Author Topic: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin  (Read 3131 times)

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Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #90 on: April 12, 2019, 04:57:22 pm »
Version 1.0.5 - 04.12.2019
- Added the "Draw Legend" function to the secondary toolbar.
- Enabled the ability to automatically create an electrical symbols legend for all electrical devices within the model.



After working my way down through the list of possible symbols I'm surprised to see that there are so many and the legend can get quite large. 
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #91 on: April 13, 2019, 02:32:50 am »
I think the real power in this plugin is not the ability to insert 3D components into your model, technically you don't even need a plugin to do this, just a bunch of pre-configured components (.skp files).  The real strength is the automation of the 2D symbols and the parametrics of the plugin (allowing you to swap out devices types, colors, height and rotation).  Now with the addition of a parametric symbols legend it automates yet another tedious task.

I'm fairly happy with the way the legend has come out but for future work I may include a parameter in the global settings which allows the user to enable sub-titles (divides the legend into logical sections:  outlets, switches, lights, etc...) as well as specify the number of columns that legend should be divided into, this becomes more of an issue when there are a lot of electrical symbols to display.

I think some people would argue that I go too deep with my plugins (too many settings, parameters, options etc...)  I would agree that if possible simple is often better.  The goal is to make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.

On the flip side the addition of more options and parameters increases the amount of data or information that model contains and hence makes it more useful (BIM).  Options also allow the user to further customize their workflow with the plugin and tailor it specifically to their needs.  Many of the options I have added have been directly requested by users of the plugins
« Last Edit: April 13, 2019, 02:46:59 am by Medeek »
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #92 on: April 13, 2019, 03:26:16 am »
For those that are interested I will explain how the new "Draw Legend" tool works under the hood.

First the plugin finds all of the groups in the model (active_entities, if no group or component is open for editing then this will be the same as entities at the root of the model).

It then checks inside each of these groups and identifies the electrical groups that belong to the plugin (based on the group instance name).  Once it has collected up all of the electrical groups in the model it then divides them into their appropriate categories:  Outlets, Switches, Light etc...

It then examines each sub-category and dives into the attributes library for each electrical device (group).  The attributes library tells it what 2D symbol is associated with that particular device.  It then creates a  new list of symbols to draw for the legend for each category at the same time discarding or preventing duplicates.

The symbols shown in the legend are drawn, for the most part, using the same methods as the symbols drawn for the actual devices however some of them have been altered slightly in order to customize them specifically for the legend.

As you can see there is quite a bit going on under the hood.  When a model gets large with hundreds of walls and possibly hundreds of electrical components generating the legend may take up to 30 seconds.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #93 on: April 15, 2019, 06:29:39 am »
Version 1.0.6 - 04.15.2019
- Added additional NEMA 240V receptacles into the Outlet module: NEMA 6-30R, NEMA 6-50R.

These additional receptacles (and symbols) were per customer request.



Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #94 on: April 15, 2019, 10:34:37 am »

Tutorial 3:  Electrical Symbols Legend


Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

Offline Medeek

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #95 on: April 18, 2019, 07:12:59 am »
Since adding the symbols legend I've had a number of requests for a tool to draw a schedule (similar to how I am drawing the legend).

Now that I've got a fairly solid routine for pulling the electrical data (I will use much of this same code for the estimating tool) it isn't too big of a leap to draw a schedule.

My question is what information do you need or want in this schedule, how do you want it laid out?  Every device listed with its parameters or do I group like devices?

Please give feedback in this regard.  Also feel free to send me any sample electrical schedules that I can utilize as references.

If I know what I want to output I can probably knock this out in 2-3 hours, most of the underlying code is already in place.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.

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Re: Development and Updates for the Medeek Electrical Plugin
« Reply #96 on: April 22, 2019, 09:13:07 am »
Looks like the listing is finally live in the Extension Warehouse:

https://extensions.sketchup.com/en/content/medeek-wall-plugin-1
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.