by EFFALO, published

domekit by EFFALO Jun 2, 2011

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domekit by EFFALO is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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Here's a more polished, production-ready update to the domekit 3d-printable geodesic connector system. We refactored the central hub to feature a rounded edge and use less material. The strutcaps are shorter while being more durable, and include an integrated thumbscrew (with captive nut) that locks the strut to the node. This makes the structure easier to assemble, because you're not trying to snap the balls into the sockets — just slide the strut into the shaft and turn the screw.

please visit http://domekit.cc for more details


There are two types of hubs, a 5- and 6-way, and one type of strutcap that will snap into the sockets on either. A completed connector must have all of it's sockets filled with strutcaps in order to have proper tension. Start by printing off a 6-way hub and 6 strutcaps. See if you can snap all of the 'caps into the hub. The last one might take some force; you can push down against a table for some leverage. You're looking to get the tightest fit possible whilst still retaining a good range of motion. It should be difficult to get them out once you've put them all in. We suggest trying to adapt the hubs to fit the strutcaps, either by scaling it using replicatorG or tuning your skeinforge settings. If all else fails, jump into the hub.scad file and tweak the expansion_factor variable.

The strutcaps have a hole that should accept an M3 nut. A 10mm M3 bolt should pass through the side of the connector, through the nut, and push against the strut when tightened. The strutcap shafts are designed to work with 3/8" / 10mm strut poles.

A 2V icosahedron requires 26 connectors (20 x 6-way, 6 x 5-way) for a total of 176 parts. A 3V 5/9 requires 61 connectors (55 x 6-way, 6 x 5-way) for a total of 421 parts. The 6-way connectors against the bottom of the sphere are techically 4-way connections, but you can fold up two of the strut caps to make a flat-bottomed connector. Sure, we could have made a separate 4-way connector, but doing so would have increased the inventory of parts you'll need to keep track of.

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How hard is it to separate the ball and socket? Would need a design that is very solid. Would be used with 3/4" emt conduit.

Is there some way that the five and six point hubs could be made to be adjustable so that pieces of bamboo or cane could be put into these hubs to make almost any size of dome with locally collected struts?

Aaaaaaand there's one more reason I love 3d printers... One could use these to build the skeleton for a tent, maybe make a really cool roof for a building of some kind. Thank you so much for sharing!

Hi sorry about my poor English.
This is an amazing project, the main reason whay i got a 3dprinter!!!!
Im a newbie and learning a lot from you guys!

I would like to know if anyone has printed this kit in a XYZprinting Davinci.
Can you post the settings? for hub and strutcaps?

I have found that larger diameter tubing (bamboo in my case) can work as long as a 3/8 dowel is added (2X) for fitting into the strutcaps. I wonder if someone could mill a connector from hardwood in order to dodge the UV problems with plastic outside?

Thank you Effalo! I have the parts printed and assembled a prototype (in my office) with the 4 inch parts cut off my 36 inch dowels. All that is left is to assemble the full sized version.

What build size would my 3D printer have to be to accommodate these shapes?

? x ? x ?

Thank y0u ;)

EFFALO - in reply to oio

ive printed these on my makerbot cupcake (can't remember the platform dimensions) but most likely you'll have to print the strutcaps and hubs separately. good luck!

oio - in reply to EFFALO

thanks~ I will get a prinrbot soon. its 6 x 6 x 6

I love your design! What are you using as your struts, and where did you source them? Thanks in advance!

howdy! we used 3/8" wooden dowels, but you can use whatever diamater you want as long as you adjust the parameter. in the USA, we've been sourcing dowels in bulk from cincinnati dowel company, they seem to have competitive prices and fast shipping. if you order enough, they'll cut them to length for an extra 1c per cut (which will save you a lot of time).

good luck
amp; take care

the PDF seems to be a corrupt xml file. does this happen to anyone else?

strange, they don't seem to work for me either. nevertheless, they are archived here: http://domekit.cc/shared/assemblyhttp://domekit.cc/shared/assem...

got it. THANKS!!!! :-D :-D

cool stuff, I want one!

one question though, I see where you came from with this construction, but why do you need ball
amp; socket connections, do you need that much freedom of movement while setting it up?

Two nice extras would be:

Ability to use pvc or metal electrical conduit tubes. The yellow stuff is cheap as dirt, which is nice if you need a lot of it.

When you can use tubes, you can also string a elastic cord through them to keep them connected, as an aid when re-assembling.

Hi, i built a dome using pvc tubes. It's a cheaper, faster than printed, and an efficient way to make joints. A one meter tube is enough, cut in 2 centimeters slices..

awesome; seems like you figured out another quick 'n cheap way of making connectors. nice work!

Thanks for your comment Effalo,

for me and until now the dome is one of the best objects on thingiverse,

given all you can do with it..With this way of doing connectors, anybody can have his own dome, without a printer..

have you seen this approach: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:8595http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...
— i find it to be the cheapest + easiest way to make dome connectors, although they're not as beautiful as other approaches.

flexible dome connectors

[Cet utilisateur est un administrateur] vinyl

Yes i saw that, and i d'like to see new other ways, time will tell which approach will be the most resistant.

What are you using your domes for?

I don't think the degrees of freedom are strictly needed, but it's convenient. If you want to reduce the degrees of freedom, you can use a connector such as this: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:8274http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... which pretty much limits you to the directions that matter for dome construction.

PolyBot Socket Ball Holder

for this context, the hyperflexibility of a ball-and-socket joint allows everything to resolve where it may. if your struts aren't super-precise or the ground isn't completely flat, each node can push and pull to where it wants to fall.

refer to this other approach: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3215http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... — having built a few using these connectors with preset angles, it became very evident that if the joints are not flexible then all of the struts have to be completely precise and ground needs to be absolutely flat. the result w
as a bit awkward, plugging in the last piece made other pieces pop out.

i personally don't think domes have much use as a permanent shelter for humans, but know for a fact that building one is an intensely educational experience. maybe that's what this thing is for — helping people make their ow
n! self-adjusting, flexible nodes make it forgiving enough to adapt to things not being exactly right!

domekit 2V