a. Patent Description and Claims

Discontinuous
Compression
Sphere,**
School of Architecture,
Princeton University

R. BUCKMINSTER
FULLER
(1953):

TENSEGRITY (1962):*

US Patent No:
3,063,521
Application:
August 31, 1959
Serial No.:
837,073
Patented:
November 13, 1962
*-
Inventions,
The Patented Works of R. 
Buckminster Fuller
(1983)
**-
The Artifacts of R. Buckminster Fuller:
a Comprehensive Collection of his
Designs and Drawings,
James Ward, ed.,
Garland, New York,
(1984)


Tensegrity, a concept Fuller explored during the late forties, obtained its maximum coherence in his erection of the discontinuous compression and continuous tension sphere at Princeton University in 1953. made up of ninety aluminum pipe struts held in place with ten wire cables projecting from each end, this seemingly magical, dematerialized orb was rebuilt later in 1959 and exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Fuller, R. Buckminster, 
The artifacts of R. Buckminster Fuller: a comprehensive 
collection of his designs and drawings,
 James Ward, ed., Garland, New York, 1984

Sphere which results from the Tensegrity assembly of 90 rigid tubes or struts held in place with tense wire  cables which project from each end and tie each tube to another. The struts are standardized into two sizes, long and short struts, and are reinforced by three tension cables running along the length of each. The struts are tied following a number of fixed configurations which range from a triangular, pentagonal, and hexagonal assembly. The distribution of the vertices of the resulting spherical field corresponds to a 180 face sphere.

Patent Claims:
1. A structure comprising a plurality of column like members and a plurality of tension elements the columnlike members being held in axially spaced relationship to one another by the tension elements arranged as follows each end of each column like member is connected by tension elements both to an end portion and to a portion intermediate the ends of an adjacent column like member.
2. A structure according to claim 1 in which that part cf a column like member which lies to one side of its central portion forms a triangular arrangement with two adjacent column like members and that part which lies to the other side of said central portion forms a triangular arrangement with another two adjacent column like members said two triangular arrangements overlapping one another.
3 A structure according to claim 1 in which that part of a column like member which lies to one side of its central portion forms a triangular arrangement with two adjacent column like members and that part which lies to the other side of said central portion forms a triangular arrangement with another two adjacent column like members said two triangular arrangements being spaced from one another.
4. A structure according to claim 1 in which said column like members are comprised by struts and said tension elements are comprised by cable means.  
5. A structure according to claim 1 in which said column like members are comprised by the bases of trough shaped members and said tension elements are comprised by the edges of said trough shaped members.
6. A structure according to claim 1 in which said column like members comprise an assemblage of compression and tension components with compression components held in spaced relationship by the tension components.
7. In a discontinuous compression structure a component comprising a strut and a pair of flexible tension slings each connected to an end portion and to a portion intermediate the ends of the strut and means for connecting said slings respectively to end portions of two other components of like construction