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Truss Designer 2015 Updates

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This is an example of a 24' x 24' garage that I would like to build on my property this summer or the next.


View model here:

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model. ... 413304f620

I created the foundation and roof with minimal effort using my own plugins. The walls were created initially with the housebuilder plugin however I then manually edited the walls. Note that the top plates overlap properly as they should.

Also note that the garage door wall is a double portal frame. I would like for my wall plugin to automatically create this standard type of portal frame (PFH) both single and double (ie. Garage Door Option). Notice the embedded Simpson Strong-Tie STHD14 holdowns.

I like to use 2x jamb boards around the door perimeters when the stem wall projects above the concrete slab, this may be atypical constructon for others. Local contractors like to embed a pressure treated nailer into the concrete.

In theory I should be able to create this exact model using the Foundation, Wall and Truss Plugin and do it all within 5 minutes or less. That is the goal.

With the wall plugin I will have the standard linear wall tool but I would also like to have a rectangle wall tool that will immediately throw up 4 walls given three user selected points, similar to the truss and roof plugins.

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Version 1.6.6 - 07.15.2016

- Added roof battens option within the advanced options menu for common, scissor and vaulted trusses.

- Battens can be offset from the fascia board.

- Battens at peak option enabled.


View model here:

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model. ... 8bbacf96e2

Currently this feature is only available for truss roofs, I still need to add it to hip and gable rafter roofs.

If sheathing is enabled with battens, the battens are placed on top of the sheathing.

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  • 4 months later...

Enabled metal plate connectors for the 4/4 and 6/4 scissor trusses:


Each truss type and configuration needs its own special function to locate and auto-size each plate. The code required is not difficult since most of it can be recycled but it is still time consuming to generate for each and every truss type with all of the many possible configurations. I have not even considered raised heel trusses yet. At some locations (ie. heel plates on a scissor truss) the truss configuration may cause the plate to fall outside of the perimeter of the truss in this case some additional logic is required to check for these instances.

View model here:

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model. ... 89a6be6221

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I need to review some of my old files (local residential designs) to get a better idea of timber truss designs but out of curiosity I attempted to manually create a sample timber truss to see how long it took me create one. About an hour into it I had come up with this:


View model here:

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model. ... 3f49bf71d8


- King Post truss with 4:12 pitch, 12" overhang and 1/4" buttcut, span 28'

- 6x10 Timbers (TC, BC, King Post)

- 3/8" Thick Connector Plates

- 5/8" DIA. Heavy Hex Nuts and Bolts

- 2 Rows of Bolts

- 4.5" between rows of bolts

- 4" bolt spacing between bolts in a row

- Plates offset from timber by 3/4"

- Bolts offset from end of plates by 2"

- Bolts offset from edge of plates by 1.5"

- No washers

This particular connector plate configuration uses two additional bolts at the apex of the heel plates, many other variations are possible.

Please feel free to comment. This example is just a concept to give me a better idea of the design parameters and issues with this type of truss.

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This is an example of custom layers and materials implemented in the Medeek Truss Plugin and Medeek Foundation Plugin and used in one model:


View model here:

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model. ... 5c2cd3fc6c

Turn off the sheathing layers first to reveal all of the structural framing etc...

Regular walls were created with the Housebuilder plugin.

The trim tool in the Truss Plugin was used quite successfully to manually trim back the dormer roof framing and sheathing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another item I have been putting off is the heel blocking. I'm planning on offering two variants (vertical and angled), with the option to draw in the ventilation holes (typically 2" in diameter in my region, with 3 holes per 24" o/c spacing) if desired:


Obviously this is not a hot item since no one has bugged me about it but I have not forgotten it, just put it aside up until now.

With raised heels this may become a bit more complicated requiring more options, (ie. a V-cut instead of the typical bird holes). More input from builders would be useful in this regard.

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Version 1.8.0- 01.22.2017

- Enabled roof cladding for common trusses.

- Added nine "IKO Cambridge" architectural shingle colors into the roof cladding material library.

- Added "plywood" material for roof and floor sheathing.

- Added a "Sheathing" tab into the global settings.

- Added entries in the "General" tab of the global settings to toggle default settings for gable end trusses and advanced options.


View model here:

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model. ... 4e5565c97a

Initially I was just going to texture the exterior face of the sheathing for the roof cladding but then I realized that there may be cases where there is roof cladding but not sheathing or vice versa. In the end I went with a separate layer, material and extrusion for the roof cladding, this allows one to get more granular with the structure and in my mind closer to reality.

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  • 1 month later...

An example dormer created with the dormer tool and the gable roof created with the common truss tool. Note that I have enabled all of the cladding, sheathing and GWB in the global settings.


View model here:

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model. ... c817122285

When you select "YES" for the gypsum ceiling in the advanced options of common trusses and additional dialog is presented which then allows for manually adjusting the GWB thickness, ext. wall inset, and ceiling battens (size, spacing).

You will notice that in the global settings within the "Sheathing" tab a couple of new items have been added for Gypsum Sheathing.

Now I just need to enable ceiling sheathing for vaulted truss and rafter roofs, yet another large task added to the todo list.

Attic and Gambrel attic trusses will require not only ceiling GWB but also the attic GWB on walls and flat and sloping ceilings.

With the addition of all the interior and exterior cladding, the plugin can now generate the majority of the structural features of a roof.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been reviewing my Todo list lately and it really hasn't shrunk much, if anything it has grown a bit as I've added some new features in the last month and more catching up needs to be done with various truss types.

I only work on this project part time and on the weekends as much as possible, so my progress since September of 2016 has been quite slow (took a new job with the City of Ocean Shores).

Currently the Truss Plugin has seen the most development http://design.medeek.com/resources/pluginchangelog.html

but I am also spread between the other separate plugins as well:

Medeek Wall Plugin

Medeek Structural Plugin

Medeek Foundation Plugin

Medeek Deck Plugin

The structural and wall plugins will be just as complex and involved as the Truss Plugin and will require a couple years of my full time attention to get where they need to go.

When I step back and look at everything I want to accomplish there is just no way, given my current situation, that I can achieve it. It would be nice to also be able to hire some help in knocking out some of the coding, realistically there is only so many hours in a day and only so much one person can do.

I would really like to work full time on all of this as I see it has some serious potential and I'm also very excited about it but my previous attempt at using KickStarter to raise some working capital did not amount to much.

I was watching Shark Tank last night and I was thinking would this type of business even have a chance in that setting? Anyhow, I am open to any ideas you might have in how to really blow this thing up and get it going.

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The cosmetic threads actually render quite nicely as does my rebar material/texture. I just realized I have not added any custom materials into the foundation plugin.


As you can see from the image the orientation of the J-bolts is the same regardless of the wall, however it would not be a couple more lines of code to orient them all facing in or facing out or some other combination. Curious how the contractors actually install these, is the orientation important?

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The ICC codes call out a minimum of a one vent within 3 feet of each corner. It shouldn't be to much trouble to create the openings in the stemwall and place some vents:


For a rectangular building (4 sides) should I place 4 vents or 8 vents? Provide only the openings or also provide a generic foundation vent (lightweight geometry?)

Moving an opening is actually very easy within SketchUp, when it comes to a solid wall like this.

What is the typical header thickness between the top of the vent hole and the top of foundation?

Vent size seems to be 16"x8" for most vents I've seen.

With regards to vents there are the cheap plastic ones you can get a Home Depot or Lowes and and then there are a whole ton of more expensive louvered metal manufacturers of vents and flood vents.

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  • 5 months later...

Version 1.9.7 - 08.26.2017
- Added king post timber trusses with bolts and metal plates.


There may be a few bugs to work out as I haven't had the time to test every possible configuration but it appears to be mostly working now.  The metric version is not quite ready so the GUI defaults to the imperial units regardless of the template.

View model here:


I will add in the Queen Post and Howe configurations if requested by users and make any other corrections or adjustments as needed.


The permutations with this thing is ridiculous.  The truss above has larger members with a wider plate width that allows for two rows of bolts.

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  • 1 year later...

I apologize that I have not kept this thread up to date.  I am no longer actively posting to this thread however development of the Truss Plugin and now the new Wall Plugin has continued.  

To further follow the development of this project please visit me at Medeek Design.

Edited by medeek
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