Skip to main content

Weekend Workshop: Turn a pile of cardboard into a backyard geodesic dome

weekend workshop how to build a geodesic dome 070216
Design that Matters/Instructables
Need something to keep you busy this weekend? Look no further. The Weekend Workshop is our weekly column where we showcase a badass DIY project that you can complete with minimal skills and expertise. We’ve dug through all the online tutorials on the web, and gone the extra mile to pinpoint projects that are equal parts easy, affordable, and fun. So put on your work pants, grab your tool belt, and head to the garage — it’s time to start building!

Geodesic domes are essentially what you would get if you cut Disney World’s Epcot Center globe in half. Other than perhaps functioning as a futuristic tree house, they aren’t that practical … but there’s no denying they are just downright pleasing. So why not build one just for fun? With summer now in full swing, there’s no better time to enjoy these funky buildings, but as you might imagine, you can’t simply walk into Geodesic Plus and pick one up off the shelf.

Well, thanks to a savvy engineering team named Design that Matters over at the popular DIY site Instructables, anyone with a large batch of cardboard, some Makedo screws, and access to a laser cutter can make one of these for themselves. Obviously, access to a laser cutter isn’t something every neighborhood has readily available so while this may be the hardest step to complete, driven builders could actually use an X-Acto knife — though this would require much more construction time.

To help you get started, we’ve compiled an accurate tools and materials list required for pulling off the build and listed it below. Like any project requiring the use of a knife (or laser cutter), we recommend having an above-average knowledge of the tools before attempting the construction. With that said, here’s everything you’ll need to get started:


  • Makedo screws (can substitute zip ties or binder clips)
  • Design template (downloadable via Instructables)
  • Laser cutter (or X-Acto knife if a laser cutter isn’t available)


  • 2-by-3 foot cardboard stock (40 panels)

With the small — yet necessary — build list at the ready, it’s now time to start constructing your very own cardboard geodesic dome. Simply follow the step-by-step walkthrough posted to Instructables, as well as design template posted to the guide, and in a matter of hours, your new geodesic dome will be the envy of the neighborhood. Happy building!

Rick Stella
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Rick became enamored with technology the moment his parents got him an original NES for Christmas in 1991. And as they say…
This AI cloned my voice using just three minutes of audio
acapela group voice cloning ad

There's a scene in Mission Impossible 3 that you might recall. In it, our hero Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) tackles the movie's villain, holds him at gunpoint, and forces him to read a bizarre series of sentences aloud.

"The pleasure of Busby's company is what I most enjoy," he reluctantly reads. "He put a tack on Miss Yancy's chair, and she called him a horrible boy. At the end of the month, he was flinging two kittens across the width of the room ..."

Read more
Digital Trends’ Top Tech of CES 2023 Awards
Best of CES 2023 Awards Our Top Tech from the Show Feature

Let there be no doubt: CES isn’t just alive in 2023; it’s thriving. Take one glance at the taxi gridlock outside the Las Vegas Convention Center and it’s evident that two quiet COVID years didn’t kill the world’s desire for an overcrowded in-person tech extravaganza -- they just built up a ravenous demand.

From VR to AI, eVTOLs and QD-OLED, the acronyms were flying and fresh technologies populated every corner of the show floor, and even the parking lot. So naturally, we poked, prodded, and tried on everything we could. They weren’t all revolutionary. But they didn’t have to be. We’ve watched enough waves of “game-changing” technologies that never quite arrive to know that sometimes it’s the little tweaks that really count.

Read more
Digital Trends’ Tech For Change CES 2023 Awards
Digital Trends CES 2023 Tech For Change Award Winners Feature

CES is more than just a neon-drenched show-and-tell session for the world’s biggest tech manufacturers. More and more, it’s also a place where companies showcase innovations that could truly make the world a better place — and at CES 2023, this type of tech was on full display. We saw everything from accessibility-minded PS5 controllers to pedal-powered smart desks. But of all the amazing innovations on display this year, these three impressed us the most:

Samsung's Relumino Mode
Across the globe, roughly 300 million people suffer from moderate to severe vision loss, and generally speaking, most TVs don’t take that into account. So in an effort to make television more accessible and enjoyable for those millions of people suffering from impaired vision, Samsung is adding a new picture mode to many of its new TVs.
[CES 2023] Relumino Mode: Innovation for every need | Samsung
Relumino Mode, as it’s called, works by adding a bunch of different visual filters to the picture simultaneously. Outlines of people and objects on screen are highlighted, the contrast and brightness of the overall picture are cranked up, and extra sharpness is applied to everything. The resulting video would likely look strange to people with normal vision, but for folks with low vision, it should look clearer and closer to "normal" than it otherwise would.
Excitingly, since Relumino Mode is ultimately just a clever software trick, this technology could theoretically be pushed out via a software update and installed on millions of existing Samsung TVs -- not just new and recently purchased ones.

Read more