> The discussion reminds me of quite a few joiner plate and
> hub designs in the patent literature. There are several patent
> websites out there, one of course is www.uspto.gov.
Oh, I love to look around on the patent servers -- lots of fun, and
quite interesting when you find something particularly neat.
I think that's where I saw the bolt together plate design.
> old enough (like more than 15 or 20 years, I forget the
> actual legal protection period)
I don't remember the exact length of time, but 17 years sticks in
my mind. I think it can be extended, though.
> Getting a hub that is adjustable for use in different domes yet
> positive locking and strong once assembled is not a trivial matter,
That's an understatement. However, while it has to be securely
attached at the actual vertex, does the hub need to be rigid for
the average dome? (I know 12F+ domes have exhibited dimpling
even in models)
For the average home dome, 2F, 3F, 4F, 5F...is dimpling a big
> Using individual plates and joining them at a central point can
> work, but one must balance the width of the material, for strength,
> against the offset you wind up with when you stack 5 or 6
> thicknesses together on the central pin - thicker material departs
> from a flat hub. Hang 4 or 5 eye rings on a bolt and you'll see what
> I mean.
Not necessarily. Each connector "plate" could posess an offset
and place the strut in the same plane, despite the exact position
of the eye bolt.
Think about it. Let's take a 2x4 as an example. We could stack
up to 3.75" of connector thickness, each with a unique offset,
and still maintain a functionally "flat" connector.
-- Chuck Knight