Truss Plugin/Extension

Version 1.1.0 - 11.08.2015
Added advanced roof options for Common, Scissor and Attic truss types.
Sheathing option enabled under advanced roof options.
Rake Board option enabled under advanced roof options.
Fascia (Flush, Dropped, Beveled) option enabled under advanced roof options.

Just playing around with SketchUp a bit today and trying out the new sheathing, rakeboard and fascia capabilities in the Plugin.

The roof of this simple structure took all of 10 seconds to create, the rest about 20 minutes. I didn’t realize Simpson Strongtie hardware is available in the 3D warehouse, good to know.

I’m not going to say anything about lateral bracing of this structure, just modeling for fun.

One can go so far as to put all of the H1 ties in. I could waste an entire day messing around in this software, way too much fun.

only a day, SU + Ruby is addictive, I suspect your an addict by now…


I should be working on my regular work but SketchUp has an addictive hold on me at the moment. Trying to do a bit more complex roof line below. Immediately some things that pop out are the inherent complexities that occur when roof lines meet. The question is how to setup the plugin to automatically handle these situations, this will not be easy. I was able to easily trim and delete unnecessary rake and fascia boards as required. The trusses themselves need to be more dynamic so that one can adjust the overhang to zero as required. It is easy to select a number of component instances and make them unique and then adjust as required. In the second image I’ve copied an instance of the queen post truss to create a girder analog.

The other thing that needs some attention is the ability to easily create a valley set that frames over the larger roof line. I’ve got some ideas on this one, its going to take some interesting math but its not impossible.

Also notice how I have used a howe, fink and queen post truss to demonstrate the use of all three truss types.

The other interesting point is that when you specify the fascia boards it is quickly apparent whether or not the heel heights match up and everything is correct.

Still need to get gable end trusses enabled for all truss types, too much to do and never enough time.

[quote=“medeek, post:44, topic:16452”]Still need to get gable end trusses enabled for all truss types,[/quote]Do you mean gable ladders?

Most of our work is sunroom extensions with a coomb ceiling (raised ceiling ties so that it slopes up to a flat ceiling.) so that the roof is supported further down on the extended eaves arms; could the overhang be specified either by an overhang value or a height between bottom of the rafter end and underside of ceiling tie?

After valleys, the next challenge will be dormers :wink:

Can you post a picture of the typical coomb ceiling?

This is the truss specification from an ongoing project (the add-on utility bit is not a usual thing, but there are occasionally roof-lights that need to be inserted)

I’ve actually had another request for similar tail bearing trusses. This is on my todo list now.

Version 1.1.0 - 11.10.2015
Gable end trusses enabled for the Fink truss type and all raised heel variants.

I may need to adjust the vertical studs slightly for the raised heel with slider. I haven’t yet determined the best way to frame that situation out.

Lots of cleaning up needs to be done, tedious stuff but necessary.

  • Enable gable end option for all other truss types.
  • Enable raised heel option for all other truss types.
  • Verify that metric input is functioning correctly for all options and truss types.

Gable end trusses for Queen Post and Howe truss types enabled.

I think it is time to start adding some more truss types.

I keep grabbing the new version and it looks great! Are you planning to tackle hip framing at any point? Proper geometry on the corner girder can be a particularly rough job, by hand!

I haven’t even looked at traditional roof framing, its been all trusses and some floor joists until now.

Hip roof framing is very complicated especially with intersecting roof lines:


Once I’ve addressed the truss items on my todo list I will look at traditional hip framing with rafters.

Actually let me rephrase that, any roof can get very complicated with intersecting roof lines whether it is framed out with trusses or more traditional rafters and beams.

If I incorporate traditional framing I would like for the user to be able to indicate the perimeter of the ext. walls and for the logic to be smart enough to handle any possible configuration. Consider the custom home with guest house below:

Just to determine the proper placement of the ridge and valley lines requires some serious algorithms. The technique I used to do it manually simply involves drawing isolines moving a fixed increment in from the ext. wall line. These are really no different than contour lines on a topographic map. The vertexes created by the intersection of these lines indicate the location of hip rafter, flying hip rafters and valley rafters. When the isolines merge into one line then you have a ridge board.

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most likely the basic roof shape has already been created on a model or will be via another , I suggest that your plugin is able to read the planes and build to suit, rather than create the roof outline.

I am a bit suspicious of Aarron involvement with sketchup and the hold put on his Buildedge plugin. Just maybe the next release will have more parametric features, if so then there is no need to rebuild the wheel, but a need to fill in the structural elements.

Agreed the roof planes and lines are just the beginning, they define the overall geometry, the fun is in the details of the framing. Unfortunately, I’ve had a little bit of a flu/cold the last couple of days and my thinking cap is not clear enough at the moment to formulate the code, but I will definitely be looking at this shortly.

No scheming going on here, Phillip! I am actually working at SketchUp now, and BuildEdge is still owned by my former employer. I am merely here as a SketchUp enthusiast with a lot of experience with truss framing and layout that is excited about where Medeek is headed!

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I appreciate any and all input. This last few weeks has been a real learning experience.

Looking into the details of generating the roof planes and lines it appears I need to implement a straight line skeleton algorithm:

Before I get too involved in recreating the wheel I’m wondering if anyone knows of an implementation in Ruby, Perl or C++.

Version 1.1.1 - 11.14.2015

  • Gable end trusses enabled for all monopitch truss types.
  • Added energy/raised heels for monopitch trusses (3 variants: wedge, slider and vertical w/ strut).

Currently there are only two versions of the monopitch truss available (2/2 and 3/3).

The truss set below shows a monopitch truss set with gable ends and a 36" raised heel.

I’ve also added advanced options for monopitch trusses (sheathing, rake and fascia).

Version 1.1.2 - 11.16.2015
Metric input enabled for monopitch truss types.