I am been using LDD (LEGO Digital Designer) for my latest NXT project and noticed a major delay in building and making instructions for my Projects (My Mindstorm projects contain well over 500 pieces) and the instructions look all weird for my big projects. And LDD is discontinued so I doubt LEGO will make an EV3 update.

I am curious if you guys know any paid or free software that allows you to make projects for LEGO (Mindstorm). I am looking for something fast, (optional) that will work for Mac and PC, have animation to present my projects, and finally make instructions for my projects.


4 Answers 4


There are several editors which are based on the open LDraw part database.

I believe that the most popular are MLCAD and LeoCAD. I personally use LDD, so I can't speak to the quality of the instruction generation from these tools, but they do at least offer the ability to create instructions.

LeoCAD is probably your best bet for doing animations, and it is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

BrickLink has recently released Stud.io in open beta, and it appears to combine the best of LDD and LDraw - it works with the LDraw part database but will import LDD models and offers a similar interface to LDD as well as collaboration and integration with the BrickLink shops for purchasing the elements for your models.


Not exactly an answer to the question, more an answer to the tile of the question:

For a much more lightweight alternative, check out the new LEGO designer from google. http://www.buildwithchrome.com/

It only works in Goolge's Chrome browser as it is essentially an experiment to show off Chrome's WebGL capabilities.

There is no download as it is completely browser based and it also gives you an easy way to share your builds with other users and view builds for other users around the world. Using location tagging you can actually place your build on a specific area of a google map and see your creation rendered in 3D in place.

  • 2
    As of Jan 30th, 2017, buildwithchrome.com no longer allows addition of new buildings - it is essentially read-only now.
    – samfu_1
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 9:15
  • 1
    As of March 2019 the site is closed.
    – dosenfant
    Commented Mar 4, 2020 at 11:45

SR 3D builder is another good alternative I like to use, it uses the Ldraw parts library, but has a more intuitive connection system than MLCad, without the connection restrictions LDD has.

I don't know that SR 3D builder supports mac, but I believe it fits your other requirements nicely.


There is also another solution called Mecabricks which is online based and works with WebGL. Therefore, you only need a browser to start building or check the 3D models already published by the other builders. However it is not compatible with LDD or Ldraw and part library is different and doesn't include as much parts as the others yet.

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