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I would like to build furniture (chair, table,...) out of LEGO blocks. For this purpose it would be good to be able to test the amount of force a certain LEGO design is able to withstand. I would like to actually use this furniture.

  1. Does anybody know of models or software I could use?

  2. Are there people who tried this before and could give me some pointers?

So far I found some articles about different LEGO bonds and a few on combining LEGO techniques to increase the strength of the structure.

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First step, have you read my paper? This should give you a good guide on what is the maximum force needed to break Lego.

With these limits in mind, the next thing to note is that breaking doesn't equal bending. Lego will bend quite a lot before breaking so designing structures that a rigid will basically meet most requirements.

The best book to read is Sariel's Technic Builders Guide. This outlines a number of design patterns that maximize strength.

In general, you should think of Lego as weak steel. Triangles everywhere and vertical plates.

  • I was aware of both. The paper was very informative. To build the furniture I think some trial and error, combined with your resources, should suffice. But the main point to use software was that it would allow me to leverage generative algorithms to create many different design according to correct physical constraints. – Harald De bondt May 1 '17 at 8:08
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Consider gluing. Large Lego structures such as a chair or desk are typically glued together. Lego bricks can withstand up to 950 pounds of force, so a glued model should be strong enough.

  • That would be an option. But part of the motivation to use LEGO is it's modularity. I would like to reuse my blocks to try out new furniture. – Harald De bondt Apr 22 '17 at 11:37

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