Using T-MODs in MiTek to Enhance Productivity
Whether you are managing truss designers or are a designer yourself, once an individual becomes competent in the basic functions of the design software, it is time to encourage mastery and improve efficiency.
One way to become more efficient is by using tools available in the software that allow you to input the final end condition of the truss during layout, rather than in engineering. To do this we’ll use the T-MOD function in MiTek’s Sapphire Structure. Note that T-MOD’s are available for use in MiTek’s Engineering as well, but what we are exploring here is inputting the truss so that it fits as closely as possible with our final design as possible.
What are T-MOD’s?
T-MOD’s are modification files that can be placed on individual or multiple trusses that alter the end condition of the truss before sending it to Engineering. The steps outlined below can also be followed to apply a T-MOD to a roof plane instead of a truss. In that way you can tell the software what end condition you want before you add any trusses. This is useful when all your trusses on a plane share the same end condition.
Recently I’ve designed commercial jobs that have a parapet detail. A parapet is pretty simple. It is a vertical 2×4 or 2×6 at the end of a truss that will be used after the trusses are installed as the framing for signage, to hide mechanical units and as the support for the finished roof material. This lumber is then extended through the top chord, allowing the truss to arrive on site with the parapet framed right in.
At first, I was sending the truss into engineering, and then used VersaTruss to manually create the parapet detail that was specified. While VersaTruss is a great tool, it required many steps and extra clicks to get the desired end condition. Once I discovered the T-Mod feature I realized how much time I was wasting.
How to use the T-Mod feature to save time in VersaTruss
Here I have a demo job in which I want to add the parapet detail. In this case I didn’t use the T-MOD feature with the plane because only select trusses on this plan receive it. I have the planes and trusses input where I want them.
Now I want to look at altering the end condition. First I’m going to select the trusses that I want to make the modification to.
The properties dialog will open for those trusses, scrolling to the last several rows we find “TMod Options”.
Left and right, as you may have guessed, correspond to the left and right ends of the truss. In this case I only want to modify the left end of the trusses. I will click on “Left TMod”, then the Ellipsis that appears to bring up the TMod folder.
From there I’ll scroll down until I find “ppet”. This is for a 2×4 parapet. For a full list and description of all the available TMod’s click on the question mark in Sapphire Structure and type “TMod” into the search box or explore the MiTek Support website.
After clicking on the “ppet” file and then OK, we find that we have more options now in the properties box.
The dimensions given are from the bottom of the truss. In this case I want the parapet to be 7’6” tall. My client wants extra material that can be cut down in the field if necessary. OK. We’ve filled in the required information. In order to see our changes we need to “Create Trusses” in Engineering. Once we click that we should see this.
I think we can see the value of this tool, especially if our customers require varied end conditions built into the truss. This tool can save a lot of time in engineering, which means we can move forward to the next job more quickly, bringing greater value to our customers and employer.
What about you? How have you used T-Mod’s to become a more efficient designer?
Tim Hoke – Design Professional
Gould Design, Inc.