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Old Style beams


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#1 Tacker

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 05:09 PM

Hi most of my Lego is the old style beams with lugs. Just wondered when did Lego beams go lugless and why

#2 DLuders

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 05:23 PM

@ Tacker:  As stated on this Lego Technic Wikipedia article,  "Although studless beams (studs are the bumps traditionally associated with Lego parts) have been present in Technic sets for many years, the change from primarily studded to primarily studless construction represented a major paradigm shift and has been quite controversial.

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"The primary advantage of studless construction is the addition of new construction methods that were previously unavailable. The new studless beams are exactly 1 width unit in height, in contrast to studded beams, which are a non-integer multiple of one unit. It can be awkward to use studded beams in vertical structures because it is necessary to insert plates between the studded beams in order to get the holes to line up. Studless beams allow greater flexibility when building in multiple dimensions, while remaining compatible with "classic" studded beams. Some builders also believe that models constructed with studless beams look nicer than their studded counterparts.

"However, studless construction also introduces disadvantages. Studless construction is not immediately intuitive, requiring the builder to think five or six steps ahead.  While studded construction follows the classic bottom-to-top building pattern, studless construction requires building inside-to-outside.

"As of 2005, Lego has begun to re-incorporate studded bricks back into the Technic line, which can be seen in sets such as 8421 (found on Peeron), The Mobile Crane."


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#3 Studio Draven

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 09:34 PM

I must admit, I've found it quite a challenge getting to grips with studless construction after so long out of the hobby (I stopped in the early 90s, and only recently got back into Lego with 9395). It's a very interesting way of working, and I think I'm getting the hang of it now. I'm spotting ways of doing things I would have previously done with studded, but I still have a fair way to go before I'm ready to show anything off here.

#4 Technic Gearhead

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 09:58 PM

I don't mind a few studded beams in critical spots but prefer mostly studless.  On the limited number of studded beams I do use, I usually cover the studs with tiles.

#5 Paul Boratko

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 10:06 PM

I prefer the much cleaner polished look of studless beams... Not to mention there are no tiny little studholes Posted Image to collect dust...
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#6 timslegos

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 10:14 PM

There is some helpful advice in this thread:

http://www.eurobrick...1

tim

Edited by timr, 22 April 2012 - 10:14 PM.


#7 mobi

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:37 AM

Studless is advantageous because you can build in all directions in similar way because beam's dimensions are same on two directions. It is quite a big jump in thinking. I am also just recently got back to Lego Technic and discovered that many of my old school thinking are no longer valid in studless world :(

Although beauty is in eyes of beholder, studless design is aesthetically pleasing compared to traditional studded design.

But in favor of studded beams, they are much stronger than studless beams and more intuitive to work with.

#8 allanp

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 05:09 PM

I think the earliest genesis of studless first started to appear in 1996 with the bent liftarms in sets like 8480. 8455 from 2003 was the first flagship completely studless set. It's interesting that there was no technic (discounting starwars and re-releases) released the year before. Coincedence?

As for why, I would guess the main reason is cost. Studless parts are simpler and therefore (in this case anyway) cheaper to make, not to mention less plastic is required. There are other pros and cons of course, but I think TLGs main reason is cost.

Edited by allanp, 23 April 2012 - 05:09 PM.

Even the best can be made better, but most important is to be excellent to each other and party on dudes!!!!!!

#9 Technic Gearhead

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 05:16 PM

I would guess that cost savings was not the driving force, but rather a way for Technic to further separate itself from standard bricks and open up new possibilities with the new type of building.  Cheaper beams was a nice by-product for them however.

#10 Sokratesz

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 07:59 PM

While it does offer building advantages I think studless Technic constructions are ugly as sin compared to the old flagships such as 8480, 8888 and 8868.

- Sok.

#11 Meatman

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:40 PM

You really think this is ugly as sin

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Compared to This?

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#12 Technic Gearhead

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:47 PM

I'm a studless snob of sorts - I can't hardly stand to look at studded beams now that we have studless.  I do like studded beams in certain applications but only when they are covered up with tiles!   :classic:

#13 Lipko

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:13 PM

 Meatman, on 24 April 2012 - 04:40 PM, said:

You really think this is ugly as sin

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Compared to This?

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A nice photo compared to a rather bad one  :classic:
But the point is valid anyway, I thought at my first meeting with complete studless construction that "wtf is that shit". Now I couldn't go back t studded apart from some very limited aesthetic use, I wouldn't want to use it for the chassis either, even if it's stronger. Studless just looks neater to me.

I think studless building is much more consistent too, because you can't avoid using studdless construction in some places, so it's better to build the whole thing in a consistent style. IMHO

#14 KEvron

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 08:44 PM

 mobi, on 23 April 2012 - 09:37 AM, said:

they are much stronger than studless beams and more intuitive to work with.

and they offer two more dimensions of connectivity than the studless.

 Tacker, on 22 April 2012 - 05:09 PM, said:

....and why

bean counting is a big factor. studless beams require fewer dies (die? dice?) and less abs to produce, and there a fewer production rejects.

 allanp, on 23 April 2012 - 05:09 PM, said:

I think TLGs main reason is cost.

ewps! you beat me to it.

KEvron

Edited by KEvron, 24 April 2012 - 08:46 PM.


#15 Sokratesz

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 12:07 AM

 Meatman, on 24 April 2012 - 04:40 PM, said:

You really think this is ugly as sin

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Compared to This?

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You could at least have posted a good picture of 8868. And yes, while this is a particularly nice studless reconstruction, I still prefer the original.

#16 kieran

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:46 PM

I have 8868 and have always liked the set, but I do think the studdless version looks really good as well.

#17 SNIPE

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:51 PM

At least they are still compatible with each other in that you can pin or axle them together or you can put the studs of the studded beam in the holes of the stud less beam if needed.

#18 DarkShadow73

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:38 PM

If I recall they changed over in about 2003 with the 8455 Backhoe Loader, then as DLuders said in 2005 they made a small reintroduction(but in a very small way) with the 8421 Mobile Crane from 2005. Since then you get a few here and there in the sets from '05 on, but nothing like the old school beams and plates...although I have mixed opinions on the studless liftarms, 1999's 8448 Supercar was made up of mostly all studded beams and plates, as was 2001's 8466 4x4" Off-Roader, the fairings hid them well, most of them were in the chassis of those vehicles...but 2001's re-release of the 8464 Pneumatic Front-End Loader was very studded heavy, and that model looks fantastic as was the smaller mobile crane (8460,8431, and 8438), 3 releases of the set.  I currently have 2004's release of the 8439 Front End Loader (aka 8459, 8464) and although it is made up with the same studded/plated construction, it incorporated the newer grays for the axles, differentials, etc, and the pneumatic cylinders were round with a hole at the bottom of them, unlike its predescessors that had the 2x2" block base on the cylinder.  I rather like the looks of the new cylinders on that model...

As far as why, I would hazard a guess that TLG wanted a new, more sleek look on its models, and most do look a lot better with the studless beams, but I still wish, like I said above that the chassis's still were made of the old plate and studded beam construction...

 Tacker, on 22 April 2012 - 05:09 PM, said:

Hi most of my Lego is the old style beams with lugs. Just wondered when did Lego beams go lugless and why

Edited by TechnicFreak, 27 April 2012 - 08:46 PM.


#19 Tropy

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 05:58 AM

 TechnicFreak, on 27 April 2012 - 08:38 PM, said:

If I recall they changed over in about 2003 with the 8455 Backhoe Loader, then as DLuders said in 2005 they made a small reintroduction(but in a very small way)


Not to mention also that the studless patent had expired, hence a new, more versatile, more challenging in a way, was needed...

Probably the studless bricks helped revive the Technic business for TLC in a much unexpected way, giving the lack of success in sales of the 90's...
technic, technic, technic
AMEN

#20 DarkShadow73

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:27 AM

@Tropy - interesting thought, I know Technic used to be a huge business in the US back in the 90's and early 2000's, but it dropped off after studless beams went away for the most part, I have noticed fewer and fewer larger sets available here, never considered that, but when I see most of the stellar MOC's posted here, most are made up of studded construction...

 Tropy, on 29 April 2012 - 05:58 AM, said:

Not to mention also that the studless patent had expired, hence a new, more versatile, more challenging in a way, was needed...

Probably the studless bricks helped revive the Technic business for TLC in a much unexpected way, giving the lack of success in sales of the 90's...

@Meatman - the top one is more sleek looking, but I would still buy the bottom one if in a Lego offering...

 Meatman, on 24 April 2012 - 04:40 PM, said:

You really think this is ugly as sin

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Compared to This?

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#21 jadedomg

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 01:24 PM

8868 is one of my favorite sets and it really does look great in both forms. Studded bricks are great for building supports as it just feels strong to me. If it isn't strong enough you can throw plates on it to make it stronger where it is more difficult to do that with studdless.

#22 Richie

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 07:10 PM

I prefer old style. Not the square look of the '80s, but the nice designs of the '90s, with sets like the 8880, 8480 and 8479, but smaller sets like the 8440 and 8459 as well. This toy is called LEGO, and for that I think it should have studs. The big advantage of the (old style) LEGO is how compartible it is. TECHNIC pieces can be used in System MOCs with ease, and vice-versa. With the new studless stuff it's a lot harder.

Full studded sets like in the '90s, the golden years of TECHNIC, well, I'm afraid we'll never see them again. But let's hope for more mixed sets like 8421 and 8275...

Oh, and for the people who think studded is ugly, please look at the articulated dump truck of Designer Han (where a lot of System parts are involved)...  :wub:

It's multifunctionomical.

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#23 Technic Gearhead

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:54 PM

 Richie, on 30 April 2012 - 07:10 PM, said:

Oh, and for the people who think studded is ugly, please look at the articulated dump truck of Designer Han (where a lot of System parts are involved)...  :wub:

You make a great point about the articulated dump truck by Designer Han, but I think it looks great studless as well.

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#24 Burf2000

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:14 AM

I still mainly build studded but dust is a pain in the big behind.  I am slowly moving to studless but at the size I build, the move is expensive!

#25 DarkShadow73

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 06:35 AM

Rather makes the 8264 Hauler look, well, quite cruddy in comparison...this would be a great one for the TLG to produce I would think...

 Technic Gearhead, on 01 May 2012 - 02:54 PM, said:

You make a great point about the articulated dump truck by Designer Han, but I think it looks great studless as well.

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