Frequently Asked Questions
Though the final decision on the exact choice of plastic has yet to be made, it is very likely to be either nylon or acetyl based. Either will be both UV stabilised and happy down to at least -40C. Upper temperature? You'd melt first.
Perhaps a better way of saying it, is; they'll be made of the type of plastics used on car exteriors. So any conditions you'd expect your car to last in, the domes will.Last updated:
As you can make your sticks any length there's no hard upper limit on dome size - The limit is really weight. At some point the weight will start overcoming the strength of clips holding the balls in the hubs during construction.
With chestnut sticks (like shown) this limit is somewhere around 5m diameter, lighter sticks can go larger.
At about 50cm diameter the screw from one ball end will touch the screw from the ball end on the other end of the stick.
If you're slightly odd and want to go really small, you can glue the ball ends together to make the short stick, and use an 11mm space to create the longs. You'll end up with a 32cm diameter dome!Last updated:
Ok ok, as the limit is really only a construction problem when using the suggested simple method, you could get a few friends to help support parts during construction and then you could use longer / heavier sticks.Last updated:
Domes can be more or less complicated depending on required size, strength, cost, etc. The general level of complexity called its frequency. 2V mean second frequency.
2V is a nice level of detail for domes up to about 4 or 5 meters without being to much work.
The higher the frequency, the nearer a sphere it becomes.
See here for a comparison between 2V, 3V and 4V:
You can use any sort of wood but you will need to treat it appropriately for survival outside.
The chestnut in our final full dome kit is naturally rot-resistant (one of the reasons it's used in fences in the UK) but other soft and hard woods that aren't naturally rot-resistant or haven't already been treated would need treatment to protect them and prolong their life outdoors.
If using bamboo you would need to put a suitable filler (eg. Polyurethane expanding glue) in the ends into which the screws could then bite.
We'll provide guidance for stick creation (how to calculate the lengths and guidance on a good diameter etc) in with the kit.Last updated:
Yes. However any learnings from the beta kit will inform the the final kit. So it may be that the final kit is slightly different as a result – but in a positive way.Last updated:
It's not something we've tested as yet (we were focusing mainly on open frame domes) but it would be possible and we'd love to see the results.
Here are a few ways we think you could approach it:
1. Panels hung inside, leaving the frame visible as an exoskeleton:
The exoskeleton method would involve using longer bolts through the hubs, then sandwiching the corners of the triangular panels between 2 large washers at the lower end of the bolts to suspend the panels under the frame - These would be sealed with a decent silicone along the joins.
2. Panels pinned on top:
You could use battens to build the structure then pin triangles of ply or similar over the top, then treating and felting, or another form of waterproofing. The battens and hubs would be seen on the inside creating a nice pattern and they'd also cover the joins between the panels, which would look quite nice. We'd love to build one covered in cedar shingles.Last updated:
One approach is to screw 2 ball joints into a block of wood (see an example at the bottom of 'The journey so far' section on the page). These then fill the two bottom sockets of the 6-way hub which is vertically aligned.
The second approach involves the hubs lying flat; a large woodscrew secures them to the base (in this case 2 of the sockets are left empty). This is the approach used in the main dome visual.Last updated:
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