Geodesic Dome

A work in progress by Iwan Peverett and George Mokhtar

 

Some people find tutorials are the best way to learn a new program; others prefer to pick a slightly more arbitrary approach.  We do this by picking a project and learning from making mistakes and hitting brick walls.

A challenge that interested me was that building a geodesic dome was somewhat difficult in Revit. Threads on forums such as Augi (http://forums.augi.com/showthread.php?t=54767) suggested that 3ds max was a better option. Being able to model this in Max is no challenge, but it did seem like an exciting excuse to expand my knowledge of Revit.

After a little bit (actually a lot) of research about what a dome (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/GeodesicDome.html) actually is, how to model it, and how to brush up on those rusty high school maths skills (that were once learnt and long forgotten) – the project got under way.

 Step 1 – The dome is based on an Icosahedron – create a parametric Icosahedron in Revit.

Icosahedron

 Step 2 – Create an ‘adaptive’ family of hexagons based on the faces of the Icosahedron.

Dome section

This was easier said than done. The first attempts had very distorted hexagons and really didn’t work. After a bit more research and playing I realised that each point of the Icosahedron hosted a pentagon, with hexagons filling in the rest of the ‘sphere’.  “Remarkably, each of these structures contains precisely twelve pentagons, and it is these pentagons that force the curvature.” Ivars Petersonhttp://mathtourist.blogspot.com/2010/06/hexagons-pentagons-and-geodesic-domes.html

 Step 3 – Sit back and admire the ‘pseudo’ geodesic dome. Still needs a bit of work but the basics are there.

Dome

 Step 4 – Our intention is to convert this wireframe model into a surface or a series of surfaces and use these for hosting curtain walling to enable us to use this research pragmatically and apply it to an actual building.

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