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Topics - Medeek

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First look at the icons for the Medeek Project extension:

This plugin is the administrative plugin that will bring a number of tasks together in the mdkBIM suite.

Planned modules and tools:

- Medeek Project:  Project Info, Design Criteria, Levels
- Medeek Documents:  Scenes, DXF, PDF (removed from Wall plugin)
- Medeek Estimator (removed from Wall plugin)

Snow Load Studies / Snow Load Calculator and Maps
« on: March 01, 2019, 12:54:07 am »
The thread listed below gives a nice breadcrumb trail of some of my earlier work on snow load maps:

Medeek API / Feb. 2019 - Seismic Updates
« on: February 27, 2019, 02:03:11 am »
Due to recent changes in the web service (API) of the USGS I have updated the Seismic Map(s) and the Medeek API (seismic data only).

The USGS has discontinued their design maps service and replaced it with a more streamlined JSON API. They have also discontinued previous outdated data sets and also brought new editions online.

I've updated the code that connects to the API and also upgraded from the IRC 2012 to the IBC 2015 for the seismic map:

With the termination of their design maps service the automatic generation of the spectrum response graphs also went away. However, the raw data is still provided by the USGS API, and with that data I am able to graph the spectrum responses with good resolution.

The detailed report now includes larger more legible graphs for both the MCEr Spectrum and the Design Response Spectrum.

The input parameters for the Medeek API (seismic) has also changed. Please refer to the API web page below to review the recent updates:

The output for seismic data has also had a minor change in formatting.

The first thing you will notice with the updated seismic data is the elimination of any IRC data, it is now all based on the IBC, ASCE or NEHRP.

As always more work needs to be done with the API and maps. I am still in the process of providing new maps for the ASCE7-16 wind speeds and updated state snow load maps. Recently SketchUp plugin development has monopolized most of my time and energy but I am committed to providing updates and upgrades to these other engineering services.

Thank-you for your continued support and feedback.

Wind and Seismic / Updates to the Seismic Maps
« on: February 26, 2019, 01:55:17 pm »
A couple of weeks ago I noticed that the seismic map and API were not working.  At first I thought it might have something to do with the government shutdown but that was not the case.

Further investigation revealed that the USGS had discontinued their design map service and had changed up their API rather significantly.  I have been very involved with the development of the SketchUp plugins and have not been able to pull away until now to repair the connection to the updated USGS service.

I've updated the code that connects to the API and also upgraded from the IRC 2012 to the IBC 2015 for the seismic map:

With the termination of their old service the automatic generation of the spectrum response graphs also went away.  However, the raw data is still provided by the USGS API and with that data you are able to graph the spectrum responses.

The detailed report now includes larger more legible graphs for both the MCEr Spectrum and the Design Response Spectrum as shown below:

I apologize for the extended downtime of the service and the inconvenience it has caused.  Hopefully the existing USGS service remains in place for a few years to come.

I may also provide additional maps for the different data sets provided by the USGS (ie. ASCE7-16, 2015 NEHRP, ASCE41-17 etc...), please let me know if any of these additional data sets would be of interest to you.

Internet Resources / SketchUp for Builders: New SketchUp Book
« on: February 20, 2019, 04:44:14 am »
I received my copy of John Brock's new book right before Christmas.

I haven't had a chance yet to thoroughly review it from cover to cover but at a cursory glance it appears that it is a fairly complete text.  I was actually quite surprised to the level of detail that John models his homes.  I didn't expect to see all of the electrical outlets and switches however the major duct work for the HVAC does seem like an excellent idea so as to avoid clashes with other building elements.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Truss plugin was included in the text.  Of course the wall plugin was released probably after the book went to press so it did not get any coverage but hopefully it might find its way into the 2nd edition.

I've got to say though, those Lumion renderings are something else.  At first glance I thought I was looking at the actual completed residence.

I think I would have liked to see a more in depth treatment in Part IV (Construction Documents) with regards to Layout and more examples of actual construction documents but overall I think this book will be a good reference and earns a spot on my bookshelf.

Forum News / Consolidation of Threads from Various Forums
« on: February 20, 2019, 04:36:26 am »
In an effort to garner more visibility I have duplicated most of the threads in this forum on other forums (eg. SketchUp, Sketchucation etc...)

However, the downside to this additional effort is the amount of time it takes me to post an update on any given topic.

I'm now balancing the development of four different plugins as well as my other engineering tools on the website.  In order to conserve time and energy I will now only be posting on this forum when there is a new update.

I am starting this new discussion thread as a fork from the Medeek Wall Plugin thread since the Medeek Electrical extension will now become a stand alone extension/plugin.

Its logo will be:

I've created a series of basic default outlets and switches which will form the basis of the plugins pre-assembled components.  There will be many to add in later but this should be enough to allow me to setup the tools for inserting switches and outlets.

This extension or plugin is designed from the outset to work directly with the Medeek Wall extension however in the future I may extend it so that it can be employed with any wall geometry.   The details on all of that are yet to be determined.

Off Topic / Conway's Game of Life in SketchUp
« on: December 30, 2018, 06:42:23 pm »
Conway's Game of Life or Saturday Night Fever, I'm not sure which:

If the grid is much bigger than 20x20 it really slows down, at least on my computer.

Something like this probably needs to run at a lower level than the Ruby API.

My code is below:

    ### Conway Gameboard ####

    model = Sketchup.active_model
    entities = model.active_entities
    @view = model.active_view
    @faces = []

    @cycles = 0
    ysize = 18
    xsize = 18
    blk = 12

    model.start_operation('Generate Game Board', true, false, true)

    for j in 0..(ysize-1)

       for i in 0..(xsize-1)
          i2 = i + 1
          j2 = j + 1
          pt1 = [(i*blk),(j*blk),0]
          pt2 = [(i2*blk),(j*blk),0]
          pt3 = [(i2*blk),(j2*blk),0]
          pt4 = [(i*blk),(j2*blk),0]
          face1 = entities.add_face(pt1, pt2, pt3, pt4)
          face1.reverse! if (rand(4)<2)

          @faces << face1


    def calc_conway

       @update_array = []

       for facei in @faces
          adj_live_count = 0
          if facei.normal.samedirection? Z_AXIS
             facei_status = true
             facei_status = false
          adj_faces_list = @faces.find_all { |e| !facei.bounds.intersect(e.bounds).empty? }
          for face_adj in adj_faces_list
             if face_adj.normal.samedirection? Z_AXIS
                adj_live_count += 1
          if facei_status
             # Cell is Live
             if adj_live_count < 2
                @update_array << true
             elsif adj_live_count < 4
                @update_array << false
                @update_array << true
             # Cell is Dead
             if adj_live_count == 3
                @update_array << true
                @update_array << false

       counter = 0
       for facei in @faces
          if @update_array[counter]
          counter += 1

       @cycles += 1

       if @cycles > 200

    model.start_operation('Run Game of Life', true, false, true)

    @conwaytimer = UI.start_timer(0.02, true) { calc_conway }


Medeek Chess / Why Medeek Chess?
« on: November 29, 2018, 09:54:36 pm »
I posted up a small web page on a chess variant that I thought might be interesting based on my recent observations of the world chess championship between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana. 

Not actually having played this variant before I'm not entirely sure what the enlarged game board will do to the overall game experience. regardless I think it will be interesting. 

I'm going to put together a prototype board and some archer pieces and try it out with my son, Samuel.

Structural Engineering / Wind Speed Maps - ASCE 7-16
« on: March 09, 2018, 11:12:56 am »
I don't know about the rest of you but when I look at the new wind speed maps in the ASCE 7-16, in particular the eastern United States I find the contour lines a bit confusing.  With that in mind I spent a couple minutes this morning trying to fill in some of blanks so to speak, see below:

Its obvious that there a number of saddle points in the isolines and that is what complicates things at first glance.  I am curious how well these hand sketched isolines would correlate with the ASCE hazard tool.

The way the map is shown in the printed manual doesn't define the isolines in enough detail in my opinion, too much is left to interpretation and user error.  The one spot value at the end of Lake Michigan is a case in point. 

I know there are a lot of plugins out there that do this well and I am not really interested in competing against them.

I just want a simple door and window plugin that I can integrate tightly with my other plugins.

The window module will have the following options (subject to change):

1. Window Type: Picture, Slider, Single Hung
2. Frame Color
3. Frame Width
4. Frame Depth
5. Glass Thickness
6. Sash Width
7. Sash Depth
8. RO Gap
9. Window Inset
10. Nail Fin: Yes/No
11. Nail Fin Length
12 Advanced Options: Yes/No

The global settings will allow the user to set up the defaults for all of these settings and others. The window location and size will be selected via three points with a preview vector showing the exterior facing direction in some sort of fashion.

I haven't thought through all of the advanced options yet but mullions will probably be one as well as other embellishments.

Medeek Truss Designer / Load Limits
« on: May 09, 2017, 06:04:43 am »
I have increased the limits of the top and bottom chord loads.

Medeek RC Plugin / Development and Updates for the Medeek RC Plugin
« on: May 09, 2017, 06:03:10 am »
Starting to think about the parameters of the Medeek RC Plugin starting with columns. 

Here is an example of a typical rebar cage.  Given the longitudinal bar spacing this column would require additional ties for the middle bars.

View model here:

The icon or logo for this plugin will be.

Medeek RC Plugin Icon:

Started to put the Wall Plugin together in earnest today.  A lot of competing interests so I'm still not sure on the date of first release yet, but at least I'm putting something together now.

For the Imperial Version the First and Second Menu Items (Ext. Wall Type) are currently:

First Menu:

1.)  Wall Mode:  Line, Polyline
2.)  Wall Type:  Exterior, Interior
3.)  Wall Justification:  Front, Center, Back
4.)  Wall Height (in.):  97
5.)  Wall Header Height (in.):  80
6.)  Stud Size:  2x2, 2x4, 2x6, 2x8, 2x10, 2x12
7.)  Stud Spacing (in.):  12,16,19.2,24,32,48
8.)  Stud Direction: Left, Right
9.)  Corner Offset (in.): 0
10.)  Top Plate:  1,2,3
11.)  Top Plate Thickness (in.): 1.5
12.)  Bottom Plate:  1,2,3
13.)  Bottom Plate Thickness (in.): 1.5
14.)  Adv. Wall Options: YES,NO

Second Menu (Adv. Wall Options):

1.)  Wall Sheathing: YES,NO
2.)  Sheathing Thickness:  3/8,7/16,15/32,1/2,19/32,5/8,23/32,3/4
3.)  Wall Cladding:  YES,NO
4.)  Cladding Thickness:  3/8,7/16,15/32,1/2,19/32,5/8,23/32,3/4
5.)  Wall Gypsum:  YES,NO
6.)  Gypsum Thickness:  1/4,3/8,1/2,5/8

I will start with the (single wall) line mode first and then progress to the polyline once I have the basic system working.  Then the addition of doors and windows and advanced options which will automatically insert doors and windows into the openings.

I've been thinking about brick facade and I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to incorporate this into the plugin yet.  Typical air gap is 1":

A 5.5" thick stud wall with 1/2" sheathing and a 1" air gap with 3.5" thick brick fits on a 10" stemwall with a 1/2" overhang of the brick.  Does anyone have any wall details/sections that they would like to see implemented in the plugin?

Here is the same wall but with a 4" x 6" brick ledge:

Notice the APA detail the brick ledge does not project below the structural sheathing, this probably makes more sense since you probably don't want the butt end of the sheathing sitting against the concrete and absorbing moisture, even though there usually will be a foam strip between the sill plate and the concrete.

I've also seen details where the sheathing laps down over the brick ledge about a 1/2", this probably makes sense in helping to keep the bugs out but then it puts the sheathing into more direct contact with the concrete.  More discussion on this subject is warranted.  I've never actually had to provide a wall detail for brick since most of the construction locally is with hardi-plank siding so my experience with brick is theoretical at best.

I haven't fully committed yet to coding all of my engineering calculators within the SketchUp API, but I am heading that direction as I further contemplate my next Sketchup Plugin: Medeek Structural Plugin.

The largest obstacle is the ability to generate MS Excel files and PDF documents (reports). For this to really work I need a way to have my plugin's calculations export their data into nicely formatted spreadsheets and/or PDF reports. I have no idea where to even start and don't even know if this sort of thing is remotely possible with SketchUp, the API or Ruby, I'm assuming it is because I am sure other people have run into this same sort of thing as me.

Any assistance or direction in this regard would be greatly appreciated.

Ultimately, I am hoping to create a structural plugin that will allow an engineer to do all of the lateral and vertical calcs for a typical residential or light commercial wood structure. The reason for using SketchUp for this sort of thing is the ability to leverage SketchUp's intuitive drawing interface to create all of the building primitives/elements and provide an easy to use method for viewing and inputting building geometry and other design criteria.

I've actually had the idea to create this type of program since about 3 years ago but the show stopper was always the graphical interface and 3D component of it. Not until I began tinkering with the API about a year ago and waded into a full blown plugin development (truss plugin) did I realize the potential available within SketchUp. SketchUp and its API solves the 3D interface hurdle magnificently and now I am hopefully on course to create the one piece of software that will be the apex of my engineering career and hopefully further automate and advance the field of residential structural engineering.

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