More and more people want to build their own geodesic domes. A geodesic dome is a spherical structure popularized by the late Robert Buckminister Fuller. It has established itself in several quarters as the nonpareil structural design. Events such as The Burning Man have acted as an avenue to showcase the sheer beauty and other merits of geodesic domes. If you are reading this, chances are that you have been exposed to so many of those benefits and that you want in on these magnificent structures. So let us get right to it.
A geodesic dome is a semi-spherical or spherical shell that is made up of a matrix of geodesics that merge into numerous triangles. A geodesic refers to the shortest route between two points in a great circle. The triangles formed by the geodesics contribute to the immense strength of geodesic domes. Other than strength, geodesic domes have other advantages over contemporary building structure on cost, ease of construction or assembly, energy efficiency, durability and versatility. What must have caught your attention is the ease of construction or assembly bit. Indeed it should have considering you are interested in building geodesic domes from scratch!
The first step is to make an icosahedron with 20 equilateral triangles. The rule of thumb is that the more the triangles, the larger the dome. You can simply increase the size of the dome by dividing these 20 triangles into more triangles. The support struts of a geodesic dome are not all of the same size. This is in a bid to ensure that a complete sphere is made. Struts of similar lengths can nevertheless be found in one frequency geodesic domes. It is important to note that the higher the frequency of a dome however, the more varying the length the struts that make it.
Once you are done with putting up the design, the next step is to select the building materials. The typical materials used in constructing a geodesic dome are wood, steel, aluminium and plastic. Stainless steel bands are often used in the nodes and hubs that connect the struts of all kinds together. Once the framework is done and dusted, the next thing to do is to cover the triangular panels with concrete, plastic or plywood depending on your taste. Finishing touches entail lining the interior of the geodesic dome with insulation and making lasting finishes to the interior triangles. This is normally done using wood or drywall. It must be apparent to you that the building materials are all to your discretion. No one will limit you to the type of material to use in making your geodesic dome.
There you have it! Once you follow all the steps paying attention to the details, you will be a proud builder of a wonderful geodesic dome. Your dome will be free of dust, rust and any other form of corrosion that attacks contemporary structures. You do not have to build your own geodesic dome if you have neither the time nor the materials needed. There are several companies that can do that for you. They ship a series of SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) to your site before settling in on the interior work. As such, your geodesic dome will be entirely unique and not a 'one-size-fits-all' kind of dome.