How do I draw a decorative truss

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Trying to draw a decorative truss on the side gables like the one on the front. Will be embedded in the stucco.


Used the soffit tool to make the horizontal and vertical parts, but unable to do the angled members.


Is there a better way?


Using latest Home Designer Pro.

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I'd try making a truss same as you did for the front porch at the gable end then Ctrl-Drag it outta the stucco 1 1/2 " or whatever you need , then copy paste it down the other end.



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Thanks guys.


David -- Have tried the soffit tool using the sloped option, even found a KB article ( that says "Angled timber members can also be created in the Home Designer Architectural and Home Designer Pro versions by using a sloped soffit.", but doesn't do much to explain how.


Mick -- The truss on the front is a stock truss with the king post option checked. It happens to match the design I'm trying to replicate. Your suggestion is what I tried first, but because of the width of the building, the truss generated has too many members.


I'll keep trying.


-- Eric

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but doesn't do much to explain how.

That is why I suggested that you mess around with it in terms of practice, after you change the input values in its dialog you will at once see how to make it the way you need and want.

This is true of many things you will confront in this software, you read about the tool or action, then practice what you read until you really then get an "action deffinition" understanding of how it works.



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Here is some generic advice for working with sloped soffits, not particularly for the requested application ...


Unless you're placing a sloped soffit that follows a roof plane (i.e., where the slope is automatically configured), the software requires the user to know and input the elevations of the upper and lower ends of the slope.  When placing a free hanging sloped soffit, I highly recommend using a CAD line in a backclipped cross section camera to gather the required input information, and then fit the sloped soffit to the CAD line.  This method can save a lot of frustrating "trial and error" process of getting a sloped soffit to precisely fit the intended application.


Good luck. :)

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I am not aware of a "Stock Truss"  but I am still using Pro 10 , so I may not have it?   they are easy to make in Pro though as long as the Roof is built or they wont generate. 



Sloped Soffits are a Pita , for young and old , newbie or "Old Hat" , which is why I suggested the Truss be pulled out through the wall , you will need to play with the maximum Chord Spans until you get the desired result on the webs ....I'll attach some pics I made as I was playing around with this , so you can see what settings are in different DBX's  (dialog boxes).


Make Sure you have "Trusses" under framing turned on in Display Options for ALL views , same for Soffits , or you will "think" things aren't working as you wont see them. Splitting your screen between 3D and Plan view is a good idea for this kind of thing too. (Shift -F6)


Depending on what look you want you may want to make the top chord wider or narrower , wider if you want exposed rafter tails, (which also gives you the top trim/sloped soffit)  narrower if not, but that means you'll need Sloped soffits for the pieces up under the  Eaves too.


At least in Pro 10, the Help and Ref, Manual DBX's for sloped soffits appear different from what you see ( image added), and seem to work backwards from the stated info ( as I understand it) the "top" measurement for me is actually the bottom. the "top" measurement is supposed to be at the Top of the Roof  (as I interpret the manual) and for me this isn't the case.


Matching the roof plane only works IF the soffit is under the roof overhang and doesn't extend past it , thru it etc into space , so you need to get it

close-ish 1st. You sometimes need to "set it " twice too when adjusting measurements. It does not automatically match the length of the soffit either, it is actually measured horizontally ( not on slope)  ie it should be "about" equal to half the width of the building in this case.


As Elovia mentioned it helps to know your heights top and bottom ,so for that I use a Cross Section View and place manual measurements for the top and bottom which get you close usually ,but probably needs refining in 3D   (see image)


Any pic on the forum can be right clicked on and "Opened in a new window" so you can study it while checking the text alongside. or for referring to as you draw/try things.


help file vs DBX




Cross Section





Truss and Sloped Soffit Dialog boxes       check the settings etc

















Turned out to be a good lesson for me too :) , so hope this helps you too....







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you will need to play with the maximum Chord Spans until you get the desired result on the webs


Thanks to all who replied. As a new user, I have much to learn.


This was a project for a friend building this barn for his daughter who is here for the weekend from out of state. He wanted her to see his design n 3D.


Mick -- The above quote from your post was the key. I now have what I need.


One suggestion I'll be making to CA is to add an "Apply" button to the dialogs. Would make this trial and error cycle much easier!


-- Eric

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  • 6 months later...

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