After successfully raising, leveling, and anchoring the dome support framework into place, the next step is to install the screen panels on the dome.
Each panel is a compoundly-curved perforated sheet of aluminum about 1mm thick. Up close, the panels have tiny (1.6mm) holes that cover about 23% of its surface. This allows air to flow from the front to back side.
Our new dome is the first dome in Ohio to use Spitz's NanoSeam technology. NanoSeam domes have flush seams between the panels without overlaps and countersunk fasteners that are flush with the front surface. Under digital projection, it should give a nearly seamless "eggshell" appearance.
Our 30-foot dome has about 81 panels: 3 rows of 25, plus 6 in the top cap. The Spitz crew is working from the bottom up, one panel at a time. Each panel, while stretched into its basic curved shape at the factory, is custom cut and fitted into place. The process is exacting and time-consuming. On average it requires about 1 hour per panel, and the whole process will take about 3 weeks excluding Sundays.
So far at this writing (Saturday July 20) progress has been excellent. 34 panels have been installed, 25 on the bottom rank, 9 in the middle, and the dome lighting cover has been installed. We expect our hard-working crew to be done around August 1.
Once the dome is complete, we can clean up and start the interior finishing work: wall painting (rollers only!), carpeting, chair installation, and final electrical.
This will prepare the room for the arrival of our new Spitz SciDome XD projector.