Truss Plugin/Extension


maybe a “roofing” element to the truss/rafter tools too. :slight_smile:

Matthew Daby


m.o.daby design llc


When you say a roofing element what do you mean precisely? Are you
meaning the out cover, (ie. shingles, shakes, metal)?

  1. I have had others request better layer control. If I can develop a
    drop down tool that will allow one to specify the layer I will do that.
    If not I will be adding in a layers tab in the global settings where you
    can setup which components are assigned to which layers. For example
    there might be a layer for sheathing and one for trusses and another for
    other misc. blocking and outlookers.

  2. Adding the rebar would be just another option in the input dialog
    and then adding a module that adds this feature in. I need to think
    about what inputs would be required as far as specifying location, that
    one might get a bit tricky. How should I show the rebar at the corners?

  3. The wall tool is still very much in its infancy so I will add your
    comments to the growing list of features that I have already created for
    this plugin.

I really appreciate this type of feedback, it gives me a better sense of
what elements and features are actually needed by the end user.


I do mean the outer cover—shingles, metal, etc. I have been using Vali Architects “add roof details” plugin…which is wonderful…to do this.
My end game is to be able to have the tools to REALLY BIM model everything in sketchup with the use of scripts (so that I don’t have to do it manually) and ultimately be able create building sections, plans, details, etc. quickly and easily. I already have a good system in place for plans and elevations. I am lacking the BIM information and scripts to do building sections. I am still drawing those 2D.


Can you send me a sample model with shingles and/or metal cladding and I
will consider this further.



I sent you an email. :slight_smile:

Matthew Daby


:phone:: 503.475.6151

m.o.daby design llc


I’ve been slowly working on the stepdown hip truss set. Its been a bit more complicated than expected. I’ve also decided to make it auto select the common truss type by span but also allow the user to manually select the common truss type as well, yet another level of complexity. In addition I would also like to enable raised heels which again adds to the complexity of the required logic and amount of code required to make this work.

The user will be able to select the hip setback. This is usually 3x or 4x the truss spacing (ie. 6ft, 8ft with 24" o/c truss spacing). I could restrict this to some multiple of the truss spacing but I think I will leave it completely open ended for the user.

Once I have the initial module complete I will then add into the advanced options the ability to use a drop-in purlin frame.


I think it would help the “dated look” to output to a white background.
I also think you should indicate the nail plates as the plumb cuts are distracting where you change to lighter lumber for tails and peak, sort of looks like a piggy back truss with the lower chord of the upper assembly missing.


Is there a big demand for adding in the connector plates? I can do it, but it will make the model heavier with all of the added geometry.


It’s probably more of a “nice to have” since we’re trying to communicate a finished product visually, getting that done with a measure of automation always helps.


I will try and roll something out in the release after 1.7.0, probably for only one truss type at first to see how well it goes and is received.


This is an example of the wireframe (temporary) graphic that is shown while creating a valley set.


I am always wondering if a developer use another programming language in addition to Ruby and Sketchup SDK?
Is an plugin like this possible without using an additional programming language? It looks very impressive.


So far I am only using the Ruby SketchUp API combined with HTML, SVG and JavaScript graphical menus. The plugin does link to other engineering tools on my site which are programmed in Perl. At some point I would like the plugin to be able to generate Excel spreadsheets and PDF documents so I may need to incorporate other external programs.


I’ve repackaged the .rbz file this morning so that when it installs into SU 2017 the extension will have the appropriate hash file and appear as “signed”. I have not yet rolled the revision (1.7.0) which includes the updates for stepdown hip truss sets, there is still substantial work before I am ready to release that module and version.


It appears that writing to the text logfiles within the “logs” sub-folder invalidates the hash and hence the signature in SU 2017. This does not in any way cause the plugin to stop working but it is an annoyance that I did not foresee.

I will work on a solution to this so that the signature in SU2017 remains valid.

When the plugin is first installed the signature will appear valid however as soon as the logfiles are written to the signature will appear as invalid. In my opinion the hash should only include .rb, .rbs and .rbe files and not other misc. file types.


This may be a VERY elementary question - but I’m really interested in how to use this plugin to create a dual pitched roof over a shed design I’m working on. I’d like the standard enclosure to be a 10/12, but I have a porch that I want covered as well, just at a lower slope of 4/12. Should I frame these separately, main enclosure as a gable with no overhang and then join the porch roofing to the structure via a ledger and post?

Once again, I’m sorry for asking what is probably an extremely simple question on this forum, but I didn’t see this solution in any of the designs. Great work on the plugin.


I guess I kind of need a picture to better explain the roof geometry and direction of slopes etc… Currently the truss plugin will not create a dual pitch rafter roof only a dual pitch truss roof. I have added this to the “todo” list.


This would be the type of roof I’m talking about.


I would call this a lean to roof. The porch rafter would be laid alongside the upper roof rafter bearing on the wall top plate or beam.