There’s always been one big problem with building your own geodesic dome: covering it. Yes, there are template calculators on the web that will help, but unless you have a gym available to do the cutting and sewing, it’s going to be one of those ‘bite off more than I can chew’ scenarios. The other big problem is waiting – going back and forth with a designer to get it right – and then getting it made and shipping it.
Sonostar has written a fairly sophisticated program that allows you to punch in the variables for your configuration, then actually view the dome and cover in 3-dimensions, thanks to an embedded 3-D viewer within the program. It will work on any phone, tablet, PC, or monitor. We want people to use it to become familiar with dome terminology and help them plan the second stage of building their dome: covering it.
To get started, go to the Dome Configurator page on our website:
The graphic shows only the hubs needed for a 2V Dome. You need to choose the option next to ‘Basic Hub Kit’, which is ‘Hub and Strut Kit’.
You’ll see that the screen changes immediately to a different graphic.
Then choose the frequency of the dome you’re looking for. The most popular frequency is 3V 5/9. Then you have a choice of the thickness of the PVC you want to use in your struts – thicker is stronger. Finally, choose the diameter of your dome. The diameters suggested on the page are in meters.
Go ahead and choose 3V 5/9, 1.5” PVC, and 6 meter diameter.
The graphic has now changed to a 3V 5/9 configuration, and all the specifications for the strut lengths, the height, circumference, etc. are all listed in the table.
Now you’re ready to fit it to a cover. Click on the ‘Dome Cover’ box.
Once again, the graphic changes – this time to a solid looking rendering.
The cursor has also changed to a ‘hand’ cursor. By pressing the right side button on your mouse, you can rotate or tilt the dome in any direction.
Using the scroll wheel, you can increase or decrease the size of the dome for closer viewing.
There are several options on this page. You can choose an all-white cover, a clear cover, or a combination white/clear. For this configuration, you can only choose one door, but on bigger configurations, you can choose multiple doors. You can also choose to have no windows, or up to 4 windows.
Once you finish your design, you can use the diagram to make your dome and cover, or you can send us your dome cover configurator page, and we will be happy to give you an estimate for the dome, the cover, and all shipping costs, based on your location.
Since this is a beta test, we would love to get your feedback on how to make it more useful. There will definitely be a version 2.0!
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