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Topics - Medeek

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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.

Structural Engineering / CAD Library
« on: November 18, 2016, 05:35:28 am »
I've recently uploaded my latest volume of residential structural details to the CAD Library. 

Version 1.0.0 - 07.03.2016
- Created Medeek Foundation Plugin, utilizing SketchUp's Ruby API.
- Added slab on grade foundation type (rectangular outline only).
- Added garage curb and interior footing options.

View model here:

The thing that would make this plugin particularly useful is if the user could define a polygon outline for the foundation, that will be next, then onto stemwall foundations.

Medeek Truss Designer / Wood Gusset Connected Trusses (WGC Trusses)
« on: January 21, 2016, 02:59:13 pm »
For the next week or so I'm going to spend some of my free time on wood gusset plate engineering.  I'm going to post engineering questions and some quasi-engineering questions regarding the connections.  Realize that some of these questions are me thinking out loud, contemplating how best to approach this type of truss design.

I'm looking at the nailing of the gussets right now and I'm considering the difference between nails in single shear or double shear. For larger fasteners (ie. 16d nails) it would seem optimal to clinch them on the reverse side and then calculate them in double shear. My question is at what length of fastener exceeding the total thickness can I functionally clinch the nails and consider them in double shear.

For argument sake lets assume a 1.5" truss ply thickness and 1/2" gusset plates each side giving a total thickness of 2.5". An 8D common nail is 2.5", however I would not consider it in double shear in this application. If I were to use a 10D thru 16D common nail in this situation I would have at least 1/2" of nail or more to clinch so in those cases I think I could safely assume clinching was possible and nails are loaded in double shear. Would less than 1/2" of nail protrusion be too small to clinch?

To open up the calculations to as many options as possible I'm considering 8d, 10d, 12d and 16d nails with all the three possible nail types: common, box, sinker.

I also considering 6d and 7d nails but I'm not sure if I will allows those yet.

The plywood or OSB thickness will be: 3/8, 7/16, 15/32, 19/32, 23/32.

Giving this even more thought it would seem that certain gusset thicknesses and nail combinations would not be optimal if the possibility for clinching and double shear is not possible. For instance if I have 23/32" gusset plates on both sides and 1.5" truss ply for a total thickness of 3". If I were to use a common 10D nail or 12D nail I probably could not clinch and therefore double shear is not possible, hence I would have to nail the truss from both front and back. Would this not tend to cause the main member to have more tendency to split since there are double the nails in it.  It would also require roughly double the nails.

I'm also going to assume that the osb/ plywood is Structural I, this would be my recommendation anyways in an effort to eliminate defects and require a stronger material for the gusset plates.  This affects both the shear values of the gusset plates and the lateral loading capacity of the nails.

Medeek Truss Plugin / Development and Updates for the Medeek Truss Plugin
« on: November 06, 2015, 07:06:39 pm »
In order to better document the development of the Medeek Truss Plugin I have created this forum and topic.  Please feel free to post to this topic directly or start your own on related subjects.

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