Randome inventor Dick Fischbeck

Randome inventor Dick Fischbeck

For those who find geodesic domes too complex, inventor Dick Fischbeck has created the Randome, a new type of dome shelter.  The RanDome was granted a patent in 2008 and is licensed under the Creative Commons meaning that anyone can build and distribute the structure for non-commercial purposes.

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Easier than a geodesic dome!

For the average person it means you can create a shelter structure easily and at little cost. You won’t need to use a geodesic calculator or figure out strut bend angles or even worry about making a cover. It’s also a great project for people of all ages, introducing some science notions that are easy to understand.

RanDome Geodesic Shelters Built from 2000 – 2012

Chronological RanDome Slideshow


What you need to build a Randome

Flat flexible sheet material. The easiest one to find would be paper plates for scale models. If you have the chance, flexible plastic sheets from which you cut out your shapes. You could also get corroplast, or for a very sturdy Randome, sheet metal. If it’s flexible it can be used.

It is simpler to use a round shape to build a Randome though any shape can be used.

 Pencil or pen for marking measurements and cut coordinates.  A pair of scissors, maybe a utility knife also.  A stapler, some tape, glue or fasteners such as paper brads  A ruler or any type of straight edge A protractor for measuring angles


Below steps to create a shape. Use the first one as a template to make the others and save time.


Step #1: flattening the shapes

SInce this is a tutorial uses paper plates, you need to flatten them with a rolling pin or anything you have lying around. If you are using a material that is already flat, skip this step!


Step #2: calculating and drawing the angle

The shape of the Randome is based on a sphere, 360 degrees of circumference. If you are making a half-sphere or dome, divide 360 (degrees) by the number of shapes used. If you are making a full sphere, divide by 720 (degrees).

For example: you have 60 plates to build your Randome, so you divide 360 (degrees) by 60 (shapes). Your result is 6 (degrees).

From the center of your shape, draw a line to the edge. You now have your reference line.

Then again from the center of your shape, use your reference line to calculate a 6 degree angle and draw it to the edge of the shape.  In effect you just have drawn a 6 degree section.


Step #3: cutting the angle

Finally, cut along either line drawn from the center to the edge. It does not matter which.


Step #3:  fastening edges together

Pull one side over the other so that one line is over the other.  This creates an overlap, resulting in a shape also known as an obtuse cone. It also creates a stronger shape.

Use glue, staples or tape to keep the overlap in place. Do the same for the remaining pieces and once done your Randome will be ready for assembly.


Step #5: assembly

Now you can begin to attach the shapes together starting from the top down. As you add shapes you will expand in a outwards fashion. And just like a typical roof your Randome shapes are added below the others so water won’t enter the Randome.

If you are wondering what spacing to use between shapes, don’t: any section of the surface of the dome has the same curvature, whether on top, on the sides or at the base. That means the spacing of any Randome shape is not critical. The RanDome is put together intuitively, therefore you roughly calculate the placement of each shape or vertex element.  RanDome is a play on the word “random” for that reason.

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At this point you probably realized a door would be a nice touch. That is not really an issue as you can choose the dimensions by simply removing some shapes where you want your opening.


 Find out more at the www.randome.info

Also visit  the RanDome Fun Blog , a fun educational blog

You can also reach Dick Fishbeck on Facebook



RanDome Construction Method

Deploy-Unroll RanDome Portland, Maine #occupymaine.m4v

Unloading RanDome #occupymaine

crush randome element


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