SaperPL

Eurobricks Citizen
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Everything posted by SaperPL

  1. How come? My guess would be there are people with business management background rather than engineering that are making a final decision on whether to allow new part to get into production, but there probably are some engineers that need to make report on how costly the part would be and there are probably some designers that need to figure out how much introducing this part could affect in building techniques for the management to base their decision on.
  2. I know that the interface is customizable and that the example to move the centre of input just where the user touches doesn't apply in this scenario. But the slider should work when I touch the either end of it without going to the centre. This doesn't have anything to do with customisation as long as this whole control stays in one place. Yes, for additional functions apart driving, that may be true one the touch screen if have a lot of that. But for an entry use case is having 4 motors so two sliders + two functions having two sliders + two buttons somewhere in the middle on the bottom of the screen, would be doable to not look. Also if you're used to controller, you don't need to look at it for those. Anyway my point was mostly about driving because you should/would be looking at the model at that point and if touch screen disconnects and forces you to look at controls to find the slider again, it's just bad design. And I know that you can define controls with other types of input, but that's not my point. My point is they haven't fixed a simple slider to jump to position where you touch without grabbing the knob at the middle (with back to zero) or wherever you left it at - that is something that should be a pretty simple change. And also while I know there are power users, not everyone wants to play the coding game, and prefer to build something physically, so they just pick some simple slider controls if they want control over the speed and steering and afterwards they end up with brick controller 2 instead of this.
  3. I won't address others, to be honest I didn't read the whole topic, but I'd like to note that the mobile apps made to control powered up are made with some stupid mistakes that could have been avoided if they had anyone that actually had experience in making games for mobile phones. For those specific details that are crucial to the user experience, I could do it better, it's just a matter of knowing how games handle inputs on touch screens. I can't say anything about the control+ app at this point, I haven't launched it for some time now, but the current version of powered UP app still has the control sliders, like one of most used, implemented incorrectly and this is something that literally feels to me like few hours of coding to change. What's wrong with the sliders? If you are using touch screen for a longer time, you're fingers are sweating because you're holding a device that is emitting heat through the screen. Over time the touch screen starts to loose your touch because of this and the app has frames with no input info. What mobile games do is that they either put the slider on a position where you press your finger without sliding it there from the middle, or they allow to start anew anywhere you want to drag the slider so you don't need to look at the controls if you're focused on the actual game. They also sometimes ignore the single frames without input accounting for such touch screen errors. But what powered UP apps do? You need to find the middle of the slider, click on it and drag it to where you want it. ON AN APP THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE USED WITHOUT LOOKING AT IT WHILE YOU'RE USING IT AS A REMOTE FOR YOUR MODEL! So my guess is that TLG doesn't really have a team of mobile devs with experience in mobile touch screen games, to work on the app, they just may be skilled in coding the controllers support/communication. For the record - I don't have this set and I'm not sulking over the situation, it's just another point showing the quality of support on those apps. And by the way - to those who are waiting for their models to work - the "halo products", the most expensive ones in the lineup, often have worst support after release just because they are the most expensive and there's the least amount of clients to get angry about them, so have fun waiting and looking at your static RC model :D
  4. I'll try to go over it from my limited experience in product design and production (not at TLG, to be clear). First of all, introducing new parts/solutions not only costs RND/tooling but it also means some older ones may become obsolete because of this. If TLG released whole family of liftarms with perpendicular pin holes right away and made it so that designers started using them a lot in the models, it might mean that a lot of building techniques could become obsolete and thus demand for some pieces would significantly drop in short period of time. They don't want to be behind, but at the same time they don't go all-in just because new stuff looks great on paper. That's what big companies that would have a lot to loose, do - they reduce the risks wherever possible. So for example if they have a stockpile of parts that would get obsolete and they couldn't sell it or tooling that didn't really pay for itself yet/didn't wear out yet - that's a loss they don't take. Secondly, and I know I talk about it over and over again, the product (line) segmentation. If Lego started making small scale builds that have all the possible functions thanks to parts designed for the smaller scale, this would mean that you wouldn't *need* to buy a bigger scale model to have suspension, gearbox etc. So for example if a kid wants a Technic supercar with suspension, the parent won't find one in the lower end segment, and it'll only be in those ultra high-end models, albeit we all know that there are people that build such models at medium scale (compared to medium sized sets). So they don't introduce specialised parts until there's an additional requirement, maybe something like contractual one if the license owner of the vehicle asks for something specific, but the company estimates it won't sell well as a big scale set. As for experimental parts - if you have multiple of those, it means you can build a prototype that is working before you solve the problem with existing production pieces. Also you may approach the problem in more ways to end up with the design that requires least amount of new pieces. Often having a physical prototype built, even while "cheating" allows you to get a good look of how it works and push other parts of the projects forward even when you're stuck with the one where you cheated with "custom" solution. I expect that designers, even if really enthusiastic about their job, need to fit within specified amount of bricks/manufacturing price and keep the specified functions. I bet there are definitely people from management who control and optimise the "stats" of new product, and rarely it's all up to the designers.
  5. Since the EU is blocking orders at the border containing counterfeit and patent breaking products. For many smaller sets it may not matter, but for "flagship" products like for example supercar models, I'd guess TLG need to make sure those are on some "wanted lists" at the border. There will be a lot companies that are simply too small to protect themselves and have time and resources to figure this out, but Lego has it probably figured out. So that's why when you check out counterfeit sets on aliexpress, most of the time you'll see they ship without boxes, often without paper manual and you get info that it gets shipped from Spain or Germany etc. They may be actually shipping the bricks "loose" as raw material for production and packaging them for shipment in the EU and so on. But this generally means you can't buy a neat packaged gift for a kid this way, so a significant chunk of the market is protected.
  6. Dumb enough? No, it's a calculated business move. When Lego did the B-models they had to: design main model design b-model using the parts from the main model optimise both for the parts used so there's no unnecessary overhead of parts (including stuff like stickers) design a box that features both main model with some functionality featured and also squeeze in the b-model print more manuals Also at that point they had a single promo video from (or two in a short period of time) from the reviewers. Now they have to do: design main model optimise only main model for parts use design the box with focus only on the main model (more free real estate) print less manuals Right now they get more coverage spread over longer period of time because they're not killing off the most optimal choice for making a b-model from the parts the kit has. Let's say the 42123 senna got a high quality b-model that is a racing truck - they now made it so that like dozens of people won't try to make a better truck with limitations of the original set that would make it harder, so all those people will end up with different models overcoming those limitations, but they most likely won't if there's already a b-model of racing truck, and if they did, it may not gain so much traction on the web as making alt model that that is same theme as b-model. So they get now more chances for the set being promoted with this alt model over the web and at the same time they save money on development. Similarly some "stupid mistakes" like not including a differential in the senna set or not making steering wheel turn, no adding suspension in some builds even if they could - it's product segmentation so if you want more, you need to buy more expensive set, or you need to buy bricks separately and figure out on your own how to add this and I think TLG has calculated that most people spending money will just buy a bigger set at some point. Also if they add such "stupid mistakes" there will be people talking about this and sharing videos on how to fix those mistakes, so again - they save money and get free advertising. I talked about similar stuff on our local forum when the RC buggy came out last year with the new perpendicular hole liftarms. It's not like CADA came up with this design and TLG just copied it because they have dumb designers who couldn't come up with that on their own. It's that they were forced to catch up at this point because people got those pieces from CADA, but companies that have monopoly(are dominating their market niche) like TLG have shelves full of designs that are not shown to the end user. There's probably a dozen of different differential designs, steering components, wheel rims, gearboxes and so on. Ready and working mechanically if you could 3D print those for example, just there wasn't any necessity to make the mass production tooling so far. I expect a lot of stuff that @efferman designed was designed already by TLG and is just sitting on shelves and in database of internal parts that may be used some day. Mistakes can happen from time to time, but in a company that's this big, it's most likely calculated.
  7. If we are talking about the principle of operation being the same, then you must end up with similar mechanism if you want it to work similarly (i.e. being able clutch one connection at one position having the second one being in neutral at 90 degree off the first one). Even if you ware change it into some kind of gear with this driving ring so it's not technically driven by the axle, it's core principle of operation is that you're rotating it to shift the phase at which each clutch around is set. What I believe should competing companies look for the replace TLG's piece is to use a different type/construction of the gearbox if that's to be clear with the patent. Obviously CVTs are most likely out of the question. We don't have planetary gears yet - not a complete final drives/portal hubs with integrated planetary gears, but actual system pieces that can be used like other gears. Planetary gear based automatic transmission may or may not be more compact than current approach depending on how much space is required for reliable and system-like clutching separate parts of the planetary gear. As for what could be a single piece working in current clutch system, I only came up with the idea to have a piece around a worm gear that would drive up to 4 clutches around, but it would drive them in sync. It may be useful when designing a model that is switching functionality for each motors so you can have more stuff with just 4 motors, but I'm not so sure it'd make much sense for a gearbox because all sides would be synced. If you guys get any ideas that have a fair chance of working, I could try designing it as well for print and testing this, but with the assumption that we want a substitute part that's not breaking the original patented concept is trying to square a circle (although some revolutionary ideas are born at such attempts). Anyway, we're talking gearbox stuff when we don't even have the limited slip differentials...
  8. I'm prototyping physically mechanical principles of the model first, then I try to build it in studio, iterate and make it look good. Then I build a physical prototype based on the design and so on. A tick-tock process, kind of like intel. Sometimes I go all physical though if mechanics are most of the build.
  9. I started playing around with the idea of European style semi truck again. I built a prototype to test the chassis design with motors side by side. The core idea here is that both motors are oriented towards back so you can put the medium Technic frame on top of them as well as have cables managed up front. Prototype showcase: It'll take some time before I'll finish the whole semi truck build, but I prepared the instructions for the chassis so you can build it. Instructions are available for free on Rebrickable: https://rebrickable.com/mocs/MOC-86118 Sneak peek of the instructions:
  10. I made the test to validate the PF version and option to go without the new two-piece differential
  11. Thanks guys! It would be awesome if others picked up this chassis for a build of his own semi (your own cab and trailer design). Another tease, this time the back with some quickly made fifth wheel/trailer hitch: Would you be interested in a kit version of this from https://buildamoc.com/ (the instruction would still be available for free)? If that's a yes, then would this be a semi only (you design your own trailer) or you'd rather have it with whole set for the trailer at similar level of quality?
  12. Thanks for info. I should check this option - maybe this hub needs specific settings for the motors while the new one doesn't.
  13. @imurvai Do you have any ideas about what could be wrong with my Hub NO.4 setup? Does anyone use HUB NO.4/88009 with this app? I bought this hub specifically for smaller builds and I like to use pre-configurable steering angle without range test which can break steering in some smaller builds, and also I prefer tactile controls.
  14. Just a tease of the upcoming complete model:
  15. @imurvai I finally took my time to capture the issue with HUB NO0.4 / 88009. Sorry for taking so long. I don't have the same issue with big Technic Hub nor with Sbrick on the same phone/gamepad/app setup so it's either that there is an issue with the app or with my HUB NO.4. The jitter visible with PoweredUP! app is just because the motor is not locked in place/is really negligible in comparison to what happens when using your app. I haven't tried this with any other phone as my previous phone has issue with connecting to the XBO gamepad. I may have poor BT controller in my phone though, but it works a lot better with Technic Hub / Sbrick.
  16. Thanks! Meanwhile I managed to make instructions for PF/buwizz version of this chassis. I'm preparing this for my upcoming Semi model to be available for both PU and PF configurations. I have not built this physically so proceed with caution, but I made it according to my knowledge. Inspect the instructions and make some prototype before making orders based on this. https://rebrickable.com/mocs/MOC-86691 Sneak peek of the instructions:
  17. The Lego Car Blog: https://thelegocarblog.com/2021/08/30/half-size-supercar/
  18. Really cool build, I'm glad I checked the TLCB today :) The way the front wheels are attached is really cool - great job on figuring out this technique.
  19. Smaller doesn't always mean simpler. Recreating something with different medium perfectly at limited size is really challenging and with bigger models you often have a lot of "legroom" to spare and try remodel specific parts of it. In smaller model changing one piece that is crucial for the look may often end up with whole structural remake of the mechanism inside. My model was indeed really simple as the vibe of the original set was that it was a simple entry set for Technic set, but shaping the hovercraft's skirt wasn't something that obvious it'll work out that good and often tricks like you did with those panels are defining factors for whole small builds like this while in bigger models such tricks are just smaller accents/details unless reused in multiple places. If there was a small model size class then, by just roughly skimming the amount of votes not point, the indy transport could be first, your hovercraft would be second and the red forklift or blue fury would be third if I'm not mistaken.
  20. @dickylaban when it comes to popular vote here the only thing that you could really pick on is that the votes were public across the whole voting period, but I'm not sure if that really affected the voting here. There were so many great entries and quite a lot perfectly executed ones as well, that it did boil down to which ones people liked the most. And yes - people will vote for bigger models with more functions, but it's not like we were forced to make smaller ones - the only thing here that we can do is to ask either for future contests to have strict size requirements or separate size classes, but that's a separate discussion. Considering your submission, if people really took the vibe of original set vs the recreation consciously, yours is slightly more opaque and feels heavier so it feels a bit like a generic formula race car and the idea was for the recreated model to be instantly recognisable - you simply might've picked something that's hard to remake to be true to original without going 1:1 replacing beams with liftarms etc - @Samolot's truck was on the other hand instantly recognisable albeit filling in some gaps with panels because it has a unique cab shape in the original set. @msk6003 the contest was about classic remake, no doubt about it. Also your remake had a messy shapes all over apart from using a lot of system bricks on the front which was explicitly stated in the rules not to do. You picked wrong set to remake because it wasn't classic and it was really hard to do the shape with Technic pieces while retaining the original functionality. Winners picked sets that had lower amount of/less complicated functions and executed the remakes perfectly by the rules which should come first over scoring bonus points for creativity/complexity/amount of mechanical features.
  21. Can we have a contest that is about something useful in the making of MOCs in general? Like for example actual useful small automatic gearboxes (the execution of the event would be hard though here to check it) or axles with virtual pivot etc? And make it fixed size and add fries to it :)
  22. The idea is good and exactly my point, but seeing the amount of high quality builds or bigger sized models that did not win in this contest, you can clearly see that outside the pool of people who already won there still are people who will build big high quality models that are going to discourage others from competing. But it somewhat makes sense to not have same people scoring the prizes, so it also makes sense this way.
  23. There were times were Bricksafe literally didn't load for me while I didn't have issues with other hostings. It's not always that it doesn't work for everyone, just saying. Making a special category that is exclusive to people who already won previous contests doesn't make sense if you want more people to take part IMO. As for separate classes making things more complicated - that's true, but whether it's worth it or not matters - if you can bring lots more people to participate by making it slightly more complicated then that could be a win. That makes sense, the sole part of building your entry is fun, but it still comes to mostly just entrants voting, that's why I'm thinking about bringing more people to participate.
  24. I think the Jury should be vetting the entries against the rules they prepared and not voting which ones are better, in the first phase. Then there should be some kind of short period where disqualified would try to appeal and present their stance/interpretation of the rules and change the decision which could happen if rules were not precisely stated and thus left something to interpretation. After that popular vote would be a fair game. For making more people take part in the contests - I would consider making separate size classes for each place, but I know this is a double edged sword where it could've been unfair if there's objectively better entry that didn't get to the podium as second place because it was in bigger size class. Food for thought though as I think some people would try their strength in the contest if they weren't necessarily competing against people who can spend unlimited amount of money for specifically coloured bricks. The number of votes would decide the order of the prizes between the classes' winners. For more people voting - I'm not sure that complicating the voting process is a good idea - maybe just picking 5 entries you like (each one point) would work better to get bigger amount of people voting if people still vote on what they like and assuming initial Jury vetting against the rules? Allowing contestants to vote without 50 posts seems like a good idea. Also I'm in for some leniency towards submissions that had the image hosting failed in the entries thread while the topic had them working. There may be situations where a hosting site from the other side of the world won't work for us and the original creator doesn't know about it until it's too late.
  25. The amount of elements is not the same thing as the size. I've got a small model (the red and black cars in my signature) that has 445 pieces and is really small. Size wise, I'd say those are medium sized models and also the amount of parts match to medium sized sets. While I agree about this restricting creativity, my point is that even when you explicitly state that the contest is firstly about how close to the original model you are, people will still vote on what they like. I believe that even if mods explicitly stated that the voting should be about which is the most alike the original set, a lot if not most of the people would still pick based on what they like and not based on how well the model is resembling the original set. So I prefer creativity within specified limits - TC18 was like that iirc, and there were some really creative entries submitted.