Geodesic Dome Info

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Geodesic Dome CalculatorOur geodesic dome calculator will calculate the length and number of struts for 2V, 3V, and 4V geodesic domes based on the specified radius. It's a useful tool for planning the size of your dome.

To build a 2V Dome with a radius of 500 cm requires: 35 Struts 309.02 cm each

To build a 3V 5/8 Dome with a radius of 500 cm requires: 30 Struts 174.31 cm each

To build a 4V Dome with a radius of 500 cm requires: 30 Struts 126.59 cm each 30 Struts 147.62 cm each

30 Struts 273.27 cm each 55 Struts 201.78 cm each 26 Bolts, 26 Nuts, & 52 Washers Total of about 19964 cm of Conduit 80 Struts 206.21 cm each

60 Struts 147.27 cm each 70 Struts 156.44 cm each 61 Bolts, 61 Nuts, & 122 Washers Total of about 34465 cm of Conduit 30 Struts 162.46 cm each 30 Struts 149.3 cm each 91 Bolts, 91 Nuts, & 182 Washers Total of about 39234 cm of Conduit

* Strut lengths are from vertex to vertex. When designing and building a dome strut lengths will have to be reduced if using connectors and will have to be increased if using bolts to connect flattened ends of pipe.

To build a 2V Dome with a radius of 300 cm requires: 35 Struts 185.41 cm each

To build a 3V 5/8 Dome with a radius of 300 cm requires: 30 Struts 104.59 cm each

To build a 4V Dome with a radius of 300 cm requires: 30 Struts 75.95 cm each 30 Struts 88.57 cm each

30 Struts 163.96 cm each 55 Struts 121.07 cm each 26 Bolts, 26 Nuts, & 52 Washers Total of about 11979 cm of Conduit 80 Struts 123.72 cm each

60 Struts 88.36 cm each 70 Struts 93.86 cm each 61 Bolts, 61 Nuts, & 122 Washers Total of about 20679 cm of Conduit 30 Struts 97.48 cm each 30 Struts 89.58 cm each 91 Bolts, 91 Nuts, & 182 Washers Total of about 23540 cm of Conduit

* Strut lengths are from vertex to vertex. When designing and building a dome strut lengths will have to be reduced if using connectors and will have to be increased if using bolts to connect flattened ends of pipe.

To build a 2V Dome with a radius of 400 cm requires: 35 Struts 247.21 cm each

To build a 3V 5/8 Dome with a radius of 400 cm requires: 30 Struts 139.45 cm each

To build a 4V Dome with a radius of 400 cm requires: 30 Struts 101.27 cm each 30 Struts 118.1 cm each

30 Struts 218.61 cm each 55 Struts 161.42 cm each 26 Bolts, 26 Nuts, & 52 Washers Total of about 15971 cm of Conduit 80 Struts 164.96 cm each

60 Struts 117.81 cm each 70 Struts 125.15 cm each 61 Bolts, 61 Nuts, & 122 Washers Total of about 27571 cm of Conduit 30 Struts 129.97 cm each 30 Struts 119.44 cm each 91 Bolts, 91 Nuts, & 182 Washers Total of about 31387 cm of Conduit

* Strut lengths are from vertex to vertex. When designing and building a dome strut lengths will have to be reduced if using connectors and will have to be increased if using bolts to connect flattened ends of pipe.

To build a 2V Dome with a radius of 200 cm requires: 35 Struts 123.61 cm each

To build a 3V 5/8 Dome with a radius of 200 cm requires: 30 Struts 69.72 cm each

To build a 4V Dome with a radius of 200 cm requires: 30 Struts 50.64 cm each 30 Struts 59.05 cm each

30 Struts 109.31 cm each 55 Struts 80.71 cm each 26 Bolts, 26 Nuts, & 52 Washers Total of about 7986 cm of Conduit 80 Struts 82.48 cm each

60 Struts 58.91 cm each 70 Struts 62.57 cm each 61 Bolts, 61 Nuts, & 122 Washers Total of about 13786 cm of Conduit 30 Struts 64.98 cm each 30 Struts 59.72 cm each 91 Bolts, 91 Nuts, & 182 Washers Total of about 15694 cm of Conduit

* Strut lengths are from vertex to vertex. When designing and building a dome strut lengths will have to be reduced if using connectors and will have to be increased if using bolts to connect flattened ends of pipe.

To build a 2V Dome with a radius of 100 cm requires: 35 Struts 61.8 cm each

To build a 3V 5/8 Dome with a radius of 100 cm requires: 30 Struts 34.86 cm each

To build a 4V Dome with a radius of 100 cm requires: 30 Struts 25.32 cm each 30 Struts 29.52 cm each

30 Struts 54.65 cm each 55 Struts 40.36 cm each 26 Bolts, 26 Nuts, & 52 Washers Total of about 3993 cm of Conduit 80 Struts 41.24 cm each

60 Struts 29.45 cm each 70 Struts 31.29 cm each 61 Bolts, 61 Nuts, & 122 Washers Total of about 6893 cm of Conduit 30 Struts 32.49 cm each 30 Struts 29.86 cm each 91 Bolts, 91 Nuts, & 182 Washers Total of about 7847 cm of Conduit

* Strut lengths are from vertex to vertex. When designing and building a dome strut lengths will have to be reduced if using connectors and will have to be increased if using bolts to connect flattened ends of pipe.

To build a 2V Dome with a radius of 600 cm requires: 35 Struts 370.82 cm each

To build a 3V 5/8 Dome with a radius of 600 cm requires: 30 Struts 209.17 cm each

To build a 4V Dome with a radius of 600 cm requires: 30 Struts 151.91 cm each 30 Struts 177.14 cm each

30 Struts 327.92 cm each 55 Struts 242.13 cm each 26 Bolts, 26 Nuts, & 52 Washers Total of about 23957 cm of Conduit 80 Struts 247.45 cm each

60 Struts 176.72 cm each 70 Struts 187.72 cm each 61 Bolts, 61 Nuts, & 122 Washers Total of about 41358 cm of Conduit 30 Struts 194.95 cm each 30 Struts 179.15 cm each 91 Bolts, 91 Nuts, & 182 Washers Total of about 47080 cm of Conduit

* Strut lengths are from vertex to vertex. When designing and building a dome strut lengths will have to be reduced if using connectors and will have to be increased if using bolts to connect flattened ends of pipe.

To build a 2V Dome with a radius of 700 cm requires: 35 Struts 432.62 cm each

To build a 3V 5/8 Dome with a radius of 700 cm requires: 30 Struts 244.03 cm each

To build a 4V Dome with a radius of 700 cm requires: 30 Struts 177.23 cm each 30 Struts 206.67 cm each

30 Struts 382.57 cm each 55 Struts 282.49 cm each 26 Bolts, 26 Nuts, & 52 Washers Total of about 27950 cm of Conduit 80 Struts 288.69 cm each

60 Struts 206.17 cm each 70 Struts 219.01 cm each 61 Bolts, 61 Nuts, & 122 Washers Total of about 48251 cm of Conduit 30 Struts 227.44 cm each 30 Struts 209.01 cm each 91 Bolts, 91 Nuts, & 182 Washers Total of about 54927 cm of Conduit

2V Dome

2V DOME

3V DOME

4V DOME

5V DOME

6V DOME

Constructing Our Geodesic Dome

After a year of living and camping in the desert, Patrick and I decided to build a geodesic dome structure to provide us with shade and shelter from the elements. Simple picnic tents and EZ-up shelters that are commonly used just won't cut it in this desert environment. Strong and gusty winds often blow in unexpectedly and are known to mangle inadequate structures without regard. We chose to build a geodesic dome because of its inherent stability and natural resistance to strong winds.

What is a Geodesic Dome?First we did some research on dome construction to see what materials would be needed. Geodesic domes are comprised of a network of triangles that form a somewhat spherical surface. We found that there are several dome classes that are referred to as 1V, 2V, 3V etc. The more complex the network of triangles, the more spherical the geodesic dome and the higher the class number. A 1V dome has fewer triangles, uses only one size triangle in its simple pattern, and less closely approximates a hemisphere. A 6V dome has many triangles of multiple sizes that are arranged in a complex pattern to create a more smooth and spherical shape.

Higher class domes offer greater structural stability and are ideal for larger dome frames. After contemplating the challenges of more complex domes, we decided that a 2V dome made from EMT (electrical metallic tubing) conduit would best meet our needs and would be the most economical choice as well. For more information on what a geodesic dome is visit wikipedia.org.

Calculating the Struts Dome FormulasClass 2V geodesic domes are made from struts of two different sizes. We used an online dome formula to calculate the strut lengths and to determine the ideal radius for our dome. We found that a geodesic dome with an approximate radius of 8 ft 7 inches yields the least amount of waste for a 2V structure. For an 8 ft 7 inch dome we needed:

Strut length A = 5.3 ft. (35 A struts needed) Strut length B = 4.7 ft. (30 B struts needed)

Because EMT conduit comes in 10 foot lengths, struts cut to these sizes result in practically no waste and much less work. Strut length A plus strut length B equals 10 feet. This means that the conduit sticks only need to be cut once to make 2 struts, and no pipe is wasted. When all of the conduit is cut there will be 5 extra B struts (to be used as spares) and no scrap.

Materials for the Geodesic Dome

We bought 40 sticks of 3/4 inch EMT (electrical metallic tubing) conduit to make the struts. We needed exactly 35 ten foot EMT sticks, but we bought extra in order to make a few spare A struts also. We chose 3/4 inch conduit over 1 inch because it was more affordable and in the end it turned out to be plenty strong for our small dome. The other major dome components are the nuts, bolts and washers. We bought 3/8th inch bolts, 2 inches long; 3/8th inch hex nuts; and 3/8th inch flat washers. There are 26 joints in our dome when it is fully assembled, but we need extra hardware for the assembly process. We have determined that a minimum of 36 bolts and nuts, as well as 72 washers are needed to assemble our geodesic dome. Before making our geodesic dome we also bought a vice, a pipe cutter, and several 25/64 inch titanium drill bits.