Jul 152013

Torrey Smith and friends have put in a lot of effort for their preparations towards Burning Man 2013. The goal was to make a geodesic dome for the Sextant Camp at Burning Man 2013 using Domerama’s  3V 5/9 Kruschke calculator (resulting in a 3V flat at the base) with the following input:

D Strut: 5.859′ (That corresponds to a total strut length of exactly 6′, which is easy to transport and withstood Torrey’s bending test for “climb-ability”).  That results in a diameter of 26.6′, a height of 15.8′, and a floor area of 519 square feet.

And the real surprise is how the geodesic dome struts themselves were made: with waterjet cutting gear which consists in using a mixture under high pressure containing water and abrasives pushed through a tiny nozzle, creating a jet spray able to cut through metal. See the images below and the many videos describing the process.

02, He has no idea what he is in for

Torrey Smith He has no idea what he is in for :-)


Nighttime strut annealing:


Daytime strut annealing:


Flattening the strut ends on the Press Brake at TechShop:


Waterjet cutting the fixture at TechShop:


Waterjet cutting the holes and full-rounds at TechShop:


Countersinking the holes:




Be Sociable, Share!
Jun 302013

Yona Appletree and his friends are doing something different for Burning Man 2013.

They are building a dome where each face has been fitted with an illuminated plexiglass panel that is controlled by a computer. The computer runs custom visualization software that is interactive to music and movement.

They created a prototype of their final project using a 2v 16′ dome using Domerama calculators. The dome shown in the video below is a 16′ 2v made with 1″ EMT. The full size project will (as noted) be a 38′ 5v dome made with 1″ EMT. The “mini” dome in the video is a 5v 36″ scale model of the final project.

Under The Dome

The small dome on the inside is a model of the final project: a 5v 38′ dome. It was created using brake tubing and the standard cut-press-drill-bolt process.

Visit their website at http://beyondfire.org where people can see more pictures and video and get in touch with Yona and the rest of the group if you are interested in performing in the dome or teaching dance.

Yona and friends are building the project in collaboration with Tangoed Up in Blues (http://bluestango.com/), where the dome will serve as their dance space this year on the Playa.



Be Sociable, Share!
Jun 302013

Here are a couple of images below I received from  Mariano in Argentina. He calls his vehicle the Zome-mobile. The name is derived from the shape.

It was built with polyethylene tubing and joined together with bolts, nuts and washers. It is a simple structure and fast to assemble, very economical and durable, and only requires 20 pipes and 2 rings, one at the top and one big one at the base.




Be Sociable, Share!
May 032013

We have just added a new section, glass and metal greenhouses. For those looking for aluminum and glass geodesic dome greenhouses, Peter Ellis offers very stylish and well-built structures.


We invite you to look at the other pictures Peter has provided to us by viewing the new glass and metal greenhouse page.

Peter is also the inventor of a new type of geodesic hub. Here below is one of them. As you can see the hubs are designed to work with traditional square tubing which for many is a benefit because covering your dome is now much easier.



Peter also offers traditional domes for a variety of uses, and our favorite is how one of his domes was used by a theater troop in Ireland to put on a show for disabled kids. Not only do the actors do a great job as you can tell by the video clip below, but also the children seem to have a great time.

Be Sociable, Share!
Apr 052013

More Models

So far, I have dealt with forms generated from the icosahedron and a subdivision parallel to the original icosa face sides.

This can be called the “Alternate Breakdown”. This image below from part 1 describes this breakdown resulting in higher frequencies everytime you subdivide.

There is another type of breakdown, and for this we must go back to the original icosa triangle. Instead of drawing lines parallel to the triangle’s sides, we draw lines peggendicular to them.

This is called the “Triacon Breakdown.”

2v Triacon

2v Triacon

Icosa face shown dotted


4v Triacon

4v Triacon

Icosa face shown dotted


There are some interesting differences between the Alternate and Triacon breakdowns. Since the triacon breakdown is symmetrical about a line drawn down the centre of the icosa triangle, the triacon is only possible in even frequencies. The alternate, however, is possible in all frequencies. In even frequency alternate breakdowns (2v, 4v, 6v) great circles are formed which divide the sphere neatly into hemispheres.

The triacon breakdown does not have this feature in any frequency. ln order to make a triacon half-sphere. some triangles have to be cut in half. The triacon requires fewer different lengths because of  its higher symmetry, but. on the other hand. the struts vary in length more than in the altemate breakdown.

Try a model and see the differences.

To make a 4v triacon sphere you will need:


By now you should ?nd it fairly easy to identify different types of domes. What you do is look for a point where ?ve struts join. Then ?nd another pentagon and draw a line between them. If this line is de?ned by actual struts. then the dome is an altemate breakdown. If there are no stmts along the line. the dome is a triacon. What you are doing is picking out comers of the original icosa. The line you draw between them is an icosa edge. and counting the number of parts into which it is divided gives you the frequency of the dome.


Domes can also be generated from the Octahedron. They are not as round as domes generated from the icosahedron and can be easily recognised by a square where the eight octa faces meet. The Octahedron form has the distinguishing ability to be able to fuse to rectilinear forms. The Octahedron also forms a natural truncation at the hemisphere.

Assembly methods are as follows:



Domes can also be squashed or stretched to give an ellipsoidal form.


These forms are useful if building big domes where the dome is squashed down to save both headroom and surface area.



One last word on model making is to make paper or cardboard models. Use the patterns on the following pages. Punch with a pin through the paper onto thin cardboard. or trace onto paper.

Trace ?ve times for the Icosahedron based domes, four times for the Octahedron based domes. Either tape the gathering angles to form curved sections or add tabs on the edges which can be glued or stapled together inside. Very attractive scale models can be made by using artist’s mount board and gluing the edges together on the insides with a hot glue gun.

In calculating dimensions. the following formulas are useful:

π = 114159265


AREA or A CIRCLE = π * R²

AREA or A SPHERE =4 * π * R²

VOLUME OF A SPHERE = 4/3 * π * R³











Be Sociable, Share!