6

Have a look at page 7 of the instructions for set 367, produced in the year 1975 (source: Peeron.com):

Page 7 of the instructions for set 376

How were these instructions produced? Were they hand-drawn or computer-generated? If the latter, which computer system and software were used?

  • Looks like something that only Lego can give a more definitive answer for. – mindstormsboi May 28 at 10:43
4

They would have been hand drawn.

Technical illustration used to be a highly skilled job, similar but slightly different to design draughtsmanship. I can still recall the latter being used about 20 years ago in engineering. There were tricks to remove some of the repetition (drawings were done on translucent drafting film and could be duplicated optically, and templates and stencils were widely used. Translucent film also means it was possible to work on an isometric grid behind the drawing.

2D CAD software, while it dates back [to the 1950s], only became accessible, though still very expensive, around the time these 3D drawings were produced. 3D CAD/modelling with rendering is a 1990s invention, and now any fool can use it (e.g. me), and it can be made cheap and user-friendly enough to give away (e.g. Lego Digital Designer). Rendering using something like POV-ray (which can still be used with LDraw) could take days for a single image on a fast PC in the 90s (though you wouldn't need to render like that for these illustrations).

Also, while it's hard to tell with the JPG artefacts and anti-aliasing, if you look closely at say the wheels in panel 8, they're not quite a perfect match; they would be if rendered form the same model.

| improve this answer | |
1

I doubt in the mid 1970's that The LEGO Group had any computer aided design tools. I was in university during that time and this kind of documentation was all hand drawn illustration.

Remember that computers at that time were big, power hungry and really, really expensive. For what it would cost just to purchase, install and operate one computer for a year you could hire four comercial illustrators for that same year.

| improve this answer | |
  • Not saying that you're wrong, but if anyone could afford it, it would be a big international company like Lego – hedgie May 28 at 20:46
  • 2
    @hedgie, In the mid 70's TLG was not that big a company. Organization that did have CAD tools would be in what we call today the Fortune 100 group. IBM, General Motors, Ford, NASA etc... A lot has changed in 45 years. – Dan1138 May 28 at 23:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.