Project 01: Dome Cabin Concept

Recently I found myself with loads of spare time – I had intended to write a few articles for an online CAD publication, but declined due to communication problems – so I decided to dig up a project that I first thought about doing a few years ago, related to dome structures. This project started out as a study of geodesic structures, tensegrity and synergetics but I never really had the time to develop a viable design.

The structure is based on a 3V dome format with a radius of 56 inches. The main structural elements are timber with hub connections forming the main geometric arrangements. So far I have managed to complete the main structural elements and resolved some of the major connection details, but there is still a lot of base work to do, with further development work required for the entrance.

56 Main Strut Build

I must admit that I am happy with the concept at this stage even though it is at a preliminary stage. It has taken a long time; much more than I intended; to develop this structure primarily due to sizing restrictions as the project is designed for a typical garden environment. I initially started with a 58″ structure and then a 54″ structure but I found limitations in both designs that I was not happy with, consequently the 56″ seemed to be a good compromise.


This dome design has been developed using AutoCad Inventor (the actual design units are millimetres). The design addresses many issues concerning the use of panels in conjunction with a space frame that relate to how the 2 structural forms align and merge together to minimise open joints and create a strong structure.

At some stage I would wish to build a prototype for design assessment and to ensure that all the fundamental clearances and accessibility criteria are met. I would be happy to discuss options for sponsorship to help take this project to the next level and build a prototype with eventual intent to manufacture


  • Floor Area: 5.4m2 approx
  • Overall Height: 2.5m
  • Maximum Outside Diameter: 2.64m
  • Volume: 9.2m3 approx

About Hugh

BIM & Cad Manager/Strategist, 3D/4D, multi-discipline cad workflows, integration. Interests include photography and historical aviation.
This entry was posted in Dome, Geodesic, Shed. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Project 01: Dome Cabin Concept

  1. Hugh says:

    Hi Tim,Thank you very much for your contributions, which I really appreciate – you must have taken a lot of time to list all those sites – I am sure they will be a very useful resource.Hugh

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