have a number of updates for all the other truss types to bring them up to speed.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Truss Plugin
« Reply #368 on: July 22, 2017, 07:44:52 am »
I've updated the user map so that it now shows all users at once without a time lapse effect:

http://design.medeek.com/calculator/sketchup/data/medeektrusspluginusermap.pl

and a new combined map with both the foundation and truss plugin:

http://design.medeek.com/calculator/sketchup/data/medeekpluginsusermap.pl
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline 2Harry

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Truss Plugin
« Reply #369 on: July 23, 2017, 04:51:29 am »
I'm a registered user of the truss plugin  but I don't see a flag at my location.  I have a paid serial number for the plugin....does that automatically register me or is there another step?

Regards


Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Truss Plugin
« Reply #370 on: July 23, 2017, 09:05:24 am »
Try it now.  The list somehow got reset that the map was working off of.  Its a little complicated how I create the map.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Truss Plugin
« Reply #371 on: July 23, 2017, 11:37:26 am »
Talking to my wife today about how much time I devote to all of the different projects I'm constantly involved with, in particular the plugins and my plans to launch the much needed wall plugin.  I'm coming up on two years since I started the Truss Plugin and I am quite proud of how far it has progressed but I'm even more amazed at how much more there is yet to do.

As you all know I work a full time job and only get to this stuff in my free time which is pretty tough on the family since all my time and energy is devoted to my "work".

My wife feels like I need to cut back on something, which I can understand.

My work is simply work, it pays the bills and it is fairly stable and decent income.

My passion is my plugins and other structural and design programs (design.medeek.com) that I have created and continue to create.

The last couple of days I've taken a hard look at the numbers and realized that the volume of customers is pretty good (currently about 350 active truss plugin users) but definitely not in the thousands or what I would consider "high volume" or "mass market".  If it was in that range then I could easily offer the plugin at much lower pricing and it still could pay for the considerable time and effort that I put into it.

As it currently stands, given the number of customers or potential customers I think I'm seeing, the plugin(s) is more of a niche item and not so much a "mass market" item. 

I guess what I am trying to say is that both myself and my wife think that in order for me to devote as much time as I do to the plugins I need to figure out a way to make it compensate me better for that time.  The only two solutions I am seeing is increase the volume or increase the price.

My major argument up until now for increasing the price is that the plugin(s) are not finished nor polished products.  However this is sort of a chicken and egg problem, more money would theoretically allow me to devote more time to the development which would make the plugin(s) more valuable and worth the additional cost.

Any ideas are welcome.  Bottom line is I think there is a lot more that I have to add to the SketchUp community, I just got to figure out how to do it.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Truss Plugin
« Reply #372 on: July 23, 2017, 01:42:49 pm »
Fixed a minor bug with the tail bearing truss module.  The user should now be able to input a roof pitch up to 16:12.  This was such a minor fix that I'm not rolling a major revision, just a sub-revision:  1.9.5b.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Truss Plugin
« Reply #373 on: July 25, 2017, 02:41:52 pm »
Tonight I was thinking it might be kind of cool to enable an option for hip and ridge (cap) on hip roofs.

After about an hour of coding I generated this:



I've got the hip cap figured out at the eaves but I'm a little unsure how to terminate everything where the hips meet the ridge:

Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Truss Plugin
« Reply #374 on: July 27, 2017, 02:50:24 pm »
The hip and ridge is now fully implemented for hip roofs as shown.



It can also handle pyramid roofs where there is no ridge cap.

In the global settings I will setup and option to enable this feature and also an option to set the (ridge/hip) cap width and thickness.

Its too late tonight but I will see what I can do tomorrow about rolling out a new version.

View model here:

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model/7aa80c75-5183-4aed-b0fb-ee54aa094fe0/Hip-and-Ridge-Medeek-Office
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.