Build LEGOS in 3D!

June 2, 2008 13 Comments »
Build LEGOS in 3D!

My eight year old son never ceases to amaze me with his computer skills.  He called me over to the computer the other day and showed me his latest discovery on the web.  Before I reveal what it was I want you to stop for a second and think about just how many people in the world have played with LEGOS.  I’d be willing to bet that most everyone has put together some LEGO Bricks at least once in their lives.  Did you know that you can build LEGOS now using 3D software?  No…..it’s not SolidWorks or any other CAD package.  Its a package called LEGO Digital Designer…and it’s FREE!  Let me tell you, this program is FUN!!

LEGO1 The software is only a 27 megabyte download (Available for both Windows and MAC).  It installs quickly and automatically downloads all the LEGO brick components the first time you run the program.   The Bricks are categorized in a Brick Palette which is organized by several different LEGO kit series.  An interactive screen showing all available Bricks can be found here.

LEGO2 As you drag components into the screen they snap into position based on how the cursor is positioned on existing components and the way the components are designed to go together.  You can build models using one of their starter kits or “freeform” build your own model from over 750 LEGO Bricks available.

Models can be saved to your computer so you can work on them at your own pace.  Once you complete a model, you can upload it to the LEGO Gallery.  You can even order the parts used to assemble your model so you can build the kit for real!  LEGO even includes some options that allow you to design the box it will be delivered in.  Here is a Quick Video showing how easy it is to build LEGO models.

LEGO Digital Designers saves the files to your computer using a proprietary format (.LXF).  Since it has the look and feel of a 3D CAD system, I did a little digging into the background of the software.  Quicktime and the Ageia PhysX engine are mentioned as primary components of the software.  Codev Limited in London has LEGO Digital Designer listed on their web site under “Projects” so it can be assumed that they had a major role in the design of the software.  The only component I found in common with mainstream CAD applications was the Ageia PhysX engine which is used in SolidWorks.

If you have a few spare moments, check out LEGO Digital Designer.  It will definitely bring out the kid in you.  My son can attest to that!

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  • http://designsmarter.typepad.com/gabijack/ Gabi

    Oooh! This looks like something my boys would love! They used to have something similar to it sometime ago, but you could only play at their website and it was much more limited. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://designsmarter.typepad.com/gabijack/ Gabi

    Oooh! This looks like something my boys would love! They used to have something similar to it sometime ago, but you could only play at their website and it was much more limited. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.theswgeek.com Alex R. Ruiz

    Oh great, one more reason why my 3 year old daughter will never get off the computer. I had to buy a laptop because she took over my desktop. Right now she lives on the Spongebob website, I would hate to see how it would be if she learned how to do Legos on the computer.

  • http://www.theswgeek.com Alex R. Ruiz

    Oh great, one more reason why my 3 year old daughter will never get off the computer. I had to buy a laptop because she took over my desktop. Right now she lives on the Spongebob website, I would hate to see how it would be if she learned how to do Legos on the computer.

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    I am 11 and i still love legos

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    I love lego,s and if u go to granby primary school in aylstone hey guys its me

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    Legos are really one of the most popular toy worldwide.. I think all kids in the world are experienced playing this cute toy.. But now, legos are use to make a model of any structure..

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  • mfarney

    When I was a kid we had building block which were quite limited comparative to the lego blocks we can buy today. I must admit I'm quite anxious to play this game. I'm downloading it as I type so thanks for the hint!
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  • Mazada31

    Wow! Lego’s are already awesome themselves. I can’t wait to see it on 3d! Very Informative post! Thank you for sharing!