[Plugin] Lamella Roofs

[Plugin] Lamella Roofs

Postby timwarner » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:31 am

A lamella roof is made up of many identical lamellas arranged in intersecting helical arches. It looks like this:

I have created a plugin that generates a Sketchup model of such a roof, like this:

The plugin also supports the creation of a diagrid roof, where the lamellas are more-or-less co-planar, rather than staggered.
The lamella_roof plug-in and documentation are attached. All comments very welcome.
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Last edited by timwarner on Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:36 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Lamella roofs

Postby iichiversii » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:33 am

Images dont show, but cheers for the plugin :thumb:
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Re: Lamella roofs

Postby Rich O Brien » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:41 am

Hi Tim,

I fixed those image links....nice looking plugin BTW :thumb:
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Re: Lamella roofs

Postby iichiversii » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:48 am

Excellent... :thumb:
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Re: Lamella roofs

Postby timwarner » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:07 am

Thx very much for fixing the image links, Rich.
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Re: Lamella roofs

Postby Mike Lucey » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:34 am

Nice Plugin Tim, thanks.

Here is a good example of a Lamella Roof with loads of info on its construction.

Hounslow East Underground Station Lemella roof, London, UK.

http://research.ttlchiltern.co.uk/pif29 ... 0small.htm

Mike
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Re: Lamella roofs

Postby timwarner » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:46 am

Indeed, a beautiful roof. Note though that this uses the Cowley connector http://www.cowleytimberwork.co.uk/connectors.htmlto line up the lamellas at the nodes, which is a bit fancy (and may be expensive). There are quite a few modern examples of lamella roofs, and I'm going to document them on my blog (http://www.lamellaroof.com - so far unpopulated; stay tuned!) I personally like the through-bolts, and the offset look.
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Re: Lamella roofs

Postby Dave R » Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:10 am

Interesting. I very much like that first image you posted, Tim. Are the crowns on the pieces simple circular arcs?
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Re: Lamella roofs

Postby EscapeArtist » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:08 am

Reminds me of some of the beautiful wooden aircraft hangar roofs I've seen.



Works of art. I don't think too many survive to this day, I didn't see many pictures.
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Re: Lamella roofs

Postby timwarner » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:22 am

To be precise, a section through the roof across its axis is circular, but the lamellas are skewed, so the edge is elliptical. However, to complicate things, there is a twist in the elliptical surface. If you run the plugin and inspect the lamella closely you'll see how it works.

Nervi designed aircraft hangars in this style. Also Junkers (of dive-bomber fame) designed a steel lamella system used by the British in WWII for over 100 hangars in RAF airfields scattered across the UK.
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Re: Lamella roofs

Postby Dave R » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:45 am

Interesting.

Any chance you could fix the script to use model units and make it accessible from a menu so the console isn't required?
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Re: Lamella roofs

Postby Paul Russam » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:53 am

As Dave said +
If you run the script in an existing model the first thing it does is DELETE EVERYTHING!! :shock: :shock: :shock: and I do mean delete, not hide, not move, DELETE

Not good, not good at all
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Re: Lamella roofs

Postby Gaieus » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:57 am

EscapeArtist wrote:Reminds me of some of the beautiful wooden aircraft hangar roofs I've seen...

And reminds me of "perpendicular style" English Gothic vaults. ;)
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Re: Lamella roofs

Postby TIG » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:01 pm

Paul Russam wrote:As Dave said +
If you run the script in an existing model the first thing it does is DELETE EVERYTHING!! :shock: :shock: :shock: and I do mean delete, not hide, not move, DELETE
Not good, not good at all
That's because the OP [TimWarner] doesn't seem to realize that you can make your own Template that doesn't include Sang etc; so in line #50 he has
ents.clear! # Get rid of Sang
Which of course empties the model if you've already dome some modeling !
A disaster !!
BUT it's easily disabled to avoid it erasing your existing model :shock: - edit the file and change line #50 to read.
#ents.clear! # Get rid of Sang
so that it's now ignored :enlight:

To avoid the clunky 'First run from the Console to install a menu item' [every time!]... the closing 'end' can simply be moved above the 'if...' that makes the menu entry so the menu is made as the script is auto-loaded :?

Also it's best to make the dialogs' defaults dimensions as 'lengths' thus:
values = [1200.l,6000.l,20.0,6,2]
forcing it into 'inches', i.e. 100'x50' - which now displays in the current units.
If you're metric you could use: [30.m,15.m,... etc anyway
Then you can leave those two 'lengths' alone as
height = results[0]
span = results[1]

i.e. NO .to_f is needed as it already knows it's a 'length' !
In the second dialog you can make the sizes directly in 'mm' with [38.mm,150.mm,2,10.mm] etc and then skip changing the results with .to_f and also later on no .mm is needed etc - that way anyone can use it inputing in mm or cm or inches etc, depending on their current unit settings...

Also you should stop if the user 'cancels' a dialog thus:
results = inputbox(prompts, values, "Roof Settings")
return nil unless results


Also some other 'tips' - wrap the whole 'creation' part after the dialog in a model.start_operation('lamella')...create...model.commit_operation at the end, to make an easy one-step undo !

Also you can easily protect you code inside a module thus:
module TimWarner
def self.lamella_roof()

...
rest of code
... adjust the closing menu item to use the now modularized method:
plugins.add_item("Lamella roof") { self.lamella_roof() }
...
end#module goes after everything else...

If you implement these general changes this has the basis of a useful toolset...
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Re: [Plugin] Lamella Roofs

Postby thomthom » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:09 pm

I recommend you read the guidelines to SketchUp Ruby Plugin developement I wrote down so that your plugin play nice with the shared plugin environment it runs in. Avoiding potential conflicts.

http://www.thomthom.net/thoughts/2012/0 ... velopment/
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Re: [Plugin] Lamella Roofs

Postby bmike » Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:30 pm

reply to keep this in my list of threads.
i'll peek back once the ruby gets improved.

nice looking plugin.
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Last edited by bmike on Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Plugin] Lamella Roofs

Postby brookefox » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:51 pm

Will the routine allow the creation of in-line lamellas, without the slight offsets?

Thank you much for sharing, Tim.

(bmike, you didn't forget the bookmark feature here?)
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Re: [Plugin] Lamella Roofs

Postby bmike » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:27 pm

brookefox wrote:(bmike, you didn't forget the bookmark feature here?)


bookmark, what is that?
i usually post, then it is in my threads.
will have to try to bookmark...

:)
:thumb:
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Re: [Plugin] Lamella Roofs

Postby timwarner » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:07 pm

brookefox wrote:Will the routine allow the creation of in-line lamellas, without the slight offsets?

Thank you much for sharing, Tim.

(bmike, you didn't forget the bookmark feature here?)


Simple answer, no. The plugin assumes the use of dimensional lumber and common bolt connectors, as in the original Zollinger concept, and in recent examples like the Rural Studio dog shelter http://apps.cadc.auburn.edu/rural-studio/Default.aspx?path=Gallery%2fProjects%2f2006%2fhalecoanimalshelter%2f. But it's a natural option, and easier to model. Thx for the (implicit) suggestion.

PS I'm attaching a brief monograph on the underlying geometry.
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Last edited by timwarner on Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [Plugin] Lamella Roofs

Postby watkins » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:03 pm

Dear Tim,

You and your colleagues are to be congratulated on your achievement. How long did it take start to finish, and did you have building experience before starting the project?

Kind regards,
Bob
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Re: [Plugin] Lamella Roofs

Postby timwarner » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:22 pm

watkins wrote:Dear Tim,

You and your colleagues are to be congratulated on your achievement. How long did it take start to finish, and did you have building experience before starting the project?

Kind regards,
Bob


Thx Bob,

This is actually a one-man show. I built a lamella roof (the one shown at the top of the thread) some years back, based on a crude, and actually wrong Excel model, but only worked out the exact geometry last year. Writing a plugin involved learning Ruby (OK, it shows!), and grappling with the SU documentation, which I have to say I find opaque in many ways. The plugin probably took about three months to work out.

I'm not a builder at all, but I've done some simple construction work, if dry-stack walls count.
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Re: [Plugin] Lamella Roofs

Postby pep75 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:06 am

Great plugin Tim!!
;)
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Re: [Plugin] Lamella Roofs

Postby timwarner » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:32 pm

I've corrected the plugin to reflect the very helpful community comments, and fix some minor errors in the way curved surfaces were being generated. Both the revised plugin and documentation are embedded in the original post to make them easier to find.
I'm still puzzling over a couple of issues. First is the odd failure of the intersect_with method in at least one circumstance. (Posted elsewhere http://forums.sketchucation.com/viewtopic.php?f=180&t=46714). This wipes out a couple of faces in a lamella, but is rare, and easy to fix manually. Second, the geometry is off by a small (< 1mm) amount in terms of the components not lining up exactly. It doesn't feel like a rounding error, so my calculations may be incorrect. Practically this is not significant.

Thx all, and TIG and Thomthom especially, for your advice.
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Re: [Plugin] Lamella Roofs

Postby Krisidious » Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:25 am

Really appreicate the plugin... and even more so Tig and Thom for always checking all these plugins out for us and warning us before installing them.
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Re: [Plugin] Lamella Roofs

Postby timwarner » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:43 pm

Diagridroof.png


I've updated the plugin to allow the creation of a diagrid lamella roof, where the lamellas are co-planar, following brookefox's suggestion, and to add some error-checking and spinners on input. Updates are located with the original post.

Under some circumstances the upper surface of the lamella is not created properly, for reasons I still don't understand. The cutting instructions are correct, regardless.
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Re: [Plugin] Lamella Roofs

Postby Mra » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:34 pm

Thanks Tim, hope I get to do a project with this kind of roof one day!
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Re: [Plugin] Lamella Roofs

Postby victor hugo » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:34 pm

I dropped the lamella_roof.rb to the plugins folder and nothing happens, restarted SU and is not on the list?

Any one has the same issue.

I also like the big hangars made of concrete by the designer an italian eng-arch Pier Luigi Nervi.


Thanks.
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Re: [Plugin] Lamella Roofs

Postby Dave R » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:58 pm

What did you expect to happen? Did "Lamella roof" show up in the Plugins menu?

Go back to the Plugins folder and make sure lamella_roof.rb is there with the correct extension and that you didn't put it in some other Plugins folder.
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Re: [Plugin] Lamella Roofs

Postby victor hugo » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:08 pm

pasted in the C:\Program Files\Google\Google SketchUp 8\Plugins.
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Re: [Plugin] Lamella Roofs

Postby Dave R » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:12 pm

Let's see if I can drag some useful information out of you so we can help you. :roll:

And after you close and reopen SketchUp does the plugin show in the Plugins menu? Do you really have XP as your profile indicates?
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