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Messages - Medeek

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Version 0.9.2 - 02.22.2019
- Added the ability to draw "ceiling" light fixtures with Medeek roof/floor assemblies or any ceiling geometry.

Note the placement of the 2D symbols on the floor of the garage.  The Z height of the symbols can be manually modified by moving the main group that contains all of the symbols.  I think the user will find this feature surprisingly convenient at times.

The Hampton Bay warehouse pendant shown is now also included in the default light fixture library.

This plugin is turning out to be a really fun plugin to use and I will say quite intuitive. 

I would like to add in some basic fluorescent light fixtures (surface mount an recessed) however with this type of light fixture I am unclear whether or not a junction box is typically installed, or does the light fixture serve as the junction box.

When I did some electrical work a few years ago I remember distinctly that can lights typically have an integrated junction box like the image shown below, so there was no need to install a junction/octagon box:

First look at installing light fixtures into a ceiling (versus a wall):

In the draw menu you change the "Location" from Wall to Ceiling and then the plugin allows one to insert light fixtures into Medeek roof and floor assemblies or into any group.

The control key toggles justification:  LEFT, RIGHT, FRONT, BACK, CENTER

When location is set to "Wall", the justification is only:  LEFT, RIGHT, CENTER

Light fixtures in ceiling mode can be inserted into any group/face that is not vertical (normal vector of the face is perpendicular to the Z axis), so any horizontal or vaulted ceilings are okay.

Might as well throw heat detectors into the mix as well.  I'm not an expert on these devices but there appears to be two commonly used types:

1.) Rate of Rise
2.) Fixed Temp.

While it's not usually part of a building model (at least not residentially), if you're doing safety devices, you might want to have a few fire extinguishers available

Technically fire extinguishers are not electrical components but I do see how they kind of fit into the scope of the safety module.  I will give this some consideration.

Is the dryer outlet type available in the trial version of the plugin?

Yes, all outlets and other features are available in the trial version of the plugin.  The only limitation is the number of devices or fixtures you are allowed to create.

Also the trial version will stop functioning after 30 days has expired.

Smoke Detectors and CO Detectors are also additional common ceiling mounted devices that are typically included in electrical plans.  I will need to give this one some more thought, whether to include it in the light fixture module or create a separate module for specialized items such as smoke detectors, fire alarms etc...

I'm leaning toward creating a new module called Safety Devices which would include but not be limited to:

- Exit Signs
- Emergency Lighting
- Smoke Detectors
- CO Detectors
- Horn/Strobe Unit
- Fire Alarm Pull Station
- Nurse Call
- Intercom

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 still working the bugs out of the Wall plugin and adding new features.  Once the primary architectural elements are complete then work will begin on the structural engineering elements.

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.

Medeek Wall Plugin / Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Wall Plugin
« on: February 19, 2019, 12:55:20 pm »
It might be useful to have a button somewhere in the global settings that allows one to reset all of the settings to the initial installed settings, essentially reset the entire plugin with a single action.

Any thoughts on this?

I think a few settings such as the serial number one would not want to reset.

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.

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).

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.

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