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30

According to this website, LEGO bricks are made from a type of plastic called acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or ABS. We do have the technology to recycle ABS, however you would need to check with your local/national waste disposal service whether it is in use. Dropping unwanted bricks off at a local charity bin or childcare provider would certainly be the ...


22

Actually, it depends on the part. Most parts are indeed ABS as it's a very sturdy plastic, but sometimes it's not suitable, or downright impossible to use. I've seen a presentation on quality issues given by a LEGO employee in LEGOworld a few years back, and as far as I remember there were between 10 and 20 sorts of plastic in use. The ones I remember are: ...


19

People with 3d printers have made their own LEGO bricks. The plastic used is ABS. Blog post Interestingly, 3d printers can be constructed out of LEGO parts - you could have it self replicating! Of course, you would need a very expensive and high quality printer to make good pieces. Cheaper ones can only make hollow bottoms and the banding from ...


17

As said, this is the point where the injection happens, usually known as a gate. Sometimes, LEGO tries to have in a non-visible place, but the process of moulding is extremely complicated and forces specific requirements on the gate placement which mean it's sometimes impossible to hide it. The basic rule of thumb is that the gate is usually near the center ...


17

LEGO moulds bricks in the following plants: Billund in Denmark, Nyíregyháza in Hungary and Monterrey in Mexico. In addition, it has another facility in Kladno, Czech Republic, that handles painting and packaging for some of the bricks produced in Denmark and Hungary. The headquarters in Denmark is still where the most of R&D and product development ...


16

All of this is correct, ABS can't be transparent and thus transparent parts are made of PC. PC against PC bonds way too tighly and designers are actually forbidden to do that in their models. (I've a 4L lightsaber blade stuck in the crossend of a Technic beam, both trans-red, and I can't get it out.) I'm fairly sure there's a designer (possibly Jamie Berard ...


15

These aren't defects, they're a scar from the moulding process, it marks where the plastic was pumped into the brick. It's more noticeable on some bricks more then others, every brick manufactured this same way should have a similar mark.


15

I can't provide a list of all the minor changes, but I can at least tell the most significant change made in the history of the basic 2x4 brick (which applies to all other bricks and parts, too): 1963: Material changed from Cellulose Acetate to Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)* In general, there are no essential changes made: a brand-new brick still ...


15

Big Ben Bricks sells some custom LEGO-compatible elements, mostly train wheels. Since they produce sizes which the LEGO company doesn't, they have some customer, but the production cost is usually quite high for such a quality. BrickForge does sell custom elements too, and so do BrickArms. Usually, custom element producer will focus on elements the LEGO ...


13

The LEGO company switched to ABS in 1963, bricks produced before that have a markedly different quality. However, if your sets are from around 1980, they should use ABS already and there should be no reason that the plastic is different. Other possible explanations would be bad storage conditions (too warm, direct sunlight, maybe), or the fat that the set ...


11

This may not really qualify as an answer, but basically I believe designers are responsible for calling for new parts. For each new part, a production cost is calculated, which takes into account a lot of factors. There were talks a few years back about how they had recently changed these rules, but they aren't public (to the best of my knowledge). What is ...


10

I grabbed an image off google that shows a basic molding process: As others have mentioned, the location of the gate is where the liquid plastic flows through into the cavity, and this is the mark that you are seeing. Some times these markings can be polished or sanded away, but for Lego, that would probably effect the texture of the part, so they can't ...


10

from the german wikipedia entry (translated with my poor english-skills): The Federal Court of germany opened the market for LEGO-like bricks on december 2nd 2004 The European Court of Justice decided in september 2010 that LEGO-Bricks can be copied as they aren't protected by patents anymore so at least in europe there doesn't seem to be a problem in ...


10

I'm not sure about LEGO, but Märklin, a company that specialized in building train models used simple stainless steel since 1982, chances are that LEGO did the same: Stainless steel is relatively cheap It doesn't oxidize (as the name implies) The electrical charateristics aren't good, but you don't need a very good (and expensive) material like copper for ...


10

conditions for unfairness: different shaped tiles applied to each side resulting in different weight wich maked the dice "biased" example: the maximum difference in weight (when all studs get covered) is one side using a 2x2 tile and another side is using 4 1x1 tiles. the weight difference in this case is calculated based on using this measurements. to ...


10

LEGO have made mistakes several times in the past and will continue to do so, (as is the norm for a toy manufacturer of it's scale.) I can only speculate that the best way to ensure instructions are correct would be to build the model. Following the instruction as you build you're able to pick up more than just missed steps.


9

The main goal is certainly packaging efficiency (possibly where parts come from in the factory, for example), but there are other factors coming in. Sets which have "modular" building need to have numbered bags, and the numbering has prioity on other considerations — you'll need all bricks for module 1 to be in bags numbered "1" (plus sometimes, unbagged ...


9

The goals for packaging are most likely efficiency and dependability. I would think LEGO's interest is to achieve this using an automated process. This explains why a missing piece is a very rare event. Size concerns: Similar piece volume in each bags. Sub packaging symmetry: Same bag used several time in a box. QA is done by weighting bags. Extra (small) ...


8

The first LEGO axles were milky white and were probably made in a different plastic than they are now. Later on, LEGO started making all-black axles when they started doing more serious technic sets. However, the tendancy is now to make sure all difficult technic pieces are "color-coded" so that children can pick them out more easily. As such, nowadays, the ...


8

I will start by saying I do not own any of the LOTR sets. But, Bricklink has inventories of many sets including any extra pieces that were included with the set. You do not mention which specific sets you own, but here is a link to the 9474 The Battle Of Helm's Deep inventory on Bricklink. It lists a total quantity of 6 extra pieces (5 unique). You could ...


8

My 7190 Millennium Falcon kit has a mistake where the inventory for the page doesn't include two pieces on it. So, invariably, when I'm building it I forget to include those two pieces, and they are left over until the very end, at which point I have to follow this process: Say "Dammit" Flip backwards through the booklet to find the page that last added ...


8

Moulds are maintained in-house. As you say, the moulds are at the very core of the business of the LEGO company and are thus treated with all the seriousness you can imagine. Considering also that some moulds are in effect trade secrets by themselves (especially for parts which aren't publicly known yet), LEGO wouldn't want any of them to exit the company. ...


8

I don't know if there are any particular issues with manufacturing 1 x 4 bricks in Dark Red, but I suspect not. Instead, to understand why dark red 1 x 4s are relatively rare, it is interesting to consider why other colours might be relatively popular. Popular Colours Younger children like strong primary colours + black and white. At the same time, older ...


7

There is an indication of the rarity of a set in the LEGO Collector's Guide. I assume it's the same in the second edition as well, as this is what the two reviews of it on Brickset have to say: Rarity Rating. This would be more useful if it represented actual production or sales figures instead of market trends. The rating system is the same, ...


7

LEGO is a multinational corporation. Patents, laws and regulations vary in different countries. Moreover in, many cases, even if there is an operation recognized as illegal, enforcement may be difficult to achieve. As a result, a proliferation of compatible brands and clones (fake LEGO) do exist. There is also the edge cases of artists selling custom ...


7

I can't find a link to substantiate this, but a quality assurance representative from LEGO mentioned at a BrickWorld presentation a few years ago that worn out molds are buried on the factory property in Denmark in concrete. If anyone else can find substantiation for that, I'd love to see it.


7

The number of parts shown on the box of the LEGO set indicate how many parts are included without the spare parts. Spare parts tend to be added for the smallest pieces of a set that can be lost easily. Spare parts tend to be fairly consistent between identical sets regardless of where they are sold and sets with a greater amount of parts will generally have ...


6

As you say, LEGO is very tight with legal issues, so if custom molding was entirely illegal, it's likely we wouldn't see such companies, or maybe in unreachable countries only. Now, LEGO may be tight with legal issues, but on the other hand they know how to be benevolent when it benefits them. (Consider the openness around the various Mindstorms systems, ...


6

The LEGO Group's sustainability report covers a few key areas, although it's not completely clear. At the most basic level, they see passing your bricks on to relatives or friends as the most environmentally friendly way of "disposing" of your bricks: Sustainable Play We believe that the LEGO Group should produce and market high quality products that ...


6

There are more antistuds based on your description, you have to account for the flat bricks that have no studs and any sloped bricks that have at minimum twice the number of anti studs. While there are the inverted sloped pieces the standard wider bottom are more prevalent and there are more variations in length and width. Also many of the flat wing pieces ...



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