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What are the basics of building your own geodesic dome?

A:

Quick Answer

The basics of building a homemade geodesic dome include studying the different types of domes, putting together a materials list, getting the correct hubs, fabrication and building the dome. The website Makezine.com also offers free, downloadable instructions.

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Full Answer

There are many different types of geodesic domes including 3V to 6V domes. A 3V dome has three different strut lengths, while 6V has six different strut lengths. More strut lengths require more hubs and struts, but make a smoother dome. Struts can be made from materials such as wood, PVC pipe or metal.

Once the amount of struts needed has been determined, it is necessary to calculate the number of hubs. It is possible to fabricate hubs; however, most builders recommend purchasing hubs from companies such as SonoStarHub.com.

Fabrication includes cutting the struts to length and attaching them to the hubs. This requires drilling holes in the ends of each strut and attaching it to the hub with a bolt. A base ring is first laid out. Struts are added to create a crown-shaped base upon which pentagons are added. To build the dome, struts and hubs are added to create more pentagonal shapes.

The angle at which the struts are attached allows for variations, such as leaving a space for a doorway or creating an igloo-shaped geodesic dome.

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