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DrJB

Lego Technic vs. Real Life

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If I am to 'classify' the various forum members in this forum, I would bin us in the following groups:

1. Those who come here to replicate mechanisms and contraptions that we learned at school (e.g. 4-bar linkage, self-balancing EV3 robot, ...)

2. Those who 'believe' Lego is a 'replica' of real life and use such medium to learn about everything mechanical out there

3. Those who are fully aware of Lego's limitations and realize it is a gross 'simplification of real mechanisms.

4. Artists and Scale Modelers .... etc

 

Looking at all the contraptions available to us, some of those mechanisms are simplified versions of real life, while others are more complicated versions. Here are two examples:

5. Suspension - None of the angles/geometry are reproduced (camber/caster/...) - Lego is definitely an over-simplification of real suspensions

6. Multi-Speed gearbox (e.g. 8448 and 8466) - I believe that, from the kinematics, those are MORE complicated than real life. Somehow, the Lego designers had to give us a working gearbox given the limited available parts.

 

Scanning through the collection of Official Technic Sets out there, which mechanisms are:

7. Simplified Version of Real Life

8. More complicated than real life

9. Just exactly like real life

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There may be different interests driving ppl - so what you want to discuss?

So I am not getting your point yet... 

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My focus is to make mechanisms or structures that have never been seen before (in Lego or otherwise).

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Good questions. I will generalise a lot here because I could write about every function of every set but I'll be here till next year!

Simplified versions of real life:

I would say car suspension, steering (if we consider things like power steering, steering geometries like Ackermann angles, and steering on heavy vehicles which usually have more complex linkages), engines (would be nice to see some timing belts, cams, etc), most helicopter rotors, axles (due to the omission of working brakes which most axles have), seats (mostly immovable), doors (no locks), tracked vehicles (either have no transmission or an electric motor for each track), some pneumatic functions (ie the grabber for the material handler, in real life there would be a cylinder for each blade of the claw. Also, real life hydraulic circuits have some added complications like pressure limiters, return flows and one way valves for example), most turntable based slew rings, big heavy crane hooks that have only one pulley (most big and heavy cranes have many pulleys)

More complicated than real life;

Multi speed gearboxes, steering (speaking of larger Technic cars and if we ignore power steering. Most cars have a single shaft between the steering wheel and pinion gear and maybe a U joint or two, no other gears or shafts), models that rely on the combination of multifunction gearboxes and LAs.

Just exactly like real life (Nothing in Technic is exactly like real life but I take this to mean the closest that is reasonably practical) :

Most pneumatic functions (Yes I know real life uses hydraulics but the basic principal of containing a fluid, be it air or oil, to do work is the same), the helicopter rotors of the Airbus rescue helicopter, suspended multilink live axle suspension, motorbike suspension and rear chain drive, telescopic drive shafts (Zetros), planetary reduction in the wheel (42099), some examples of steering (8860), slew rings that incorporate rolling elements (42082), some crane main structures (such as the cables and winches of 42042).

And there's probably lots more in all categories that I missed.

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12 hours ago, aFrInaTi0n said:

There may be different interests driving ppl - so what you want to discuss?

So I am not getting your point yet... 

Points 7/8/9 (in Bold)

I've heard on many occasions people who try Technic for the first time make comments such as: 'Like the real thing' .... No, few mechanisms in Technic are like the real thing. Some are more complicated, others much simplified. I'm talking here primarily about the kinematics. 

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hm, this discussion is more on the meta level i would say.

I wouldn't get specific at all and talk about simplification, but stick to the term abstraction. In my opinion everything, be it mechanisms, design, size, stability, proportion, color, etc. gets translated into the lego vocabular using semantics (techniques to combine parts) which is slightly more bound to one's fantasy and syntax (using the best fitting elements) which is more a creativity thing i would guess. These categories are not well thought of course ;)

...and creativity and fantasy are (at least in some degree) involved into both fractions (syntax and semantics).

I have to mention: the question is not if a person has a lot of fantasy or creativity but how is it used in building things. Building the thousands "formula 1 car alternate build" can be pretty boring (lack of fantasy?). But this car can be cool if the artist has a unique stile and comes up with a rock solid and amazing build showing the artists creativity.

Building simple or more complex is just a result of creative abstraction while translating real stuff into legos.

It's comparable to real languages. Things you can say in one or two words in one language need much more in another language. And sometimes normally things get "lost in translation" (good film btw).

Every person is sometimes simplifying or complicating while translating. So i wouldn't categorize that way. But it's a very good question every artist could keep in mind when doing art: "Am i simplifying or complicating things & do i want it that way?"

@DrJBthank you for that question - it's amazing to think about

Best wishes to all of you.

Edited by pow
typo

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