Development and Updates for the Medeek Truss Plugin

Started by Medeek, November 07, 2015, 03:06:39 AM

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Version 2.0.6 - 11.10.2017
- Added gutters and downspouts for rafter and truss gable roofs.
- Added gutters and downspouts for dutch gable rafter roofs.

I still need to add gutters to monoslope truss roofs, shed roofs and some other specialized truss roofs.  Adding the gutters to the common truss roof became slightly more complicated when I realized I also had to deal with roof returns and their various configurations.

This gable roof has a hip return with fully wrapped gutter, you can also choose to half wrap or no wrap (linear gutter only at eaves, does not wrap around corner).

The dutch gable is really no different than the regular hip roof, when it comes to the gutter and its configuration, but internally it is a completely different set of advanced options.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


Version 2.0.6b - 2017.11.11

I've added a text file in the materials sub-folder that allows one to modify the available materials (colors) for the gutters within the global settings menu.

The default values are:


If all of these custom materials are deleted then only "white" will be available "FFFFFF" in the global settings.

The first six letters is the RGB value for the color, the description after the colon is the color name.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


The Medeek Seal of Authenticity:

This will be shown in the new license tab of the plugin global settings when the copy is fully registered.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


Version 2.0.7 - 11.16.2017
- Added license tab to the global settings.
- Minor updates to the licensing system.

I've spent a couple days on adding language support but was unable to roll it out with this latest release.  I will keep working on this in the next few days and hopefully have something to show for my efforts with the next major release.

As far as languages go I am planning on producing language files for each of the SU supported languages. 

Any help with translating some of these very construction specific terms and phrases would be greatly appreciated.  Google translate seems to work quite well but I don't completely trust some of its translations.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


Starting to make some head way on the translation / language support:

I've decided to devise my own language handler since I could not get the built in one to work.

The upside is that this allows me so support any language I choose, not just the languages supported by SketchUp.  I will be adding in an option in the general settings where the user can select their language of choice.

I will also be storing the language data in a new sub-folder "lang".  My intent is to be able to make it possible for the user to add their own language file and translations if they need to.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


My first menu in Japanese:

Fortunately, I know a little Japanese so I think I've got these more or less correct.  I will probably need to have a native Japanese speaker who is familiar with the construction industry check these over for me.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


I've added in a language option into the General tab of the Global Settings:

I currently have nine languages that I will support however if there are any others that you would like to see added please feel free to suggest one.

I think this method is preferable over using the locale of the installed plugin since someone that is running a french version of SketchUp may want to run the plugin in English or some other combination.  This allows the user to customize their user experience exactly.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


Version 2.0.8 - 11.18.2017
- Added language support for the following languages: French, Spanish, German, Russian, Swedish, Japanese, Korean, Chinese.
- Added a language option in to the "General Tab" of the Global Settings.
- Fixed a bug in the gutter module for metric templates.

There is still a huge amount of work to get all of the menus translated into the eight languages given above. 
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


I apologize Version 2.0.8 had a fatal flaw in it that thankfully someone pointed out to me this morning.  Please re-download sub-rev. 2.0.8b which addresses this issue immdediately.

The problem is that I am encrypting the .rb files into .rbs when I sign the plugin.  I don't want to encrypt the language files in the "lang" folder however the signing page did not know to discriminate so it encrypted those files as well and hence broke my links to them from the plugin load module.

Once I sign the extension and encrypted it I had to re-open the .rbz and put back in the unencrypted language files, problem solved.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


Web based (HTML) user inputs will also require translation.  These are a little more challenging than the regular (non-graphical) UI but nothing a little javascript could not overcome.

Here is the gutter tab of the global settings translated into Japanese:

The translation (creation of language files) for each menu and alert will take some time and effort.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


Back to complex roofs.  I've been giving some thought to complex truss roofs and how to handle L-shaped roofs and their derivatives.  Basically there is three ways to frame them out, which one is the most standard or preferred?
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


Valley sets can get a little interesting when you start dealing with intersecting hip roofs.  If the width of the projection were to increase the valley set would become a combination of standard valley trusses and flat top or hip valley trusses.

View model here:

With the projection width extended:
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


Version 2.0.9 - 11.25.2017
- Structural outlookers (vert. & horz.) enabled under advanced roof options for Parallel Chord truss type.
- Metal plate connectors now enabled for all parallel chord trusses.

This truss type should now be up-to-date with all of the advanced options available:

roof returns, gutters, ceiling drywall, ridge cap etc...
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


Version 2.1.0 - 11.28.2017
- Added Northeast hip set trusses.
- Enabled advanced options for northeast hip sets.
- Added energy/raised heels for northeast hip set (3 variants: wedge, slider and vertical w/ strut).
- Added the option for open vs. closed end jacks.
- Added the option for a drop in purlin frame.
- Enabled a graphical user interface for Truss Set selection.

I only plan on adding the midwest and california variants if requested.
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.


The reason I am taking so long with complex rafter and truss roofs is the possible permutations is making things very challenging.

For example take the truss roof below:

I'm assuming there are no interior bearing walls and we want to clearspan the entire building outline.  I can get the basic roof and truss layout by creating to hip truss sets as primitives but that is where it then becomes very interesting.

As you can see there are two mid-building girder trusses that then catch the mono pitch sub-girders which are each supporting two common trusses.  Next to the sub-girders is a small valley set (half valley) that fills in the roof behind the sub-girders. 

The largest span is 36', which is reasonable.  This appears to be the simplest way to truss this roof out but is probably not the only solution.  A good truss technician could tell me how close I am to the optimal solution.

Granted the complex rafter roof is not IMHO as hard a problem but it also has similar difficulties and issues. 

View model at this link:
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.