Truss Plugin/Extension


Version 1.9.4 - 07.08.2017

  • Added energy/raised heels for triple howe truss (3 variant: wedge, slider and vertical w/ strut).
  • Metal plate connectors now enabled for triple howe trusses.

Below would be a typical example of a 60’ span using a triple howe truss.

However, in most cases where the design calls for taller walls one would probably go with a steel building or CMU block walls. This was the case on a building I designed about 10 years ago (Wasatch Building Supply, Utah) that had 20 ft. walls. Its too bad I don’t have an interior photo showing the trusses inside the warehouse roof, its quite a sight to behold.


Version 1.9.5 - 07.11.2017

  • Added energy/raised heels for quad fink truss (3 variant: wedge, slider and vertical w/ strut).
  • Metal plate connectors now enabled for quad fink trusses.

This concludes the updates needed for common trusses. I still have a number of updates for all the other truss types to bring them up to speed.


I just noticed that you have updated your Kickstarter project by adding additional pledge options for all licensed Truss and Foundation Plugins users so they can upgrade their license to the new Construction Library plugin suite.

Great idea. Best wishes.


It actually wasn’t my idea, but I ran with it.


Making a slight detour back to the wood gusset plate question and nail spacing:

What I would like to compare is the following:

Same amount of nails in each test specimen. The tighter nail spacing allows for 66.6% the gusset length versus the 2 row configuration.

Any one want to venture a guess which one is stronger and by how much?

I just need to figure out a test rig and then load these two up and see what happens.

For a DF main member and OSB (7/16) I get 173.7 lbs per fastener (double shear) or a total of 1,389.6 lbs for eight (8) 10d fasteners.

I’m wondering how much the connection will stretch at this design load (loaded in pure tension, parallel to grain of main member) and at what load will it fail, then compare the results from both configurations.


I’ve updated the user map so that it now shows all users at once without a time lapse effect:

and a new combined map with both the foundation and truss plugin:


Looks like you’re propagating across the world! 5 continents so far (6 if Curacao counts as South America - I’ve always wondered where - in the Caribbean islands - does North America end and South America begin?). The 7th (Antarctica) is likely to be touch to check off!


I don’t think will see any plugins being purchased in Antarctica, no trees, no wood, no building. Everything is going to be pre-fab structures designed and built on some other continent and shipped in.

I’m surprised that there is not more customers from China or India, since they account for huge chunk of the world population.

Only South Africa has customers on the African continent. Not surprising that the bulk of the customers is from the English speaking world with the majority here in the USA.


Talking to my wife today about how much time I devote to all of the different projects I’m constantly involved with, in particular the plugins and my plans to launch the much needed wall plugin. I’m coming up on two years since I started the Truss Plugin and I am quite proud of how far it has progressed but I’m even more amazed at how much more there is yet to do.

As you all know I work a full time job and only get to this stuff in my free time which is pretty tough on the family since all my time and energy is devoted to my “work”.

My wife feels like I need to cut back on something, which I can understand.

My work is simply work, it pays the bills and it is fairly stable and decent income.

My passion is my plugins and other structural and design programs ( that I have created and continue to create.

The last couple of days I’ve taken a hard look at the numbers and realized that the volume of customers is pretty good (currently about 350 active truss plugin users) but definitely not in the thousands or what I would consider “high volume” or “mass market”. If it was in that range then I could easily offer the plugin at much lower pricing and it still could pay for the considerable time and effort that I put into it.

As it currently stands, given the number of customers or potential customers I think I’m seeing, the plugin(s) is more of a niche item and not so much a “mass market” item.

I guess what I am trying to say is that both myself and my wife think that in order for me to devote as much time as I do to the plugins I need to figure out a way to make it compensate me better for that time. The only two solutions I am seeing is increase the volume or increase the price.

My major argument up until now for increasing the price is that the plugin(s) are not finished nor polished products. However this is sort of a chicken and egg problem, more money would theoretically allow me to devote more time to the development which would make the plugin(s) more valuable and worth the additional cost.

Any ideas are welcome. Bottom line is I think there is a lot more that I have to add to the SketchUp community, I just got to figure out how to do it.


Fixed a minor bug with the tail bearing truss module. The user should now be able to input a roof pitch up to 16:12. This was such a minor fix that I’m not rolling a major revision, just a sub-revision: 1.9.5b.


Tonight I was thinking it might be kind of cool to enable an option for hip and ridge (cap) on hip roofs.

After about an hour of coding I generated this:

I’ve got the hip cap figured out at the eaves but I’m a little unsure how to terminate everything where the hips meet the ridge:

View model here:


The hip and ridge is now fully implemented for hip roofs as shown.

It can also handle pyramid roofs where there is no ridge cap.

In the global settings I will setup and option to enable this feature and also an option to set the (ridge/hip) cap width and thickness.

Its too late tonight but I will see what I can do tomorrow about rolling out a new version.

View model here:


Version 1.9.6 - 07.29.2017

  • Added a hip & ridge option for all hip type roofs.

I will now need to setup hip & ridge for all other roof variants (gable, dutch gable etc…)

I’m quite pleased with the way this has come out. Within the global settings under the “Sheathing” tab you can adjust the width and thickness of the hip/ridge cap.

This option definitely adds a finished look to the roof.


Added a hip & ridge option for all gable truss roofs (sub. rev. 1.9.6b):


This afternoon I began to put together the HTML for the timber truss GUI (what I have so far):

I think I’ve reduced a metal plated (bolts) timber truss down to twenty (20) parameters.

Hopefully the preview panel will help simplify the entry of these parameters and give the user instant feedback on what each one does. With these sort of trusses the look and feel of the truss is every bit as important as the structural aspect so a preview is very important.

The preview panel will not only show the timbers but also the metal plates and exact position of each bolt.

Once the user submits “go”, the timber truss module will draw one (1) timber truss with all of the timbers, metal plates, bolts, nuts and washers.

In the global options the user will be able to specify the bolt standard and the washer standard as well as set the material (color) for the plate and hardware.

As usual the design and programming is a little more involved than I originally anticipated but in the end it should be quite dramatic to be able to create a fully bolted and plated timber truss.

I’m probably going to need a full week to complete this, so given my current schedule and hours it will probably be 2-3 weeks before this is ready to release.


Visually, not a lot of progress:

But what you can’t see is the algorithm to efficiently position and display the bolts.

For larger trusses I’m a little worried that the display is too small to show the bolt details, but I’m not sure what else to do about it.


There seems to be some confusion regarding the licensing for the plugins. Just to be clear when you purchase a license it is permanent, it will work forever. There is no need to renew your license for continuous functionality.

Renewing your license gives you access to the latest version of the plugin(s) within the Medeek Account Manager. The primary reason to renew your license is so that you can upgrade the plugin(s) to the latest version and take advantage of any new features and bug fixes.

I may update the plugin(s) pages to better explain what I have written above.

Hopefully this clarifies the Medeek licensing policy. Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions.


Progress is slow but steady:

Now I just need to add the bolts to the peak and heal plates…


I’ve posted the Html Timber Truss input page at the link below so anyone can start putting it through its paces and offer me some feedback.

I still need to add in the algorithms for the bolts into the top chord and top of the king post, should be able to knock that out this evening.

I will probably need to add in some extra logic that deals with bolt placement at the heel joints especially when the scarf cut on the bottom chord extends below the centerline of the bottom chord.


I’ve got all of the bolts working now for each plate as well as the extra logic to make sure bolts don’t get too close to the scarf line at the heel joint.

Please go ahead and test out the link I’ve given above.

If there are no major fixes then I am ready to implement this module into the plugin.