Using Intersect to cut rafters

I’m using Make, so I don’t have solid tools to trim. Hope to use Pro eventually to aid other contractors by modeling complex roof geometry.

Each of the rafters is a group. The wall is it’s own group. I’m wondering if there’s a faster way to cut the bird’s mouths than what I’m currently doing? --the same technique I use for many other drawing tasks.

What I’m doing is bringing a copy of the walls into the context of each rafter group (in my model 25), exploding the wall copy, intersect with context, then erasing all wall and birds mouth lines --quite time consuming.

Just wondering if there are other, more efficient, ways to accomplish using the Make version?

There is some fine tuning you could do to your workflow, but what you describe is basically the way in Make.

One thing to consider is that wherever there is more than one rafter the same shape, you should be using components instead of groups. That way you can trim one and all the others will immediately follow.

Also, you could try copying just the necessary portion of the wall, opening the rafter group for edit and paste in place to get the wall geometry where it can intersect the rafter. That way you avoid needing to explode anything and you reduce the amount of wall bits to clean up. Also, the edit cut from the wall will remain in the paste buffer and you can do this again for another rafter without starting over.

There are quite a few ways to tackle this. One, if you want to delve into the world of plugins is Zorro. This lets you group all your rafters and use a section plane to cut them all in one swell foop.

Yes, thank you! This will save a good deal of time --I forgot about paste in place! [quote=“Box, post:3, topic:20927, full:true”]
There are quite a few ways to tackle this. One, if you want to delve into the world of plugins is Zorro. This lets you group all your rafters and use a section plane to cut them all in one swell foop.
Thanks Box, I’ll look into Zorro. Swell foop is good…

Another thing you could do to reduce your work load is to make components of the rafters instead of groups. all that get cut the same way, can get their birdsmouths by editing just one. No need to handle them one at a time like the real ones. Consider also that some, like those two at the corners are really mirror images of each other so they can be instances of the same component.

Yes, Dave, I realized that as I completed the initial cutting of the rafters. I’ve got 9 of the same rafter currently in the model. I have, in fact, discovered it’s far faster to mirror, rotate, and copy/paste instead of editing.

You guys are just great the way you help others in this forum. It is highly appreciated --even, I’ll bet, by the ones you can never satisfy.:slightly_smiling:


are you saying there are women here!!?


Just wanted to leave that appropriate smiley face, but needed more characters --so there we are.

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I found another reason to make all those rafters components instead of groups.

In moving, rotating, flipping, and mirroring I made very tiny mistakes with mis-clicking or rotating the wrong member. Upon close inspection later, there were all kinds of tiny mis-alignments. So, if I’d used components instead of groups I’d have been able to reload them instead of all the correcting I have to do. Huh…

A tip that may be useful especially when there may be changes to the roof overhang is to make a component of the rafter tail. That way if the roof has many similar facets, in pitch and overhang, adjusting the tail component is much faster than modifying the different regular, jack, hip and valley rafter tails.


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Thanks for that Shep. This idea has implications even beyond what we’ve talked about here. It’s clever --thanks!

FWIW, it isn’t difficult to make a single component for the rafter that can be easily inserted and adjusted. And, by keeping it as a single component, you can get useful information about the dimensions of the rafters through the various report generating options available.