Author Topic: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin  (Read 6103 times)

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Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #45 on: February 18, 2019, 04:37:46 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.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #46 on: February 19, 2019, 12:18:51 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.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #47 on: February 19, 2019, 04:34:54 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.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #48 on: February 20, 2019, 05:01:47 am »
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
« Last Edit: February 20, 2019, 05:24:25 am by Medeek »
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline sjdorst

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #49 on: February 20, 2019, 06:11:24 am »
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

Offline donney86

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #50 on: February 20, 2019, 06:48:35 am »
Is the dryer outlet type available in the trial version of the plugin?

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #51 on: February 20, 2019, 07:10:43 am »
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.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #52 on: February 20, 2019, 07:12:41 am »
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.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline Julian Smith

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #53 on: February 20, 2019, 07:23:22 am »
If you're doing smoke detectors, you should also have heat detectors (looks about the same, same basic function, different detection method for areas where smoke detection may be ineffective).

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #54 on: February 20, 2019, 07:46:28 am »
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.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #55 on: February 22, 2019, 05:31:31 am »
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.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #56 on: February 22, 2019, 05:39:25 am »
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:
« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 05:41:22 am by Medeek »
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #57 on: February 22, 2019, 03:37:24 pm »
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. 
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #58 on: February 23, 2019, 09:31:01 am »
Here is a collection of exit signs that will be installed by default with the plugin, of course the user can always place their own into the library/safety/exit sub-folder.

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model/315e93b6-0c2c-42d2-852b-c8cb7baede38/Medeek-Electrical-Safety-Devices
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Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #59 on: February 24, 2019, 05:36:15 pm »
Version 0.9.3 - 02.25.2019
- Enabled the ability to draw safety devices with Medeek wall assemblies or any wall geometry. Enabled devices include: Exit Signs, Smoke Detectors, CO Detectors and Horn/Strobe Units.
- Added the ability to draw "ceiling" safety devices with Medeek roof/floor assemblies or any ceiling geometry.
- Created 2D symbols for wall and ceiling mounted safety devices.





Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.