How to build projection dome?

We find that there is no much information online to guide how to build a projection dome. Therefore, we decide to share this kind of information for engineers, dome builders, and other stakeholders in the projection dome.

In this post, you will get a deep insight into the basic knowledge of the projection dome and how it is assembled.

What is the projection dome?

Projection dome is geodesic domes equipped with a projection mapping system. Most of us are familiar with Planetarium and Fulldome, and these are two specific types of projection domes. A planetarium is more for educational and entertaining shows about astronomy, while a fulldome is more for theater immersive environments.

Geodesic Dome vs. Projection Dome

The biggest difference between an ordinary geodesic dome and a projection dome is that projection dome use projection screen for its high performance in projection mapping. With the cinema-level membrane projection screen, the projection dome has the capability for light innovation.

Projection domes are popular worldwide

Recently, projection domes become increasingly popular. You can find projection domes are used for various commercial and governmental events around the world. Here are some of them:

Immersive Entertainment Dome - 30m Geodome Tent Structure for Projection Show - Projection Dome for Sale - Shelter Dome (2)

Light Arts Show

Geodesic Domes have an excellent capacity for lighting innovation. During the Light Arts Show, attendees are surprised by this creative illumination dome.

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Business Development Events

In the daytime, this 30-meter-diameter Projection Dome is used to hold investing and business development workshops. At night, with the multiple-projector system, it is used to showcase official videos to attract audiences.

Dome Projection Screen - 10m Diameter Geodesic Dome with Printing - Custom Dome Tent for Sale - Event Geodeisc Dome with Custom Graphics - Shelter Dome (23)

Carnival & Promotion

This 360-degree immersive projection dome was used for the film PADDINGTON 2 in Hong Kong. The 10-meter (32 feet) geodesic dome featured a custom printed dome cover and 360-degree projection system, seating for 60 people or stand for 115 people.

Then, let’s turn to the practical view-how to build right now:

Step by Step to teach you how to build a projection dome

Step by Step to teach you how to build a projection dome

1. Pick reliable suppliers

Before building a projection dome, one should purchase the geodesic dome tent and projection dome system. For geodesic dome, we strongly recommend Shelter Dome due to their high quality, affordable price and custom services. As for the dome projection system, we suggest you purchase locally. A local shop can provide immediate maintenance once you face a technical problem.

2. Preparation for building a projection dome
Firstly, it is necessary to check all the components and accessories. And if something is missed, inform your supplier and ask them to deliver the missing part.
 
We suggest all dome builder categorize all of the components before construction, which will save time later. If you order from Shelter Dome, you can see that both edges of a pipe have the printed code. Yes, it does help to save plenty of time to arrange different components.
 
Secondly, it is significant to prepare the target location for a projection dome. The target place is supposed to be larger than the dome itself. To save time, it is suggested to decide the base position as well.
 
Thirdly, if you are going to build a large projection dome, you need to book/rent a crane for the construction.

3. Building the frame structure from the top outward

It is suggested to build the projection dome which diameter within 12 meters from the bottom upward. For a large projection dome, it can only build from the top outward, with a crane. Here is a time-lapse video of building large 30-meter-diameter projection dome:

Firstly, dome builders should build the roof of the projection dome. Then, it is supposed to keep building the next layer with connectors till the bottom. When the frame structure is done, it is time to fix the round hoop door (wooden door, glass door or other). Lastly, the dome builder should connect the frame structure with the base plates and fix the projection dome on the ground.

4. Covering the frame with PVC fabric & membrane

There are at least two different types of projection dome, one you can see the video mapping from the outside, and another one from inside. Let’s see the examples:

Projection mapping on the outside surface of dome

In this case, the audience can enjoy the video mapping out of the projection dome. To make the dome look “illuminate” on the outside surface, the dome builder should cover the PVC fabric.

Dome Projection-Indian-30-meter-diameter Illumination Dome-night

We built one 30-meter-diameter projection dome in India. As you can see, they did the video mapping outside. Even you are 50 meters far away from the illumination dome, you can notice what is playing on it. This type of illumination dome is good for promotion.

Projection mapping inside the dome
In this case, the audience can enjoy the video mapping in the projection dome. To do this, after installing the PVC fabric, the dome builder also need to install the cinema-level membrane projection screen inside.
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We also build one projection dome in China. However, you can only get the immersive experience when you sit inside. This type of projection dome is perfect for cinema.

5. Installing the projection system

As the whole projection dome is done, the dome owner can set the dome projection to do dome mapping.

For those who build a semi-permanent projection dome to run a business, it is a wise choice to purchase a projection mapping system and ask the local supplier to install. However, for those clients who used it for special events or festivals, it is better to rent one locally. All in all, it is dependent on the dome owner whether to purchase a projection mapping system or to rent it.

All in all, a projection dome is done.
Enjoy the magical time in the 360-degree immersive environment.