Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wonders of Life

When I first started using SketchUp, I realized that it was an ideal tool for visualizing complex, repetitive three-dimensional shapes.  An intriguing shape of this sort is the geometric dome.

I have never designed a geometric dome and I do not understand the specific mathematical calculations that are used in creating such shapes.  Sometimes it is a lack of knowledge that allows one to take on unknown challenges.

Using just a few published dimensions, along with many photographs, I determined the pattern of shapes used to create the Wonders of Life pavilion, at Epcot.  In this case the model was intentionally designed to be simple so as to keep its memory size low.  The model is of the outside surface only, without taking into account the actual thickness of structural members and panels.  Even so the model takes up 1.2 MB.