It all started when my friend came to me and brought very raw data. 'This is how we assemble the Geodesic Dome we created. We need manual for assemle and disassemble, can you do this?' he asked. I promised to try. But wasn't very optimistic, just take a look at a little bit of the data.
You can read the full story and much more details in mega blog post 'Dome'
But there was a happy end. The dome consists of struts connected using hubs.
There are seven types of hubs. I marked them with letters. Excluding 'E' because the lover line of this letter can be somehow erased while construction works and it will look like 'F'.
This is what the Hubs look like in real life:
Struts have seven different lengths. I marked them with letter 's' and a number. Every hub has to be rotated on a certain angle depending the place it is used in. At first it looked like we'll need the unique instruction for every hub(!!!) resulting in unusable manual, taking into account that there were more than 100 hubs and more than 250 strouts.
Fortunately I came up with the idea to assemble Dome level by level starting from the ground. I marked levels with distinctive colours. The closer level to the ground, the dirtier the color.
Then I just made diagrams for each level that looked like this:
And while doing the last diagrams, I mentioned there is a pattern. And it was repeating. The patterns were level-dependent, it's length was level-dependent too, but there certainly were the patterns.
It resulted in 20 pages manual that was so easy to work with, workers assembling the Dome learnt the level patterns by heart.