Medeek Truss Plugin
The Medeek Truss Plugin is a SketchUp Plugin that provides a simple interface for creating accurate 3D truss, roof and floor geometry within SketchUp.
Medeek Truss Plugin

Introduction

Welcome to the documentation for the Medeek Truss Plugin. The Medeek Truss Plugin is a SketchUp Plugin that provides a simple interface for creating accurate 3D truss and roof geometry within SketchUp. This plugin utilizes the SketchUp Ruby API programming interface and is compatible with the latest SketchUp releases (SketchUp Make 2017 64-bit and SketchUp Pro 2017 64-bit) as well as previous versions (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016).

What Can You Do with the Medeek Truss Plugin

Currently, the plugin allows the creation of the following common truss types (Metric and US/Imperial):

  • King Post (2/2) [with gable end and raised/energy heel options]
  • Queen Post (4/2) [with gable end and raised/energy heel options]
  • Fink (4/3) [with gable end and raised/energy heel options]
  • Howe (4/4) [with gable end and raised/energy heel options]
  • Fan (6/3) [with gable end and raised/energy heel options]
  • Mod Queen (6/4) [with gable end and raised/energy heel options]
  • Double Fink (6/5) [with gable end and raised/energy heel options]
  • Double Howe (6/6) [with gable end and raised/energy heel options]
  • Mod Fan (8/4) [with gable end and raised/energy heel options]
  • Triple Fink (8/7) [with gable end and raised/energy heel options]
  • Triple Howe (8/8) [with gable end and raised/energy heel options]
  • Quad Fink (10/9) [with gable end and raised/energy heel options]

Specialty Truss Types:

  • Attic [US/Imperial - with raised/energy heel option]
  • Monopitch (2/2, 3/3) [Metric and US/Imperial - with gable end and raised/energy heel options]
  • Scissor (2/2, 4/2, 4/4, 6/4, 6/6) [Metric and US/Imperial - with gable end and raised/energy heel options]
  • Tail Bearing (Fink) [Metric and US/Imperial - with gable end option]
  • Dualpitch (2/2-3/3) [Metric and US/Imperial - with gable end option]
  • Bowstring (6/6, 8/8) [Metric and US/Imperial - with gable end option]
  • Bow Barrel (8/8) [Metric and US/Imperial - with gable end option]
  • Polynesian (4/4) [Metric and US/Imperial - with gable end and raised/energy heel options]
  • Cambered (6/X) [Metric and US/Imperial - with gable end option]
  • Cathedral (4/X, 6/X) [Metric and US/Imperial - with gable end option]
  • Tray [Metric and US/Imperial - with gable end option]
  • Mono Scissor (2/2, 3/3, 4/4) [Metric and US/Imperial - with gable end and raised/energy heel options]
  • Mono Cathedral (2/2, 4/4) [Metric and US/Imperial - with gable end and raised/energy heel options]
  • Gambrel Attic [Metric and US/Imperial]
  • Coffer [Metric and US/Imperial - with gable end option]
  • Symmetric Cathedral [Metric and US/Imperial - with gable end option]
  • Flat (Mansard, Parapet, Mansard w/ Parapet) [Metric and US/Imperial - with gable end option]
  • Parallel Chord (2/2, 4/4, 6/6, 8/8) [Metric and US/Imperial - with gable end option]

Timber Trusses (metal plates with bolts):

  • King Post (2/2) [US/Imperial only]
  • Queen Post (4/2) [US/Imperial only]
  • Howe (4/4) [US/Imperial only]

Floor Joists/Trusses:

  • Floor Truss (Modified Warren - System 42) [Metric and US/Imperial - with ladders,sill plates and ribbons]
  • Weyerhaeuser Trus Joist®: TJI 110, TJI 210, TJI 230, TJI 360, TJI 560, TJI 560D [with rim joists and sill plates]
  • Boise Cascade BCI® Joists: BCI 4500, BCI 5000, BCI 6000, BCI 6500, BCI 60, BCI 90 [with rim joists and sill plates]
  • LP SolidStart® I-Joists: LPI 450, LPI 530, LPI 18, LPI 36, LPI 56 [with rim joists and sill plates]
  • Red Built Red-I I-Joists: 45, 65, 90, 90H, 90HS [with rim joists and sill plates]
  • PinkWood SAFEjoists I-Joists: PKI 10, PKI 20, PKI 23, PKI 35Plus, PKI 40, PKI 50 [with rim joists and sill plates]
  • Solid Sawn Joist [Metric and US/Imperial - with rim joists and sill plates]

Truss Sets:

  • Valley Sets [perpendicular roof lines]
  • Stepdown Hip Set [with raised/energy heel options and hip & ridge]
  • Terminal Hip Set [with raised/energy heel options and hip & ridge]

Rafter Roofs (Metric and US/Imperial):

  • Gable Roof [with ceiling joist option]
  • Gable Roof w/ Glulam Beam [Flush, Drop]
  • TJI Roof w/ Glulam Beam [Flush, Drop]
  • TJI Roof w/ Dual Glulam Beam [Drop]
  • Hip Roof [with hip & ridge]
  • Dutch Gable Roof
  • Shed Roof [with ceiling joist option]
  • Shed Roof w/ Ledger [with ceiling joist option]

Minor Roofs (Metric and US/Imperial):

  • Gable Dormer [dormer walls only]

Engineering (US/Imperial):

  • Common - Fink Truss [ANSI TPI 1-2007 / ANSI TPI 1-2014]
  • Glulam Beam [AWC NDS 2015 / AWC NDS Supplement Table 5A]

All truss types are drawn/designed utilizing industry standard practices for web location (panel lengths), web scarfs at joints and a 1/4" typical butt cut. Floor trusses are drawn using the Modified Warren configuration with one central chase, options for ribbon cuts and top or bottom bearing are also provided. Additional truss types are in the process of being added, as well additional customization and features such as raised energy heels for all truss types.

 

Custom layers can be enabled in the global settings which allow roof, wall and floor components to be placed on specific layers. Truss connector plates are available for select truss types and can also be enabled within the global settings.

Auto assignment of materials (colors and textures) are available as an option within the "Materials" tab of the global settings. Currently available materials are: Lumber, Pressure Treated Lumber, OSB, Plywood, LSL/PSL, and Metal Plate Connectors. Roof cladding can be specified within the global settings ("Sheathing" tab) and cladding thickness and roof material/texture can be set by the user.

The plugin allows the user to create an array of trusses by simply selecting three points which form the bounding rectangle (bldg. width x bldg. length) of the truss array. The number of trusses is automatically calculated based on the on center spacing and the building length.

Each individual member (chords, webs, sliders, wedges etc...) of the truss is modeled as a group with the entire truss forming a component having a unique name (ie. FINK_TRUSS_24_20151019123215). Arrays of trusses are created by invoking multiple instances of this truss component. This allows for modifications to all the trusses in an array by simply modifying one truss. Creating each member of the truss as a group allows modificatons or deletions to each member without affecting the rest of the truss geometry. Additionally each truss assembly (Array of Trusses) is grouped in order to facilitate future adjustments to the truss assembly as a whole.

Automatic gable end truss insertion is now available for all truss types except attic trusses. The gable end truss option is currently being added to the attic truss type and will be available in future releases. Other advanced features currently being considered for future releases are: Transistion Trusses, Hip Sets, Hip Rafters, Dormers, and Dynamic editing of Truss Components.

Advanced options allows for the creation of sheathing, rake boards, fascia, blocking, roof returns (hip, full), battens, counter-battens and outlookers. These options are currently available for the following truss types: Common, Attic, Monopitch, Scissor, Dualpitch, Tail Bearing, Mono Scissor, Tray, Coffer, Symmetric Cathedral and Floor; and for the following rafter roofs: Gable, Gable with GLB, TJI with GLB, Hip, Shed and Shed with Ledger.

I-joist and solid sawn joists can be inset into the foundation with or without a ledger board and the appropriate hangercan be modeled as part of the joist component. Within the global settings I-joist manufacturer's logos can be enabled or disabled for ease of identification.

With the Medeek Truss Plugin, you can accurately depict typical roof trusses, floor trusses, rafters, and floor joists within SketchUp and better validate your architectural models.

Engineering

The Truss Plugin is integrated with the Medeek Truss Designer and can provide engineering data (loads, internal forces, reactions and deflections) for specific common truss types (ie. King Post, Queen Post, Fink, Howe and Double Fink). The plugin is also recently integrated with the Medeek Beam Calculator and can automatically load the design parameters from SketchUp in order to check bending, shear, bearing and deflection for typical North American glulam beam sizes. Engineering for other truss types as well as rafters, joists and sheathing is in the process of being added and will become available in future releases. For additional engineering tools and site criteria maps please visit our Resources page.

Audience

This document is intended for architects, engineers, designers and homeowners who are using SketchUp as their primary 3D design tool. It provides an introduction to using the plugin and reference material on the available parameters/options for its use.

License and Limits of Use

The Medeek Truss Plugin is a proprietary softare developed for use with the SketchUp 3D modeling program. There are currently no limits to its use for both personal and commercial applications.

Design Parameters - Truss Geometry

The following items are typical design parameters than can be modified by the user to define the truss geometry during the truss creation process:

  • Truss Type (required) This item lists the common truss types that can be modeled within the plugin.
  • Out-to-out Span (required) Outside to outside of bearing walls that truss is spanning. This span is typically given in feet.
  • Top Chord Pitch (required) Vertical rise divided by horizontal run. This number is typically expressed as a ratio of incline (in.) to each 12 inches of run. For example 3:12, 4:12, 5:12 and so on. The plugin limits the roof pitch from 2.5:12 to 12:12 for some truss types. The roof slope input can be changed to an angle (degrees) within the global settings.
  • Overhang (required) Distance the truss projects beyond the bearing wall (outside) in inches. The overhang can be within the range of 0 to 42 inches. Left and right overhangs can be set indepedently of each other.
  • TC Size (required) Sets the depth of the top chord members of the truss in inches. Values are limited to nominal lumber sizes.
  • BC Size (required) Sets the depth of the bottom chord members of the truss in inches. Values are limited to nominal lumber sizes.
  • Web Size (required) Sets the depth of the web members of the truss in inches. Values are limited to nominal lumber sizes.
  • Ply Thickness (required) Sets the width of the truss members in inches. Values are not limited and the default is 1.5 inches for 2x lumber.

Additional parameters and options are available for specific truss types (ie. attic, scissor, floor), rafters and floor joist products.

 

Download Trial

The trial version of the plugin has all the features of the full plugin however the span of the truss/rafter/joist is limited to a specific range of values.

Purchase

The full version is an unrestricted, permanent license for both commercial and personal use. Installation on up to (3) separate machines per licensed copy is allowed.

Free upgrades to the latest version of the plugin can be downloaded at any time, within two years of the purchase date, by logging into the Account Manager. Once the initial two year license period has expired the license can be renewed for ($30.00) on a yearly basis.

Please note, an active license is not required to continue to use the plugin. The plugin will continue to function even if the license expires. The only reason to renew your license is to gain access to recent upgrades to the plugin and also enable unlimited phone and email support.

Please do not redistribute unlicensed copies of the plugin. Download of the plugin is available immediately after purchase.

Purchase the full plugin ($75.00) at the following link: 

Please login to the Account Manager to download the most up-to-date version of the plugin.

For professors, teachers and students requesting a fully licensed copy of the plugin for educational use, please send your request via email to support@medeek.com.

Installation

The recent versions of SketchUp allow you to install zipped Ruby files or extensions (.rbz) directly within SketchUp.

To install the Medeek Truss Plugin (.rbz file format) within SketchUp 2016 or earlier:

  1. Login into your computer as an admin before installing any Ruby scripts. This will make the installation go more smoothly and ensure that files get installed in the proper places.
  2. Within SketchUp select Window > Preferences (Microsoft Windows) or SketchUp > Preferences (Mac OS X). The Preferences dialog box is displayed.
  3. Click on Extensions. The Extensions panel is displayed.
  4. Click on the Install Extension button. The Open dialog box is displayed.
  5. Locate the Ruby zip file to install (.rbz).
  6. Click on the Open button. SketchUp will install the extension and display a security prompt.
  7. The plugin will display a prompt for your plugin serial number (default value is "TRIAL") if this is a new installation.
  8. The Medeek Truss Plugin will now appear in the list of available extensions.

 

To install the Medeek Truss Plugin (.rbz file format) within SketchUp 2017:

  1. Login into your computer as an admin before installing any Ruby scripts. This will make the installation go more smoothly and ensure that files get installed in the proper places.
  2. Within SketchUp select Window > Extension Manager (Microsoft Windows) or SketchUp > Extension Manager(Mac OS X). The Extension Manager dialog box is displayed.
  3. Click on the Install Extension button. The Open dialog box is displayed.
  4. Locate the Ruby zip file to install (.rbz).
  5. Click on the Open button. SketchUp will install the extension and display a security prompt.
  6. The plugin will display a prompt for your plugin serial number (default value is "TRIAL") if this is a new installation.
  7. The Medeek Truss Plugin will now appear in the list of available extensions.

 

Upgrade

If you are a registered user you can obtain the latest version of the plugin, at no additional charge, by logging in to the Account Manager. Click on the plugin icon and then on your order number, if your order was placed within the last year then you will see a download button which will allow you to obtain the latest version. If a year has expired since you purchased a license then a upgrade button will appear which will allow you to renew your license at a reduced rate for another year.

Once you have downloaded the new release, completely uninstall the existing plugin prior to installing the latest release. Failure to completely remove the existing plugin may cause some files to revert to the older version and limit the functionality of the plugin.

The current Medeek Truss Plugin menu has seven icons or sub-menus: 

 

The available items are the following:

  1. Draw Roof Truss:
  • Common
  • Attic
  • Monopitch
  • Scissor
  • Tail Bearing
  • Dualpitch
  • Bowstring
  • Bow Barrel
  • Polynesian
  • Cambered
  • Cathedral
  • Tray
  • Mono Scissor
  • Mono Cathedral
  • Gambrel Attic
  • Coffer
  • Symmetric Cathedral
  • Flat
  • Parallel Chord
  • Timber
  • Draw Floor Truss:
    • Floor Truss
    • TJI Joist
    • BCI Joist
    • LPI Joist
    • Red-I Joist
    • Lumber Joist (solid sawn)
  • Draw Truss Set:
    • Valley Set
    • Stepdown Hip Set
    • Terminal Hip Set
  • Draw Roof Rafters:
    • Gable Roof
    • Gable Roof w/ GLB
    • TJI Roof w/ GLB
    • TJI Roof w/ Dual GLB
    • Hip Roof
    • Dutch Gable Roof
    • Shed Roof
    • Shed Roof w/ Ledger
  • Draw Minor Roof:
    • Gable Dormer (dormer walls only)
  • Engineering Calculations:
    • Truss (common truss types only)
    • Beam (glulam beams only)
  • Change Global Settings:
    • Plugin Serial Number
    • Graphical UI
    • Check for Updates
    • Custom Layers
    • Auto Material Assignment
    • Sheathing/Cladding

    Note, some menus show additional items that are either under construction or planned for future releases. 


    The Medeek Tools Plugin is included within the truss plugin and has a menu with two icons or functions: 

     

    The available items are the following:

    1. Trim Member
    2. Extend Member (under development)

     

    Video Tutorials

    The following video tutorials are currently available on YouTube:

    1. Tutorial 1: Common Trusses (26:37 min.)
    2. Tutorial 2: Valley Truss Sets (7:56 min.)
    3. Tutorial 3: Hip Rafter Roofs (12:45 min.)
    4. Engineering: Truss Designer and Beam Calculator (30:30 min.)
    5. Tutorial 5: Hip Truss Sets (24:32 min.)
    6. Tutorial 6: Timber Trusses (14:50 min.)

    Sample SketchUp models related to these tutorials files can be downloaded here.

     

    Support

    View the Medeek Truss Plugin Manual for detailed information on the plugin and its usage.

    Updates

    The current version of the Medeek Truss Plugin is 2.2.0 - revision date: 06.19.2018.

    View the Medeek Truss Plugin Changlog for more information on updates to this plugin.

    The plugin will automatically check for an updated version once a month. The frequency of the "check for updates" can be set in the global settings or disabled entirely.

    For a more in depth look at the development of the plugin and related discussions please visit the Medeek Forum.

    Download previous versions of the plugin here.

    WARNING: The Medeek Truss Plugin is currently under development. The user may encounter unintended behavior due to the addition of new features on a daily basis. Always backup your data to separate file names to provide redundancy in case of file corruption or other data loss scenarios.

    If you have any questions or concerns about the Medeek Truss Plugin please call us at 1-425-652-4188.

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    I have had a very colorful and diverse career. After graduating BYU with a BSME I then promptly started a web hosting company during the dotcom boom and ran that business from 1999-2006. During that period I honed my programming chops with thousands of lines of Perl/HTML and Javascript code. For a few years after selling the hosting company I spent some serious time returning to my roots and pursuing my native artwork (www.wilkersonart.com). Unfortunately, the economic situation in 2008 was not very friendly to the art market and I was unable to seriously pursue this avenue. In 2012 I left the aerospace industry and began to pursue a new direction in residential structural engineering. Ultimately this new career move led me to create a truss calculator that would later become the genesis of my first SketchUp plugin. I have been programming SketchUp plugins for the residential designer since Oct. 2015 and it only gets more interesting with each passing year. Hopefully what I create will be of some utility to the SketchUp design community. Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, PE Structural Engineer, Programmer and Artist Medeek Engineering Inc.
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    Customer Support: 
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