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Topics - Medeek

Off Topic / Nathaniel Talks Podcast
October 07, 2023, 02:50:14 PM
I've started a new podcast where I will be discussing things other than my plugins.  I just posted my first episode:

Arguably this first episode probably is not of much interest to many of you, unless you are of the LDS faith or know me on a more personal level.  Most of my extended family and many friends are active members in the "Church" so whether I like it or not the Mormon Church is still very much a part of my life and a part of my family history (going back five generations).  Of course my wife and I and our children are not active members in the Church anymore, it is too hard to live a lie, so to speak.  However we do respect the religious choices that our family and friends make in remaining with the Church and whatever level of activity they choose to participate at.
Version 2.0.7 - 11.01.2022
- Added four additional top chord point loads under advanced loads for solar panel installations and other applications.

Off Topic / Gym Equipment (Wood)
August 02, 2022, 11:15:39 PM
So this is a little off the beaten path for me, usually I am posting about one of my plugins, but here goes anyways.  Since Covid started a couple years back I've had to give up on going to the gym and instead have managed to cobble together a fairly decent personal gym in my garage.  I've got a treadmill, a couple benches and some dumbells and other free weights.  It actually isn't too bad of a setup.

The only thing I have really been missing is a decent lat pulldown machine.  I was about to purchase one on Amazon but after reading a lot of reviews it seems that a good quality machine will come at a not so good price.  That being said I thought it might be interesting and fun to try and build one instead with my teenage boys (get them off their games for once).  Here is my first crack at a design:

My biggest issue or concern is rigidity and stability.  Don't need this thing toppling over on me or one of the kids.  I also haven't shown the hardware in the model yet but it will be pretty simple, a couple of pulleys, wire rope and the 10 lbs pulldown bar.

The link to the model is below if you care to take it for a spin:


P.S.  When it comes to strength and rigidity my concern is largely due to the amount of weight I typically pull (120 - 175 lbs) on a machine like this.  I will probably construct it with glue and screws, but it may need more bracing with OSB or plywood.
General Forum / Blender vs. SketchUp
July 21, 2021, 09:48:16 PM
I had a few conversations with a number of people recently about the upcoming behemoth that is Blender.  Some people are telling me that I should port my extensions to Blender and other drawing platforms rather than solely focusing on SketchUp. 

I've never spent any significant time looking into Blender but it does have a serious amount of momentum right now and it does have a Python API.

What are your thoughts with regards to doing architectural work in Blender?  How does it compare with SketchUp?  Would it actually be of interest to anyone?

For the last five years I have solely focused on developing my extensions to work within SketchUp however from a business standpoint it never hurts to diversify and take all my eggs out of one basket.
Medeek Wall Plugin / Shed Walls
June 14, 2021, 12:17:41 PM
Some recent questions on shed walls from users of the Wall plugin.

Here is a very basic example of a shed wall application:

Notice that the rectangular walls are set to "inset outside" corners and the shed walls are set to "outside" corners.  It could be vice versa but I think this configuration is more common.

If you look closely at the model you will notice that the upper rectangular wall doesn't quite match up with the upper shed wall height.  This is because I rounded the wall height to the nearest 16th of an inch, however there is no reason why I can't take it to the 5th or 6th decimal place if I wanted it to be more exact, it's really up to the user.
Off Topic / Native Art Work - Wilkerson Art
August 22, 2020, 10:09:31 PM
A few years ago when I was heavy into the artwork:
Medeek Truss Plugin / Medeek Extensions for Schools
December 08, 2019, 02:29:34 PM
I'm not sure if this information is out there or widely known so I am posting this notice just in case.

If you are a teacher, professor, academic instructor or a student (high school or university), you are entitled to a free license for each of the Medeek extensions (full versions) at no charge.

In order to take advantage of this offer all you need to do is create an account (client profile) on the Medeek website ( and then notify me via email that you would like a student/instructor license.

I typically will request some form of student/instructor verification and then I will issue the serial number for each plugin (Wall, Truss, Floor, Electrical).

The academic licenses are no different in functionality or features than the full licenses of the plugins. When I issue a license to an instructor, the license can be used on up to 50 machines/workstations. The student serial can be used on up to 3 machines, the same as the regular license.

In an effort to make my extensions more accessible to the student I have also maintained compatibility with SketchUp Make 2017, which is still available for download here:

I also fully support the plugins (via phone and email) for academic customers, however this support is expressly for issues having to do with the plugins and not for general SketchUp questions, training or establishing methods of workflow between SketchUp and Layout.
I am starting this new discussion thread as a fork from the Medeek Truss Plugin thread since the Medeek Floor extension will now become a stand alone extension/plugin.

Its icon(s) will be:

This new plugin will ultimately replace the floor joist/truss module currently found in the truss plugin. 

Similar to the complex roof module the designer will be able to create any polygon shaped floor outline, and edit the shape by moving/adjusting the edges.

There will be a tool for creating and editing holes within the floor.

There will also be a tool for creating polygon shaped floor coverings (ie. carpet, tile, wood, pergo etc...) with an associated label and optional sqft callout.  These floor coverings will be situated on top of the sub-floor and can be individually edited.

Eventually the floor assemblies will also be integrated with the estimating module currently found in the wall plugin (this will be moved to the Medeek Project extension in the near future).

There will also be an option for gypsum on the underside of the floor with a user editable offset (ie. 5.5 inches).

I have a few more ideas for this new extension but I would be interested in hearing what ideas you might have that would make this extension have even more utility for you and your workflow.
Off Topic / Physics Questions
May 17, 2019, 01:27:14 PM
Has anyone else ever wondered where the 1/2 comes from in the equation for the kinetic energy of an object (E=1/2mv^2)? It finally donned on me why, I probably could have realized why years ago but I never really thought about it until now.
First look at the icons for the Medeek Project extension:

This plugin is the administrative plugin that will bring a number of tasks together in the mdkBIM suite.

Planned modules and tools:

- Medeek Project:  Project Info, Design Criteria, Levels
- Medeek Documents:  Scenes, DXF, PDF (removed from Wall plugin)
- Medeek Estimator (removed from Wall plugin)
Snow Load Studies / Snow Load Calculator and Maps
March 01, 2019, 08:54:07 AM
The thread listed below gives a nice breadcrumb trail of some of my earlier work on snow load maps:
Medeek API / Feb. 2019 - Seismic Updates
February 27, 2019, 10:03:11 AM
Due to recent changes in the web service (API) of the USGS I have updated the Seismic Map(s) and the Medeek API (seismic data only).

The USGS has discontinued their design maps service and replaced it with a more streamlined JSON API. They have also discontinued previous outdated data sets and also brought new editions online.

I've updated the code that connects to the API and also upgraded from the IRC 2012 to the IBC 2015 for the seismic map:

With the termination of their design maps service the automatic generation of the spectrum response graphs also went away. However, the raw data is still provided by the USGS API, and with that data I am able to graph the spectrum responses with good resolution.

The detailed report now includes larger more legible graphs for both the MCEr Spectrum and the Design Response Spectrum.

The input parameters for the Medeek API (seismic) has also changed. Please refer to the API web page below to review the recent updates:

The output for seismic data has also had a minor change in formatting.

The first thing you will notice with the updated seismic data is the elimination of any IRC data, it is now all based on the IBC, ASCE or NEHRP.

As always more work needs to be done with the API and maps. I am still in the process of providing new maps for the ASCE7-16 wind speeds and updated state snow load maps. Recently SketchUp plugin development has monopolized most of my time and energy but I am committed to providing updates and upgrades to these other engineering services.

Thank-you for your continued support and feedback.
Wind and Seismic / Updates to the Seismic Maps
February 26, 2019, 09:55:17 PM
A couple of weeks ago I noticed that the seismic map and API were not working.  At first I thought it might have something to do with the government shutdown but that was not the case.

Further investigation revealed that the USGS had discontinued their design map service and had changed up their API rather significantly.  I have been very involved with the development of the SketchUp plugins and have not been able to pull away until now to repair the connection to the updated USGS service.

I've updated the code that connects to the API and also upgraded from the IRC 2012 to the IBC 2015 for the seismic map:

With the termination of their old service the automatic generation of the spectrum response graphs also went away.  However, the raw data is still provided by the USGS API and with that data you are able to graph the spectrum responses.

The detailed report now includes larger more legible graphs for both the MCEr Spectrum and the Design Response Spectrum as shown below:

I apologize for the extended downtime of the service and the inconvenience it has caused.  Hopefully the existing USGS service remains in place for a few years to come.

I may also provide additional maps for the different data sets provided by the USGS (ie. ASCE7-16, 2015 NEHRP, ASCE41-17 etc...), please let me know if any of these additional data sets would be of interest to you.

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
February 20, 2019, 12:36:26 PM
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
December 31, 2018, 02:42:23 AM
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 }