Geodesic dome  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A geodesic dome is a spherical or partial-spherical shell structure or lattice shell based on a network of great circles (geodesics) on the surface of a sphere. The geodesics intersect to form triangular elements that have local triangular rigidity and also distribute the stress across the structure. When completed to form a complete sphere, it is a geodesic sphere. A dome is enclosed, unlike open geodesic structures such as playground climbers.

Typically a geodesic dome design begins with an icosahedron inscribed in a hypothetical sphere, tiling each triangular face with smaller triangles, then projecting the vertices of each tile to the sphere. The endpoints of the links of the completed sphere are the projected endpoints on the sphere's surface. If this is done exactly, sub-triangle edge lengths take on many different values, requiring links of many sizes. To minimize this, simplifications are made. The result is a compromise of triangles with their vertices lying approximately on the sphere. The edges of the triangles form approximate geodesic paths over the surface of the dome.

Geodesic designs can be used to form any curved, enclosed space. Standard designs tend to be used because unusual configurations may require complex, expensive custom design of each strut, vertex and panel.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Geodesic dome" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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