Development and Updates for the Medeek Wall Plugin

Started by Medeek, March 04, 2017, 08:59:31 PM

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I'm fielding at least 5-10 questions per day on the plugin (need to put up a FAQ).  However, I thought this particular question on utilizing layers within the plugin was worth posting here:


Just to clarify, all pre-loaded layer names for all Plugins can be changed/modified through the global settling interface.

Can layer names be changed at anytime or must layer name changes be in place at the start of modeling? How would you update existing model layer naming to new names?


As mentioned in previous posts, editing or do anything to modify a wall panel (ie. adding a door or window) will cause the plugin to redraw the wall panel from scratch.

This is particularly advantageous for making layer modifications (changing a layer name).

Try it out, create a wall, then update the name for the framing layer (or any other layer name being used) to something different in the global settings.

Then regen the wall panel(s), ie. drop them down to 2D and bring them back up again into 3D.  You will notice that the new layer name has been added and that the old layer name is also still present.  If you have regenerated all of the wall panels then nothing should remain on the old layer unless you have manually placed something there, and you can safely delete it.  SU will prompt you if something does remain and what action to take.

So the long answer to this question is that layer names can be changed at anytime and are not restricted to being set at the start of a model.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


So here is what I have for the garage door callout so far:

The second (smaller) line of text will display the header/lintel size:

Glulam headers will display the glulam dimensions and the term "GLULAM BEAM"

A typical lumber (nail lam) beam will be:  (2) 2X8 LUMBER BEAM

A typical LSL Callout:  (2) 1-3/4X7-1/4 LSL BEAM

I'm sure everyone has their own favorite way of making these callouts and I need to figure out a way to allow for enough flexibility but at the same time to not over complicate the matter.

The dashed line shows the footprint of the overhead door, with its depth equal to the door height.

Please feel free to chime in with suggestions or concerns.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


Another very good question:


How can you release drawn geometry (wall plug-in) from being parametric?

Is there a global setting to deactivate or is exploding the only way to achieve this?


Exploding the main wall group is one way to do it, then group it back together if you wish.

If you do this you essentially eliminate the attribute library of the wall group so this action is irreversible once you save the file and exit the model.

Another method is to rename the Instance Name of the group (remove the RECT_WALL_ASSEMBLY keyword string).  If you do this the plugin will not recognize the wall panel group as one of its own and will essentially ignore its existance.

The good thing about this method is that if you at some time in the future do want to restore parametric ability to this wall panel you can do so by renaming the Instance Name to include the keyword string above. 

Just make sure the trailing digits or text after the keyword is unique to that wall panel, so that the plugin does not somehow confuse it with another wall panel.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


The detail below shows most of the basic elements of the portal frame that will be drawn by the plugin:

The PF King Stud and PF Trimmer Stud parameters will allow the user to increase the quantity of the king and trim studs accordingly.

The PF Bottom PLT parameter will allow PF Bottom Plates to vary from zero, one or two.

Optional head and jambs studs can be specified (shown in red).

The detail shows a double portal frame, a single portal frame is very similar with one side conventionally framed and one side portal framed as shown.

The light blue elements are the regular studs (or cripples) on their typical 16" o/c spacing.

PF C2 and PF C1B are probably optional elements but I like to include them, please let me know if there are any objections.

For now only strap holdowns will be available since this seems to be the prescriptive path most people employ.  However in my professional opinion other holdown types (HDU) could be permitted provided that the proper engineering has been done.

Eventually I will include a PFH calculator in the plugins engineering module based on my own Excel based Portal Frame Calculator:

Please feel free to chime in with any comments, suggestions, concerns or additional options or parameters you would like to see added to this module.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


PF Framing algorithm is complete:

Double, Single (Left), Single (Right)

In this case a 10' wall creates a pony wall above the headers.

Now I just need to add in the logic for the optional jamb studs.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


A garage door with optional head and jamb studs enabled:

Also note that this feature can be utilized in the CMU or no framing mode:

Typically I see jamb studs used in a situation like this, where the door drops below the framed wall (vertically offset) into a garage curb or stemwall.  By default the jamb studs are assigned to PT lumber.  However, they can also be utilized without a vertical offset.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


A typical raised panel and flat panel garage door (10'x7') with the panels parameters set to "AUTO":

I may need to fine tune the spacing parameters a bit (I have not exposed the parameters to the user, it would probably just over complicate things) depending on feedback from designers.

Working on the window versions of these two variants now.

Then the all glass version for commercial applications (ie. Fire Station overhead doors etc...)

I will probably not release a carriage door style just yet, not until I have further researched this type of door and determined what configuration and additional parameters might be needed.

Below is a preview of the Garage Door Edit Menu (note that most of the advance options have been disabled so that if fits on the screen):

I've enabled the Portal Frame option so that you can see the available parameters.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


Exterior and interior of a 10'x7' garage door (raised panel with glass and 2x2 grille):

Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


The number of horizontal and vertical panels can be specified or be set to AUTO so virtually any number of combinations are possible:

Full glass door exterior and interior.  However I'm noticing that these types of doors usually have a kick panel (no glass) installed.

Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


A glass door with a threshold and door lever (hardware):

Note that the grey material applied to the door was first created in the material manager in the global settings and then applied in the garage door edit menu.  I am very happy with the implementation and added functionality of the new material manager.

The blocked out areas on each side of the garage door indicate the extent of the portal frames when enabled:

Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


I was just about to release the latest release when I noticed a few issues with the insulation when portal frames are enabled for the garage door openings:

The portal frames added a whole new level to the stud framing, blocking and insulation algorithms. 

I will hit it again tomorrow and see if we can't finally push out this latest version.  I think everyone will be pleasantly surprised with the new functionality and bug fixes.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


Version 0.9.5 - 09.17.2018
- Added advanced options to the column edit menu which allows for notching out of gypsum, sheathing and cladding for beam pockets.
- Tee intersections will now automatically remove gypsum where walls meet.
- Added the garage door module with the following garage door variants: Solid, No Panels, Raised Panel, Flat Panel, Glass Raised Panel, Glass Flat Panel, Glass Panel.
- Added Portal Frames: Both, Left, Right to the garage door module.
- Removed garage door option from door draw and edit menus.

Just a word of CAUTION when upgrading to this latest version from previous installed versions:

Upgrading to 0.9.5 will break all previously installed plugin models.  The reason being is that the door module and attribute library associated with doors has been changed in this latest version.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


Now that the garage module is finally out I'm able to refocus back onto the gable wall module, and hopefully get something going with this in the next week or two.

As I've been contemplating it implementation this morning I've come to the following realization.  A gable wall can be separated into two cases:

1.)  A true gable wall (ie. balloon framed wall from rafters to floor)

2.) A gable pony wall that rests on top of a regular rectangular wall.

However a gable wall is still a gable wall whether it rests on top of another wall or floor.  So the basic algorithm for it remains the same.  Like a regular rectangular wall it also still has inside or outside corners as well as tee intersections and also an end case.

Unlike a rectangular wall when it intersects other walls its top plate(s) don't mesh neatly with the other walls.  This has been cause of some concern for me as I want to make sure I figure out the best way to handle intersecting sloping walls.

Also gable or sloping walls can get quite a bit more complicated than just your simple symmetric gable or shed wall, there are a lot of possible variations with the potential for multiple pitch breaks with the top plate(s).  Even more interesting are special pony walls between various roof lines where the bottom plate of the wall is also sloping or has multiple pitch breaks (probably not as common).

The simplest incarnation of a dual pitched gable wall (vs. a shed wall with a single pitch) should have four basic parameters:

1.)  Left Wall Height (start)
2.)  Right Wall Height (end)
3.)  Left Pitch (x:12)
4.)  Right Pitch (x:12)

By default wall heights and pitches will be equal, resulting in a symmetric gable wall.

Setting the wall height to zero will result in a triangular shaped wall segment. 

Please feel free to offer any corrections to these observations, comments or additional suggestions with regards to gable walls. 
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


On a slightly different note I've also been thinking about an easy way to fully implement a system for "painting" the gypsum of walls:

Currently the gypsum can be assigned a material per wall panel section which yields something like the screen shot above.

The only problem with this method is that the same color is applied to all the gypsum sections of the wall panel so it prevents the designer from specifically assigning unique colors to each room of a residence (note the blue wall panel above). 

What I really need is a way to apply a color to separate gypsum panels within a given wall panel.  It needs to be more granular and also easier to apply or change these colors.  Keeping track of each panel (gypsum section) and the color assigned to it may be a bit more complicated than it looks, I will need to give this some more thought.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.