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Pentakis Dodecahedron Geodesic Globe (AKA: Earth)
18" wide hinged geodesic frame w/ 60 isosceles triangular panels over a hollow core
About this creation
Completed almost a year ago, the Pentakis Dodecahedron globe is finally unveiled. I just finished relocating with my family to BeiJing (a 6 month long process), and this was crated for the long slow (container ship) move from Indiana, sans panels of course.

For me, this MOC was a natural progression from the Arctic Arms Dealing Yeti Base's much smaller Pentakis Icosahedron which served as the protective cover of the communications array (to keep all the Lego ice from forming of course). While that previous Yeti base geodesic globe (technically called a Pentakis Icosahedron) measured only 9" across with 20 isosceles triangles, the Earth globe (a Pentakis Dodecahedron) measures 18" across with 60 isosceles triangles, 90 edges, 32 vertices, and with the 60 panels included weighs in at just over 11 pounds.

Probably the hardest part of the build was keeping track of all of the 60 uniquely designed panels, so I numbered all 60 panels on the back and all 32 vertices inside the globe. I was inspired by many other MOCers here that built globes, mostly quasi-solid with bricks, but I wanted something hollow, similar to the yeti globe. But after finishing the hinged frame and half way through designing and adding the 9 pounds of surface panels the first time, the globe collapsed under its own weight. The solution was to reinforce it on the inside by adding a spherical inner truss of the Pentakis Dodecahedron's dual form, the truncated dodecahedron (which we call the soccer ball shape). This improvement makes the globe strong enough to handle, but there is still a strict no-touchy touchy policy in the home as this sits on an end table between a love seat and a chair.

At the outset, I had to decide what color scheme to go with, and there were so many choices to choose from, but in the end instead of using different colors for all the continents, I decided to use the same color scheme that we see from space, a border-less globe showing only the arid, moist, and icy areas and the blue water. There are no national boundaries; these are constructs of man.

A shot head on to Asia, where I now live, as does Daniel Lyman, another BeiJing expat AFOL who needs to come to LegoLand BeiJing (my home). Don't worry Dan, I'll waive the entrance fee for you.



Another shot of Asia, was hard to get the Malaysia peninsula skinny enough with the 1-stud lower limit on width. Also of note, astronauts confirm that you cannot see the Great Wall from outer space; it's too skinny.



The Mediterranean Ocean's tiny island of Sicily called for a green vine stuck through a headlight to get the tiniest round island I could design, short of using stickers, which my son and I agreed at the outset would be considered categorically cheating.



Africa is indeed a large continent, with Tattooine in the north.



Looking back I probably should have dropped in a stud for Bermuda right about ... there! Twould have given new meaning to that old '70s phrase, "the Bermuda Triangle"...



Easter Island is right where it is supposed to be, that little green cheese slope by that vertex, AND on my bucket list



Another shot of Africa. Louis and Taiye, this is for you. Chris, you get the North America pic, you're no more African than me or Linda...



The Middle East was not easy to design with the skinny Red Sea and Persian Gulf in there, with areas smaller than my design resolution.



North America & Central America. As an American, it is strange to see it without the national boundaries separating it from Canada and Mexico...



The great Pacific Ocean, with Hawaii barely visible on one of the northern-most blue plates, Guam, Fiji, & company visible in the middle, and lush sheep-grazing new Zealand way down south just above Antarctica which I lovingly designed but did not get a picture of due to the base being in the way.



Another shot of the virtually all-bue Pacific Ocean pentagon.



Australia, in honor of my friends from there. You know who you are Yips.



Borneo is dead center here, never realized before how big and warm and inviting it is!



More Borneo and SouthEast Asia. Sumatra was especially fun to build as I hold a special place in my heart for Sumatra as it protected me from a tidal wave headed toward Malaysia one time I was in Penang.



The Indian Sub-continent, and down by that Indian Ocean vertex sits a single tiny green cheese slope for the US Secret Navy base of Diego Garcia (with MH370 tucked away in a hangar...)



More of the Indian Ocean



I learned a lot about the planet in making the surface plates, like the fact that the North Pole is purely an ocean that freezes each winter, and that there are too many Pacific Ocean islands smaller in scale than the edge of a single 1x1 plate, although I did make sure to add my bucket list islands: Fiji, Guam, Easter Island, Diego Garcia, Sicily, Sardinia (where I plan to have a pizza the way I like it), Hawaii, and over a dozen more with names too obscure to warrant listing them here (or for me to commit their name to memory). Popular islands like Crete, Cyprus, Bermuda, the Azores, China's HaiNan, and The Isle of Man were left off, some due to laziness, others due to space constraints (none due to conscious political bias). It was surprising to me how large Africa is and how small Greenland is, but alas, the popular Mercator Projection does skew our view of the world this way.

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************************* 60th Wall Commentary *************************
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I have been torn about whether to post any pics of the inside frame system of the globe. I'm sure Adam will probably make royalties off of me for this one, but here it is anyway; I never have been one to hide the techniques in any of my MOCs, and hopefully this one will make it into someone's book someday. Also, future Lego book authors, I can PhotoShop the table away and overlay the globe on a starry black background if need be, just so lil' time these days

I was also initially torn about whether to hide the studs on the frame plates by using tiles instead of plates, but from my previous experience building spheres, being able to see round studs on the surface of a Lego sphere makes the mind say, "Mmmmmm, Roouund!" I experienced this phenomenon first when I built the Spherical parts of the ShangHai Oriental Pearl Tower. I did one version with tiled spheres and another version with studded spheres, and the result with studs showing was inexplicably more spherical looking, even though from a pure mathematical/geometric standpoint, the studs made the surface less smooth and spherical. The mind plays tricks on our perceptions, and for this reason, I left the studded frame visible.

The double layered truss frame was the trick to adding strength to the globe, but a lot of trial and error had to take place to get an inner truss radius that was conducive to replication because the outer dimensions were already fixed. There was a lot of math done prior to the first bricklink purchase, and that I shall keep from boring you all with. Just like in my engineering work, math is just the necessary evil to make cool things work.

And as always, a special thanks to Mrs. Drake for supporting this endeavor and allowing it to be displayed in the living room of our home (on an end table beside the love seat, precariously close to where people flop and kids tromp...). It does at least draw the attention away from the towers a bit...


Here are a couple pics of the hollow inner frame system.
The first one below is of the South Pole, hence the white plates.
The build was iterative; I first did just the frame with on-hand red and yellow plates and gobs of on-hand hinges, then figured out how to get the panels to be the best triangular shape, sometimes alternating slopes and plates to make them as tight as possible and minimize gaps between the brick panels and plate frame. Then, I estimated 75% of the globe would be blue and 25% would be green and started doing the final design. Beige purchases came in late as I had forgot the arid areas of the planet.






Lastly here we have a picture taken with my son, who helped me lock down the panels. His small hands became pivotal in the completion of the panel insertion because this puppy is like a Japanese engine, designed to be optimally functional, but hard as heck to to work on with big hands. This one also gives you a true sense of the scale of the globe.






Comments

 I like it 
  February 24, 2018
Ok I thought my mind was blown just looking at the level of detail on the surface wondering how you built it. Then I saw the pics of the interior and BANG! .....now that I’ve recovered. This is magnificent!
 I made it 
  June 16, 2016
Quoting A QIEA QIEA wow wow wow .. this is so birillant job
surely you jest. This was just something I threw together throughout all of 2015...
 I like it 
  May 22, 2016
wow wow wow .. this is so birillant job
 I like it 
  February 25, 2016
Wow. Such beautiful geometry.
 I like it 
  February 24, 2016
When I saw the thumbnail, I had no idea that it was so big! This is quite the achievement :D
 I like it 
  February 24, 2016
very impressive. The internal structure is crazy. Shared on my FB page :https://www.facebook.com/SeboLego/
 I like it 
  February 23, 2016
Utterly Stunning. Frame work is remarkable, tile work and triangles are easily recognizable as their respective regions. Well Done!
 I like it 
  February 23, 2016
Nope, sorry...I don't buy it. You tried to dazzle me with big mathematical words in the title and then get something completely impossible past me. Well, it almost worked...I nearly passed out when I tried to say dodeca...whatever, and then realized that those aren't even real words. Nice try, buddy, but you've got to get up pretty early in the morning...sorry, lost my train of thought. Okay, seriously, this is amazing. So far beyond my understanding of geometry that all I can do is sit here marveling at this masterpiece while reconciling with myself that I can't possibly comprehend how it was accomplished. Hats off to you, man. Absolutely fantastic.
 I like it 
  February 23, 2016
Great globe!
 I like it 
  February 23, 2016
Wow. This is so awesome!
 I like it 
  February 22, 2016
It's incredible how people take Lego and transfer it into a feat of engineering, this is just mindboggling.
 I like it 
  February 21, 2016
That's just crazy good.
 I like it 
  February 21, 2016
Well, consider my mind blown. This is genius, and a fantastic idea. Amazing work.
 I made it 
  February 21, 2016
Quoting Matt G-ria Truly remarkable. What an incredibly difficult structure to build.
Thanks Matt! I'm a degreed structural engineer, and this was thee single most challenging MOC I have done, and I've made some tricky Lego towers that are about 6 feet tall.
 I made it 
  February 21, 2016
Quoting Tirrell Brown Australia needs a tad bit of green on the East and Northeastern coasts, but other than that..ahh who am I kidding I'm nitpicking. this Moc is outstanding!
Thanks Tirrell Brown! I admit my cultural ignorance about places I have never been, for real. I have some plans to make some modifications to Asia, and it is fortuitous that you shared this guidance with me before I started the dis-assembly process as I have to dis-assemble starting from the North pole first and meticulously working my way south area by area.
 I like it 
  February 20, 2016
Truly remarkable. What an incredibly difficult structure to build.
 I like it 
  February 20, 2016
This is a super cool alternate build! Love it!
 I like it 
  February 19, 2016
Australia needs a tad bit of green on the East and Northeastern coasts, but other than that..ahh who am I kidding I'm nitpicking. this Moc is outstanding!
 I made it 
  February 19, 2016
Quoting Jeremy McCreary Everything about this MOC is phenomenal, David, including the structural engineering and the rendering of the landmasses. Truly one of the best pieces I've seen on MOCpages!
Thanks Jeremy! But it's not really fair because I studied structural engineering in school. This was one of the most rewarding build I have ever done. I recall in school for my senior project I wanted to design a geodesic structure and my adviser "advised" against it because he said it was unnecessarily difficult to design. I now understand why he said that!
 I like it 
  February 19, 2016
Everything about this MOC is phenomenal, David, including the structural engineering and the rendering of the landmasses. Truly one of the best pieces I've seen on MOCpages!
 I like it 
  February 18, 2016
That's truly incredible.
 I like it 
  February 18, 2016
Outrageously brilliant. You are a very talented Lego engineer!
 I like it 
  February 17, 2016
Wow that is so good! Incredible design!
 I like it 
  February 13, 2016
amazing!:D
 I made it 
  February 13, 2016
Quoting Bob the inconceivably invincible This has got to be the coolest MOC I've ever seen!
Thanks Bob, I know it is the snottiest thing I have ever built, with 32 vertices, 60 panels, and 90 edges, all at uniquely different angles, the PD globe has studs facing 182 different directions.
 I like it 
  February 13, 2016
This has got to be the coolest MOC I've ever seen!
 I made it 
  February 13, 2016
Quoting Ludgonious . Every bit of this is brilliant! The shape is hard enough to make, but your attention to detail in both the geography and terrain is astounding. Great work!
Thanks Ludgonious! I wish I had as much time to build as you do, but this past year has ben the craziest yet, with the Legos in the US for 4 months while we were in China getting our resident visas, and then 2 more months of Lego separation while the stuff was shipped across the great pacific pentagon of blue. I've got projects double-parked in the back of my brain, but so little time to make them reality.
 I like it 
  February 13, 2016
Every bit of this is brilliant! The shape is hard enough to make, but your attention to detail in both the geography and terrain is astounding. Great work!
 I like it 
  February 13, 2016
Very impressive! And the things inside are awesome!
david drake
 I like it 
Matt Bace
  February 12, 2016
What an amazingly unique LEGO creation. The engineering required to produce the globe must have been an incredible effort, and the mapping of the land masses onto the surface of the globe is perfectly executed.
 I made it 
  February 12, 2016
Quoting Joshua Berger This is not just impressive, it is elegant! I rarely see interior structural work like this. Absolutely marvelous.
Thanks Joshua! Elegance is a much appreciated compliment here as that was my goal.
 I made it 
  February 12, 2016
Quoting linda drake This was extremely complicated and a gigantic engineering feat! This is David's wife here~I love his creativity and daring to design and build something that is outside the box! Way to go hubby on another great build! You rock my Lego world:)
Linda, thanks for passing multiple appropriations bills wherein many Chima minifigs for the man-Child were pork bellied! Your willingness to display the Lego art in the home is a constant motivation to me to convert our furnishings into 100% Lego (with cushions made of jedi capes, of course)
 I like it 
  February 12, 2016
This is not just impressive, it is elegant! I rarely see interior structural work like this. Absolutely marvelous.
 I like it 
  February 12, 2016
This was extremely complicated and a gigantic engineering feat! This is David's wife here~I love his creativity and daring to design and build something that is outside the box! Way to go hubby on another great build! You rock my Lego world:)
 I like it 
  February 12, 2016
Impressive build, Dude!
 I like it 
  February 12, 2016
MAN… HOW… Thats amazing! :) I'm at a loss for words. AMAZING WORK!!
 I like it 
  February 12, 2016
Incredible lego art!! Such a mastery of very complex techniques!
 I like it 
  February 12, 2016
Love it, David! It's phenomenal what you made of this famous geometrical form belonging to the use of 2-rowed plates for the cage and also for the idea of an earth- "globe"! I should make a golden pumpkin for you... ;) Interesting to realize that you had this PD build in your great arctic- MOC and refined it to this wonderful build! I also extended the form of the pumpkin for building a globe-spaceship! :)
 I made it 
  February 12, 2016
Quoting Disco Chicken .....I'm speechless.....
and I'm hinge-less. This monster used 720 hinges, not including those in the stand I built later!
 I made it 
  February 12, 2016
Quoting Pieter Dennison That is one heck of a build! Just seeing the inside and the detailing of the landscapes, that must have taken so much of your patience, but so worth it. Top Notch Work A+++++
You're right, the landscaping was amazingly time-consuming, but I had a projection of the globe on a pentakis dodecahedronic shape already that I worked from. Looking back I can see a couple places I goofed up and want to go back and re-do, but all in all I am very pleased with how it came out.
 I like it 
  February 11, 2016
The earth is 70% blue bricks I see....
 I like it 
  February 11, 2016
This is amazing. I have no more words to describe it...
 I like it 
  February 11, 2016
Wow
 I like it 
  February 11, 2016
This is absolutely amazing!
 I like it 
  February 11, 2016
Wow!
 I like it 
  February 11, 2016
.....I'm speechless.....
 I like it 
  February 11, 2016
How do you even...
 I like it 
  February 11, 2016
That's bizarrely amazing. My mind is blown. You have amazing talent.
 I like it 
  February 11, 2016
Wow! Dude, that is Amazing! Spectacular job!
 I like it 
  February 11, 2016
Dang, this is amazing!
 I like it 
  February 11, 2016
That is one heck of a build! Just seeing the inside and the detailing of the landscapes, that must have taken so much of your patience, but so worth it. Top Notch Work A+++++
 I like it 
  February 11, 2016
Wow, this must be one of the most imaginative approaches to the Earth I have seen in LEGO.
 I like it 
  February 11, 2016
This. Is. Awesome. Who knew dodecahedrons could look so good? And that internal structure is seriously gnarly.
 I made it 
  February 11, 2016
Quoting Digital Dreams Incredible. I'm sure you killed a few grey cells doing this project, so congratulations on completeing it successfully! Btw: you're currently missing a > on the link to the towers so the link isn't quite appearing correctly.
Thanks DD for catching the bad link, fixed it now. And yes, I killed more than few grey cells on this one.
 I made it 
  February 11, 2016
Quoting David McDonald Incredible work! You always produce very high quality builds but this is just over the top. Very well done - kudos to you. 10/10
Thanks David! I've been insanely busy in life the past couple years, changed jobs, moved twice, the last time 8,000 miles to BeiJing, and this globe had been sitting for months waiting for some final touches that few people would have even noticed anyway. I long for those golden years when I could come home each night and spend a couple hours building.
 I like it 
  February 11, 2016
Incredible work! You always produce very high quality builds but this is just over the top. Very well done - kudos to you. 10/10
 I like it 
  February 11, 2016
Incredible. I'm sure you killed a few grey cells doing this project, so congratulations on completeing it successfully! Btw: you're currently missing a > on the link to the towers so the link isn't quite appearing correctly.
 I like it 
  February 11, 2016
Uhhh. Whao. 10/5
 
By david drake
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