Truss Plugin/Extension


I was just thinking about the case of a simple gable roof where the major trusses run straight through (some with bobbed tails) and the minor trusses are all the same. I’ve done many of these where the fill is done in the field with dimensional lumber.


Email me a drawing, model or sketch and I will study it and see what can be done. I’m always open to adding more options and functionality. This plugin is a work in progress, there is much to be done.


Valley sets can get a little interesting when you start dealing with intersecting hip roofs. If the width of the projection were to increase the valley set would become a combination of standard valley trusses and flat top or hip valley trusses.

View model here:

With the projection width extended:

View model here:


In this case what you are describing is what I call a “California Fill”, see this model:

Whether you use a girder truss, bearing wall or a beam to support the main roof trusses really doesn’t change anything as far as the roof framing is concerned.

I have been thinking about adding in this feature, basically an alternative to the standard Valley Truss Set:


Version 2.0.9 - 11.25.2017

  • Structural outlookers (vert. & horz.) enabled under advanced roof options for Parallel Chord truss type.
  • Metal plate connectors now enabled for all parallel chord trusses.

This truss type should now be up-to-date with all of the advanced options available:

roof returns, gutters, ceiling drywall, ridge cap etc…


Version 2.1.0 - 11.28.2017

  • Added Northeast hip set trusses.
  • Enabled advanced options for northeast hip sets.
  • Added energy/raised heels for northeast hip set (3 variants: wedge, slider and vertical w/ strut).
  • Added the option for open vs. closed end jacks.
  • Added the option for a drop in purlin frame.
  • Enabled a graphical user interface for Truss Set selection.

I only plan on adding the midwest and california variants if requested.

I don’t want to toot my own horn but these truss sets are quite complex, I’m still amazed that I’ve been able to finally write the code to generate all of this geometry. At first it is a bit overwhelming but when you break it down into its components and slowly grind each one out sooner or later it emerges.

I still have not added plates to the truss hip sets due to the complexity and the fact that it is low on the priority list for now. Complex roof are currently my biggest hurdle and I am still battling with how to best approach these from a systematic standpoint and then dive into the details once the overall layout is configured.

Until I have complex roofs figured out the plugin is only about halfway there, but at least I’ve got my foot in the door and I’m making progress.

When you consider that you can create one of these hip truss sets literally in seconds with all of the sheathing, cladding, fascia, gutters etc… and it is all geometrically correct, it is pretty cool. Manually it would take me well over an hour to try and generate this level of detail without the plugin, there is something to be said for automation.


The reason I am taking so long with complex rafter and truss roofs is the possible permutations is making things very challenging.

For example take the truss roof below:

I’m assuming there are no interior bearing walls and we want to clearspan the entire building outline. I can get the basic roof and truss layout by creating to hip truss sets as primitives but that is where it then becomes very interesting.

As you can see there are two mid-building girder trusses that then catch the mono pitch sub-girders which are each supporting two common trusses. Next to the sub-girders is a small valley set (half valley) that fills in the roof behind the sub-girders.

The largest span is 36’, which is reasonable. This appears to be the simplest way to truss this roof out but is probably not the only solution. A good truss technician could tell me how close I am to the optimal solution.

Granted the complex rafter roof is not IMHO as hard a problem but it also has similar difficulties and issues.

View model at this link:


French translation of the Roof Truss Menu:

I will roll a sub revision so everyone can try it out.


As the number of advanced options have increased (common trusses) the user input menu has slowly grown in size until it is so large that it often does not fit the screen of many laptops and smaller screens.

This problem has been well documented by a number of users for quite some time.

This weekend I spent some time putting together a new HTML menu for advanced options for roof trusses:

I still need to work out the metric version and also all of the language translations but otherwise I think it is almost ready to roll out.

As you mouse over each of the options a 320x240 image will display as shown, hopefully clarifying the meaning or usage of each parameter/option.


Version 2.1.1 - 12.04.2017

  • Enabled a graphical user interface for advanced options of roof trusses.


I am working on adding the heel blocking since it is an option listed in the advanced options.

So far there has not been much call for this feature but a few people have inquired so I figured we might as well add it in for completeness. The red coloration is for clarity in the image above.

I will probably add the option to allow for venting holes since this is fairly typical in my neck of the woods.


Featured on the SketchUp Extension Inspection:


The license registration module was causing some problems in isolated cases so I’ve released a sub-rev. 2.1.1b to address that issue.

If you are trying to enter in your serial number and it does not appear to take, first verify that you are not entering in any leading or trailing white spaces if that does not solve the problem you may be encountering the issue at top, in that case download the latest version which should address the issue fully.


Version 2.1.2 - 12.18.2017

  • Enabled vertical and angled heel blocking within the advanced options for truss roofs.

If you choose to enable vent holes the heelblock menu will prompt for the hole diameter. The vent hole algorithm will place vent holes in the heel blocking per the truss spacing:

< 12 in. = 1 vent hole
< 16 in. = 2 vent holes
16 in. or greater = 3 vent holes

Let me know if this makes sense, I can always modify it to meet any criteria. If this sort of thing varies a lot per locale I can also make it more user definable.


This type of heel blocking is very typical in my locale (Western Washington State):

View model here:


To end off the year with a bang and to thank our truss plugin clientele I have decided to reduce the license renewal fee for the Medeek Truss Plugin to $10.00 USD. This promotion will run until the end of this year (Dec. 31, 2017) and then the renewal price will return to its usual price of $20.00 USD.

This year has been very busy with further developments of the truss and foundation plugins. I am looking forward to the new year and another full year of new features and even new plugins and tools.

I’ve really appreciated all those who have actively contributed to the recent developments of the plugin, especially the translations.

A Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year.


I’ve been thinking about adding in the option to show H1 ties for rafters and trusses:

I’ve seen them mounted both on the exterior and the interior with the flanges facing both inward and outward, four possible configurations. Any preference on how these are typically installed. I’m sure there is probably not much call for these but it isn’t a big deal to add in the option for those that would like to use it.


I’ve had a number of new and existing clients who are running SU2018 on MacOS who are reporting that they are unable to save global settings for the plugin. The problem is that no one is seeing any errors generated in the ruby console so I am currently at a loss on the exact problem and how to solve it.

Has anyone seen a similar issue and have been able to resolve it?

The code to write the global settings is very simple, an example below:

# Writes Materialsoption Setting

@Materialsoption_write_result = Sketchup.write_default "MEDEEK_TRUSS_PLUGIN", "MATERIALS_OPTION", @Materialsoption_new

Why would this stop working on SU2018 running on MacOS?


Per the discussion in my previous post, I’ve shown two H1 Clips both attached to the exterior of the wall. One is oriented with the flanges inward and the other with the flanges outward. Notice the placement of the bird blocking next to the clips. My question is what is the preferred orientation of the H1 clip?

Model can be viewed here:

Based on my discussion with other engineers and architects so far it would seem that the best placement of the clips is on the exterior of the wall as shown.


Testing out the H1, H2.5A and H10A hurricane clips:

The plugin is now able to insert hurricane ties. I’ve currently set it up so that they are installed on the exterior of the framed wall with the flanges inward. Shown below is a Simpson H1 with angled vent blocks.

Here is an example using the Simpson H10A with vertical heel blocks and a raised heel truss connected to a masonry or concrete wall.

Ignore the vent holes in the blocking, I will provide additional options for venting in the near future.

Note that plugin automatically inserts these ties into the truss component, one on each end. The simplified H10A component is based on the official Simpson model found at the 3DWarehouse and is dimensionally accurate but with a much lower polygon count and hence much more lightweight.

Here is an example using the Simpson H2.5A hurricane tie. The upper tab is facing outward by default. The tie on the other end of the truss is positioned on the opposite of the truss to this one.

I will roll it out for trusses first and then rafter roofs at a later date.

I’ve specifically created simplified, lightweight versions of the hardware, so that the polygon count is minimal. With so many components I think it is imperative that the model is carefully constructed so as to minimize its polygon count and keep it as lightweight as possible.