Step 8: Deployment

To do this most easily have all supplies stacked in the center of a tarp marked with a 14’ circle, and build from the inside.  Optionally draw a circle in the sand if you don’t use a floor tarp.  Use a stepladder to save time.

The dome will be quite floppy during deployment and hard to manage until you get the hang of using the support poles.  You will need to adjust the poles during the process to allow all edges to meet their neighbors and get the true dome shape.  Moving one pole can make 2 other poles fall down.

Partially unfold the 9-piece base segments and clip them to their neighbors; as you adjust the ring to fit the circle it should hold itself up. See photo. A couple of chairs help.  Once the ring is even, nail down all the footers with the stakes.

Pre-assemble all the pentagons.  If you have a helper, they can put together pentagons and hexagons while you clip them in place from within.  Hang the first 5 pentagons off the outside of the base ring. 

Open a base hexagon up and clip it into its convex shape, then support it with a pole.  Flip up a pentagon beside it and connect them with the tabs; support the pentagon with a pole.   Go around the perimeter and flip up alternating hexes and pents.  See photo.  Finish with one 6’ pole holding up each of the 5 pentagons - things should balance in a sagging fashion.

Next pre-assemble all 5 upper hexagons, hang them all off the outside by their tabs, then flip them up in turn using 8’ poles to support them as you clip them together.  As  you go around, the 6’ poles will fall away and you will need to adjust the tall poles frequently.   Once you’ve added the last hexagon the dome gets firm and the 8’ poles fall down.  Add the top pentagon to complete the structure.

Put in the light bamboo sticks to hold up the vents, and put two poles on either side of the door to support the opening.  For tough conditions use tape on the outside to reinforce connections between segments as desired.  You can put extra clips inside around the door frame.
trevormead3 years ago
Beautiful dome project! Is there anything in the deployment that prevents it from being assembled top-down, instead of bottom-up? I wonder if that would lend to less fighting with the support poles.