I'd like to make instructions for my kids, which they could read either on paper or on a tablet.

What is the easiest option to achieve that, ideally using open-source software (and running on Linux)?


3 Answers 3


After testing several software (and figuring out quite a few are not compatible with each other), I tested Leocad, and was able to easily create models and generate instructions.

In Leocad 0.82, going through "Print Preview…" and then printing to PDF generates simple and clean instructions.

http://raphink.github.io/lego_models shows the results I got with that method.

  • Your instructions are great! But how did you get the inset "parts to use" window? Mar 30, 2016 at 15:19
  • I have my project fully built with Leocad, but am now looking at creating instructions from it. Do you know where I could find such info?
    – kbenoit
    Nov 3, 2018 at 20:32

Take pictures!

The easiest way is to take photographs of each step as you build. No special software is required, you can just step through each building stage by flicking through photos.

If your tablet has a camera you will have everything you need to create and view the instructions. You might want to include which parts you need for the next step in the previous slide.

I don't know a lot about Linux, but if you have access to word processing or image editing software you can combine multiple steps on to one page and print them.

enter image description here Flickr: LEGO Shaun the Sheep (Version 2). Teabox (henrik_zwomp).

Build your model on a background that contrasts the model, in most cases white is perfect (unless you're building clouds or sheep). If you have a camera, it would help to use a tripod to keep the camera in a fixed position and your hands are free to build.


The best software for this is the Lego Digital Designer (LDD for short) but it is not available for Linux by default. Users have mixed results when trying to run it by WINE or using virtual machines.

There is another recommendation, which requires more manual work though. It uses Lego Instruction Creator (LIC), but it is a stagnant project and was buggy even back then, not sure how would it work in modern environments.

  • Damn Lego, they uses Linux in the mindstorm, but are not willing to give back to the community.
    – kbenoit
    Nov 3, 2018 at 20:36

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