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I have a structure with some blocks facing in the 'normal' direction:

 nn  nn  nn  nn
|  ||  ||  ||  |   
 --  --  --  --

I would like to somehow connect a layer above this that has the blocks facing the other way so that I end up with:

 --  --  --  --
|  ||  ||  ||  |
 uu  uu  uu  uu

 nn  nn  nn  nn
|  ||  ||  ||  |   
 --  --  --  --

How can I achieve this?

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10  
+1 for ASCII art bricks. Also I think I once encountered an element that'd let you do this, but I can't remember right now... –  BoltClock Oct 25 '11 at 20:24
1  
@BoltClock see meta.bricks.stackexchange.com/questions/6/… –  fredley Oct 25 '11 at 20:25

7 Answers 7

up vote 24 down vote accepted

It depends on how close they need to be.

The following solution works, if you're happy to have things sticking out around the join:

"Brick 1x2 M. 2 Holes Ø 4,87", [part:32000:7]; There's also a 1x1 brick with a hole, [part:6541:7].

Which could be used as:

Combined in desired orientation

For tighter coupling, the Minifig Wrench [part:6246d:0] can also fit over a stud, and is deeper than one stud, allowing two bricks to be inserted:

Erik Amzallag 's method

Respect goes to Erik Amzallag for this one.

I guess it comes down to how you want to hide the join - you could use tiles on the studs that stick out, which wouldn't be possible with the wrench method.

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+1: Now I understand! –  Umber Ferrule Oct 27 '11 at 9:31
3  
Using the wrench: Mad skills. –  fredley Nov 2 '11 at 21:08
    
Yep,not my mad skills though ;) –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Nov 2 '11 at 21:16

This is very old-school, but that's how I was doing SNOT in the early 80's: a plate, or a tile (as shown) snaps between 2 studs. I prefer tiles to plates, as I don't have studs-alignment issues, but I've used both, and both work.

enter image description here

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You can wedge a 1xN plate between studs (at a 90 degree angle) to the "normal" orientation. Repeat a second time, and now 2 bricks are stud-to-stud.

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Using Technic beams can work in this situation. As the holes are the diameter of a stud and are deeper than two studs' height, it can be used to some extent. See When did Lego decide that it was okay to put a stud into a technic hole? for more information on the limitations of this strategy.

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Holger Matthes has a good page on SNOT building which includes a few techniques on how to get stud-down orientation.

Also, don't underestimate tiles, sometimes you can just lock the upside-down part into place without attaching it with studs at all (I did this when I was a kid to use a black 3943 — Cone 4 x 4 x 2 as a train chimney as the inverted part didn't exist at the time:

enter image description here

None of the inverted parts are actually attached, but they are locked in place by surrounding parts. You can see inverted parts in orange in this partial build; the blue parts are tiles in the usual direction:

enter image description here

Another good part to inverse stud direction is the 4081b — Plate 1 x 1 with Clip Light - Type 2 (Plate 1 x 1 with Clip Light - Type 2 as the studs are exactly one plate apart. You'll need to hide it in the construction somehow, but it can be very handy.

For example, both that part and the tile-on-tile technique are used in this window roof to inverse the below arch:

roof with window

It all rests on a tan Tile 4 x 4 with Studs on Edge, which is also used higher with a Train Roof 6 x 6 Double Slope 45 / Slope 33 to finish the roof. The following image illustrate a partial build, will all upside-down parts colored orange:

enter image description here


Edit: there are of course more techniques to be found on the Internet, but some are more simple or place-efficient than others. For plates for example, the use of levers is as compact as you'll ever find. For bricks, you can also stuff a Technic axle in the tubes, as illustrated here. Simple and efficient.


Another edit, this time answering the question with the intended stud direction.
On a 2x4 brick/plate, place a 3185 — Fence 1 x 4 x 2, then add two 87580 — Plate 2 x 2 with 1 Stud with the stud facing down in one of the empty holes of the fence. This is probably the smallest offset you'll get, but the thickness of the fence isn't really standard, so whether it's useful or not depends on the rest of your creation.

If you're willing, there's also the Clikits Bead, Ring Thick Small with Hole which accepts a stud in both directions.

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1  
Just a note on the edit - neither of those techniques would work to answer the question "How do I end up with studs together" - both the levers and axles methods result in "Studs facing out" –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Nov 2 '11 at 13:25
3  
Right, I had stored the question in a corner of my mind where it evidently got corrupted (I need to tidy up the place sometimes). 4081b has the same isue, as a matter of fact. But most of the time it's more or less the same issue anwyay. –  Joubarc Nov 2 '11 at 13:31
    
I know that feeling ;) –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Nov 2 '11 at 13:32

I have never found a solution that I was completely pleased with (and gluing is a no-go), but the closest I've ever come is using these.

enter image description here

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