Truss Plugin/Extension


#1

I’ve recently started working on a plugin for generating truss geometry in SketchUp.

I’m still getting used to the API and its features. Is it just me or does the interface have a dated look in windows? Maybe it is just my classic theme.

I’m looking for ideas and suggestions on how to improve this new plugin. Typical output looks like:


No plugin menu on Skp 2017
Plugin to design a very specific product
Promoting a new plugin
#2

Interesting. It is hard to make a suggestion looking at one pic. What data do you input to size the trusses? Are you attempting to size the trusses and individual members based on loadings? Are you modeling existing trusses? What results do you intend from your extension? Are you familiar with truss design?


#3

Chopdog raises some important questions: trusses need to be engineered, not simply drawn. Does your plugin do the engineering?


#4

the thread on SketchUcation provides lots more info…

john


#5

Agreed trusses need engineering, for that I am working on this project:

http://design.medeek.com/calculator/calculator.pl

However, most designers just need the basic geometry, the actual engineering will come later. Also most designers/architects should have a basic enough understanding that for example a 2/2 King Post truss can’t span a 40’ clear span.

I’ve just setup a page for this plugin here for those wanting to test it out. The trial version is not limited in any way at the moment. I have a similar thread on Sketchucation but I thought it might be good to post here as well for more input and feedback.

http://design.medeek.com/resources/medeektrussplugin.html

At some point I would like to integrate the plugin with the engineering on my website but I’m still figuring out the SketchUp API, it does seem pretty full featured.


What’s up with SketchUp Make?
#6

22’ truss, notice the change in the web configurations as compared to the 24’ truss.

There still may be a few kinks to work out in the algorithm that determines how many webs to place but overall I’m pretty pleased with what I have so far.

I’ve officially added the attic truss updates to the plugin so they are now live.

At one point I was contemplating showing the plates as well but I think that would make the model too heavy.


#7

Thanks, I am just getting back up to speed here.


#8

Nice. Now I am extremely interested.


#9

I’m currently trying to create the geometry as a component. I’m trying to add a bunch of groups to a component but not having much luck with the code.


#10

you can post code snippets on the Ruby API thread and get some help…


#11

I think that would be helpful I’m currently stuck. I can’t seem to figure out how to reference a group so I can add it to component or group.


#12

Trusses are now created as components with each individual member of the truss a group. Arrays of trusses are multiple instances of the same component.

I think this plugin may actually have some potential now.

A couple more screenshots for fun.

I really appreciate everyone’s feedback, this has helped guide me in the right direction on all of this and improved my understanding of SketchUp immensely.

I’ll probably take a break for a few days and get some of my real work done. When I come back to this I think the next hot item is raised heels for the attic trusses and then monopitch trusses. If anyone has a particular type of truss they would like to see added please advise.


#13

Howe truss type is now active.

The latest plugin version is 1.0.4. I would highly recommend downloading the latest version since I have also spent some time this morning cleaning up my code and removing global methods and variables so that I don’t clash with other extensions or modules.

In order to do this I had to revamp a pile of code so hopefully I didn’t unintentionally break anything. I’ve tested it but there may be some state which I have not fully tested that throws an error.


#14

Monopitch trusses are also now live:

Currently the 2/2 and 3/3 configurations are available, more of this truss family will be added after I address the metric issue and a few of the other requested items.


#15

I’ve added a toolbar icon for the plugin.


#16

For the common truss types I’ve configured the plugin to detect the SketchUp template units and display a metric UI. I’ve also replaced the x/12 system with degrees for the metric interface. All member sizes and other dimensions are open for the metric interface as well.

Go ahead and give it a whirl, if it checks out then I will go ahead and update the attic and monopitch UI with the metric option.


#17

Version 1.0.5 - 10.24.2015
Added Scissor truss type, configurations: (2/2), (4/4).
Metric input enabled for scissor truss types.

In certain instances the scarf length of the bottom chord becomes less than the bearing length, the logic checks for these cases and inserts either a 3.5 or 5.5 heel wedge as required.


#18

This plugin, when completed, would be very useful. When do you expect to make the remaining truss types available and release the final version?


#19

I’ve been adding truss types/families as requested by users and member of this forum and others. The list of families continues to grow and my current todo list is:

Common (tail bearing)
Dual Pitch
Gambrel Attic
Mono Scissor
Floor
Vault or Cathedral
Clerestory

Of course this is only a small sampling of the potential truss families and types.

Beyond the basic truss families I would like to have the plugin also have the option to generate gable end trusses for each family was well as all the raised heel variants (wedges, sliders and verts). The gable end trusses are more complicated than originally thought since structural and dropped gables also need to be included. Dropping the top chord 1.5 or 3.5 inches also further complicates the matter since this change in drop involves a different geometry.

Instead of dumping the trusses at the origin I’ve had requests for the ability to locate the truss array based on selection of a bounding rectangle. I need to give this some serious consideration since it will probably make this plugin that much more valuable and efficient to use.

I’m also thinking about more complex situations such as entire hip sets and valley sets.

Then there are transition gable end trusses and transition gable end monopitch trusses, which may or may not be worth adding.

On a completely different note I’ve also considered adding in timber framed trusses (ie. hammer beam trusses etc…) however I think a separate plugin dealing specifically with timber framing would be more appropriate.

I have no idea how long it will take me to accomplish all of this. I have become faster at adding truss types as I’ve settled into a standard procedure for adding each truss family. However, each truss family takes at least 2-3 hours to add in and then that only includes 1 or 2 configurations whereas I should probably add at least 4 to 5 configurations for each truss family.

I will probably continue to chip away at this as time allows and as interest grows.

As you can probably tell trusses are intensely interesting to me and that will probably keep me going regardless of the interest levels.


#20

Hi Medeek, Not too sure what part of the WORLD your from, but in the UK, we have a TRUSSED RAFTER ASSOCIATION. On their website they standardise certain widley accepted profiles that I can see your trying to attain with your Truss-Plug-in, i.e. ATTIC, FINK, SCISSOR & so on. I’ve provided the link below that should take you to the download area for these truss forms.

http://www.tra.org.uk/trussed-rafters.php?id=37

These profiles should give you more assistance for particular truss forms that are more realistic in the construction arena. Trusses are generally engineered for a particular situation, so member sizes will tend to vary from situation to situation. From experience, I can more or less second guess what these member cross-sectional sizes are likely to be, I then firm this up with the truss manufacturer at construction quoation stage.

I would therefore suggest the Truss-Plug-in has the ability to change any member cross-sectional size later on once this is recognised in the construction process. So like you said, your Truss-Plug-in would be useful to get a close constructional profile early on in the design stage.

Over & out,
Clayton.