Since 2008 I’ve been giving a presentation at various LEGO conventions, mainly BrickCon in Seattle, Washington, and Bricks by the Bay in Santa Clara, California, called “Brick Geometry” covering a variety of LEGO building techniques. A new recording of the latest version of this presentation is now available on YouTube.
A common question in LEGO creations is “how do I build on a diagonal?” If you have studied trigonometry you will know one answer: the Pythagorean triangles, such as the fairly well-known 3-4-5 ratio, will give you a nice diagonal connection on a rectilinear grid such as LEGO provides. Now there’s a new page from the Cactus Brick site that explains these Lego Diagonal Connection Points in a very clear way. Check it out!
Use a fry bagger to put LEGO parts into Ziploc bags!
What a great idea! I saw this today on Facebook, posted by Soyary Sunthornâ€Ž in the AFOLs of FaceBook group. He got a fry bagger – a tool used in fast food restaurants to put french fries into the bags or other containers they are served in.
Since my storage system is primarily built around plastic bins filled with Ziploc bags, this should be a huge help when sorting and putting away bulk parts. I’m pretty sure this is the fry bagger in the photo, if you want to get one: New Star 37814 Polycarbonate Commercial French Fry Bagger, Right Handle I am planning to order one of these myself…
Full disclaimer: Amazon affiliate link above.
I just stumbled across a way to build a 7-way radial symmetry in LEGO.
A technique for building 7-way radial symmetry in LEGO. The blue 2×2 plates are connected to each other using plate hinges in a ring, and when I built that I noticed the ring looked like the right diameter to go around a 4×4 round piece. The hinges actually protrude a little into the center, but by sandwiching the two 4×4 rounds together and filling the space inside with a round 2×2 plate and seven (leaving one stud open) 1×1 round plates, you can make it all fit nicely. And since the 4×4 rounds and 2×2 round plate have axle holes, it can easily be connected to any Technic mechanism.
If you stick an axle in the middle it twirls like a top – it’s very well balanced.
LDraw code after the break:
A couple of weeks ago, I was a guest speaker at Cypress High School in Santa Cruz, CA. A friend of mine is a math teacher there and she invited me in to give a LEGO presentation. I decided to focus my talk on the art of lettering in LEGO, so I brought along my LOVE and LEGO Robert Indiana style sculptures, and the Blackburn Hotel. I also built some lettering out of LEGO parts as a study of different ways to model the alphabet. I came up with a set of five clear baseplates with the letters A through Z, each letter in a different style:
I also made some more basic lettering examples. The students then had about 15 minutes (I meant to give them more time, but between my rambling on, and their incessant questions, the presentation part took a lot longer than planned) to play with some bulk LEGO that I had brought, to try to build their names or other text… Here’s some of what they came up with:
The slides from the Half-Plate Offsets presentation I gave at BrickCon are now available online. The slides are freely available and redistributable using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-Alike license.
Download here: half-plate.pdf
I took video of the presentation, but I haven’t watched it yet. If it comes out well, I’ll post it online also.