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Geodesic Dome Pizza Oven

Updated on April 10, 2014

Geodesic Structures

2V (two frequency) Geodesic Dome
2V (two frequency) Geodesic Dome

Understanding Geodesic Structures

For the purpose of understanding geodesic structures, the only thing a hobbyist needs to do is build a geodesic dome. Building materials are many, but I would suggest that you choose a material that you can source cheaply for your first test dome.

After all it is just a test dome that will be created simply for the purpose of understanding geodesic structures, how the math is calculated and how they are put together.

There are different kinds of geodesic structures, and they all approximate a sphere or a semi - sphere in some way or another. For example - A 2v geodesic dome like the one in the picture, can be made into a sphere by simply just joining two halves together. A 2v sphere can be cut in half exactly.

Therefore, a 2v sphere is the perfect combination of triangles for building a geodesic pizza oven which is the motivation for this hub...

My Geodesic Pizza Oven


My Geodesic Pizza Oven

As mentioned above, the motivation for learning all there is to know about geodesic domes and how they are made is / was because I wanted to make a wood fired pizza oven out of refractory cement and mortar in the shape of a geodesic dome.

I have already finished building that pizza oven and use it often.

See pictures at my hub that is entitled Wood fired oven plans

This oven is quite small in the scheme of things. It is just 900mm in diameter with a door size of 300mm. Very compact. The inside geodesic shell was cast using high temperature refractory cement in moulds that I carefully made out of styrofoam boards and duct tape. Amateur, I know.. But gotta use whatever you have close to hand. Anyway, to see the full tutorial with pictures go see my hub Wood Fired Oven Plans. (Link is above).

A Paper 2V Geodesic Dome

To see how a dome gets put together, why not take the time to create a small paper 2v dome either by yourself or with a group of friends or kids. It does not take much time and all you need are the following materials.

  1. Craft paper or cardboard.
  2. Scissors (very sharp scissors if you have them) Accuracy is important.
  3. A pencil and a ruler for marking and measuring.
  4. Glue or cellophane tape or both if you are that way inclined... Just kidding!
  5. A few hours to a half day of free time. More if you are going to make this a project for your kids.

Build A Dome


Figuring The Formula For Your Paper Dome

The math is the key to being able to make a triangulated geodesic paper dome or any kind of dome for that matter. The formula is as follows.

  1. Figure out the size of the dome that you want to make. Then jot down the diameter. For example, a 50 cm dome is about as big as a small kids trampoline.
  2. Divide the diameter in 2 to get the radius. R = 25cm or 250mm in this case.
  3. Using the image above of the triangles as your guide, accurately try to produce an equilateral triangle (A-A-A) and an isosceles triangle (B-A-B).

A equals 15.45cm and that figure is the result of the following equation. Radius of dome times 0.61803 (250 x 0.61803) = 154.5075 or 15.45cm.

B equals 13.66cm and is the result of this equation. Radius of dome times 0.54653 (250 x 0.54653) = 136.6325 or 13.66cm.

You will need 10 AAA triangles and 30 BAB triangles to make a dome. Double the amounts to make a sphere.

Putting it together.

Glue the B tabs together. 5 BAB triangles will make a pentagon. All five outer edges of the pentagon will be A. Join the A sides of the pentagons to the A sides of the AAA triangles to make your dome.

Finished Dome


Color Coded Geodesic Dome

The picture on the right is a color coded model of a geodesic dome in the exact same measurements as outlined above.

The white triangles are the equilateral triangles (A-A-A). A = 15.45cm.

The light blue triangles are your isosceles triangles (B-A-B). A = 15.45cm and B = 13.66cm.

To pull this project off, you need to glue all of your triangles together so that they look like the picture. The pattern is a very well known pattern. It is a traditional soccer ball pattern, pentagons and hexagons, the only difference is that the pentagons and hexagons are produced using triangles instead of solid panels like soccer balls.

© 2014 Lucas Uren


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