I am pleased to say that I didn’t get too disheartened by the failure of my first attempt and I have now made a whole new dome. Admittedly on a more modest scale, but this one actually worked and has all the right proportions of a dome. It’s also incredibly light, and for it’s weight, strong.
As you can see, it’s made from those gold effect paper fasteners and straws. Considering it weighs less than one ounce, I was impressed that I could hang the 8oz weight from the central point with a bent paper-clip. I think it’ll take about ten times its own weight. It does also highlight the main weakness. Where the rods join together, is where they tend to bend if put under too much stress. It’s also, because of the colours used, really easy to see the pentagons that make up the shape.
Finally, here’s a picture to give you a proper sense of scale.
Thanks for the great post. I am planning to do this project for an Art Meets Science summer camp program I am instructing for this year. Can you tell me what the lengths of the straws are and how many of each length is required for one dome? Thanks!
Thanks for the comment. I simply Google “Geodesic Dome Calculator” – my favourite site I found by this method is http://www.desertdomes.com/domecalc.html – it gives you all the variations and even a reverse calculator so you can see what the biggest dome is you can build for a given length of straw!
Thanks for the link! Great website. I’m excited to try this out. Hope they turn out as well as yours did. Thanks again.