Planning a Bigger Dome, Part III

David Anderson
Originally written in June 1998

Okay. The logic of the dome was described in Part I, and the mathematics of the dome was described in Part II. A lot of words, pictures, and tables - but what does it look like? Here's a snapshot of a patch...

The current web-ready visualization technology is VRML (Virtual Reality Markup Language.) If you don't know about it (but you want to) check out the VRML consortium's pages for more information, or just go to your local bookstore and browse the shelves. VRML is principally a representation format, not a programming language, so it's missing some stuff that would make it more internally functional, especially computational facilities like those in PostScript. Such is life.

I'm also building a coffee-stirrer and pipe cleaner model (along the lines of the cheap modeling technique described previously) but realizing the structure in VRML is a lot quicker. So far the model is great - it's rigid enough to wave around and bounce off things without deforming. Something that you just can't do with a single geodesic shell patch.

In any case, the code to generate octet-struted icosahedral geodesic patches has been modified to produce a VRML world instead of a tabular html page.

A 10-frequency patch may be viewed here if your browser has a VRML plug-in loaded. The white struts are the geodesic shell, the orange-red is the inner, and the connecting struts are the not-so-white-not-so-orange-red color in between. A small Red X Green Y Blue Z axis floats at the center of the world - zoom out if that's all you can see. If you don't have a suitable viewer, surf to where you got your browser and download one.