Brick Customs

LDD is an Underdeveloped Abomination - Why Do So Many Still Use it?

Recommended Posts

The question of computer load ( been brought up several times. I'm running a fairly high end system and the performance is good. According to the developers, since this is still 'beta' they are working on functionality and freely express that tuning for speed will come later.

I find it the easiest to use - IF- you lose the why can't I do it the old way attitude. It's handling of part rotation is excellent since I am building an industrial layout with many tall, round tank/tower objects. Positioning pieces is a jem with being able to use mouse and awsd keys together and several snap grids.

I am not associated with in any way and if you ask them I might be a 'pita':laugh:

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have only been building models in software for just over a year, so I'm somewhat new at it, and by far not an expert. That being said, I like because I like the mouse controls and keyboard control options while building (rotating pieces, etc.), and a big deal to me is that I seem to be able to better search for pieces in - enter 2x1 into the search box, click the right category, and I seem to be able to find pieces way faster than with LDD. With LDD I seemed to always be looking up piece numbers and typing them in, because I couldn't otherwise find them.

I also really like the online building options at ( , and how you can send a model there directly from (one example - click on "step view": This is one of the primary ways I share models with others. I haven't had great luck with instruction-building software to make a PDF; it seems like it will take many hours to tweak what is given at first (rotating the image so that the added piece can be seen, etc.), though I have done it with LICreator. Being able to make steps and assign pieces to steps in, and then have those steps used in LICreator, at, and in the Brixtar app is incredibly helpful, and I don't know how I'd live without the ability to define steps (you can't, as far as I know, in LDD).

Although it can be nice to have paper instructions and not need an electronic device for instructions, the ability to rotate the model, zoom in and out, (as you can at and Brixtar app) and easily specify steps and pieces per step as the model designer (as you can in is amazing.

Edited by vermontcathy
added link to gallery

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

As a 3D modeler and avid user of LDD this is as close as you're going to get with 3D modeling with pre-built pieces. It's like a very low end version of Blender and Maya. 


BUT, it gets the job done and it is probably the best software out there for modeling in a 3D space.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am pretty new to building digitally, first installed LDD and then but I already like better.

The povray renderer is a super easy way to get some renders done, vs. having to search for a solution for LDD.

But mostly it is having multiple files open in tabs at the same time, being able to copy and paste across is nice.
The manual transformation gizmo is really well done as well.

I think it needs a bit more work on UI side on the "steps" outliner type window where you can create new steps but then have to scroll down the parts you chose for the new step to include it there, and the locking of sub models is a bit confusing at first, but overall it is so much nicer to work with.
Fingers crossed it evolves to be the perfect middleground solution. not too complicated for beginners to pick up, but lots of advanced stuff under the hood.

Any ideas if it will stay free after BETA?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting debate and I have my own views being an intermediate LEGO builder of many years, member of a local LUG and very IT literate.  I agree with a lot of the comments here that LDD is an easy to learn interface, quick to learn and aimed really at a simple market to achieve a buildable online tool that performs for 90% of the market.  I am a heavy user of both LDD and  I prefer some of's interface, the ability to search parts by description, more logical (to me) arrangement of parts and key word searching.  

LDD seems to hold parts in obscure sub lists that are hard to dig through, some parts (like 11477 1x2 slope) ONLY appear in extended building mode (WHY?) - if the parts are available they should be there no matter what!  LDD will also seem to use old parts numbers that are hard to find when you want to buy through bricklink and will let you use colours that you can't buy to design with. has a fantastic ability to render straight from the program (via Pov-ray) without having to run something like Bluerender and will notify you of an error if that part is not available in that colour.

Some background on what I do - I like to design builds virtually first and then render what my builds will look like, if i decide to build them I want to be able to have some sort of easy to follow instructions - LDD is crap - no argument there.  Unfortunately, one program cannot do EVERYTHING, can render, but I can't send instructions to a friend as they are online for my account, unless I upload to the BUILD portal and I don't want to release EVERYTHING publicly.  So I like to do a PDF.  LDD can interface with Blueprint to do some nice instructions and is a very powerful 'add-on' program but can't render - catch 22.

I have tried LDraw but don't have the time and effort atm to learn this thoroughly and it does not seem intuitive to play around in, the other two you can adapt to quite quickly.

Therefore the process that I currently use is - Design in LDD, export to to do a render, then go back to LDD and export to Blueprint as Blueprint takes an LXF file to get instructions together for it.  I have to generate an LXF for blueprint but it would be great if it took an IO file.  You can load an LXF into and it will open but you can't load an IO back into LDD - I'd almost pay to see that happen as it would smooth my process immensely.

I am currently stuck with having to use a combination of two or more tools to get a process done that I would hope one day could be converted into one program to rule them all, until then.......

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.