Monday, February 21, 2011

Buckminster Fuller's Geodesic (magic) Dome: has how to build one out of newspapers, pvc piping, and wood with perforated metal strapping for the joints.
These were all really specific to the exact size and materials they used, and to build this I needed to find a system that worked for the materials I had.
So later I discovered a website that calculates the necessary measurements you need to build one at any height.
There is also more than one frequency for a dome, and it had calculations for different kinds.

We did the one with two frequencies (this means, there were two different lengths of struts) and built it at 77.66 inches tall.

Next I did sketches to see how it would lay out and did some measurements I didn't need, to work out how we would build it.

After talking to the group, we decided we could get enough wood to make all the struts. So we got a piece of plywood then stripped it into 1inch pieces - 30 at 42.41" and 35 at 48".

Finding a joint system that could accommodate the angling of the dome was tricky. Using a flexible material allows room for the bend but doesn't have to be precisely calculated. So we ended up using rubber hose which was the right amount of sturdy but flexible.

We segmented the hose into 4 inch strips, sliced those in half long-ways, and screwed the halfs onto each end of the strut. This way we could drill holes in the hose and when we built it, we just connected the struts with bolts in the hose.

So after our team effort in the wood shop making the struts and the connectors, we took the parts outside and connected all the pieces according to this diagram-

(orange being the long struts and blue being the short struts.)

We started with the base first - 10 long struts on the ground connected. then added the next level creating a base of alternating tall and short triangles...

We kept adding until we got to the top...

and with the final joint everything held together!

I suggest using the rubber hose even though it's not the prettiest connection ever, it's flexibility really helps when you're putting it together and can't support every piece at once.

I wish I had pictures of the final thing cause it was cool.
Good job group!

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