Domenico.cc

A low-cost, open-source geodesic dome system

Collective spaces

People need collective spaces to gather for group activities and generate social structures. Instead of waiting years for the financial resources and political support to arrive, we propose to take matters into our own hands by self-building temporary collective spaces.

Domenico at Maker Faire Rome 2015

The geodesic dome was developed by Buckminster Fuller in the first half of the 20th century and was highly popular in the United Stated during the sixties and seventies. We believe geodesic domes are highly suitable as collective spaces. They are strong and light, covering big spans using small and light elements. Thanks to latest digital fabrication technologies and beside the complexity of its elements, geodesic structures can be self-built in local Fab Labs at an affordable cost.

Geodesic Domes for everyone

Domenico.cc explores the possibility of self-build collective and temporary spaces. For example, this type of system can be used by communities to test the success of collective facilities in an experimental way before using more permanents building systems.

Domenico.cc is a project aiming to enable everyone to self-build their own collective space using geodesic domes and following the principles of low-cost, local digital fabrication and open source.

Domenico uses waterproof cardboard tubes and plywood connectors

During the past two years we have developed several Domenico.cc prototypes. The first one was based in bamboo struts and 3D printed bio-plastic connectors and resulted in a 6,5 meters dome. The last one uses waterproof cardboard tubes and plywood connectors allowing bigger domes.

The current prototype has been showcased at Maker Faire Rome in October 2015 where it won two Blue Ribbon Awards and Maker Faire Bilbao in November 2015!

Low-cost, digitally fabricated and open sourced

Our 3.0 Domenico.cc version has the following features:

  • Design based on 3V 5/9 Fuller-Kruschke method.
  • 165 waterproofed cardboard tubes and 61 CNC cut fabricated plywood connectors.
  • Span of up to 14 meters and 150 square meters covered area.
  • One day assembly with non-specialised training needed.
  • Low cost of approximately 10€ per square meter.

Domenico.cc is designed to be built in a Fab Lab using local resources only. Our latest Domenico.cc design can be found here under an open license.

A simple but effective clamping system was developed using rope instead of bolts

Frequently asked questions

Why open source?

We want anybody to be able to build strong, affordable and locally made geodesic buildings. By open-sourced it anybody can contribute to the development, right now we are collaborating with universities, institutions and individuals.

Is cardboard a suitable construction material?

Cardboard is a fantastic material: strong, recyclable, manufactured using very little energy and globally available. We are inspired by more than two decades of research by architect Shigeru Ban.

Do we sell the connectors?

If you want to build a Domenico.cc but you don’t have access to a Fab Lab then we can cut the connectors for you. You can contact us by email.

What is the development roadmap?

Right now, we have a well tested, strong and easy to build main structure. Recently, we have been working in a deck and an inflatable cover. First prototypes of these solutions are planned for the first quarter of 2016.

Acknowledgements

Domenico.cc is a project by Colaborativa.eu in collaboration with Fab Lab Limerick.

We are very grateful to the following people who have contributed to this project: Michael McLaughlin, Stephen Bourke, Jack Byrne, Aoife Marnane, Jennifer O’Riordan, Aidan Byrne, Tamires Santos, Renata Mota Almeida, Luis Graff, Orla Punch, Kristopher Ó Ceallaigh, Ed Devane, Thomas O’Brien & Justin Kelly.

We are developing a series of digitally fabricated products to help supporting the development of Domenico.cc. One of our products is Domenico Nano, a 55cm diameter geodesic sphere which is digitally fabricated in a Fab Lab and made of high quality birch plywood. This educational kit is intended for families, students, designers or anyone really who is curious about geodesic design.

Domenico Nano Kit

Visit our shop at Etsy if you would like us to spend more time in this project and support its development. More beautiful geodesic products coming soon!

The story of Domenico.cc through our articles, news and a selection of references in the media.

Domenico.cc at Maker Faire Rome 2015

Cardboard struts

Domenico.cc at Maker Faire Rome 2015

No bolt assembly

Domenico.cc at Maker Faire Rome 2015

Domenico Nano

Domenico.cc at Maker Faire Rome 2015 · We won two blue ribbon Maker Faire Awards!! · Colaborativa 2015 CC BY 3.0

Cardboard struts · Cardboard tubes were sealed with two layers of marine grade varnish making them completely waterproofed · Colaborativa 2015 CC BY 3.0

Domenico.cc at Maker Faire Rome 2015 · 165 waterproofed cardboard tubes and 61 CNC cut fabricated plywood connectors · Colaborativa 2015 CC BY 3.0

No bolt assembly · A simple but effective clamping system was developed so no bolts were used · Colaborativa 2015 CC BY 3.0

Domenico.cc at Maker Faire Rome 2015 · Span of up to 14 meters and 150 square meters covered area · Colaborativa 2015 CC BY 3.0

Domenico Nano · A 55cm diameter geodesic sphere which is digitally fabricated in a Fab Lab and made of high quality birch plywood · Colaborativa 2015 CC BY 3.0