Revit 2013 – Roof Framing Extension

Autodesk have recently launched a new roof timber framing extension for subscription customers following on from a similar tool for framing wall panels.

Revit 2013 - Roof Framing Extension

The tools, once installed, will appear on the extensions ribbon and have two modules, one for rafter framing and another for roof trusses. The extension will create the 3D timbers and trusses for a number of different roof configurations from simple dialog boxes with intelligent previews. Both of the tools require the creation of a Revit roof object and the framing and trusses are hosted on this object. If the original roof geometry changes then you select one of the timbers and select modify on the Extensions ribbon, this will force the roof to rebuild.

Tools on Extensions Ribbon

I will outline a brief workflow and then talk about some of the limitations and good things that I noted whilst testing the extensions.

As I previously stated, you will first need to model a roof using either the Roof by footprint or roof by extrusion. You then select the roof and choose the extension ribbon, in the modelling pull down you will see the two new modules, Rafter Framing and Roof Trusses.

Truss - Wall Plates

In this example I am using the Rafter framing tool on a very simple gable end roof. Once the module starts up you will see that you can set the wall plates, each member can be configured and you may choose exactly which elements to generate. You can then move on to the trusses themselves.

Roof Trusss - Ridge TrussesHere you can choose the style of truss, number of required elements and each section size; again you can also choose to omit any sections that are not relevant. Click OK and your basic roof will now be complete!

This extension can handle most types of roof but the geometry must be planar, i.e. no curves. I did test it on a crazy and complex roof that I had modeled by picking mass faces. I was pleasantly surprised that this worked very well, seems to be very stable as long as all the faces on the roof are flat.

Crazy Roof from Mass

The module seems to be configured for timber roofs but I did edit a few of the framing families to light gauge steel sections to see if these would work. The tests that I did worked fine and when you update the roof the module uses the edit families rather than load the defaults back in.

Edits to timber beams

Overall, a really useful tool and shows that Revit is moving in the right direction towards the world of fabrication and the associated details. I urge you to download from the subscription site and give this tool a go!



13 thoughts on “Revit 2013 – Roof Framing Extension

  1. Revit 2013 – Roof Framing Extension
    I have installed Revit 2013 Student version-with the Wall Framing Extension. I tried to find out from Autodesk if the Student license enables the download of Roof Framing Extension/Roof Truss Extension. As yet no answers from AD or the Student forum. Don’t suppose you might be able to help with any insight? Thanks

  2. You only could download this from the subscription centre, if you got a supscription license and this is what i dont think because your student lisence.

  3. Lawrence, Thanks for your review. If you could explain how to edit the members included, I’d appreciate it. Here in California, ridge beams are usually 4x and occasionally steel. I’m assuming I can load the different member sizes as I would when modeling a “beam system”; yes? If you can clarify anything, that would be brilliant. Cheers.

    1. Hi Dan,

      It’s been a little while since I did this but I’m sure that I put the standard members into the roof and then edited one of the families. I seem to remember that I had to keep the same family name but of course, you can use other parameters to tag and schedule whilst keeping the family the unchanged.

  4. Lawrence, Thank you for getting back to me; I’m figuring out the workflow. It seems better to select the Hip/Ridge and Valley beams initially; the rafters don’t correct themselves automatically if the main beams are changed from 2x into 4x. Also, I adjusted an original framing model and changed the pitch; no luck getting the framing to update to the new slope. I guess that’s the nature of the beast; unless you know otherwise …. 🙂 My questions are, is there anyway to change the default spacing to 16″ o.c.? Also, is there anyone at Autodesk I can speak with or acquire some original “How to” instructions? Any help would be appreciated. Forward go! Dan

      1. S: Nothing yet. I spoke with a Beta-tester; he seemed to think the beam sizes are based on a .txt file. I’m not sure if Autodesk® would appreciate me messing with their software, though. The default number of “normalized profiles” is limited; so I’d assume I’d adjust/ rename the ones that won’t be used (1×3). Default spacing would be another; 16″ o.c. is common. To date, I’ve been figuring out the workflow. For example, if you change to Hip size after the first iteration, the rafter end doesn’t adjust. So you have to manually change the Ridge/ Hip/ Valley dimensions before the first iteration. Because the extension is free, not alot of support is available; which means alot of figuring out time. So, that’s all I can say and remain coherent.

  5. When I try to use the truss module it always comes back and says too mny ridges and refuses to open
    No matter how simple the roof

  6. Trusses are a complete fail on this plugin. Every single time it says “Too many ridges..blah blah blah.” Even on a single ridge roof. Any possible fix here?

  7. I am getting the same message about’ to many ridges’ for a simple roof when trying to create trusses. The rafter tool seems to work just fine.

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