by EFFALO, published
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 â€” just slide the strut into the shaft and turn the screw.
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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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