Truss Plugin/Extension


Tray Trusses working now I just need to enable gable ends and advanced options:

Note the three large trusses are all 36’ span with different tray widths and different web triangulations.

View model here:


More configurations:


Version 1.4.9 - 04.04.2016

  • Added Tray truss type, configurations: (AUTO).
  • Metric input enabled for tray truss type.
  • Added gable end trusses for tray truss type.


Version 1.5.0 - 04.11.2016

  • Added Mono Scissor truss type, configurations: (2/2, 3/3).
  • Metric input enabled for mono scissor truss type.
  • Added gable end trusses for mono scissor truss type.
  • Structural outlookers (vert. & horz.) enabled under advanced roof options for Mono Scissor (2/2, 3/3) truss types.

When the raised heel option is selected the pitch of the bottom chord may equal the top chord creating a half vaulted parallel chord truss.

View model here:


Updating the hip roof module so that an appropriate wireframe is displayed while using the roof positioning tool:

I will roll a revision once I’ve finished updating all of the rafter roof types with updated wireframes (preview graphics).


Version 1.5.1 - 04.16.2016

  • Added Dutch Gable Rafter Roof (all advanced options enabled).
  • Added wireframe (temporary) graphics to the roof positioning tool for rafter roofs.

View model here:

I still need to setup ceiling joists for hip and dutch gable roofs.


A nested dutch gable roof created with the plugin. The roof is initially generated by creating three dutch gable primitives and then deleting and trimming certain elements. The most time consuming is the creation of the two valley rafters. I think it might be helpful to have some sort of valley rafter tool if I can figure out a good way of doing that.

View model here:


Looking at the half hip roof next. Fairly cut and dried but I’m a little undecided how to handle the birdsmouths cut of the hip rafter where it intersects the discontinuity of the gable wall. I will probably use the same birdsmouth cut on the half hip rafters as the other common rafters of the roof.

View model here:


Per user request:

Version 1.5.2 - 04.18.2016

  • Added energy/raised heels for small span attic trusses (less than 24 ft.), 1 variant: vertical w/ strut.
  • Added some additional logic to improve the triangulation of the upper attic of attic trusses.

When I get some more time I will add in slider and wedge raised heel options for the attic truss type but at that moment it is low priority since most users seem to favor a fairly tall raised heel when utilizing it with attic trusses.


Version 1.5.3 - 04.20.2016

  • Added Mono Cathedral truss type, configurations: (2/2, 4/4).
  • Metric input enabled for mono cathedral truss type.
  • Added gable end trusses for mono cathedral truss type.
  • Structural outlookers (vert. & horz.) enabled under advanced roof options for Mono Cathedral (2/2, 4/4) truss types.
  • Added Mono Scissor truss type, configuration: (4/4).

View model here:

I manually modeled this truss type about two months ago and I have been meaning to add it in, finally got it done tonight.

Manually created model here:


Version 1.5.4 - 04.21.2016

  • Added a graphical user interface (GUI) for the selection of the truss type in the “Draw Roof Truss” sub-menu.
  • GUI can be toggled with previous drop down menu within global settings.

As you can see there is only one global setting at the moment but now that I have the interface and back end properly setup it won’t take much to add in a number of other global values. At some point I will probably have enough parameters that I will need to enable some sort of tabbed html front end for the global setting menu.

With html web dialog boxes I am not sure how well they work on a Mac, the whole sync vs. async issue is a real problem for web dialogs and Macs. I only test on a PC so I can’t guarantee 100% compatibility on a Mac. So far I haven’t had too many complaints.


I will probably add in the Barrel Vault and Clerestory truss types sometime next week as time allows however after that I don’t really have any specific truss types that need to be added unless someone has one they would like to see added.

The next area that will probably get some focus is the various hip truss sets. I’m also looking at the dormer module as and a related plugin for wall framing.


Here is a preview of the Geometry Input (GUI) menu for the upcoming gambrel attic truss.

Notice the preview pane which gives a basic profile of the truss and attic space. I still need to add some dimensions and some other symbols (pitch, bearing walls, etc…) to the preview graphics but it is mostly there and functioning quite admirably.

The GUI is html with javascript and SVG (scalable vector graphics) for the image. The nice thing is that changing any of the inputs will instantly update the dimensions and preview image allowing one to fine tune the truss geometry before proceeding further. For gambrel roofs this ability to adjust the proportions of the roof relative to each other is very important in my opinion. See my previous gambrel study here:

Since the menu is primarily composed of html, javascript and SVG you can actually beta test it external to SketchUp here:


Updated screenshot of the gambrel attic menu:

This is getting pretty close to the final form that this menu will take.

It’s actually really amazing what can be done with SVG and javascript, definitely not my forte but after this exercise I feel like I can probably construct anything with this combo if required.


Version 1.5.5 - 04.29.2016

  • Added Gambrel Attic truss type, configurations: (AUTO w/ piggyback trusses).
  • Added a graphical user interface (GUI) for gambrel attic geometry input.

A reset button would be useful to return the GUI to the default values. There is still a lot of work to be done with the gambrel attic truss type:

  • Advanced Options
  • Gable Trusses
  • Default or Reset Button
  • Metric Input

View models here:


With the graphical menus you will notice a slight delay once the “submit” button is clicked. This is to allow for a quick display of a status message, however I’m finding this delay to be annoying and may eliminate it altogether to speed the use of the new GUI.

Also note that with gambrel attic trusses the non-graphical geometry menu is still an option if you turn off the GUI flag in the global settings. For some people this may be easier but I think the new preview pane is a major design asset when it comes to this type of roof.

I’m thinking it might be useful to implement this same type of preview/GUI for regular attic trusses so that one can preview the configuration before committing. Now that I’ve been down this road once it won’t be such a struggle. Most of the other truss types are fairly simple and a preview image is probably not warranted unless the users say otherwise.

I feel that the preview window goes a long way in helping explain what each term is in the input geometry menu but I may also add in some pop up windows (?) that display diagrams or other explanatory notes to help the less educated users.


This is the level of detail I am aiming for with the advanced options for gambrel attic roofs (minus the truss plates):

Notice the structural outlookers with gable end trusses and the prow roof (option). I’ve got my work cut out for me.


I am wondering how many of your designers/architects/contractors/builders out there have used Open Joist products?

I was thinking I might add their product line to the Floor Joist/Truss module.


Version 1.5.6 - 05.11.2016

  • The plugin now automatically checks for updates.
  • Option added in Global Settings to adjust frequency of “check for updates” or to disable this feature entirely.

I’ve also added in the Open Joist (TriForce) floor truss but it is not quite ready for release so I have disabled it until the next version release.


I, for one, have used such joists frequently in designing many different building projects. I welcome the addition of this structural framing system to what is becoming my favorite SU plugin.