Truss Plugin/Extension


This is an example of custom layers and materials implemented in the Medeek Truss Plugin and Medeek Foundation Plugin and used in one model:

View model here:

Turn off the sheathing layers first to reveal all of the structural framing etc…

Regular walls were created with the Housebuilder plugin.

The trim tool in the Truss Plugin was used quite successfully to manually trim back the dormer roof framing and sheathing.


Spent some time this morning traversing through the common truss code updating some of the truss types so that I can enable energy/raised heels for all common trusses as well as enable custom layers, materials and connector plates.

As I’ve developed the plugin and added new features I used the fink truss as the cutting edge, so everything having to do with this truss type is pretty much up-to-date, however some of the other truss types are seriously lagging so a little house cleaning is in order.

It may be a few days before I can release this latest version since there is a lot of tedious work ahead.


Raised/Energy heels add another level of complexity to the equation. Below you can see that various heights of a raised heel on a simple King Post truss requires different configurations and hence separate plating routines:

This also affects the gable trusses as well, below is a fink truss with its gable counterpart:

View models here:

I’m still house cleaning. I’ve now got the King Post and Fink truss fully cleaned up with connector plates enabled for all possible configurations (raised heel, non-raised heel, structural, non-structural). I’ve only got 10 more common truss types to work through, see list below:

Queen Post
Mod Queen
Double Fink
Double Howe
Mod Fan
Triple Fink
Triple Howe
Quad Fink


Version 1.7.9 - 01.15.2017

  • Enabled metal plate connectors, materials and custom layers for king post, howe and queen post trusses.
  • Added energy/raised heels for queen post truss (3 variants: wedge, slider and vertical w/ strut).
  • Added energy/raised heels for howe truss (3 variants: wedge, slider and vertical w/ strut).
  • Metal plate connectors now enabled for king post, queen post, fink and howe raised heel/energy trusses.


I’m still investigating “real world” applications of the plugin to determine where the weakness and deficiencies are. Here is an example combining a dutch gable rafter roof with some raised heel trusses. Now that the raised heel feature is fully active for many of the common trusses it is actually quite easy to measure and then match the heel height of the rafters.

View model here:

I am interested in how others are actually using the plugin and where it is falling down for you, please feel free to send me models or post on the forum with your “real world” design issues with regards to the plugin. This will help drive future development and prioritize the more important items on the todo list.


Raised heel double fink truss with connector plates:

I added this one today and will roll it into verson 1.7.9b.


Another item I have been putting off is the heel blocking. I’m planning on offering two variants (vertical and angled), with the option to draw in the ventilation holes (typically 2" in diameter in my region, with 3 holes per 24" o/c spacing) if desired:

Obviously this is not a hot item since no one has bugged me about it but I have not forgotten it, just put it aside up until now.

With raised heels this may become a bit more complicated requiring more options, (ie. a V-cut instead of the typical bird holes). More input from builders would be useful in this regard.


I’ve got the plywood material working quite well in the plugin, and the ability to toggle between it and OSB in the global settings. I have a few more other features and edits and then maybe I will role a revision tomorrow or Sunday.

I actually like the plywood look much better than the OSB.


OSB or Plywood will now be an option for the floor sheathing:

The new sheathing tab in the global settings:

As time goes on I will probably add in more options for wall cladding and interior wall cladding (ie. gypsum) as well as the ceiling logic I discussed in a previous post.

I’m now working on the gable end wall sheathing option and the roof cladding option.

There are also two new options in the “General” tab which allow one to toggle the default setting for gable end trusses and advanced options (roof, floor etc…).


Version 1.8.0- 01.22.2017

  • Enabled roof cladding for common trusses.
  • Added nine “IKO Cambridge” architectural shingle colors into the roof cladding material library.
  • Added “plywood” material for roof and floor sheathing.
  • Added a “Sheathing” tab into the global settings.
  • Added entries in the “General” tab of the global settings to toggle default settings for gable end trusses and advanced options.

View model here:

Initially I was just going to texture the exterior face of the sheathing for the roof cladding but then I realized that there may be cases where there is roof cladding but not sheathing or vice versa. In the end I went with a separate layer, material and extrusion for the roof cladding, this allows one to get more granular with the structure and in my mind closer to reality.


Trying to find a good wood shake or shingle roof texture, this one is pretty good except for a bit of banding:

Slipped in a wood shingle roof texture and a few metal ones in to Version 1.8.0.

I set the exposure of the wood shingles at 5-1/2", however it does look a little small to me, maybe 7-1/4" would be better?


Thinking about sheathing and cladding advanced option for the valley truss set. Typically the valley truss set is placed on top of the main roof sheathing:

View model here:

If I create the sheathing and cladding just right then it will be easy for the user to manually trim the secondary roof sheathing and cladding with my trim tool and then optionally union them up with the built in Union tool. I may need to make a video showing exactly how to perform this task.


The valley truss set now has sheathing and cladding added as an option. You still have to manually trim the secondary roof’s sheathing and cladding and then union it to the valley set’s but with the trim tool this is very simple to do:

View model here:



Call me crazy but I want to build something like this on my 10 acres so I can see all the way to the beach.

Given my wind speed and seismic zone I am probably looking at some serious holdowns at the first level (HDU 11). I would have to run the numbers but it would probably work. I would probably also sheath it with 5/8" plywood inside and out for some serious shearwall action, at least on the the first two floors. I’m thinking spiral staircases between levels to save as much floor space as possible and to make it more interesting. Minimal windows on the first three levels and then the top level would have alot of windows for the view. 11-7/8 TJI 210 for the floors with 3/4 sheathing T&G, 16" o/c.

The structure is 16’x16’ with grade to top plate height of 38’8".

The roof is 6:12 pyramid hip with 2x8 rafters, I may go with a steeper pitch though.

Anyone design something goofy like this before. I don’t know if my county building dept. would give it an approval though even if its engineered (stamped).


I would typically expect zoning regulations to limit you here rather than just engineering, though, you’re right, the lateral load resistance really ads up here. Zoning is, of course, totally local, so you have to investigate. I once did a three story lighthouse tower attached to a house (all under the same height limit as everyone else’s house in that zone) with a spiral stair to the top floor. It was about 14’ square plus little bay windows. Let’s see if this link works.


I haven’t even checked the zoning yet, that may shut me down as well. I really like your spiral staircase, very nice. However with 16’ x 16’ I would like to tighten it up even more, something like this:

Staircase in Private Residence
Photo by National Millwork - Search traditional staircase pictures


Since I have now have roof cladding enabled I figured it only made sense to have some sort of wall cladding enabled for the gable end walls:

The advanced options now allow one to specify wall cladding, the settings can be adjusted in the “sheathing” tab of the global settings. I currently only have 4 different colors of Hardiplank Siding but I will add more as requested and I can find textures that I like or create.

I’m also thinking about adding an option for an air gap between the wall sheathing and the wall cladding in the case that someone wants to use brick as their cladding option. For standard veneer brick in the US the air gap is usually 1" if my recollection is correct.

I will try to roll these latest additions into a new revision here shortly.


Version 1.8.1 - 01.29.2017

  • Enabled gable wall cladding for common trusses.
  • Added four “HARDIPLANK Cedarmill” siding colors into the wall cladding material library.
  • Enabled sheathing and cladding for valley truss sets.


Here is a simple structure created with the Truss and Foundation Plugins along with Housebuilder:

I like Housebuilder but I really feel like I need to develop my own Wall Plugin since it will tie in better with my Truss Plugin and allow the user to create the different sheathing and cladding options on the same layers.

Creation of the foundation and roof both took less than 30 seconds to create. The walls, windows and doors did require manual editing. I also realized that it would be useful to allow the option for wrapping the floor framing in wall sheathing and cladding so that this can be unioned with the appropriate sheathing and cladding on the walls above. I will add this into the Todo list.