Geodesic Dome Build At Rev Space Den Haag

[Morphje] has always wanted to build a geodesic dome. The shape and design, and the possibility of building one with basic materials interest him. So with the help of a few friends to erect the finished dome, he set about realising his ambition by building a 9.1 metre diameter structure.

The action took place at Rev Space (Dutch language site), the hackspace in The Hague, Netherlands. [Morphje] first had to create a huge number of wooden struts, each with a piece of tube hammered down to a flat lug set in each end, and with a collar on the outside of the strut to prevent it from splitting. The action of flattening the ends of hundreds of pieces of tube is a fairly simple process if you own a hefty fly press with the correct tooling set up in it, but [Morphje] didn’t have that luxury, and had to hammer each one flat by hand.

The struts are then bolted together by those flattened tube lugs into triangular sections, and those triangles are further bolted together into the final dome. Or that’s the theory. In the video below you can see they make an aborted start assembling the dome from the outside inwards, before changing tack to assemble it from the roof downwards.

This project is still a work-in-progress, [Morphje] has only assembled the frame of the dome and it has no covering or door as yet. But it’s still a build worth following, and we look forward to seeing the finished dome at one or other of the European maker events in the summer.

This kind of large-scale outdoor build features less often in these pages than you might expect. We’ve investigated non-dome geodesics before, and featured a geodesic hen house. Maybe few makers have the space to pursue this kind of dream. But given that part of our maker culture involves outdoor mass events there has to be some kudos in turning up with your own shelter rather than the same tent thousands of other people have!

24 thoughts on “Geodesic Dome Build At Rev Space Den Haag

  1. In Seomyeon, Busan, Korea at the Children’s park, which previously was a US military base, there is a big Geodesic dome in which children play.
    It’s awesome! Would never fly in the UK or US I suppose, safety concerns.
    I have photos if anyone is interested.

    1. When I was a young child (back in the stone age), my school had a dome that looked almost just like the one featured here (same height even) but built from steel that we children could play on. One time a little girl fell off and broke her wrist, but this was back when accidents were actually accidents, so we were still allowed to play on it.

      Naturally, this being the United Nanny States, it’s long since been removed.

  2. Interesting. The things you take for granted as a child and never give a second thought to as an adult.

    When I was in kindergarten (U.S.), my father built a metal (steel?) geodesic dome painted (powder coated?) in primary colors and installed it inside the school. I don’t recall what he did other than watching him assemble it during my recesses. He worked a lot in his crazy cold shop during the worst winters while I spent my time sledding. but I digress, the dome was intended to supplement the playground when the kids couldn’t play outside due to severe weather. As a six year old, the thing was truly massive, but in reality probably wasn’t any taller than our 5’4″ teacher. The kids in the entire school had such a blast that they got together and created a huge “Thank You” card with a colorful drawing of the dome on the front and all our grade school signatures and drawings throughout.

    Sadly, like the fabled rocket, the dome is now gone. Long replaced with “safe” sanitized playground equipment.

  3. Nice! So I learn from this, that it is easyer to build it from top to bottom (second try), than from bottom to top (first try). I’m going to build my first one this summer.

    1. Well… basically… the dome was gonna be about 4 meters high… meaning we wouldn’t be able to reach the top without large ladders, and working at height. So it was easier to start at the top, and lift the dome while building. The weight wasn’t really an issue, as you only have to lift part of it, and we were with about 10 people to build it.

  4. So this morning i (Morphje) woke up and was alerted by one of my fellow hackerspace members that i was on hackaday. quite surprised as i was i quickly opened my browser and set to find it :) Yes the dome is yet to be fully finished, but currently it’s (mostly) painted, has a door(-ish) eleven like frame which i’m not happy with and it has a 6 part tarp (a one piece tarp wasn’t doable due to it’s weight and size). I hope to finish it by this summer, so i can set it up again at the same latin festival i set it up last year.

    As a special hackaday treat i’ve uploaded more pictures to our wiki, so you can view it’s awesomeness. But only if i get told who uploaded this to hackaday ;) i’ve even included some pictures of the dome in use. Once finished and when i have the time to update the wiki to include all pictures and text i’ll post an update.

  5. To the various people lamenting the health-and-safety culture taking domes away from playgrounds, by my observation they still have such things here in the UK. They usually have a bouncy surface of some kind underneath them though. (I’m no playground expert, this is just a passing observation).

      1. When I was a kid long ago my school would – about twice a year – have a truck bring in a huge load of coffee grounds which was dumped and raked out underneath the monkey bars. You could smell it from all the nearby classrooms, it was very nice for a week or so.

    1. Domes and other odd climbing structures are quite common on playgrounds here in Denmark. They are accurately becoming more popular. Normally they have sand, wooden chips or rubber underneath.

      I wish I had the space and time to build one.

  6. My brother helped raise one out west with paneled sides. It was larger than this one, they go up like any other building. It was done with scaffolding inside to finish off the top. Ever watched Inuit on TV lay blocks and build up an igloo? They had to do it in reverse all the way down under when the dome came down at SP.

  7. This morning i woke up and was alerted by one of my fellow hackerspace members that i was on hackaday. Quite surprised as i was i quickly opened my browser and set to find it :) Yes the dome is yet to be fully finished, but currently it’s (mostly) painted, has a door(-ish) eleven like frame which i’m not happy with and it has a 6 part tarp (a one piece tarp wasn’t doable due to it’s weight and size). I hope to finish it by this summer, so i can set it up again at the same latin festival i set it up last year. (and offcourse SHA2017)

    As a special hackaday treat i’ve uploaded more pictures to our wiki, so you can view it’s awesomeness. But only if i get told who uploaded this to hackaday ;) i’ve even included some pictures of the dome in use. Once finished and when i have the time to update the wiki to include all pictures and text i’ll post an update.

  8. BTW: The document for the calculation, linked to domerama.com could not be accesed because of two reasons. 1: the site is abandoned 2: it relies on google-pagespeed, which is also abandoned.
    But you can insert 192.185.16.108 as http://www.domerama.com in your /etc/hosts (or equivalent), to get access again, to these collected resources.

  9. At Drop City fifty years ago, they apparently went to wrecking yards and chopped panels for their geodesic domes out of car hoods and roofs with an axe.

    This sort of thing has been streamlined, because enough have been made. I seem to recall J. Baldwin writing something about setting up an “assembly line” to make dome building easier.

    Michael

  10. Me and my friends constructed a 18ft diameter dome last summer shrink wrapped and installed rubber roof as the flooring. All under 200$ with certain parental subsidies. We’ve had a tv and couch ect.. in there and it has certainly been an experience from long nights constructing it, to long nights staying up playing diablo 4 in it. Would highly recommend.

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