Re: cost of materials

From: Patrick Salsbury (
Date: 09/26/98

Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 15:12:21 -0700
From: Patrick Salsbury <>
Subject: Re: cost of materials

At 08:07 AM 9/25/98 -0700, you wrote:
>A nine-frequency dome would not work as well as one divisible by two.
>Also, an internal triacon would require struts that are too long, and
>unwieldy to handle. Therefore , I''ve calculated strut lengths
>necessary for a twelve-f alternate.
        I'm trying to recall exactly what a triacon is/looks like.
        Do you have a reference or pictures or URL? I found nothing in
either Synergetics book, but maybe I was looking in the wrong place?

> A 300=foot diameter sphere would require the longest struts of a
>twelve-f to be 16.712', or 16' 3.25". This would result in the longest
>struts of an inside triacon to be almost 30', and the outsde one would
>have struts of nearly 10', an easily handleable size. (inside freq is
>8-triacon, outside is 24.)
        Again, I'd suggest using smaller parts. "Easily handleable" is a
relative term, given that we'll be using our hands, at least for the
early stages. Remember, a bulldozer/crane/heavy-lifter isn't going to
float on water. And barges *are* expensive, as are bulldozers/etc.
        Bucky was a big proponent of designing things such that parts
could easily be held by 1 hand, while the other hand fastens it. I think
this is a good idea. *Especially* if we're doing things underwater.

> At the midpoints of struts of a triacon dome, the midpoints of the
>alternate will pass naerby at 90* angles. A short connecting piece
>should be welded between these for additional strength, a "freebie".
> Using five-eighths inch rebar at $4.89 each, retail, thetwelve-f alt
>would cost $10,700 for materials, there being 2198 struts in the
>hemisphere. (This includes the thirty extra ones to go half-way around
>the equator.) Figuring another $20,000 for inside and outside rebar,
>and you will have a grand total of about $30,000. I'm sure this
>quantity could be gotten for a bit less, wholesale, but there are also
>additional costs for many other phases of the operation. Labor will
>cost five to ten times that of materials.
> I think the best way to finance, in additon to share-selling, would be
>by institutional grants from scientific organizations, universities,
>and even governments and corporations. To depend n stockholders keeping
>their money in such a long-term and "risky" venture in today's volatile
>world would opn up instabilities.
        Getting funding is always the perennial problem, and I don't want
to go the route of previous floating-city attempts, like the Atlantis
Project, where they raised $160,000, and blew all of that on a model in
order to try and get more funding. The organizer ended up going into debt
that he's *still* trying to pay off.
        For $160,000, we can have something floating. And I'm a firm
beleiver in "if you build it, they will come," but not many will come
until you build it. :-)

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