So, here is how they’re made.

A piece of 2mm thick aluminium is cut into a pentagonal or hexagonal shape approx 50cm across with a laser. At the same time we cut about 4 holes for each corner. These are then ‘tapped’, so they now each have a thread. We place these sheets one by one into a metal press and then force them down into the curved shape which is part of a sphere 1.4m wide. They have any sharp edges smoothed off and are ready for assembly.

We also need to create a small plate that joins them together inside the sphere. Some small bolts are needed to mate the parts and each get a drop of screw locking glue to hold it together. The bolt heads are inside the sphere also so the exterior is completely smooth.

The half sphere resembles Darth Vaders meditation chamber, which is pretty cool. 🙂

Half hexagons can be added for a more symmetrical feel once the prototype is working. I also need a lip at the top so it’s impossible for it to tip over.