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Custom Lego Parts


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#1 Jim

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:41 AM

I have always been wondering whether there are people or companies creating custom Lego rims.

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Yesterday I stumbled upon a website where one can create physical objects of 3D models a.k.a. 3D printing. Unfortunately there are no custom Lego rims (yet).

http://www.shapeways...rc-car-rim.html

However, there are lots of custom Lego parts. Take a look at http://www.shapeways.com/ and search for Lego.

Maybe there are some 3D modelling experts here on this forum who can turn the rims below into some nice custom rims (like the ones above). Or just upload this model and get them in white.

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Different materials are available for use. Basic white would look awesome on a red car (Vampire or GT40 for instance).

I would really die for a custom selection of rims! (or possibly covers)

Posted Image

Edited by Gekke Ted, 07 May 2012 - 08:53 AM.


#2 timslegos

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 12:03 PM

That is a good idea, however, 3D printing is still very expensive  :sad: .

tim

#3 allanp

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 12:57 PM

Glad you brought this up. Just lately i've been thinking of getting some parts printed. Would like to know how good these prints are. Can they make a gear as strong as a normal technic gear? What about wear resistance or surface quality? I'm fairly sure the printer(s) at Lego can get close but how do I know that these guys can do the same? Guess i'm just gonna have to try em. Of course if lego themselves were to offer this service, that would be awesome!
Even the best can be made better, but most important is to be excellent to each other and party on dudes!!!!!!

#4 Jim

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:16 PM

Actually, I was kinda surprised by the prices, since they don't seem that steep. It depends on the used material (and volume) of course.

Indeed, I have to order some samples to see how strong the material is and how accurate the printing turns out. I will do so, after my vacation, therefore it can take a while to give you feedback.

Being able to create almost every imaginable Lego part you want, is pretty awesome if you ask me.

Edited by Gekke Ted, 07 May 2012 - 01:21 PM.


#5 Jim

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:38 PM

What is the best format to use for uploading? Are the Supercar (8070) rims available as Sketchup model?

Here's a very simple tutorial:

http://www.shapeways...to_stl_tutorial

I can only find these ones:
http://sketchup.goog...c231bcdb56cd4b8

Edited by Gekke Ted, 07 May 2012 - 01:42 PM.


#6 DLuders

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:46 PM

@ Gekke Ted:  You're right -- the prices are not that high.  This Shapeways Lego-compatible Propeller and Torsen Housing (although not for sale) are interesting:

Posted Image   Posted Image

The Lego Test, AirTracks Legos Hub A / Hub B, and  Custom 2x2 RightAngle pieces ARE for sale:

Posted Image   Posted Image   Posted Image   Posted Image

#7 allanp

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 06:14 PM

The torson diff does look interesting. I wonder if it would be better to produce the parts with undersized holes so that they could be drilled out to a much rounder and more accurate hole. I must say if it turns out to be plausible I might not be a purist much longer  :laugh:

Edited by allanp, 07 May 2012 - 06:43 PM.

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

#8 Lipko

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:18 PM

DLuders: The third piece should definitely be an official part.

I'm mostly a purist I guess, but some custom pieces would be okay I think. After all, Lego set designers invent new pieces (though sometimes I feel that they overdo it).

I would only invent a piece if it could be used for more models than the current one, otherwise I would feel that it's only cheating and taking the easier root with a problem. If something can't be solved, maybe a rethinking/rebuilding of that complete sub-assembly is better solution than inventing a piece.

#9 timslegos

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:48 PM

Ya i agree the third part would be a huge asset in building.

tim

#10 Paul Boratko

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:54 PM

Compared to Bricklink prices for Red and Yellow 5 x 11 panels, those prices are a steal...

That is a really interesting site...
Posted Image

#11 Crtlego

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 11:09 PM

Its interesting how timing works out.. I was just looking at this site yesterday Posted Image

An alternative to this site would be that of www.ponoko.com. They seem to offer the same services -3D printing, 2D laser cutting- but in a variety of materials. I imagine that the prices would be the same, but it depends on the volume, overall size, and material..

I have also been considering modeling my own pieces to order from one of these sites, but I haven't gotten over the idea that there would be a lot of remeasuring, redesigning, and reprinting that would be involved in getting a particular piece to fit perfectly with actual legos. For somebody who owns their own professional printer this is no big deal, but to have to order a new part, pay for shipping each version of that part, and wait in between orders, it simply does not make any sense. Posted Image It is something worth looking into though

@ Allanp,

doesn't Lego use plastic injection molding for their Technic parts? Maybe they use printing in the same manner I described above until the designers are prepared to pay for the $100k (I believe this is the average/minimum price mentioned on the National Geographic special) molds..

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image


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#12 KEvron

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 11:16 PM

custom parts is a very tempting notion, but, for me, part of builidng with lego is working within its limitations. those limitations must be overcome by ingenuity, and in that regard, lego teaches us to teach ourselves.

still, i could really go for a 20z scapewheel....

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#13 Paul Boratko

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 11:22 PM

Speaking of Custom parts, I found out last night that it is very easy to make Black Bushings out of these Posted Image
Posted Image

#14 Crtlego

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 11:54 PM

View PostPaul Boratko, on 07 May 2012 - 11:22 PM, said:

Speaking of Custom parts, I found out last night that it is very easy to make Black Bushings out of these Posted Image

What exactly did you use? A hacksaw?

I've never really had the need for the black bushing -I don't put that much effort into the external design but rather I focus more on the function (that's not to say I don't try to make my MOC's beautiful) Posted Image ... you manage to do both really well though!! I guess you could use it in your Vampire GT Posted Image

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image


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#15 mo_

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 11:58 PM

@Gekke Ted
That is brilliant thinking! I did read on a website about this time last year that this was possible and they even mail the parts to you but was still in my dark ages :(

@Paul
Put the scalpel down that poor connector did nothing to you  :tongue:
Support the Vampire GT on Lego Cuusoo http://lego.cuusoo.c...deas/view/13666

#16 Paul Boratko

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:06 AM

LOL...

I actually took an axle and stuck it into the bushing end and put the pin end through a liftarm almost up to the bush and used a new razor blade to press downward into a piece of wood and sheered through the hollow portion of the pin... I made 4 of them and they would work pretty well if you were in a pinch for a Black Bushing... I am still sitting on about 60 of the actual Black Bushings, so I didn't need any of them, but for some reason I just felt the need to experiment last night...

Edited by Paul Boratko, 08 May 2012 - 12:06 AM.

Posted Image

#17 88high

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:06 AM

I think 3D printing would be a awesome idea as long as the colors are the same as lego's, and the sides are very exact, and the plastic mix being a good quality.
I have modified 1/4 size axle spacers out of a 8tooth gear or a 1/2 technic bushing. It works well on wormscrew gear applications.

#18 Jim

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:13 AM

View PostCrtlego, on 07 May 2012 - 11:09 PM, said:

Its interesting how timing works out.. I was just looking at this site yesterday Posted Image
What a coincidence Posted Image

Anyway, maybe I will order some parts to see what the quality is. If it's acceptable I will definitely try to model some of my own rims, or get the 8070 rims in a different material. Since the models for existing parts are already available, there will probably be a way to convert them to a usable format.




View PostPaul Boratko, on 07 May 2012 - 11:22 PM, said:

Speaking of Custom parts, I found out last night that it is very easy to make Black Bushings out of these Posted Image

That's actually a pretty good idea, if you really need the bushings. I just have about enough bushes, but definitely no surplus.

#19 Burf2000

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:22 PM

You could probably get them made up in metal by the Brick Machine shop if anyone wanted custom stuff!

#20 Crtlego

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:42 PM

View PostPaul Boratko, on 08 May 2012 - 12:06 AM, said:

LOL...

I actually took an axle and stuck it into the bushing end and put the pin end through a liftarm almost up to the bush and used a new razor blade to press downward into a piece of wood and sheered through the hollow portion of the pin... I made 4 of them and they would work pretty well if you were in a pinch for a Black Bushing... I am still sitting on about 60 of the actual Black Bushings, so I didn't need any of them, but for some reason I just felt the need to experiment last night...

That seems fairly safe Posted Image

View Post88high, on 08 May 2012 - 12:06 AM, said:

I think 3D printing would be a awesome idea as long as the colors are the same as lego's, and the sides are very exact, and the plastic mix being a good quality.
I have modified 1/4 size axle spacers out of a 8tooth gear or a 1/2 technic bushing. It works well on wormscrew gear applications.

I have long been wanting a solution for the worm gear spacing problem.. although I would prefer not having a solution at all than to cut some of my legos..Posted Image

View PostGekke Ted, on 08 May 2012 - 08:13 AM, said:

That's actually a pretty good idea, if you really need the bushings. I just have about enough bushes, but definitely no surplus.

Likewise, although it may be useful for different colorschemes. However, the issue of finding the pin of the right color becomes more prevalent as you try to find the bushing of the right color!

View PostBurf2000, on 08 May 2012 - 10:22 PM, said:

You could probably get them made up in metal by the Brick Machine shop if anyone wanted custom stuff!

If my memory is not failing me, I believe you can have pieces printed in different types of metal.. I'll have to check that.

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image


"Legos can answer any and every of our problems if we know how to put them together"


#21 KEvron

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:50 PM

View PostPaul Boratko, on 07 May 2012 - 11:22 PM, said:

it is very easy to make Black Bushings

actually, my purist sensibilities are fine with that. i've mad 7L axles the same way. as long as the end result resembles what's found in the catalog, it ain't heresy.

KEvron

#22 Jim

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 08:19 AM

Turns out that Shapeways is a spin-out of the lifestyle incubator of Royal Philips Electronics, located in Eindhoven (The Netherlands). Minimal shipping costs, lucky me.

I have ordered 6 of these, 2 in white, 2 in polished white and 2 in black. Production will take about 10 days. I am really looking forward to receiving these bad boys. Not that I actually need them, but still, I like to know what the overall quality, rigidity, etc is

Posted Image

http://www.shapeways.../lego-test.html

If I find the time, I will try to follow this tutorial tonight at home, to convert the 8070 rims into a Sketchup model.

http://nexusadventur..._into_Sketchup!

If succesful, I will upload it to Shapeways and see what happens.

#23 allanp

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 04:50 PM

View PostCrtlego, on 07 May 2012 - 11:09 PM, said:

@ Allanp,

doesn't Lego use plastic injection molding for their Technic parts? Maybe they use printing in the same manner I described above until the designers are prepared to pay for the $100k (I believe this is the average/minimum price mentioned on the National Geographic special) molds..

That's right. They use a 3D printer to make prototype parts then pay for the expensive mould to make the finalised mass produced versions. Remember the pictures of the prototypes for the unimog? You may have noticed that some of the new parts were an off white colour, typical of a 3D printed part. So I guess if Lego does it, it's fine for a purist to do it!

@Gekke Ted

I'm looking forward to seeing how good these parts are.

Edited by allanp, 09 May 2012 - 04:51 PM.

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

#24 KEvron

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 04:58 PM

View Postallanp, on 09 May 2012 - 04:50 PM, said:

They use a 3D printer to make prototype parts....if Lego does it, it's fine for a purist to do it!

that's a pretty loose definition of purist. reminds me of a steven wright joke: "this is the hatchet which george washington used to chop down the cherry tree. i've had to replace the handle three times, and the head twice.... but it occupies the same space."

KEvron

Edited by KEvron, 09 May 2012 - 05:13 PM.


#25 allanp

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 07:33 PM

View PostKEvron, on 09 May 2012 - 04:58 PM, said:

that's a pretty loose definition of purist. reminds me of a steven wright joke: "this is the hatchet which george washington used to chop down the cherry tree. i've had to replace the handle three times, and the head twice.... but it occupies the same space."

KEvron

It's as loose as a sausage in an alleyway but hey, I can only pester lego for the parts I want for so long  :laugh:
Even the best can be made better, but most important is to be excellent to each other and party on dudes!!!!!!



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