Geodesic Dome With Straws

Introduction: Geodesic Dome With Straws

About: Interesso-me por ciencias exatas de um modo geral Deste foguetes ate astronomia Desde construcao de telescopios ate polimento de espelhos amadores. Desde eletronica ate.Home science -- I like exact sciences ...

In this tutorial I will show how to make a geodesic dome (v2) using only
Zip tie
Epoxi resin

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Step 1: Overview and Needed Materials

To build this dome you will need:

1) 65 regular straws
2) 65 small zip tie
3) two parts epoxi resin (epoxi mass)

See the attached photos where I show the materials

We will need to build:
10 pieces of 6 arms conector
10 pieces of 4 arms conector
6 pieces of 5 arms conector

All these conectors will be made using the
zip ties (cutting the head off) and
they will be held together with the epoxi mass

The straw length is 24.5 cm (9.64 pol)

We will need 35 straws with that length
and they will be called "A" (blue color in the mounting diagram)

We will also need 30 straws cutted with 21 cm of length (8.26 pol)
They will be called "B" (red color in the mounting diagram)
In my pictures I used only white straws, the cutted ones, to make it easy to see them.

Step 2: Conectors Close Up

Here I show how the assembled conectors look like.

The 6 arms connector is made with
three zip tie crossed one above the other
They are held in place with a bit of two parts epoxi mass. (I supose hot glue can do the job but it is more messy)

The 4 arms connector uses two zip tie.
This time one zip tie is bended to from a 90 degrees angle. It is held this way with glue tape and than fixed with the other zip tie with epoxi. When the epoxi is cured you can remove the glue tape from the bent zip tie.
The epoxi will now held it bended 90 degrees

The 5 arms connector needs to be built with 5 half zip tie
Take 5 zip tie and cut them in half
You will end up with 10 half size zip ties.
Now using 5 of these mount one
5 arms conector.
See the picture above to understand how.

Step 3: Overview Before Assembly

Here I show an overview of the material just before assembly.
Pay attention that the white straws in the center of photo are the ones cutted
I am not showing all the 65 straws here but just the ones needed to build the base of the dome.

I am also showing a mounting diagram

One more time
"A" straws are 24.5 cm long (9.64 inches)
"B" straws are 21 cm long (8.26 inches)

Step 4: Mounting the Base

Lay down 10 long "A" straws and connect them to form a circle as seen in the photo above. Use the 4 arms connectors to connect the straws

Step 5: More Mounting

After the circle of straws is all connected.
We need to connect the straws that will support the first "floor" of the dome.

As per the mounting diagram of the previous step, the straws are conected in a "A"-"A" and "B"-"B" mode

The A-A straws will meet in the top to make a triangle pointing up

The B-B too will meet in the top.

Step 6: Connecting the First Floor

Where two A straws meet on top you should add a 6 arms connector

Where two B straws meet on top you should add a 5 arms connector

On last photo above you can clearly ser that on the B-B straws a 5 arms connector is placed and on the AA straws a 6 arm connector is placed.

I mounted the dome alone and needed to use the chair and the rubber seen in the picture to held the straws in place.

Now using only "B" straws horizontally link the connectors of the first floor one to the other to finish first floor.

Step 7: Preparing the Second Floor

On they previous stage we mounted all the first floor of the geodesic dome.

Now on each 5 arms connector we will have one empty arm point straight up.
We need to insert a "B" straw there

On each 6 arm conector we need to insert two "A" straws pointing up to give support to the next floor of the dome.

Step 8: Linking the Second Floor

After we finish last step we will have several straws pointing up.
They will support the second floor of the dome.

We join these "pointing up" straws using only 6 arms connectors.

Than we link this floor horizontally using this time only "A" (long) straws.

Step 9: Closing the Top

Second floor is concluded.

We will have one empty arm pointing toward the center (and top) of the dome.
We will insert 5 "B" straws on them.

All these straws will meet in the top where the last 5 arms connector will join them together finishing the dome.

CONGRATULATIONS you dome is now concluded

If you used auxiliary support to held the straws while mounting the dome you can now withdraw them cause the dome ready does not need any auxiliary support to held it in place

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    11 Discussions


    Reply 4 years ago

    I won't say it is the cheapest but one of the cheapests out there. I bought 100 zip ties for us 0,70 more 800 straws for us 1,00 and the epoxy mass for another us 1,00 :-)


    Where were you when I had to build a model of geodesic dome house in a 7th grade science class? Very nice work.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks. I think I was maturing this project. I made a simpler v.1 dome with paper tubes some 7 years ago. The tubes were held together with paper Clips. This zip tie idea is much better.


    Reply 5 years ago

    Thank you. It is easy to make more connectors and using more straws create a more complex geodesic like v3 for example


    Reply 5 years ago

    Cool, I will have to give this a go


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks. It is also easy to make more connectors and use more straws to build a more complex dome. I am also thinking in upgrade the project using bigger zip tie and stronguer tubes.

    Tater Zoid
    Tater Zoid

    5 years ago

    I like your style. Is it pretty sturdy?


    Reply 5 years ago

    Thanks. Since the straws aren't very resilient the domes aren't sturdy but the connectors flexibility helps a lot forgiving construction errors. Also there is no reason why you should stop at geodesic v2 indeed you can easily built a v3 geodesic just making more connectors and using more straws.