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Timber Roof Truss


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I'm asking a lot of questions, but is there a sound method of creating a timber roof truss?  I have so far played with the Framing Member tool to produce rafters, but Im hoping to not have to create from scratch.  I havent seen any videos on this or the topic being discussed before.   Could anyone point me in the right direction?





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The old vector depot plugin will quickly create a simple 4-web design that’s mostly conceptual (vs mechanical). If that suits your needs, Bob’s your uncle.


I attempted both the Framing Member and Structural Member tools, and they both got me about halfway there before they ran out of gas. This is one of those jobs that’s still best suited for manual modeling (vs parametric editing). Good old extrudes ultimately got me across the finish line. Even if you do have to edit the extrudes later, you’ll still save time in the long run vs forcing a square plugin into a round hole. Trust me: I took the red pill, and went down the parametric rabbit hole.


Edited by Mark Aceto
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@MGilc the Vector Depot plug-in that Jon Pickup suggests does still work but I didn't find it suitable for the king post trusses used on a lot of the buildings I work with so I just modelled one + saved it as a hybrid symbol:


This is dimensioned for a specific roof but there is some edibility in the asymmetric scaling in the OIP to adapt it to other roofs if the dimensions aren't radically different.


But if you are looking for a generic modern truss as used in modern house building the VD plug-in will probably be fine.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

@MGilc, I'll second the concept of using extrudes.  Particularly if you are dealing with wood as a "sculptural" as well as structural element - you'll want to model your truss so that you can get the grain running in the right direction.  This can mean modeling individual members of the truss.  The good news - once modeled you can save it as a symbol for ease of duplication.


This image shows a "hybrid" model - I initially used the framing tool to frame walls, floors and roofs.  I then went back and modeled those elements in the roof that needed to be trusses and then added the chicken ladders, etc.




Framing Model.png

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