Truss Plugin/Extension


With the inset joists I thought it would be really cool to have the plugin be able to auto-select the correct joist hanger and insert it at both ends of the I-joist or sawn lumber. I quickly modeled up a simplified version of an IUS1.81/11.88 Simpson Face-Mount I-Joist hanger and with the addition of one simple function I was able to do this:

View model here:

I haven’t yet released this most recent addition because I only have two sizes of hangers created so far. There are five typical flange widths and the following typical I-joists depths: 9.5, 11.875, 14, and 16. So if you do the math I need to model 20 different face mount I-Joist hangers and 20 top flange I-joist hangers (IUS and ITS series). For sawn lumber a similar situation exists for 2x6, 2x8, 2x10 and 2x12 joists.

I was considering using the official Simpson models from the 3D Warehouse but they are too complex, a minimalistic hanger gets the point across just as well.

When I get home from work I usually only have a couple hours to hammer away at things so some more low hanging fruit gets picked.


The IUS hanger family:

I was going to release the latest version but the SketchUp signing page is down again.

p.s. And now it up, 2.0.2c has the hanger update with all twenty (20) IUS hangers for I-Joists ranging from 9.5 to 16 inches deep.


After giving it much thought I’ve decided that selling my plugins would be a bad idea. They’ve literally become a part of me, who I am and what I do. To part with them would leave a hole, so in the end this becomes an emotional decision for me rather than one that is solely based on monetary gain.

The Medeek plugins will continue as they are for the foreseeable future.

I’ve also noticed sales of the plugin has completely dried up over the last two weeks, I don’t know if this because I was considering the sale of my plugin or if is indicating a saturation point. It does make me wonder if lowering the plugin price even further would drive a larger volume of users.

Lets say for example I lowered the price to $10.00, would I then expect a double or triple increase in sales? When I look at the number people who have actually installed the plugin it is well over 10,000 now, and I only started keeping track about a year ago, so the number could easily be double that. If the price was lower ($10.00) could I get at least 10% of the installed base to upgrade to a registered version, if so this type of marketing makes sense.

But then again perhaps I have hit an actual saturation point, where “real” users have all been potentially exposed to the plugin and everyone else is just testing it out but never will purchase it for serious use.

Ultimately, I am just trying to find a way to monetize my efforts more and somehow enable myself to spend even more time developing this plugin and all of others I’ve started cooking up.


Top flange hangers without a ledger:

This is a Simpson ITS1.81/9.5, this is the equivalent to the the IUS series but in top flange configuration.


Price dropped to $15.00 for a new license and $10.00 for a renewal.


The ITS hanger family:

The following hangers are included:







Version 2.0.3 - 10.13.2017

  • Added the option to provide a face mount hanger for inset floor joists with ledgers.
  • Added the option to provide a top flange hanger for inset floor joists without ledgers.
  • Added an option in the global settings to enable or disable manufacturer’s logos.


Version 2.0.3b - 10.14.2017

  • Face mount hangers added for solid sawn floor joists.

LUS210 (this hanger used by both 2x10 and 2x12 joists)


Version 2.0.3c - 10.14.2017

  • Added Red Built Red-I™ I-joists: 45, 65, 90, 90H, 90HS.


Version 2.0.3d - 2017.10.15

  • Added PinkWood SAFEjoists™ I-joists: PKI 10, PKI 20, PKI 23, PKI 35Plus, PKI 40, PKI 50.

This I-joist manufacturer has a pink protective coating on the ends. The purpose of the end coating is to protect the joist against moisture penetration.

In addition, PinkWood offers Class A and Class B Fire Rated joists often referred to as “SAFEJoists”. These joists are protected with an intumescent Fire Rated Coating, and have tan colored coating on the web.

Manufactured in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Now that I’ve got things configured correctly it is quite easy for me to add in new manufacturers and their entire series of I-joists. If you are interested in seeing a particular brand added to the plugin please feel free to contact me.



A request today for the barrel vault truss. I had been working on the algorithm for this truss type about 18 months ago but the lack of interest caused me to stop. Below is a matrix of potential configurations:

If anyone has some shop drawings for this truss type that they are willing to share I would be grateful.

I will try and knock this one out next week. I will probably utilize an html/svg UI since the look and feel of this truss type will be important to the designer (barrel height and barrel width).


I’ve got some direction on how to deal with engineering for beams and joists, not high on the priority list right now but I’ve been giving it some thought:

At first gathering the geometric information from the model seemed the most challenging aspect of this problem but after giving it more thought, dealing with multi-span beams with various distributed and point loads is also not a trivial problem. My current beam calculator is very limited in this respect and can only handle very simple loading on a single span.

And yet even with the simplicity of the span and loading the logic and calculations required is fairly substantial. The output of the beam calculator will attest to this.

To properly analyze a multi-span beam with complex loading requires some magic from my engineering texts (ie. matrix analysis). Since beams and joists are one dimensional as compared with trusses (two dimensional) the math is not nearly as cumbersome but it should prove to be a bit of a challenge.


Version 2.0.4 - 10.21.2017

  • Added Parallel Chord (vaulted) truss type, configurations: (2/2, 4/4, 6/6).

I will still need to enable structural outlookers and plates for this truss type, but everything else should be there:

  • Roof Cladding
  • Roof Sheathing
  • Gable Wall Cladding
  • Gable Wall Sheathing
  • Ceiling Gypsum
  • Ridge Cap


View model here:


The updated truss menu:


Version 2.0.4b - Added the 8/8 configuration:


People have often asked why there is always a guy shown in various screen shots for the plugins next to the truss, foundation or building displayed. The reason for the person in the picture is to give the geometry some sense of scale. I’ve also received comments as to why the “old guy”? Some have even complained about it. Each release of SketchUp features a new default person for that release. The 2015 release featured an older gentleman. Since most of my audience is architects and designers who are the predominantly of the male gender perhaps it would be more fitting to use a female model to indicate the scale?

Conclusion: The problem with the female model is she is too distracting. The audience will naturally focus on the model and not on the product I am selling which is architectural modeling software (BIM). The model should only function as a yard stick and should remain secondary to the structure or building component displayed. Bottom line I won’t be switching to a female model anytime soon.

Another point worth noting is that a well designed truss or roof is already a thing of beauty, no further marketing gimmicks required.


I’ve been slowing chewing away at the straight skeleton algorithm and still working out some of the kinks, there is a lot of logic dealing with how the rafters intersect various valleys and ridges. I will continue to hammer away at this over the next couple of weeks and hopefully have something to release by the end of November or sooner.

On a slightly different note I’ve been examining Vali Architects Instant Roof plugin and looking at how it generates gutters. Is this something that people would be interested in seeing added to the plugin?

I don’t think it would be too much of a stretch to add this feature in.

I would probably start with the standard 5" K-style gutter where one could fine tune the dimensions within the global settings.

I’m assuming one would just want to draw this a surface and not a solid?


I don’t know if is something I will add in right away but it has been added to my list. I think that making the gutter a solid makes it easier to work with manually and that the top being covered or solid does not really affect the appearance detrimentally.

View model here:


I’ve been contacted by a truss designer who uses Mitek software. He wanted to know if there was a way to bring my truss models directly into the Mitek Engineering software. Apparently there is a .mxf file format that is already utilized by a Revit plugin to do this exact thing. If I can get the specifications of the .mxf file format I can probably setup an export feature which will allow the full truss assembly to be exported directly into Mitek. This would be convenient for the truss technician, eliminating some of his workload and manual entry.

I’ve contacted Mitek’s support staff inquiring about the the .mxf file format and if they would entertain the idea of my plugin be able to transmit truss designs directly to their software.