Truss Plugin/Extension


#624

About a year ago I added some code into the plugin to phone home when a new installation occurs. This tells me the IP address (geographic location) of the installation as well some other data such as the plugin version number and whether or not it is the trial or full version.

Recently I have noticed a number of installations of the full version of the plugin that show a bogus version number (2.8.8) and they are all coming from China. The leads me to believe that the plugin has been hacked and possibly those hacked copies are being distributed but so far not widely.

I guess the upside is that if the hackers are trying to crack the program it must be worth their time and hence I’ve put together a fairly substantial product.

On the next release I will include some additional error checking which will hopefully thwart these would be hackers.


#625

Enlighten those grumpy architects and designers as to the identity of the older gentleman.

Our friend, Steve Oles


#626

Thank-you. I always thought the older model was more distinguished myself.


#627

SketchUp Essentials has put together a nice overview of the plugin.


#628

Gutters:


#629

Why not make the ‘solid’ version have a transparent top face?

And in the UK, another common shape is almost semicircular, about 4" diameter, but not quite 180° - sorry, I don’t have exact dimensions. It clips into plastic brackets screwed to a vertical surface.

I’ll try and find a link to a builders’ merchant website with description and dimensions, if you want to follow this up.


#630

You are probably talking about the half round gutter type:


#631

Something like that, certainly.

Though I see from looking yesterday at a few UK builders’ merchants’ websites that there are more varieties than I first thought, including some that are halfway between a V shape and a semicircle - sharper than an ellipse but deeper than they are wide, presumably to help the rainwater scour the bottom cleaner by concentrating the flow there.

Probably too many to want to model exactly.

Half-round or near-half-round was what I had in mind and you have that already it seems.

The UK version on my house doesn’t have any lip on it, just an even thickness of plastic all round.

I’ve followed your development of your plugin with fascination - a dedicated work.

I won’t have need to use it, but I very much admire both what you are doing, and the interface you have developed.


#632

Version 2.0.4c - 10.30.2017

This sub-release has the gutter menu added to the global settings as well as a new roof layer added for gutters in the layer menu.

You can’t actually create any gutters yet but you can test out the new GUI in the global settings and offer any feedback.

I am still working out the algorithm for the downspouts. My intent is to use the standard rectangular profile downspout material for the K-Style gutter and a round profile downspout for the U-Style (half round) gutter.


#633

The gutter extension is how much the gutter extends past the rake board on a gable roof, this does not apply to a hip roof or dutch hip roof.

The vertical offset is the distance the gutter drops down from the top edge of the fascia board, the default is zero.

With a metric template the dimensions are given in mm or metres with the grid shown in cm. In US units dimensions are in inches or feet with the grid shown in inches.


#634

Since I’m adding in gutters I should probably add in fascia and soffits, yet another tab in the global settings.


#635

D-Style Gutter:


#636

Preview of the E-Style or “Box Gutter”:

Note that I’ve also added the downspout options and parameters. The units don’t show in this screen shot but they will within the plugin.

This type of gutter is probably more common in commercial applications.


#637

$40 for a professional tool is nothing.
It’s about the cost of 2 pieces of timber in the average truss. Or about 20 minutes of my time on a project.

I’m unsure what your plugin is aiming to achieve - something for professional builders & engineers to use (in which case it should be based on structurally sound design parameters) or just a visualisation tool?
Or do some places actually allow homeowners to build their own trusses on their house?

A pro tool wouldn’t need as much detail - certainly not gutters etc - it just wants to focus on the structural formulae and making sure that’s robust (and complies with government regulations for documentation, spec, etc)… and that the model carries through cleanly to other software (cost estimation, CAD for construction drawings,etc).

But what you’ve done is amazingly impressive - I can’t think of any other software that designs and visualizes buildings in this way.


#638

@AK_SAM

You do have a good point.

Right now this plugin is a work in progress. For that reason I can’t charge more for it.

Ultimately, I would like it to become a full fledged design tool which coupled with the “Medeek Structural Plugin” will also allow a design professional to run all of the vertical and lateral engineering calculations.

I agree, the engineer has no use for gutters and the designer typically has no use for pages and pages of calcs.

Wouldn’t it be nice though if you could use a software to design a structure and then seamlessly take that model into an integrated software module that then ran all the engineering.

The disconnect between the design phase and engineering is the gap I am hoping to eventually bridge, especially for residential structures.

As far as design parameters or design criteria, as with anything, garbage in equals garbage out. One needs to know the appropriate wind speed, ground snow load and seismic parameters for their project location, once these are input the program can take it from there, calculations are based on industry standards: AWC NDS, AWC SPDWS, ASCE 7, IBC, IRC, ACI and the TPI for MPC trusses. Other design parameters would include lumber type and grade.

I’ve created a number of calculators (mostly in Excel: http://design.medeek.com/resources/resources.html) for crunching the numbers on beams, posts, footings, roof snow loads etc… All of this can easily be programmed into a plugin like this. If you can program it in Excel you can do it twice as fast with Ruby.

The structural plugin should be able to automatically crunch the numbers on all headers, beams, joists, rafters, posts, footings, walls, sheathing, shearwalls, truss uplift and portal frames and format the entire calculation package into a nice PDF document. There should not be any manual entry of loads on these members or at least very little, the plugin should be smart enough to propagate the loads through the structure, that would be the game changer, especially for the vertical calcs.

Even more impressive would be the ability to automatically draw a structural floor plan that shows the location of shearwalls with the callouts for the holdowns, anchor bolts etc…

A small residential structural job that normally takes me 2-3 days to prepare could probably be completed in less than an hour. Efficiency equals time and effort saved which equals money…


#639

Version 2.0.5 - 11.05.2017

  • Added gutters and downspouts for rafter and truss hip roofs.
  • Gutter menu added to the global settings.
  • Custom roof layer added for gutters in the layer menu within the global settings.

I still need to add gutters and downspouts to the gable roofs (truss and rafter).

Four gutter types with two different downspout types.

This is a new feature so please send me your feedback and I will try to address all of the issues.

The gutter shown is a 6" half round with a 2.75" round downspout. The gutter and downspouts are separate solids so that one can easily adjust the placement of the downspouts after the fact.

The downspout angle is 15 degrees, with a 3" drop out of the gutter and a downspout center line radius of 3".

View model here:


#640

K-Style gutter with “2x3” downspouts.

I may need to add a few more user configurable variables:

  • offset from bldg. corner (currently I have it offset 0" from the framing)
  • offset from framed wall (currently I have it offset 1" from the framing)
  • downspout radius (currently set at 3" @ CL)
  • downspout drop (currently set at 3" before the first bend)

Right now these values are all hard coded into the plugin.


#641

Version 2.0.5b - 11.06.2017

  • Fixed a minor bug with the downspout module, downspout solid is now a uniform extrusion with no unnecessary seams or edges.

#642

Version 2.0.5c - 11.07.2017

  • Fixed a minor bug with the gutter layer for installation upgrades of the plugin.

If you have version 2.0.5b please upgrade to this version or be sure to open up the global settings and click on the layers tab, this will create the default gutter layer setting.


#643

Version 2.0.6 - 11.10.2017

  • Added gutters and downspouts for rafter and truss gable roofs.
  • Added gutters and downspouts for dutch gable rafter roofs.

I still need to add gutters to monoslope truss roofs, shed roofs and some other specialized truss roofs. Adding the gutters to the common truss roof became slightly more complicated when I realized I also had to deal with roof returns and their various configurations.

This gable roof has a hip return with fully wrapped gutter, you can also choose to half wrap or no wrap (linear gutter only at eaves, does not wrap around corner).

The dutch gable is really no different than the regular hip roof, when it comes to the gutter and its configuration, but internally it is a completely different set of advanced options.