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How to Build a Model of a Geodesic Dome

Updated February 21, 2017

Building a model of a geodesic dome is a detailed introduction to its superior design and simplicity. Using common household items, you can make a model of a third-degree geodesic dome.

Using the pliers, unwind about 80 paper clips so that they are all straight. Trim the paper clip "wire" so you have 30 pieces of 2-inch length, 40 pieces of 2.4-inch length, and 50 pieces of 2.5-inch length. Label the shortest length A, the 2.4-inch length B and the 2.5-inch length C.

Following the assembly diagram above, start with the bottom of the dome and connect the paper clip struts. (You can make an entire sphere by doubling the amount of supplies and building two connecting domes.)

Using the pliers, twist the ends of the wire together, or use a dry welding compound like J-B Weld. You could also solder the ends together with a soldering iron and low-resin solder.

Tip

Experiment with different ways to hold the dome together, or even using wood or plastic struts.

Warning

Use safety equipment when cutting paper clip wire, because small pieces of wire can be ejected at high speeds from the cutters.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper clips
  • Small pliers
  • Wire cutter
  • J-B Weld (optional)
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About the Author

Eli Laurens is a ninth-grade physics teacher as well as a computer programmer and writer. He studied electrical engineering and architecture at Southern Polytechnic University in Marietta, Ga., and now lives in Colorado.