With the world cup just around the corner the solution was staring me in the face. If I couldn’t make the sphere from triangles then pentagons and hexagons would do.
That’s not to say I didn’t try to break it down further but it seemed like more hassle than it was worth.
I found a decent model of a football on grabcad.com so I didn’t have to work out the angles myself and started playing around with it. I still had the issued of how the blasted thing would stay together.
If the panels were bent on each side then they could be bolted together forming a nearly smooth sphere… I liked this idea but it still bothered me that the panels wouldn’t be able to be stacked together like plates.
I had also begun to think that aluminium, around 2mm thick, would be the ideal material. It’s cheap, strong, light and readily available. It’s also easy to press into shapes.