How to make a hollow geodesic plywood ball

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The sanding down of the corners and turning into a sphere is super satisfying :smiley: looks really awesome too


This reminds me somehow of the wood burl bowl craze from a few years ago.

Yeah, I think this every single time I see another thing Norm Abram would whip up in his shop.

I think this kind of expense is one reason why 3D printers started having a lot more mainstream appeal than I had initially imagined. Precision is another. And space. How many of us have space for a woodshop compared with a 3D printer? Etc.

Meanwhile, I have been thinking about how to craft a rather different kind of hollow engineered ball ever since I read this in The Guardian. This ball does depend much on one’s ability to…

… but it seems like just the kind of thing that 3D printing (and the programming that enables it) is best at.


Yes! As seen previously…

But that is the part I’d forgotten about: “Now take your ten-speed reciprocating cross-joiner and free-hand a three foot straight line.”


Had to watch it with the sound off.


You know you’ve made it when you have TWO miter saws right next to each other…


yes, we must create our own orbs, not glowing with unnatural fire but made of earth and plant


The only exotic item in his shop is the spherical sanding lathe. But it’s clear that he had to spend some money on tools to get that far.

All fuzzy and distorted? Same with that Lego piano video. But not on another video on YouTube, with voice only - just these music ones. And fuzziness went away for a nanosecond if volume altered on PC. Weird.

Having two mitre saws side-by-side isn’t just a bit exotic? I’ve heard of redundancy, but …

Sure, but those ain’t $79 ryobi saws he’s dual-wielding

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If you cut a lot of opposite angle miters on the same piece/project, those two saws are a god send for productivity.


Do you actually think the plastic stuff you get from a 3d printer is in any way comparable to the beauty that you get from making things out of real wood?

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No. The music was awful, just bad.

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Ah - just me then. Thx for confirming.

Accuracy is important. I grew up in a geodesic dome that my father designed, and I remember when we assembled the first ring from ten 2x4s and modified hurricane straps. The ends didn’t meet! Turns out that a slight miscalculation in the hole placement on the inner straps was throwing it off. We had to redrill a couple dozen metal straps to make it go together.


Beauty is one thing.
Function is another.

Sometimes there is an intersection.

I was focusing on the hollow and geometric-y and ball-like nature in the OP.

My family and I live mostly like this:

I am no fan of plastic, generally.

My favorite

are :green_heart: :heart: living trees :heart: :green_heart: .

I have planted so very many of them.
And watered them, for a minimum of two years, until they get established. That’s really the hardest part: protecting them and nurturing them until they are able to thrive without me.

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Lots of bitching about tools here…

My maker space has all the tools shown in that video (minus the sanding jig, which looks custom). Not shocking, he’s just using a table saw and miter saw(s). The sanding jig could be made from plywood, or in our metal shop (where I built a working motorcycle suspension). Membership is $55 a month (less for low income members, which even I qualify for at times due to unemployment).

You know what we don’t have? A reliable working 3d printer. Those things break if you look at them funny, bad institutional investments. Everything is volunteer run and maintained to keep costs low, but that means things that break don’t get fixed until somebody with passion and know how puts in time.


perhaps all you need is a pair of the scissors

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