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18

There are electrical multiplexers as mentioned, however there are also many types of mechanical multiplexers. The idea behind this is to use fever motors to do more. The advantage is the reduced weight and the disadvantage is the increased complexity and lower flexibility. For example, you can control both tracks with one motor. However instead of one motor ...


18

This would push the pins up and down like a normal key would. Here is the basic system. I don't have time to build to whole thing but this resolves the main problem and proves the feasibility. The main problem was to reproduce the pins system with LEGO bricks since each pins needs to have different lengths. Early in this project, I wanted to have a ...


17

I once had an acquaintance who worked at Lego as a product designer (I don't remember his exact title). His job was, simply put, to come up with new sets. There are some general constraints – balancing the different Lego worlds/themes (contemporary, pirate-age, Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc.), hitting certain price points/box sizes (limiting the number of ...


14

There's a nice interview with LEGO Designer Mark Stafford on The Brothers Brick: From LEGO fan to LEGO set designer - the Mark Stafford interview The basic process was: The position was advertised, and Mark's portfolio was sent in. He was then invited to a two day recruitment workshop along with a number of other candidates. I've also read other ...


13

In addition of the already mentionned Blacksmith shop and the three first LEGO factory sets (5524 — Airport, 5525 — Amusement park and 5526 — Skyline, combined from the 10 winners entries of the contest), the following sets have been designed by fans: 10190 — Market Street was designed by Eric Brok. Eric sadly passed away a few month later. 10183 — Hobby ...


11

Hexagonal symmetry and angles in 15, 30 and 60-degree proportions are scarce among LEGO elements. I think the smallest single piece that approximates a six-pointed star is the basic flower: I myself don't practice freelance brick modification, but someone with fewer scruples might easily trim one of these into a 6-pointed star shape. Another piece that ...


10

As far as I know, designers work mostly with bricks only. They do have a desk and a quasi-unlimited supply of parts (which I think is actually not too exactly close to their desks), and usually use their imagination the same way a fan does. Something which fans don't do however, and which designers must do, is keep track of the price of the model they're ...


9

I thoroughly enjoyed National Geographic's documentary - Megafactories - LEGO: It's one of the most popular construction toys in the world. In the age of unprecedented competition for their attention - from videogames to TVs to countless activities - children still spend over 5 billion hours a year playing with LEGO bricks. But building simple modular ...


9

There are some Books available that include building-instructions (i don't own one of these, but i would choose the most current): Badass LEGO Guns (December 2010) Weapons for LEGO Lovers (February 2009) as Joubarc said the at least 4 years old Forbidden LEGO (July 2007) to answer your question about magazines/reloading mechanisms: see this youtube-video ...


9

If I recall correctly, it started in 2007 with LEGO's initiative called LEGO Factory, where fans were invited to compete in designing models using LEGO Digital Designer. The winners would then have their entries made into the very first fan-designed commercial LEGO sets. Today, LEGO Factory is superseded by Design by Me. It follows a similar concept, except ...


9

Mindsensors sells third-party parts that are compatible with the NXT. They sell several motor drivers and multiplexors, for use with NXT motors, RCX motors, hobbyist servo motors, or by sending commands to a PF motor remote control receiver. HiTechnic is another such company, and they likewise make a device that sends remote control signals for PF and ...


8

If you're after a simple collapsible solution to reach those items just out of reach, you can start with the following setup: You can extend this for quite some way, and use longer bricks or beams throughout if you wish. To finish it off, I'd use a couple of longer bricks with some additional plates on the end to act as fingers, and add some handles (via ...


8

Here's the simplest way that I can think of to stop the vehicle at the finish line. You'll need basic LEGO Technic parts and a good length of lightweight string or thread. Create two reels for the string. One should be connected to the wheels and the other may turn freely. Wind all the string onto the reel which can spin freely and attach the other end ...


7

There are two non-wireless ways that I know of. One of them, (which is better most likely) is to use this, it's called the Mindsensors Motor Multiplexer (Motor MUX for short) it allows the use of all motor functions and splits one port into several. Note that each multiplexer requires an additional battery box, making the over all robot less compact, ...


7

It's difficult, but not impossible. A rigid axle turning at the centre would be mechanically simpler. As my crude drawing illustrates; I would place a 24-tooth gear over the 2x4 wheel axle. A 8-tooth gear is optional but will provide finer control over the steering. The two teeth gears can also be replaced with a pulley gear. This technique however will ...


6

Pierre Normandin followed the path of "well-known AFOL doing tremendous sets" to "AFOL invited by LEGO to participate in secret projects from time to time" to "Actual LEGO designer" (I'd like to say "demigod", but he tends to frown at me when I do that). He was also one of the first groups of LEGO Ambassadors. But in any case, the most important criteria ...


6

Some of it may be your own perception changing, such as a room you remember being big when you were a kid, but which you find small as an adult. So when you perceive bricks as being softer, it could actually be that they aren't, but that your perception changed. (If you were to walk barefoot on LEGO bricks for one hour per day, your feet would eventually ...


6

I built a similar model to Zhaph's claw arm but with beams and a basic claw attachment: 360° Animation, Demonstration Video I had a few problems operating the claw when I built it again with real bricks. If you collapse the beams too far, it can be difficult to open them again. When you try to pick up items with your tool, you also have to anticipate ...


5

I don't think there's any LEGO set for which the age target goes any further than 16+. Within the 16+ range, you'll find several sets, mostly in the exclusive sets (series 10xxx): mainly modular houses and some Star Wars UCS sets. Usually these are sets with a high parts count and a price to match. There's a functionality to filter sets by age on ...


4

Lego Cusoo is a website where you can upload pictures of your creations, and if they get enough followers,votes, they can be made into official set by Lego. (The current requirement is 10k votes) The first model mass produced was the Shinkai 6500. To date, several more models have been released, including the Hayabusa satellite, a Minecraft set, Back to the ...


4

There are a series of youtube videos about LEGO Cars set design process. They are kinda simplified and targeted at kids, but still have some good insights in process. First video can be found here. Playlist of all 6 videos somebody have assembled.


4

A smaller six-pointed star which only uses cheese slopes has been achieved in the MOC below: Flickr: The grand entrance 6, qi_tah


4

LEGO has released a number of large brick buckets over the years. A few of these came with instructions and ideas for models that could be built with the contents. These include lots of ideas for animals, vehicles, and structures. Here are a few examples: There are plenty of ideas available if you browse through the instructions for these sets. Here ...


4

here are some additional sets that mostly use fairly standard pieces you're likely to have in a basic lego collection: Peeron Lego Instruction Sets To add to jncraton's excellent answer, here are additional sets from Peeron's Lego Instructions Archive using generic bricks: Universal Building Set (400-1) BASIC Building Set (510-1) BASIC Building Set ...


3

Two ideas I can think of, which are not using "tiles" as such, but similarly flat surfaces: Technic beams - holes attached to studs of the lower part of the building, and in some holes (which have to be above tiles), pegs/axles for the upper part to fit into. 1x1 "cheese" slopes - and inverted on the upper part (or use regular inverted 33° slopes), which ...


3

Everybody else has pretty much said it all, but there is one more thing I can think of. The IR Link Sensor can communicate with Power Functions, RCX, and trains. So you can use three NXT motors, plus, say, two Power Functions motors. (Only the NXTs will have rotations sensors, obviously.) If you already have some PF kit, you will only need the sensor ...


3

You might consider building a Centrifugal fan; they are capable of creating pressure. I built one once and was surprised by how well it worked for moving air, and that was with only 6 radial blades that were 8 or maybe 10 studs wide. Using standard slopes and studs-up construction worked well enough, though a smoother interior would likely improve the ...


3

I think whether the official pneumatics parts would work for this project would depend on how much force and pressure is required to sound the particular harmonica that you are considering. I did find someone who has figured out what the pumps are capable of producing however I can't seem to find a reference for what the tubing systems are capable of ...


3

Here's a suggestion: Go to Brickset.com. They have scans of the boxes of almost every set every released. Many of the earlier sets (i.e., those released in the 1970s) are built almost entirely out of basic bricks, and you can usually figure out how they are built just from looking at the picture. Some links to get you started: Browse list of sets by year or ...


3

Considering individual designers would need to ask for permissions from LEGO to do this, it may be more efficient not to contact them directly, but to go through the community team. If that doesn't work, it's true that some designers do have an active online presence (check the answer to Are there any great LEGO designers that are well-known?) and shouldn't ...



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