Geodesic Dome

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  • Geodesic domes can be built easily and cheaply and are the strongest and lightest structure yet conceived
  • Compared to a rectangular structure of similar size, they have half as much wall-area, which means they lose only half as much heat through the walls.
  • This makes them very energy-efficient
  • If properly constructed they can resist high winds, large snow loads and even earthquakes (This is due to their aerodynamic nature (Not many flat surfaces to push on) and the shapes inherent stability (Spheres, Ovaloids, Pyramids, and Geodesic Domes/Shapes are the Strongest 3D Forms )
  • A geodesic dome is built from a skeleton of shapes (Typically triangles, or various large number of side polygons (Pentagons, Hexagons), covered with an outer skin. The skeleton could be made of wood, plastic, composites, steel or other substances. Connectors are also needed forr these beams and/or solid shapes
  • Although they have a reputation as being "Only for hippies" (This is largely due to their eco-friendly nature being attractive to this demographic), they are actually very useful, and already in widespread use
  • Their use cases are nearly infinite, but one of the largest is as a Radar, or Antenna Covering, due to being easier to make than a large one peice hemisphere, and their symettry when compared to cubes/rectangular prisms etc
  • May also be useful as temporary structures for construction storage, or in place of a Tent , where durability similar to that of a Concrete Tent or permanent structure is needed (See Dry Storage of Construction Materials )


  • 1-4 and higher frequency - [1]
  • Geodesic tunnel - [2]



Pre-Done Numbers

Housing Costs (for $, multiply Euro by 1.23 - 08/2012 conversion rate)

  • 6m diameter x 3m height strawbale dome:
    • Double geodesic frame, 2'x1'=£400 ($492)
    • Strawbales=£200 ($246)
    • Vapour Barrier 60m^2= £50 ($62)
    • Damp proof course 60m^2=£50 (62$)
  • total=£700 ($861)
  • 12m diameter x 6m height strawbale dome:
    • Double frame 2'x4'=£800
    • strawbales = £350
    • vapour barrier= £80
    • Damp proof course= £80
  • total=£1310

Housing Infrastructure cost

  • Kitchen and Bathroom=£1300
  • Electrical installation=£450
  • Gas installation(butane)=£100
  • Sewage; waste, drain and vent= £500
  • Stove and chimney=£200
  • 12v/200Ah battery x3= £615
  • 1000w DIY Solar panels 18v x 4A x 14 panels=£200

(needed;wiring costs, bathroom plumbing, electrical fixings, glass for windows and panels)

  • Total=£3365

Geodesic Aquaponics Full System Cost

For a 12m diameter 2000sq^ft dome:

  • 1000 linear meters of wood at 60p per meter = 600 pounds
  • Second floor mezzanine = 300 pounds
  • 8.2m^3 Cement ring foundation and guttering = 500 pounds
  • 262m^2 of polythene = 300 pounds
  • 2 x 6m x 5m pond liner = 100 pounds
  • 10 tons 40mm gravel = 400 pounds
  • 1000 carp = 300 pounds or 1000 bream = 888 pounds
  • 10 LED growlights = 200 pounds
  • Raised and rotating grow beds = 200 pounds
  • windmill system = ?
  • Miscellaneous piping = 100
  • total 3000 pounds

to put this in perspective this system should theoretically produce at least 500 kg of fish per year, 4000 lettuce per week and 4000 bunches of tomatoes per week.


Many Uses

from the website: event, shelter, Virtual reality projector, greenhouse[4], playground, sports, relief, wedding, yoga, bioenergy, Vaastu, aquaponic

Swarm Student Printing

We can do something like print a geodesic dome. That's a perfect example of using a 3D printed connector - and we can use PVC pipe from the store - to make a larger structure. Now in 2 days, the practical results would be a build of the 3D printer - and using it with some designs that the students learn to create, then each student prints one or few connectors so we put together a smallish geodesic dome. This can easily be scaled up - but probably we may not have the time during the workshop but there would probably be time later. It could be backyard scale so it would be a rewarding example of something that students can build. Or it could be scaled to 2-3x that or something like that because the connector pieces could be printed larger, and larger tubing could be used

Joint Designs

  • Tubular corner with holes - [5]
  • Male corner - [6]
  • Snap-in sockets - [7]
  • Starplate hub - [8]
  • Great summary here - [9]


  • Steel 1/16" gauge - 1-3/8" pipe example - $800 in hardware - 25' diameter - very solid, appears people could stand on it without it even bending. $20 per piece of 24' pipe - really good price. For 600'm only about $500 in materials for a super stiff structure. [10]

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