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.
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