Introduction: Foldable Sensory Deprivation Space (Geodesic Dome)

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*-* This Instructable is in English. Click here for the Dutch version,
*-* Deze Instructable is in het Engels. Klik hier voor de Nederlandse versie.

Need to get some rest? Want to escape the daily rat race for a while? Discover how to easily create a wonderful zen spot for yourself.

A geodesic dome is a spherical construction that's light yet robust. This Instructable is based on the easiest possible geodesic dome: an icoshedron or regular polyhedron with 20 faces. An icosahedron owes its solidity to its unique composition of only triangles.

This simple geodesic dome suits many purposes. You can turn it into a sensory deprivation space, that reduces sound and light. But creatives can also turn it into a cool playhouse or a unique tent!

Step 1: Materials

  • 25 tubes with length ‘L’ (our dome was made of PVC tubes with diameter 25 mm and L = 1 m)
  • Rope with a total length of 29.5 L; divided into 4 pieces (look at the colour code on the plan on top of this Instructable)
    • rope 1 (green) = 10.5 L
    • rope 2 (orange) = 5.5 L
    • rope 3 (blue) = 5.5 L
    • rope 4 (purple) = 8 L
      Attention: choose a firm rope (e.g. polypropylene 6 mm) that fits at least three times through the same tube. Wrap a piece of tape around the ends of each rope to prevent fraying.
  • 4 washers through wich the rope fits and that have a diameter larger than that of the tubes
  • 3 different colours of tape

Step 2: Zigzag Pattern

Materials needed: 10 tubes, rope 1 (green), 2 washers

  1. Stick one end of the rope through a washer and make a knot
  2. String the ten tubes and the second washer on the rope
  3. Pull the rope tight and place a knot right behind the second washer
  4. Place the tube chain you've just made on the floor in a zigzag pattern

Step 3: Make Triangles

Materials needed: 5 tubes, rope 2 (orange)

  1. Attach rope 2 (orange) to one end of rope 1 (green) - between the washer and the tube
  2. String one tube on the rope and then pull the rope through the nearest bend in the zigzag from step 2 - make your first triangle
  3. Make a loop around the corner (bottom, top, bottom) and pull tight
  4. Do the same with the other four tubes and tie the rope between the last tube and the washer at the end

Step 4: More Triangles

Materials needed: 5 tubes, rope 3 (blue), 1 washer

  1. Attach the rope to the top of the first triangle
  2. Connect the tops of the remaining four triangles in the same way as in step 3
  3. String an extra (fifth) tube on the end of the rope and finish with a washer and a tight knot

Step 5: Roof

Materials needed: 5 tubes, rope 4 (purple), 1 washer

  1. Attach the rope to the corner where you started in the previous step and string two tubes on the rope
  2. Lead the rope through the second tube at the top of the series of triangles - let gravity help you a hand by lifting one side
  3. String two new tubes on the rope and then guide the rope through the fourth tube at the upper side
  4. String another tube on the end of the rope and finish with a washer and a tight knot

Step 6: Nifty Skill

Use tape to mark the points that need to come together (see drawing on top of this Instructable), to keep an overview during assembly:

  1. Colour 1: two ends of rope 2 (orange, bottom, A)
  2. Colour 2: two ends of rope 3 (blue, middle, B)
  3. Colour 3: two corners and end of rope 4 (purple, top, C)

The geodesic dome will only become firm when alle points are connected.

Step 7: Assembly

Now connect the tubes with the same colour of tape with each other.

  1. Start with points A: take the two pieces of rope at one corner and tie them around the other corner
  2. Now points B: attach the loose tube to the corner that's still free
  3. Finally points C: tie the three points together with the loose end of the rope

The frame of your dome is ready now!

Step 8: Lining

Do you want a quick fix? Then just throw some blankets, a duvet or a big sleeping bag over your base structure to make a cozy cocoon in no time.

Do you want the dome to be really sensory deprivative? Then cut a sound absorbing fabric to size and fold it around the frame.

Step 9: Fold

  • Untie the three 'assembly knots' A, B and C and lay the structure on the floor as in step 5
  • Start at one end and fold the triangles around each other into one large stack

Your dome is now ready to store!

Step 10: Customize It

In this Instructable we showed you the basics of how to make a geodesic dome. Creative souls can do so much more!
Make the dome bigger (for more people) or smaller (for your cat). Add a door. Connect multiple domes together. Experiment with different materials (e.g. cardboard dome without a tube structure that supports itseld). Or make a complete icosahedron by also making a 'top' at the bottom.
At you'll find even more inspiration to build the coolest domes yourself. Go nuts and please share your awesome creations!