How MiTek University Has Made Me a Better Designer

How MiTek University Has Made Me a Better Designer

MiTek University has taught me a great deal in a short period of time.  Coming from a metal truss design background, I was unsure if the transition to wood truss design would be difficult.  I was relieved when I began the modules and found the information was clear, concise, and presented in a manner that was engaging.  I will touch on some of the Sapphire software applications that registered with me the most.


Truss Hip Framing Options

Sapphire offers users an easy solution for framing complex hip configurations.  With a couple of clicks a considerable amount of time can be saved utilizing this application.  Two hip framing options that are new to me are the California Hip and the Lay-in Gable.  The California Hip is a configuration where the top chord of the Jack Trusses that connect to the Hip Girder are extended up to the hip line.  This option can be beneficial for roof deck installation in keeping all supporting members running the same direction.  A Lay-in Gable serves a similar purpose for roof deck installation.  With this option all of the Hip Trusses have their flat top chord section lowered enough to allow the Lay-in Gable Truss to be installed in-plane with the Jack Truss top chord plane. This allows the webbing of the Lay-in Gable to support the roof deck.

Wall Panel Applications

Coming into MiTek University I had no experience with wall panels.  The modules have exposed me to how sophisticated the Sapphire Software is when it comes to wall panels.  The program can automatically apply loads from the roof to the wall panels, align studs for the whole building, split panels based on a variety of user controlled settings, and much more.  One of the best capabilities of Sapphire is the ability to modify connected entities based on one member being altered.  I can see this being extremely beneficial when it comes to wall panel design.

Floor Containers

Floor Container was a completely new concept to me when I started MiTek University.  With no previous experience with floor designs, I had no idea what to expect.  The modules on MiTek University made the experience of learning this new trade relatively painless.  Sapphire offers tools that make laying out Floor Trusses simple.  The first thing I learned was that “Floor Container” refers to the area designated for floor trusses and sheathing.  The Sapphire tools allow you to easily set up the perimeter of the Floor Container, designate the size of the floor trusses and sheathing within the floor container and determine the span direction of the floor trusses.  Another helpful aspect Sapphire offers for floor containers are the Obstruction Tools.  These tools allow the user to place obstructions on the layout that will transfer to design where it makes it simple to leave openings in the Floor Trusses for ductwork or piping.

How has MiTek University helped you become a better designer?

For more information on MiTek University please visit

Patrick Humphreys – Design Trainee

Gould Design, Inc.