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Pat Chipman, designer and producer of "DYMAXION IMPACT" animation (check out some of the work that Pat has done at http://home.austin.rr.com/globeworks/ ).

R. Buckminster Fuller, designer of Dymaxion Map.


To dynamically illustrate to many human eyes the low distortion of the Dymaxion Map projection, and to make a groundwork animation for future global impact animations.


The original idea for something that resembles "DYMAXION IMPACT" came during a meeting of Global Energy Network, International. This is a non-profit group organized to promote the idea conceived by Buckminster Fuller in the 1960's that great energy savings would occur if all the Earth were connected to one continuous electrical power grid. Animation of this concept might better explain its purpose, we reasoned and vaguely dreamt. Soon afterwards I saw that an animation of the Dymaxion Map folding into an icosahedron was possible using 3D AutoCAD and I produced exactly that in about 2 days. Months prior to this I had compiled latitude and longitude data from an atlas and produced a 3 dimensional shoreline model of the Earth and made it spin with AutoCAD and Animator. The next step seemed natural - to combine these 2 animations. The result would be a DYNAMIC illustration of Fuller's icosahedral animations, and personally a satisfying accomplishment. The morph between an icosahedral and a spherical Earth proved most challenging and my crude methods become well disguised by the eye tricks of movement and the relatively low resolution of Animator.

In the future I hope to show important global trends dynamically (i.e. time lapsed) to bring into better perspective what is happening here.


DTK '486-25 computer, 12MB RAM, 200MB hard disk Vcache, AutoCAD releases 10 and 11, Animator, QuickBasic


774 slides made using AutoCAD released 10 and 11, stitched together and played with Animator.

Icosahedral Earth:

Dymaxion Map digitized in, triangular areas separated in layers and layer/zones within these areas, incrementally rotated at the triangular folds using a script file and a UCS retrievable by entity. When folded this icosahedron was easily rotated about an axial UCS.

Spherical Earth:

4500 shoreline points of latitude and longitude interpolated then translated to Cartesian coordinates and imported to AutoCAD 10. (Accuracy varied with my mood as these interpolated estimations took literally months.) Following through with my initial enthusiasm proved an endurance test as I subsequently realized easier methods to achieve a spherical Earth shoreline database. Well, I did it myself and felt good about that. This was easily animated to spin and meshed together with the morphed icosahedron.

Morph between Icosahedron and Sphere:

6 zones on each triangular face were incrementally moved from their icosahedral positions to an approximately spherical orientation. The equilateral triangular edges were changed to arcs and incrementally curved to the appropriate spherical radius. The length of these edge/arcs was held constant as required by Fuller's projection method.

3/14/91 Pat Chipman


This Flash 5 Version:

Originally viewed on the PC by using a .gif viewer called AAPLAY.EXE. The .gif files were captured one-by-one (all 774) using the SWBCAP.EXE screen capture program. The resultant screens were imported into Flash 5 and aligned for viewing through a mask.

10/22/00 Paul-Michael Dekker