Truss Plugin/Extension


I’m a bit confused. Is this dialog intended to specify nailed plywood gusset plates or bolted metal plates? Or both?

It would be clearer to me if there was a drop down to choose between these options.


This dialog will be specifically for bolted metal plates on timber trusses.

Plywood gusset plates are already available for the common fink truss in the plugin, at some point I may extend it to the other truss types but that will involve a major investment in time since one really should have the engineering to go along with it to properly size the gusset plates and fasteners.


I’m not familiar with how these dialogs are defined/programmed, but if the plywood specifications were dimmed/locked if the user chooses a truss type to which they don’t apply, I would be less confused by the dialog.


This is would be the typical output of the html input for the timber trusses:

I may add in the L1 dimension and the heel height dimension.


No major complaints or concerns with the way I have it currently configured, so far. I’ve starting creating the ruby code that does the heavy lifting. By the end of the week I should have something ready to go for timber trusses.

My goal is to also add in the Queen Post and Howe configuration for timber trusses, these other two seem to be the most commonly used.

There is a number of ways one could arrange the bolts on these plates or even configure the plates. I am trying to come up with the mostly widely accepted method that will make at least 75% of the user base happy. Hopefully I can achieve that.


The html webdialog is now integrated into the plugin and variables are passing correctly between the two:

Developing new modules, especially one with some many variables/inputs is a time consuming process.


I’ve uploaded a minor update which integrates the timber truss web dialog (won’t actually create anything just yet) for those interested in testing it in SketchUp. It will only load up in Imperial/US unit templates for now. My main concern is cross browser issues that I’m not aware of but may pop up for other users who have their PC’s configured differently than my own.

Let me know if there are any issues.


Version 1.9.7 - 08.26.2017

  • Added king post timber trusses with bolts and metal plates.

There may be a few bugs to work out as I haven’t had the time to test every possible configuration but it appears to be mostly working now. The metric version is not quite ready so the GUI defaults to the imperial units regardless of the template.

View model here:

I will add in the Queen Post and Howe configurations if requested by users and make any other corrections or adjustments as needed.

The permutations with this thing is ridiculous. The truss above has larger members with a wider plate width that allows for two rows of bolts.


We got about 50% the way there which in my mind is pretty good. I don’t know that Kickstarter was the right venue for trying to stir up the momentum for a SketchUp plugin but I thought it’s at least worth a shot. I sincerely appreciate all who have pledged their hard earned money and supported me in this endeavor. Your faith in me is the reason I keep plugging away at these tools.

I am currently pursuing other funding options. To produce a wall plugin that can do what the other “big boy” softwares can do will take a serious investment of my time and effort. I’m am figuring at least two years of solid programming to produce a polished product that has all the bells and whistles.

How I get there, I’m still trying to figure out. Currently I spend my weekends and a small amount of my time during the regular work week (usually going after the low hanging fruit). Surprisingly I am able to make some headway but progress is too slow in my opinion, somehow I will need to speed up.

Again I would like to thank everyone who participated in this campaign and for all of your pledges, it means a lot to me.


Looking at the code structure of the timber truss module and the html web dialog it doesn’t appear to be too difficult to add in the Queen Post and Howe type truss. This addition will make this feature considerably more versatile and useful in my opinion since it should cover 90% of most timber trusses of this type used in residential and commercial construction.

I will make it a point to add in both additional truss types before moving on to something else.

Recently I have not had a lot of feature requests so please fire away.

The next big item on the list is the implementation of the straight skeleton algorithm and the ability to create any rafter roof shape, this is a big one. If I succeed, which I will, this should be tremendously valuable to many of the plugin users.

How to do this sort of thing for truss roofs becomes a bit more difficult since truss roofs are a bit more ambiguous and can be pieced together in a variety of ways. I think it is possible but I will need to give this one more thought.

The next big item which needs to be tackled is the ability to generate floor joists and trusses for any floor outline. I’ve already given this some serious thought and the path forward is clear to me but it will just take some focused coding time and debugging. Along the same lines, the ability to cut holes in the floor assembly (stairwells, access doors etc…) is also a hot item, I will address this at the same time.

Work on the Wall Plugin has begun in earnest but my free time right now is limited so meaningful progress is slow, especially as I am still devoting the bulk of my time towards the truss plugin.

I have exactly zero feedback on the timber truss module so I am curious if anyone has used it yet and if they are encountering any difficulties or other issues that they would like to see addressed.

  • Is this feature useful?

  • What would make it more useful?

  • Would other timber truss types (timber rivets, etc…) be more useful?

Just because I find it fascinating and would like to add it to the plugin doesn’t mean it has any real world utility, I’ve learned that through experience.


Plates are mostly there now just need to work on the bolts for the Howe Timber Truss:


Bolts and plates are now complete for the Queen and Howe Timber Truss types:

Please feel free to test out the web dialog at the link above.

Now all that remains is to bring the javascript code into the ruby.


Version 1.9.8 - 09.04.2017

  • Added queen post and howe timber trusses with bolts and metal plates.

View model here:

Timber trusses haven’t seemed to garner much interest or feedback but I do feel like it is a worthwhile contribution to the plugin.

There is more to be done with the engineering side but I will move on to something else unless customer feedback brings me back to it.

The big prize right now is the straight skeleton implementation. I have been mulling this one over for at least a year now.

The truss yard now has 23 different truss types/profiles:


Version 1.9.8c

  • Enabled option for F436 vs. F844 flat washers for timber trusses (in the materials tab within the global settings).


Tutorial #6: Timber Trusses

View model used in tutorial here:


I’ve had a bug report regarding the Gambrel Truss and Timber Truss features when using the plugin on MacOS. I am curious if any other Mac users are also experiencing issues when html or webdialog menus are being employed by the plugin.

If you are experiencing similar issues please contact me directly at

I would like to resolve this issue as it poses a serious problem for Mac users and will be a much larger problem as I slowly migrate to more Html based menus in the future.


Version 1.9.9 - 09.12.2017

  • Added a hip & ridge option for gable rafter roofs.
  • Fixed some miscellaneous bugs with rafter roof modules.

There were some really annoying issues with the rafter roof module that needed to be addressed. I still have more work in this regard since I need to go through all of the other rafter roof modules (glulam beam, dual glulam beam etc…) and clean a few things up but I made a fairly good dint in it this evening.

At some point I would like to also add roof returns to the gable rafter roofs, this should not be too big of an issue. Another thing to add to the todo list is partial roofs where a rafter roof butts up against a larger wall and/or roof.

The list never ends, but then I never quit, I’ll probably still be working on this thing 20 years from now when I’m 65.


I’ve been thinking about multi-level roofs and how to deal with them.

Currently I don’t see a good way to automate truss roofs, I think there will be some manual intervention required.

For rafter roofs though I think I can fully automate the process.

View model here:


As I previously mentioned I am slowing working on making all previous version of the plugin available here:

Each new version adds improvements and fixes. Probably at some point once this plugin has fully matured then I might see a good reason to install a previous version, but hopefully I never get to that point where the plugin becomes bloatware.

I suppose the only reason to install a previous version is if you have an expired license and do not wish to upgrade, I can respect that, especially if you only use the plugin on a infrequent basis.


Starting to work on the straight skeleton algorithm today, complex roofs have got my attention.

The model below has a saddle point and this lends itself to some rather complex framing:

Even with the roof primitives and trim tool, which helped out tremendously, it still took me almost an hour to fully generate the roof framing.

The goal is to turn hours into seconds.

View model here: