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I'm on OSX and I've got a bunch of models made in Lego Digital Designer. They look awesome! Now I want to make instructions.

Q: how do I get from my .ldr files to images or PDF?
I'll take anything!

There are a couple questions here on stackexchange that are similar, but years have passed and some of the references seem out of date.

From my research I believe (one) workflow is:

  • build a model in CAD of choice (I'm using LDD, but there is also LeoCAD)
  • import the model into Bricksmith
  • in Bricksmith group the parts together to make "steps"
  • export the steps from Bricksmith, which makes a .ldr for every step!
  • now it's time to render: bring it into LPub
  • ... this is where I'm stuck.

The fundamental problem seems to be: LPub is... suboptimal

  • LPub needs parts files
  • LPub hasn't been updated in a while
  • The parts files are generated with Windows-compatible scripts
  • the parts files I've used so far just crash LPub

So, is the answer

  • "here's how to fix LPub" ?
  • Or "Stop using LPub" ?

Here's what I've found so far:

  • Update: I'm exploring the print options on LeoCAD, as suggested by aphink. I'll update here with more details. – MonkeyWidget Mar 30 '16 at 15:06
  • Have you taken a look at stud.io? It's a Windows and Mac app that works with both ldd and ldr formats based on the LDraw parts library. – Zhaph - Ben Duguid Dec 25 '16 at 20:11
  • I'm using LPub on Mac since quite a few years. LPub is indeed not updated, but then again, it works... If this is still a question, can you be more specific to what doesn't work? I can try figure it out. – Ludo Nov 9 '17 at 12:39
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LDD will produce printable instructions on its own. You can print these into PDF files. Do you not like the LDD-produced instructions?

  • 1
    Yes, that is a diplomatic way to put it! ;) Not only can you not design sub-assemblies in LDD, but the piece sequences LDD picks are a bit random -- LDD often picks pieces to "assemble" which aren't connected to anything. See the comments here for a particularly egregious example. – MonkeyWidget Mar 30 '16 at 15:05

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