50

The Lego Digital Designer is ideal for this job. Avalible for Mac and PC it allows you to build models from scatch, order them, and get them delivered. Or, if you've got the bits already it can make instructions for you. It has a range of technic items (see image below). Importing a model will also enable you to view the part number and details which could ...


48

I tried LDD at first, but frankly, the order in which it adds the parts is often quite nonsensical: I also tried a bunch of other tools, some of which are mentioned elsewhere on this page, with mixed results. So what I ended up using, with great success, is LIC (LEGO Instruction Creator). It's beta, somewhat buggy, and for all I can see it was written by ...


44

Yes there is! Rebrickable.com is dedicated entirely to doing so. You can save time and import your LEGO collection from Brickset.com (If you have an account). The site will then search for other sets and MOCs you can build from the bricks you have in your collection.


18

LEGO has made it possible to download a stand-alone installer for NXT-G 2.0. It's compatible with both Mac and Windows. Alternatively, you can download a disc image of the NXT-G 2.0 CD. The link contains instructions on how to use it (as it isn't as easy as downloading just an installer).


16

See AlternativeTo's list. LEGO Digital Designer (official; most popular) LDraw (2nd most popular) Konstruktor MLCAD You can do all this in Google Sketchup with SketchyPhysics simulation, of course! And the pieces are easier to fit in, and GS is generally more flexible and easier to use, unlike LDD. The disadvantage is, you don't get LDD's Building ...


15

I know of no desktop applications that have functionality like Rebrickable, but an API has recently been released which would enable any applications to integrate with the site and display this kind of information. I know of one such application currently being developed but not ready for release yet. disclaimer: I created Rebrickable.


14

The LXFML file is an XML document, and there's an XSD document that you can use to validate any LXFML file, along with a textual description of the tags on the LUGNet forums supplied by the LDD Team a few years ago: LXF files - info and XML schema The key parts of the LXFML you're going to be interested in start with the <Scene> element, which ...


13

If you want to know if you can build a certain set with the parts you have, you can have a look at set inventories on Peeron or BrickLink You can also even enter a list of your own parts on Peeron and have it check it against existing sets, thus letting you know what you can build, or what you need to buy to build the set you want.


12

There are several editors which are based on the open LDraw part database. I believe that the most popular are MLCAD and LeoCAD. I personally use LDD, so I can't speak to the quality of the instruction generation from these tools, but they do at least offer the ability to create instructions. LeoCAD is probably your best bet for doing animations, and it is ...


12

The Lego Movie Complete B-ROLL (2014) footage briefly shows that the animator is using Autodesk Softimage 2012 (at about 8:57) to move the limbs of a digital minifigure. 10 minutes in to the video we can see an animator going through frame-by-frame a partially rendered draft of a scene from the movie. The animator has the ability to draw and possibly ...


12

I found a few ways to convert a 3D model into a Lego sculpture. The first is a program called Dolphin Brickr. It works very well, as you can see in this image of Yoshi: The downside to this program is that it only runs on Macs, This runs on both Windows and Macs now and the output format is a series of images, one for each layer. So you can't import it into ...


11

In addition to the other answers, the oldschool way using POV (in use before there even WAS a LEGO Digital Designer) still works. Model your creation in a LDraw compatible modelling tool of your choice (such as MLCad) but there are other choices Use one of several export programs (such as L3P) to create a POVRay compatible file Add a few commands to move ...


11

(fair warning: I work for a 3D printer company [Type A Machines]) I thought this cross-posting up on the RepRap forum would be useful here. Summarizing that post: It is possible to 3D print LEGO-compatible parts on desktop 3D printers, but with caveats: The fit will likely never be as tight as real LEGOs. Those are tough tolerances to match. LEGO Corp ...


10

You need: Digital Designer (Or anything that can produce Ldraw files, there are some listed in this question) Blender (Or another renderer that supports Ldraw) Blender Script (This is necessary for Blender to read you Ldraw models) Recreate your creation in Lego Digital Designer. Export as Ldraw format Import in Blender Create & render Blender scene ...


10

I believe that many AFOL user groups had previously been able to buy in bulk from LEGO, but I don't know if that's still an option with the release of pick-a-brick - however as Joubarc points out there are often limits on the number of different elements, as well as a group limit on the number of bricks. Couple that with the fact that the process often takes ...


10

LPub LPub is a program that allows you to produces step by step instructions for models. It's an alternative to the built-in Building Guide Mode featured in Lego Digital Designer which produces a set of instructions automatically (although not necessarily in the most logical way). LDD model instructions can be created in LPub provided that the parts in the ...


10

First note that this question is a possible duplicate of Do any programs exist that allow you to build your own LEGO manuals? With that, here is the answer: (optional) Create a model in LEGO digital designer or LDraw and export it as a LDraw (*.ldr) file. Install LeoCAD, and either open the model that you made in LDD/LDraw (recommended) or create your ...


10

You probably want Lego Digital Designer: http://ldd.lego.com/ Once you have the .lxf file open, you'll want to select View -> Building Guide Mode from the menu. This should give you step by step building instructions.


9

You should look at LPub4. This is an OpenSource (GPL) tool that can create high quality instructions from LDRAW compatible files. It runs on Windows and OS X and with my patches on Linux as well. Note that the LDD license states "Any commercial use of the software is strictly prohibited" so keep that in mind if you are intending to do anything commercial ...


9

You can use GIMP for this. First you need to scale the image to the size you want. (If you want to stack bricks on top of each other instead of a baseplate, use a different y-scaling to correspond the bricks height.) Now create a palette by going to the Palette tab and click the "New palette" icon. In this add the bricks colors you want. You can find the ...


9

The most commonly used one is Lego Digital Designer (often called LDD). This has the advantage of being free and quite easy to use, including automatically snapping connections together. However, it is only available for Windows and Mac. Also, LEGO has discontinued support for it. There is a system of programs based on LDraw. These programs tend to be ...


8

To build your example in MLCad (LDraw), I needed to switch to "Grid Fine" to move the element into the right alignment: A couple of techniques to note when doing this when you finish with the SNOT modeling: Set the grid back to coarse so that subsequent pieces are back on the grid. Select a non-SNOT element (in this case the 2x3 or 2x2 plate) before ...


8

LDview can directly export LDraw files to .STL. But the problem is that the mesh obtained may not be suitable for 3D printing, many of LDraw parts are not "watertight", or contain surfaces inside the part volume (eg. studs are simply lain on flat top surface).


8

For the retail version, the link is: https://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/downloads and for the education version, the link is: https://education.lego.com/en-us/educationdownloads/freeproductspage


8

When discussing Animal Logic's involvement in the film, they state: Initially, Production Designer Grant Freckelton and his team utilised LEGO Digital Designer [...]. This allowed everyone, including the Animal Logic art department, to mock up highly accurate LEGO models from which they could calculate the required bricks and build them as subdivision ...


8

Yes, there is LXFML - which is if you like an "offical" XML format for LEGO models - in that it's produced and maintained by The LEGO Group. The .LXF format used by LEGO Digital Designer is a compressed archive containing a thumbnail in .png format and a model definition file in LFXML. As I noted in the answer to that question, the LDD team have shared ...


8

I was able to integrate this into a research project applying context free grammars: This is not a polished software package, and the design is a bit esoteric given that I started with the goal of applying context free grammars to a practical problem. Hopefully there's something in there that may be useful to someone. :)


7

For our Lug, we have assigned one person who is the contact for all things LUGBULK and is also responsible for the organization of everything. (He also happens to be the one who will spend the most). We followed this general format to keep everything organized. At the most recent club meeting, we agreed on those parts that the club needed for upcoming ...


7

The graphical software that ships with the EV3 set can program both EV3 bricks and older generation bricks. We assume that this means NXT 1.0 and 2.0 bricks. However, it is unlikely that NXT-G will work with EV3 bricks as EV3 bricks run a custom build of Linux, whereas older bricks run a custom firmware. LEGO will create an offical app for both Apple and ...


7

You can use Brickify for that. You just upload an STL file and it is converted to LEGO bricks. You don't need the 3D printing part and can go ahead to download the building instructions.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible