How to build your own Fly's Eye Dome Home - Copyright Jay Salsburg, 2003, All Rights Reserved.
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Your purchase includes massive files of Detailed Instructions, Drawings, Schematics, Descriptions, Multimedia, VRML, and 3D CAD DXFs. By purchasing this advanced design pakage, you will posses every design you need to fabricate your own Fly's Eye Dome Home. From the early days of the Geodesic Dome in the late 1950s, the creative genius of Buckminster Fuller grew into an eclectic mix to become the Fly's Eye Dome. Critical Path Design Sciences is creating this documentation to allow any Metal and Concrete General Contractor to fabricate their very own Fuller-inspired Dome. Below are sample images from the Documentation of the initial prototyped 30 foot dome. More details soon. Below are finished images rendered from the final schematics of the Great Circle Design of the Fly's Eye Dome Home. The Greater-Lesser Circle designs which are significantly more complex may be viewed elsewhere in this web site.
The inner and outer skins are parallel in every direction aiding R-Factor. Support Structure lends itself to Ferro-Cement Composite Honeycomb Armatures but may be simple Steel or Aluminium Sheetmetal.
Brief Synopsis of Dome Development...
The first generation of Geodesics researched, developed, and Patented by R B Fuller happened in the late 1950s. Next he followed the same path and built many prototypes some of which were very large and expensive. This second generation, in the 1960s, embodied spaceframe technology where the skin was independently supported by the space frame. This is the time when many students and associates of Dr. Fuller spun off Manufacturing companies like Temcor producing commercial Domes. This led to the third generation of Domes which departed completely from Geodesic geometry and concentrated on methods to support the skin in a balance of tension and compression with an endo-truss or tension-integrity truss that was modified to be rigid. Fuller coined the phrase "Rigid Tensegrity" to name this technology. There is only one reference to this concept that I know of in published literature, the author of which was obviously unaware of its significance, ( an introduction to tensegrity, ISBN 0-520-02996-8, page 66 ). After several years of work a few prototypes were commissioned which led to a fourth generation technology Bucky called the Rigid Tensegrity Fly's Eye Dome.
This is where I entered his life. I assisted an independent contractor hired by Dr. Fuller and financed by the architect Norman Foster to build a model of this new concept. Shortly thereafter Dr. Fuller died without any published plans or development funding to finish this project.
1st Generation Dome research - Geodesic; found that the geometry amplified the elasticity of the components, causing the skin or panels to be disrupted by this unforeseen effect. This effect is not a problem on very low frequency designs or small Domes but is catastrophic to larger Domes and eventually leads to failure.
2nd Generation research - Space Frame; found that geometry was complex and required difficult and expensive fastening technology to attach skin to truss. Insurance companies refused to insure these buildings.
3rd Generation research - Tensegrity Geometry; went two ways. First; found that the Tensegrity system of struts and wire was inherently problematic, the system of skin-to-support truss was prone to problems similar to those experienced by large tents in high wind, they would flap in the wind and fail catastrophically. Second; the wholly integrated self-supporting skin design was very inefficient and uneconomical when expanded to large sizes and failed from gravity stress of excess weight on skin but, again, worked well for small size Domes.
4th Generation research - Rigid Tensegrity; found that the skin could be supported in balance of tension and compression independent of the extremely strong and rigid support truss. The problem of integrating the skin with the frame was solved but was never brought to development.
I have evolved the 4th Generation to reveal the 5th generation solveing the engineering problems of supporting the skin with the internal frame providing systemic balance between them.
This has led to the 6th generation with an inner and outer skin, providing very high air-gap insulation and environmental isolation.
There is a fascination with Geodesic Geometry but the romantic notion that this technology is a panacea for housing is, perhaps, unobtainable and remains underutilized after several decades, a curiosity at best. I saw this early on in the early 1970s and followed Dr. Fuller's research very closely in the late 1970s which led me to actually being able to briefly work with him in Southern California. This caused me to take on the intellectual development of his last discovery, the "Rigid Tensegrity Fly's Eye Dome" which has led to several alternate technologies, further amplifying this technology.
These alternatives may be viewed elswhere in this web site.
Click here for an outside view 4.6 megabyte Virtual Reality of this Design.
Click here for an inside view 4.6 megabyte Virtual Reality of this Design.
Be patient for them to download. Requires Quicktime.
Perspective View as seen as if the viewer were sitting 20 feet from the figure in the forground.. Skin has been rendered 95% transparent to aid in viewing the Skin's attachment to the Support Structure.The figure in the center is 6 feet tall. Notice the inner and outer Skin separated by a 3 foot gap. In favorable climates there is no need for insulation between the inner and outer skin. However, if the Climate is extreme, insulation may be blown or prefrabricated and inserted into the gap significantly increasing the R-Factor.
Very high illumination levels combined with Skin's 75% Transparency and Support Structure colored red reveals the elegant relationships of the various constructs of this Great Circle Fly's Eye Dome.
This image represents the way the Dome would look in the late afternoon sunshine with a standard fire-retardant coating on the inside surfaces with no internal lighting.
This image represents the way the Dome would look at night with a standard fire-retardant coating on the inside surfaces illuminated by a single bright internal light.
45 degree by 45 degree Transparent View of Great Circle Fly's Eye Dome. The Support Structure and skin has been rendered transparent to aid in the view of the ground-level Valvates which are rendered opaque.
0 degree by 0 degree Transparent Front View of Great Circle Fly's Eye Dome. Skin has been rendered 95% transparent to aid in viewing support structure. Notice the equitorial plane is parallel to this view. The equator is more than 12 feet from the floor. This center division allows a 24 foot-wide clear-span loft to be placed on this natural plane. A lesser loft may be placed above the equitorial plane loft.
0 degree by 0 degree Front Transparent View of Great Circle Fly's Eye Dome. Skin has been rendered 90% transparent to show how it hangs on the support structure.
0 degree by 0 degree Front Transparent View of Great Circle Fly's Eye Dome. Skin has been rendered 95% transparent and support structure has been highlighted red.
45 degree by 45 degree Transparent View of Great Circle Fly's Eye Dome. Skin has been rendered 95% transparent and support structure has been highlighted red.
The design template is derived from manipulating great circles.
The strut design template is derived using solid modeling tools.
The beginning of the Fly's Eye Dome windows.
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Disclaimer: Jay Salsburg is not responsible for any use of this information. Wood is not an acceptable material for this design. Wood may be used as appointments and interior design or decoration and not for the Structure or Skin.