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How to Build a Geodesic Dome

Building FSSI 6V Dome
Step by Step Instructions on Building a Geodesic Dome Using Sonostar hardcore Geohubs
  1. Use the dome calculator to determine the correct length of the different size struts
  2. Cut all your struts before you begin. Use Schedule 40 or higher for strength. Remember that 1/2" pipe refers to the inside diameter of the pipe and not the outside diameter which is actually about .84". That's important, because that's the diameter the hubs are made for.
  3. Use a PVC cutting tool to cut the pipe, or set up a cutoff saw.
  4. Color code all your struts with a stripe of colored electrical tape about 6” from either end
  5. Follow the color coded map – print several copies and affix them to something stiff, like cardboard or clear plastic
  6. Lay all your parts out beforehand and make a final count
  7. Have enough PVC primer and welding glue on hand to do the job
  8. Apply primer to all your struts prior to beginning
  9. If your radius is more than 8’, be sure to have a ladder on hand
  10. Build your dome on a flat surface, if possible
  11. Start from the ground up, putting together all the perimeter pieces first
  12. Make sure the curvature of the ground pieces is correct, with all the geohubs oriented in/out
  13. Apply the PVC cement to either the struts or the hubs.
  14. Push the struts all the way into the geohubs. Use a hard rubber mallet if available) to bump the struts to the end of the hubs.
  15. Mark your door location with an “X” on the struts that will be taken out (for the door), and then don’t glue them into the hubs. Once you get to the upper layers, you can remove them so you can go in and out.
  16. Lay out one row in advance and have someone else double check the color coding using the map guide. The welding cement sets up almost immediately, and you don’t want to mess up.
  17. Designate someone to be the photographer. Tell them it’s their job.
  18. PVC can get brittle when exposed to prolonged UV rays (like anywhere outside) A coat of spray paint will protect the pipes and the hubs.
  19. If you’re building a Frequency 6 dome, don’t confuse blue and turquoise, or red and pink - length struts. When you print out the map diagram, some printers make the colors look very similar. Always check the letter-codes for those colors , too.
  20. Have fun. Marvel at the genius who figured out all the geometry. Tell your friends what you’re doing, and let them help – it’s a lot more fun with more people helping.