Thursday, 15 March 2012

Geodesic Dome

I recently started thinking about making a model of a Geodesic dome. Since I have lots of giant coloured straws left over from a previous installation I decided to use these to experiment with. I first started off thinking of different ways to join the straw struts together. The photo below shows a selection of some little experiments.


While doing this I had an idea to also experiment placing aluminium rods inside the straws which would  make a more solid structure.

Connecting the struts together using just straws was easy but I knew it would be slightly trickier with aluminium rods inside. Instead of going any further with my idea of making a model of  a geodesic dome using straws I  really needed to think about ways to connect the struts together for making a dome to size. I was thinking of 120 cm radius. Whether I used straws with aluminium rods inside or my original idea of using rolled paper struts, finding a way to connect the struts would be essential. I thought about flattening the ends and drilling a hole through each strut to then clamp together using a nut and bolt. But, I didn't think this would look very neat so I started thinking of a way to make a 6 way hub for the struts. Materials that initially sprang to mind were to either use polymer clay that I could cook in a normal oven or make rubber hubs using thick latex. Hmmm either way would be very time consuming!

Next I started looking on online for 6 way hubs. I couldn't find any but found some fab sites on geodesic dome building. There's even a Geodesic Dome Calculator which is fantastic. I also found  Anthony Liekens had made a model of a geodesic dome out of straws click here.  It was interesting to see his idea for making a hub using pipe cleaners, though apparently  it wasn't very stable but I loved the model and it was good to see a geodesic dome model made using straws :-)  There's a site with some fab advice for making a model of Geodesic Dome out of paper  and also a relatively cheap way for making a large dome using Electrical Conduit.

After much consideration of making a Geodesic Dome I came to the conclusion that this was not exactly what I was after. I wanted a dome construction that I could put up and take down relatively quickly.  I have since thought of an easier way, but that will be another post :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment