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are a couple questions here on stackexchange that are similar, but years have passed and some of the references seem out of date.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. Commented Mar 30, 2016 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. Commented Dec 25, 2016 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.
    – user9427
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 12:39

1 Answer 1


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. Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 15:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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