In architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

 and structural engineering
Structural engineering
Structural engineering is a field of engineering dealing with the analysis and design of structures that support or resist loads. Structural engineering is usually considered a specialty within civil engineering, but it can also be studied in its own right....

, a truss is a structure
Architectural structure
An architectural structure is a free-standing, immobile outdoor constructed element. The structure may be temporary or permanent.Structures include buildings and nonbuilding structures . Examples of building structures include houses, town halls, libraries, and skyscrapers...

 comprising one or more triangular units constructed with straight members whose ends are connected at joints referred to as nodes
Vertex (geometry)
In geometry, a vertex is a special kind of point that describes the corners or intersections of geometric shapes.-Of an angle:...

. External forces and reactions to those forces are considered to act only at the nodes and result in forces in the members which are either tensile or compressive forces. Moments (torques) are explicitly excluded because, and only because, all the joints in a truss are treated as revolutes
Revolute joint
A revolute joint is a one degree of freedom kinematic pair used in mechanisms. Revolute joints provide single-axis rotation function used in many places such as door hinges, folding mechanisms, and other uni-axial rotation devices. -See also:* Cylindrical joint* Kinematics* Degrees of freedom *...


A planar truss is one where all the members and nodes lie within a two dimensional plane, while a space truss has members and nodes extending into three dimensions.

A truss consists of straight members connected at joints.