Saturday, April 16, 2011

Popsicle Stick Hex Dome

This is our most epic dome to date, and I can't really even emphasize how much work and love was poured into it.   If you don't want to read about the construction, you can scroll down to the bottom and there is a link to all of the pictures.

There are tons of pictures of our preparations and the final product.  Here is the rough process we used:

1. Use Rick Bono's DOME Program to create a 3D model of the inside geodesic triangle dome. In this case, we made a 2V.

2. Import the dome model from #1 into a 3D drafting package (We used an evaluation version of Rhinoceros. It will help if your learn to use the arraypolar, osnaps and measurement tools in rhino, or you probably won't be able to finish.

3. Create  a sphere larger than the 2V dome centered in the same place as the 2V Dome

4. Draw lines from the center of the dome to the center of each triangle of the 2V

5. Extend the lines from #4 to the sphere from #3.

6. Draw lines from the 2V triangles to the end of the lines from #5 that go through the triangles. These are the struts that join the inner and outer dome. You should have a triangular pyramid sitting on all of your 2v triangles.

5. Draw lines between the apexes of all of the adjacent pyramids. These lines are your hex dome struts. You are done drawing.

6. Find the longest strut on your dome (analyze>length in rhino). Scale the dome so that the longest strut matches the length of your raw material. For us, it was 10.3cm popsicle sticks. They are purple in the photos.

7. Using the length tool, figure out the unique struts lengths and how many of each you'll need. It will help to colour the struts in your drafting program as you discover the uniques.

8. Count how many of each strut you need and write now a list of lengths and counts

Materials: Coloured popsicle sticks, small zip ties, small drill with a bit big enough to fit the zip ties through, a tool for cutting popsicle sticks, scissors, pliers.

1. Cut the sticks

2. Drill the sticks

3. Assemble dome.  Don't pull the zip ties tight.

4. Tighten all of the zip ties and tighten the tails.

Click the link below for the best part, the pictures!

The beginning.  Our apartment is small so our tiny kitchen became out dome workshop.  Here are some of the popsicle sticks before being cut.

 The Dremel in all it's glory, also on our kitchen counter.

Some notes...

The very early stages of construction. 

Another early stage of construction.  We regret not taking more pictures of the different phases.

The final product!

The hex dome next to our dodecahedron.

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