Instructables
First off - this is not my original idea. The inspiration for this came from another instructable on here located at this link: http://www.instructables.com/id/Geodesic-Dome-Greenhouse/  
T
he kids at the original link are really the inventors and inspiration behind this.

My idea was simple: Seeing how they did it, I wanted to do it too, but spend no money on it and use recycled materials in the process.    

I managed to do that in quite a bit of it, and had to buy staples to attach the plastic to the frame.  All in all I spent about $8 on staples but the rest came from recycled materials and other things I had laying around.

This was an experiment and it failed for several reasons. In the last step I'll discuss what I learned from this, what I would do differently, and where improvements could be made to make this a success.

I am putting this up here to show that it can be done with a minimal cash investment, and some time and ingenuity.

Also, it's a "See what I made sort of thing" that my wife thought I should put up here, so I am doing that at long last.

Another point I wish to make- This is a failure. Yes! I am posting this here to show that we will all have failures and that we can't get discouraged from it, but can move on and learn from them.  This is my failure that I'm choosing to share with all of you and hopefully help in some way to encourage others to fail more often, more spectacularly, and with more energy than I!  

Enjoy and comments, suggestions, and questions are ecouraged so we can all learn from this!


 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
jsadler11 year ago
Actually I leaned from your efforts and i have worked as a pro instrument and model maker. For a youngster you are probably a bit of a genius. The way you made your pentagons and then got the angles for the struts was very intuitive and quick compared to more formal methods.
In hot climates we tend to use a lot of shade cloths which allow the escape of air as well as prevent too much heat build up as heat can be a real curse in gardening. Keep at it. You have serious talent.
milesnorth1 year ago
I think its a great attempt and appreciate the good instructions along with it. I would call it a "first attempt", not a fail if I were you. I spent all last summer building a yurt. It was a "first attempt" also. But, I had a grand time doing it and plan to work out some the kinks this summer hopefully. I think your dome is cool. And I like that you just had fun doing it like I did with my failed yurt. Sometimes its the journey :-) Cheers
wire-nut2 years ago
Failed, no just learn one more way to not do it.
l8nite2 years ago
it's a learning experience not a failure ! Just because the materials you used failed doesn't make the whole project a failure, most plastic greenhouse covers only last one season, now if you could locate a source for free acrylic sheets....
caitlinsdad2 years ago
You should not see this as a failure in any way. You should erase the word from your vocabulary. This was a valuable exercise in gaining experience. The only way to figure out something is to build a prototype and just keep building. Thanks for sharing.
wapatterson (author)  caitlinsdad2 years ago
Thank you all for the kind words of encouragement- but as a writer I have to refuse to hide behind subterfuge or whatever you want to call it. A failure is a failure is a failure. LOL There isn't anything negative to the word or the experience, but it just shows an experience that did not work.

I can't call it a prototype, a lateral success, a successful way of NOT doing something. It's a fail, and a little one all things considered.

Caitlinsdad- No, I can't erase a word from my vocabulary but I can choose what power such words have only the power we invest within them.

We spend so much time ringing from failure in our society - we don't post our mistakes here for fear of ridicule or being perceived as weak, stupid or worse. As a community we need to all put up our failures sometimes to show what we did that failed to help others avoid the same bad ideas and improve upon our bad ideas - just like scientific research.

I appreciate the trying to soften the blow of "failure" but let me know what I could have done for free to improve the design and lets build on the project instead of the syntax!
You're right, that is one monstrous POS you made that is so FUBAR the kid could have probably told you how to do it right.

Haha, sorry, it must have been our maker instinct response system that kicked in. I had to reread your ible to get that you get that failure is in perspective and is a positive reality check. If you wanted to engage the audience as a writer, you have accomplished that. Everyone has a scale on where fail is, we just set it very low and have better things to think about.

Anyway, you could have glued up your sticks into a T or I beam to strengthen your basic building beams. You could have made the fastening plates to reinforce all of the joints you had. Since this was a no-cost salvaged materials project, you did well in using clear sheet plastic. Plexiglas, glass, metal, plywood panels would have been a real cost. They do have some shed plans for geodesic dome sheds and greenhouses. Maybe following set plans where everything has been calculated out would have made it easier to construct. If you knew about conventional framing for structures, the doorways and window frames are reinforced to transmit the load from the opening. So, still a lot to learn from a good project.

By the way, a lot of my ibles are half-finished or patched up because they were designed on the fly. I share my "failures" too so that others can learn. Nothing is a wasted effort. Thanks.
I don't believe in failed projects, I prefer to look at things the way Thomas Edison did.
"If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward."
kelseymh2 years ago
This is an awesome project! Not a failure at all, it's a prototype. We build prototypes constantly in my field (experimental particle physics). They aren't supposed to work perfectly the first time!

You build the first prototype to see whether your idea is complete nonsense or not.

You build the second to see whether your refinements to the first one improve things or not.

And you build the third to get a handle on materials and costs before you send the contract to a fabricator to make ten or twenty copies.

It sounds like you learned a tremendous amount in building this and seeing how it stood up (or didn't stand up) to the real-world environment. Next spring, you can build a version which takes some of those effects into account (maybe a hole at the top for air circulation? Different plastic for the shell? Guy wires for strain relief?).

None of that was failure. It was proper engineering design and testing, and a tremendously successful process! Congratulations, and thank you for putting it up for the rest of us to learn from as well.