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‘Model of the Hexa-Pent dome shows you how the real thing will 9 togeth For years the do-it-yourselfer has been asking me for a dome design pegged to his living needs and building skills. Now it’s here ... My New HEXA-PENT Dome By R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER FA “e = Buckminster (Bach) Faler i 2 man ahead ff of fis time. Once Csised by the New York Fin rs hube Caerg whatonk Rinse Litmus bec noe coraieed oe ote Swot ea tikes hs achievements tn tMrcugn the ictas of rath phnouaphy Meiie: bese delien and onine Through improved materials and alternate systems such as going from wired to wireless telegraphy—we c: produce ever higher performance per each pound of m: terial, minute of time, and watt of energy invested, a complishing so much with so relatively little resouree px function, that we are able to sustain all humanity at higher standard of living than heretofore experienced « dreamed of by any human. ‘That's the essence of my more-from-less philosophy Dome begins to take shape as you add more panels, below. Nole Fint you lay the lower course—five hexagons, five two pentagon panels flanking upper half of window/vent hesagon half-hexagors. Door, windows, and ventilation are in hex panels. at center. View inside shows strutting of door panel at rear. 228 | POPULAR SCIENCE 10TH ANNIVERSARY Ss| As the 100th anniversary issue of PS went to press, a full-size prototype of the new Hexa-Pent dome was undergoing static-load tests on a site near Boston. Next month, plans for this dome—the first for an owner-built dome home ever approved by Buckminster Fuller—will be available exclusively from Popular Science. To help you get approval to build irom your local building inspector, the plans will in- clude an engineering study based on the results of our load-testing program.— Hubert P. Lucket Designed for You to Live In the philosophy that led me to develop the geodesic dome. Since a sphere encloses the greatest amount of space with tho least material, T designed my domes in roughly spherical form. The sphere is broken down into a three- way grid designed in such a way that a force applied at any point is absorbed more or less equally by all members of the grid. ‘This gives the structure tremendous strength, My combining the economy of the sphere with the strength of the geodesic grid makes the dome the strong: est, lightest, most efficient building system ever devised. If this is e0, why hasn't the dome caught on as it should in the U.S?’ The way Issee it, three main stumbling blocks stand in the way of universal dome acceptance: ‘The first? Tradition. We've all grown up in a four- square world. Many people can’t accept the idea of build- ing, or living in a dome. But just the passing of time is erasing this stumbling block. ‘The creative, the innovative, and especially the young are beginning to recognize the alternatives to right-angle living. ‘The second stumbling block? It’s so hard to find a eon- Finished dome is an economical eye-catcher made of six pent panels, 10 hex panels, and five half-hex panels, Total materials cost for a 24-foot dome shell-inciuding windows, doors, ventila ‘CENTURY OF WONDERS: 1872-1972 tractor who will work outside of conventional building techniques that most domes to date have been owner- built. But the do-it-yourself dome builder has always been hard pressed to find a good detailed set of dome- home plans. To fill this void, my architectural firm— Fuller & Sadao— is developing a full sot of plans, for a now dome design I call the Hexa-Pent, The working model shown in these photos. The plans—first for an owner- built dome home I’ve ever authorized—will be available through Poputar Science beginning next month. ‘The third stumbling block? Building codes and build- ing inspectors—they’re all tied into 90-degree architecture. In many cases, this makes it impossible to get the ap- proval you need tosstart building. To overcome this prob- lem, we're currently conducting engineering studies on a full-scale prototype of the Hexa-Pent Dome, The com- pleted studies should go a long way toward helping you gain a building permit from your local building inspector. ‘What's the new Hexa Pent like? Basically i a 1- Continued lion, and sealing—should run around $1,000, Note the unique solution 10 the old problem of dome door design. Entryway is, attractive, and provides ite own sheltered “stoop.” way 1972 | 129 sphere, three-frequency, parallel breakdown design. It’s made of ordinary building materials—plywood and two- by-fours for the most part. ‘The Hexa-Pent design is a new extension of the more- from-less concept. It eliminates duplication of many parts and manual operations. Let me explain: Most come homes are assembled from their most basic units—triangles, Each triangle is rimmed with lightweight Fascinaling geometry of interior sruting above is one of de- Sign bonuses, Double strts outline hex and pent panelt with hheavy lines, All other struts are single to save on labor and atlas, Below, straght-down veew from plans shests shows how panels fit topether At right, the three building blocks for the Hexa-Pent, You make ive of pent panels as shown, sith ‘With selndow and. vent layout built tn: Five het pandls are tnade according to layout at right, ve more are ull with door, wincows, and vents, Fe. more panet—ihe Rall hexes tised in bottom course of dome-complete the structure, al dre made with struts cut from two-by-four stock, covered wih Treated fe pyvood. 220 | POPULAR SCIENCE Te CUT GFF EXCESS GUSSET FLUSH WITH MEMGER reinforcing struts, What happens when you fasten the triangles together? You get double struts at every seam, ‘This requires a lot of struts, a lot of fasteners to secure alll those struts, and a Jot of labor to make the struts and in- siall the fasteners. ‘The Hexa-Fent design eliminates most of this waste. I's not assembled from the basic triangles, but. rather from two types of larger units—hexagons and pentagons “TOOTH ANNIVERSARY 1SSUl (half hexagons are used in the dome’s base). Of course, the hexagons and pentagons are made up of triangles, but these are not individually strutted. Where they meet they share a common strut, Doubling up occurs only where hexagons and pentagons join. ‘The result: great savings in time and materials. ‘These savings make the Hexa-Pent a natural for do-it- yourself applications (and should add a healthy increase ‘Make a model to study the Hexa-Fent thee two palteens to cardboard and cot and. five half-hexes ibased on upper sight Don’t Forget to cut ¥ notches. score “spol color each panel type a diferent hi gether and fasten wi the panels togethe ising ouF model as a placement gui Fie WO.X 1% 0.0, WASHER 109 THICK, C0, PLATED 5 ‘CENTURY OF WONDERS: 19721972 1p. To start, transfer half 01 hex patte Tines swith a Keil (otherwise they'll get lost completed model), then bring the edyes of notches 10: {ape inside the cupped panel. Finally, tape MEX 3%¢ BOLE CAD, PLATED THISFACE RECEIVES \ EXTERIOR PLYWOGO PANELS. to what is becoming a strong demand for dome homes). Of course, in order to build this house you will need ‘more than simple hand tools, and you'll have to jar your- self locse from 90-degree thinking. But take a look at your power tools, Table saw, radial-arm saw, jointer, Portable cutoff saw—they all have adjustments calibrat in degrees. Leam to use those adjustments and you'll have no trouble making this dome. wi Thee critical details from Hexa-tent plans show: Unique design features. Above left, the tech- fhiques for joining and sealing hex and pent panels are revealed, AL left, (wo views Of 2 typi eal spoke steut from a pent panel. This strat— like all. others=is cut from ordinary two-by-fou stock, The notches in. the ends are to receive plywood wussels ax detailed above in a perspec tive view of a pentagon’s hub. Tests have shown. that fitting gussets into slots is stronger than. ‘merely fasiening them to the strut faces. may 1972 | 198