Geodesic Dome

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Geodesic Dome[edit]

The classic Geodesic Dome can be constructed using tensegrity-based techniques.

Polyhedral description of the Geodesic Dome[edit]

The geodesic dome as elaborated, patented and fine-tuned by both Fuller and followers of Fuller's techniques is based on the icosahedron. The icosahedron's faces are subdivided--the more subdivisions, the more gently the dome can curve. Fuller called such triangulation "frequency" and his terminology is adopted by the Fuller-inspired dome building community. A 2-frequency dome, in classic geometry, would be called a truncated icosahedron or a icosa-dodecahedron.

When elaborating a dome as a tensegrity, the usual difficulties of mapping tensegrities to related polyhedral forms set in.

The Stiffness and Elasticity of Tensegrity Geodesic Domes[edit]

Snelson arguably has the longest experience deploying true tensegrities. He repeatedly asserted that the tensegrity dome was illogical from a structural perspective. He wrote, "Bucky's 'tensegrity dome' or sphere is by its nature as soft as a marshmallow; no way to avoid that as long as one stays with discontinuity. Most important: it's not a triangulated structure." [1]

deJong rendered a 6-frequency tensegrity dome impacting on a surface. You can see the squishiness.

Links and References[edit]

[1] Snelson letter to Jáuregui, in Jáuregui's PhD thesis, Appendix D., p.140