b. Patent Summary and Claims

Fundamental concepts of geodesic and synergetic construction are described in my prior patent, No. 2,682,235, granted in June 29, 1954 and in my cop-ending applications for patent Serial No. 563,931, filed February 7, 1956, and Serial No. 643,403, filed March 1, 1957. As the invention of my prior patent has become known and used throughout the world, it can be assumed that the reader will be familiar with geodesic dome construction and the principal characteristics which distinguish it from the older architectural forms; so these characteristics will here be reviewed only briefly. For a comprehensive review, reference is made to patent No. 2,682,235, aforesaid.

In geodesic construction, the building framework is one of generally spherical form in which the longitudinal centerlines of the main structural elements substantially in great circle planes whose intersections with a common sphere form grids comprising substantially equilateral spherical triangles. [“Great circle planes” are defined as planes whose intersections with a sphere are great circles. Such planes pass through the center of the sphere. The earth’s equator and the meridians of the globe are representative of great circles in the ordinary accepted meaning of this term.] The grids can, for example, be formed on the faces of a spherical icosahedron. Each of the twenty equal spherical equilateral triangles which form the faces of the icosahedron is modularly divided along its edges. Lines connecting these modularly divided edges in a three-way great circle grid provide the outline for the plan of construction. Each of the smaller triangles formed by the three-way grid is approximately equilateral, i.e. its sides are approximately equal. The extent of variation in length is determined trigonometrically or by graphic solution of the grids as drawn upon the modularly divided edges of an icosahedron outlined upon the surface of a scale model sphere. It will be found that at each vertex of the icosahedron five of the grid triangles form a pentagon, whereas elsewhere throughout the pattern the grid triangles group themselves into hexagons, this being one of the distinguishing characteristics of three-way grid construction.

My present invention arises in the discovery that when perfectly flat rectangular sheets are shingled together in a three-way grid pattern and are fastened together where they overlap in the areas of the geodesic lines of the pattern, a new phenomenon occurs: there are induced in each flat rectangular sheet, elements of five cylindrical struts defining two triangles of the grid edge to edge in diamond pattern. the effect is to produce a three-way geodesic pattern of cylindrical struts by inductive action so that, when the sheets are fastened together in the particular manner described, the struts are created in situ. thus the flat rectangular sheets are triangulated into an inherently strutted spherical form to produce what we may for simplicity term a self-strutted geodesic plydome. The flat sheets become inherent geodesic; they become both roof and beam, both wall and column, and in each case, the braces as well. They become the weatherbreak and its supporting frame or truss all in one. The inherent three-way grid of cylindrical struts causes the structure as a whole to act almost as a membrane in absorbing and distributing loads, and results in a more uniform stressing of all of the sheets. the entire structure is skin stressed , taut and alive. Dead weight is virtually non-existent. technically, we say that the structure possesses high tensile integrity in a discontinuous compression system.

R. Buckminster Fuller, “Self-Strutted geodesic Plydome”, “Patent No. 2,905,113”, United States Patent Office, September 22, 1959, p.1-8


Claims:
1. A building framework of generally spherical form with structural elements consisting of interconnected sheets whose longitudinal centerlines lie substantially in great circle planes whose intersections with a common sphere form grids comprising substantially equilateral spherical triangles, said sheets being initially flat and marked for interconnection along lines substantially normal to said intersections, said framework being characterized by the fact that the sheets are fastened together in the areas of said lines and cylindrical struts are induced in the sheets defining two geodesic triangles in each sheet.

2. A building framework characterized as defined in claim 1, in which said interconnected sheets are rectangular form.

3. A building framework characterized as defined in claim 1 in which said interconnected sheets are fastened together also at points substantially removed from said lines.

4. A building structure of generally spherical form comprising overlapping sheets arranged in a geodesic three-way grid pattern, said sheets being initially flat and arranged for interconnection along lines normal to the lines of the grid pattern, the sheets being fastened together in the areas of the lines of interconnection and cylindrical struts being induced in the sheets defining two geodesic triangles in each sheet.

5. A building structure of generally spherical form comprising rectangular sheets arranged in a geodesic three-way grid pattern on the faces of a spherical icosahedron with the sheets overlapping at their corners and fastened together at the overlaps and having induced cylindrical struts defining two geodesic triangles forming a diamond in each sheet.

6. A building structure according to claim 5, in which the arrangement of the sheets on the faces of the spherical icosahedron is this: in the diamond formed by geodesic lines joining common vertexes of a common side of the adjacent spherical faces with the centers of said adjacent faces, the sheets are arranged in parallel rows aligned with the major axis of said diamond.

7. A building structure according to claim 6 in which the induced geodesic triangles of the sheets form a pattern of hexagonal and pentagonal pyramids the apexes of which define an outer sphere and the corners of the bases of which define an inner sphere.

8. A building structure according to claim 6, in which the induced geodesic triangles of the sheets form a pattern of inverted hexagonal and pentagonal pyramids the corners of the bases of which define an outer sphere and teh apexes of which define an inner sphere.

9. A building structure according to claim 6 in which the induced geodesic triangles of the sheets form an inverted tetrahedron at the center of each face of the spherical icosahedron and one of the induced struts of each rectangular sheet extends the long way of the sheet to form the common base of said two geodesic triangles.

10. A building structure according to claim 6, in which the induced geodesic triangles of the sheets form a tetrahedron at the center of each face of the spherical icosahedron and one of the induced struts of each rectangular sheet extends the long way of the sheet to form the common base of said two geodesic triangles.

11. A building structure according to claim 5 in which the geodesic triangles of the sheets form a pattern of hexagonal and pentagonal pyramids, six sheets toeing in to the apex of a hexagonal pyramid and five sheets toeing in to the apex of a pentagonal pyramid.

12. A building structure according to claim 11 in which one of the induced struts extends the short way of the sheet to form the common base of said two geodesic triangles.

13. A building structure according to claim 5 in which the geodesic triangles of the sheets form a pattern of inverted pyramids the corners of the bases of which define an outer sphere and the apexes of which define an inner sphere.

14. A building structure according to claim 11, in which one of the induced struts extends the long way of the sheet to form the common base of said two geodesic triangles.

15. A building structure according to claim 5, in which the geodesic triangles of the sheets form a pattern of inverted hexagonal and pentagonal pyramids, six sheets toeing in to the apex of a hexagonal pyramid and five sheets toeing into the apex of a pentagonal pyramid, and in which one of the induced struts extends the long way of the sheets to form the common base of said two geodesic triangles, the corners of the bases of the pyramids defining an outer sphere and the apexes of the pyramids defining an inner sphere.

R. Buckminster Fuller, “Self-Strutted geodesic Plydome”, “Patent No. 2,905,113”, United States Patent Office, September 22, 1959, p.1-8