5

I am building a large project, and there are spaces developing between bricks and plates. I've been working on it for almost a year, and some places are 20+ bricks high. What can cause this over time? Can plates get soft and warp? If the weather is warm, can this affect it? Has anyone else had this problem? Also... As many times as I've undone and re-done sections, some places won't level out and can be less than one plate off in height.I would love some advice. Thanks!

  • I'd say it depends on the brand and quality of the bricks. I've seen this happen with Megabloks, but LEGO seems to be higher quality than most other bricks. What brand of bricks are you using? – ps2goat Jun 29 '15 at 22:52
  • 1
    Are the bricks old? I've seen older bricks and plates getting warped, but newer (say, roughly 1985 and forward) generally holds up well. If we had an image we might be able to see if you're putting stress on some of the bricks, since that can also be a cause of disfigurement. – Linus Bohman Jun 30 '15 at 6:23
  • 3
    A photo might help us diagnose the issue. – Kramii Jun 30 '15 at 11:14
  • 3
    Lego bricks are built to certain tolerances. Maybe your structure is large enough that rounding errors are creeping in? – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Jun 30 '15 at 16:06
  • 1
    @LegoPatient Let me know if there is anything I can help you with in order to get a picture posted, since it would make the question much clearer (Are there vertical or horizontal spaces? How big or regular they are? Are the parts otherwise lined up?) and we could help you more efficiently. – zovits Jul 1 '15 at 7:27
1

Without more information, it's hard to know what can be causing the gaps. My theory is that the structure has gotten large enough that the spacing in the bricks is adding up such that your structure is no longer "square".

According to this page, there is a 0.1mm gap between two bricks attached to a common base. This gap makes it possible to remove the bricks once they've been placed. Also, Lego claims their manufacturing process has a tolerance of 0.01mm (10 microns). With a long enough structure, those mm add up.

Here is an example of the gap in play enter image description here

There are the same number of plates on the left and on the right. The left ones are all pushed together, the right ones are attached to a baseplate (or some other 16-stud plate or brick). Because each plate has a 0.1mm gap, multiplied by 16 plates gives 1.6mm difference. Even if the 0.1mm isn't the right value, you can see that there IS a gap and it is large enough to be significant over a small distance.

When you are building a very large creation, inevitably some things won't want to fit properly. I am building a multi-story building using 1xN bricks for the walls (mostly 1x2 and 1x4 bricks). Each story is the same size as the previous one, and each one is re-inforced by the flooring and internal walls, but it's painfully obvious that the different stories don't fit well together. When I take one story off another, it doesn't want to snap back into position later.

It's even possible to take advantage of the gaps to make curves. If you make a long enough wall out of 2x1 bricks, you can physically bend it into a circle.

As far as advice on how to avoid this problem, I don't really have anything concrete. One thing you could try to do is to space things uniformly, using the same kinds of pieces all the time. If you build a long strip using 2x4 bricks on one side, and 2x2 bricks on the other, you may find that they are not the same length even though they have the same number of studs. Or, design your creation in modular sections, counting on the fact that it will not quite meet at section boundaries. This is how people build bridges: they are frequently designed to allow for expansion and contraction of the bridge sections by placing seams that allow for the change in size as the bridge temperature changes.

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.