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Found 63 results

  1. I had a whole stack of broken 12v light bricks where the bulb had gone. In particular they don't last that long when set in lamp posts. Sick of buying more so needed a way of replacing the bulb with a longer lasting LED. The first difficultly was finding the right LED with a built in resistor so they can run straight off the 12v power supply. I hadn't found 3mm white/clear LEDs before, just coloured ones, but found a supplier here for what I needed. These should also work fine for 9v. Then the other tricky bit was to open up the light brick without breaking it. This wasn't as difficult as I first thought, so here is the guide - no soldering and no glue! The tools used (almost common household items!) excluding the light brick and LED are : 1. A micro-screwdriver. 2. A bent curtain hook. 3. Some sharp nail scissors. Step 1. Using the screwdriver scrape off the plastic tab that helps hold into place the inner part of the light brick : Step 2. Using the holes for the plug as an anchor lever out the inner part of the light brick with the sharp end of the bent curtain hook until you can get under it : Step 3. If the inner part is still not loose rotate the other end of the curtain hook in the space made at the bottom : Step 4. Take out the inner part : Step 5. Use the micro srewdriver to remove the old bulb and contacts until the inner part is clear : Step 6. Throw away the old bulb and wiring and Insert the LED : Step 7. Bend the LED wires around the light brick making sure the LED is centred : Step 8. With the screwdriver continue to bend the LED wires into the plug contact holes : Step 9. Re-insert the metal contacts. This may take some force, but it will be this additional friction which means the removal of the plastic tab earlier doesn't matter : Step 10. Trim off the excess LED wires with the scissors : Step 11. Re-join the central part of the light brick with the cover (remember which way is up!) : Complete! Remember as it's an LED it won't work plugged in either way to the power supply, but that doesn't bother me in the slightest as you just turn the plug around / swap the pins if it doesn't work For train lights where the power will be reversed when you reverse the train I can recommend Janco's light bricks which are superb
  2. Pandora

    Flickr Tutorial

    Flickr seems to change so often that it's hard to keep up with all of its functions. There have been a number of questions about deeplinking from Flickr recently, so I hope people find this short tutorial helpful. I have included TWO ways of sharing pictures from Flickr in this tutorial; using the "Share" button and through the "Download" button. Embedding pictures using the "Share button. Embedding pictures using the "Download" button. Feel free to post questions about Flickr here and anyone can answer them. For any other questions, ie anything not relating to flickr, please check the FAQ tab in the upper right of the forum, or post in the HELP! ! ! topic here in Forum Information and Help.
  3. I started this project because I wanted to share my experiences building various offroad models over the last decade. This topic is meant to guide the builders with comparisments, suggestion and best building practices, It is however not a place to find already finished and perfected designs - that's up to you. Various aspects of the design of the vehicles will be split into several subgroups and explained in details. 1. Number of wheels First thing we need to know is how many wheels our design will have. Most common setups are as following: 4x4 Setup Advantages: 1. The simplest and most widely setup 2. Having only 4 wheels means lower weight and higher performance 3. Higher manoeuverability 4. Simple suspension and driveline design Disadvantages: 1. With only 4 wheels the suspension has to be designed to be as flexible as possible to get the most out of the wheels 2. In a case of a mechanical failure of a single wheel, the whole model's performance is greatly affected 6x6 Setup with double rear axles Advantages: 1. Two rear axle provide more traction area, especially when going uphill 2. Usually 6x6 vehicles are longer than 4x4 and therefore less likely to tip over 3. Since the front and second axle are usually closer than in 4x4 setup, there is less ground clearance needed between them 4. Greater redundancy in a case of a mechanical failure Disadvantages: 1. Lower manoeuverability due to a longer wheelbase even with rear wheel steering 2. More complex driveline and suspension design is required 8x8 or more wheels setup Advantages: 1. Having 8 or more allows for much greater traction area 2. Ability to drive over ditches 3. Because wheels are usually much closer there is much less chances of getting stuck on top of an obstacle 4. Excellent redundancy in a case of a mechanical failure 5. Better weight distribution 6. Less suspension travel required per each wheel as with 4x4 or 6x6 and hence better stability Disadvantages: 1. Lower manoeuverability even with rear wheel steering 2. Powering 8 or more requires a very complex driveline 3. Depending on a driveline, combined torque required for powering all 8 wheels can destroy gears if a single wheel gets stuck 2. Type of wheels and tyres Now that we decided on how many wheels we want for our offroad beast, we have to look into what type of tyres and wheels we want to use. I will hereby cover only the bigger types of tyres and wheels. 1. 94.8x44R Advantages: 1. Low weight 2. Good thread design 3. Low rolling resistance Disadvantages: 1. Low traction, these tyres are prone to slip on the rim at high loads 2. Due to its rounded shape the tyres tend to slide off obstacles when crawling over them 2. 94.3x38R Advantages: 1. Low weight 2. Medium traction 3. Low rolling resistance 4. Realistic design and proportions Disadvantages: 1. Shallow thread pattern 2. These tyres are very hard and don't adjust to the terrain 3. 107x44R Advantages: 1. Low weight 2. Medium traction 3. Very deep thread 4. Currently largest tyres by diameter Disadvantages: 1. High rolling restistance and vibrations due to the thread pattern 2. These tyres are a bit hard and don't adjust to the terrain 4. Power Puller tyres Advantages: 1. High traction 2. Good thread 3. Largest Lego tyres ever produced 4. Deep wheel offset Disadvantages: 1. High weight 2. Hard to use, they require complex hub assemblies 3. Very rare and expensive 5. Outdoor challenger wheels Advantages: 1. Very high traction 2. Very good thread pattern 3. Deep wheel offset 4. Over 7 studs of space inside the wheel Disadvantages: 1. High weight 2. Hard to attach to the standard axles 3. They require a lot of torque to use them at their full potential. 6. Tumbler wheels Advantages: 1. Low weight 2. High traction 3. Very flexible Disadvantages: 1. Low thread pattern 2. Small size 3. Expensive For the 94.8x44R. 94.3x38R and 107x44R tyres we have a choice of two wheels: 1. Racing wheel large Advantages: 1. Good mounting option with axlehole and pinhole 2. Available in multiple colours 3. Cheap Disadvantages: 1. No inside wheel offset means steering pivot point can't be placed inside the wheel. 1. Futuristic wheel Advantages: 1. Deep wheel offset allows us to place steering pivot point inside or closer to the wheel than racing wheel large 2. Slightly larger wheel size stops the 94.8x44R tyre from slipping on the rim Disadvantages: 1. Limited mounting options, with only one axlehole 2. Hard to find 3. Hubs Now that we have our wheels and tyres we need a way to mount and power them. Here are the most common currently available options: 1. New standard ungeared CV hubs These hubs are usually driven by the CV joint counterpart which pops inside Advantages: 1. Low steering pivot offset - usually at the edge of the tyre: 2. Firm wheel mounting 3. Readily available, easy to use and to build on. Disadvantages: 1. Low operating angle - the CV joint can operate to a maximum of about 30 degrees, which limits steering angle. 2. Very low torque transfer - the CV joints are prone to deforming and popping out even with low torque applies to them 3. Low ground clearance 2. Old ungeared CV hubs Advantages: 1. Low steering pivot offset - usually at the edge of the tyre 2. Firm wheel mounting 3. Better ground clearance than newer hubs Disadvantages: 1. Very low operating angle - the CV joint can operate to a maximum of about 25 degrees, which limits steering angle. 2. Very low torque transfer - the CV joints are prone to deforming and popping out even with low torque applies to them 3. Hard to find and expensive 4. No other mounting points than 4 ball joints 3. Built cardan ungeared hubs Example of a hub using a cardan joint to directly transfer the power to the wheel Advantages: 1. Low steering pivot offset - usually at the edge of the tyre 2. Easy to build 3. Can transfer higher torque than a CV joint 4. Higher steering angle Disadvantages: 1. Mounting relies only on the axle and is not as firm as standard hubs 2. Not capable of transferring high torque to the wheels 3. Low ground clearance 4. Standard portal hubs Advantages: 1. Easy to use and to build on. 2. Can transfer very high torque to the wheels when using 8z and 24Z gear combination 3. High steering angle 4. High ground clearance 5. Firm wheel mounting Disadvantages: 1. Very high steering pivot offset - requires stronger steering mechanisms and more fender space for wheel to swing 5. Built portal hubs Advantages: 1. Easy to build. 2. Can transfer very high torque to the wheels when using 8z and 24Z gear combination 3. High steering angle 4. Higher ground clearance than standard portal hubs 5. Low steering pivot offset when using futuristic wheels Disadvantages: 1. Wheels are mounted and held only by one axle, not as firm as standard hubs 2. Hub relies on friction of the components to keep it together, which can slide apart after prolonged use 6. Built planetary hub Advantages: 1. Highest gear ratio of all other hubs, 1:4 2. Firm wheel mounting when using futuristic of power puller wheels 3. High steering angle 4. Lower steering offset than standard portal hubs Disadvantages: 1. Requires old turntable, futuristic or power puller wheels for best results - all are hard to find 2. High number of moving gears 3. Least efficient due to the high friction caused by the large surface contact area and number of moving gears 4. Suspension Suspension is the mechanism that will keep our model's wheels in contact to the ground and will be supporting most of its weight. Most of the designs cover 4x4's Following factors determine the type of suspension system we will use: 1. Weight of the model - The heavier the model, the stronger the suspension components have to be 2. Speed - Faster models require more responsive suspension systems with low unsprung weight 3. Flexibility - The higher the obstacles you want to climb over the more flex and/or wheel travel suspension has to provide 1. No suspension I have yet to see and offroad vehicle without any type of suspension (except for maybe 42070, 42081 and 42082), but I will list my opinion regardless: Advantages: 1. Simple design - having no suspension simplifies our design...and that's about it Disadvantages: 1. No flex over terrain means, there are only 3 wheels at once touching the ground 2. Low stability 3. Poor weight distribution 4. No shock absorption at high speeds 2. Pendular suspension This is the simplest suspension you can put on your vehicle. It basically means one or more of your axles are free to swing about. When using this suspension I suggest using the small turntable where drive axle enters the axle. This will keep the drive axle from carrying the weight of the model, which causes unnecessary friction. 42030 is a typical example of this suspension system. Advantages: 1. Simple, robust design 2. Using this suspension on both axles can give the model very high flexibility 3. If there are no springs used, the model can have perfect weight distribution on left and right wheel Disadvantages: 1. Large unsprung weight, poor responsivness at high speeds 2. No shock absorption means this suspension is not suitable for high speeds 2. When using on one axle, the stability of the whole model relies on the unsuspended axle. 3. When using pendular suspension on both axles springs or a transfer mechanism are required to keep the model upright 3. Single torque tube suspension This suspension became available with the release of the 8110 Unimog. Best examples of this suspension are 8110, 9398 and 41999. It is the simplest suspension which also allows for vertical suspension movement. Advantages: 1. Simple, robust design 2. Universal joints can be placed inside the ball joint, allowing power to be transferred to the axle 3. Easy to implement Disadvantages: 1. Large unsprung weight, poor responsivness at high speeds 2. Axle requires a some kind of a linkage system to keep it cenetred (panhard or parallel links as seen above). 3. Using this suspension on the front axle usually results in negative caster angle which causes higher rolling resistance 4. When used on rear drive axle, the suspension has the tendency to cause oscillate, especially with soft suspension and high power 4. Hard to connect springs to the chassis 4. Double torque tube suspension This is an evolution of the single torque tube suspension, which uses two ball joints to drive each wheel side respectively. It is my own original idea. Advantages: 1. Simple, robust design 2. Universal joints can be placed inside the ball joint, allowing power to be transferred to the axle 3. Easy to implement 4. Self-cenetring, since axles are connected in the center there is no need for linkages to center it 5. Can carry power to each wheel side independently 6. Drive torque compensation Disadvantages: 1. Large unsprung weight, poor responsivness at high speeds 2. Using this suspension on the front axle usually results in negative caster angle which causes higher rolling resistance 3. When used on rear drive axle, the suspension has the tendency to cause oscillate, especially with soft suspension and high power 4. Hard to connect springs to the chassis 5. Parallel floating axle This suspension uses linkages which keep the axle parallel to the chassis of the model. For best functionality and reliability the lengths of all links and that of the double cardan joint should be equal. Also all the linkages and drive axles should be parallel. Advantages: 1. Keeping the axle parallel to the chassis reduces the oscillations effect 2. Better responsivness compared to the torque tubes 3. Neutral caster angle when used on front axles. 4. Self cenetring when using A arm as upper link or 4 link setup 5. Can be configured to carry power to each wheel side independently 6. If configured to carry power to each wheel side independently the drive torque can be compensated. 7. Easy to connect spring to the chassis Disadvantages: 1. High unsprung weight, less responsive at high speeds 2. Increased mechanical complexity, double cardan joints required to carry the power to the axle 6. Half axle independent suspension This is the simplest independent suspension you can build. Best example of such suspension are Tatra and Pinzgauer trucks. Advantages: 1. Independent suspension with low unspring weight, suitable for high speed 2. Robust design with low number of moving parts 3. Easy to connect spring to the chassis Disadvantages: 1. Changes of the caster angle as the wheels travel up and down 2. Hard to implement a drive system that does not carry the weight of the vehicle 3. Hard to implement steering system 4. Wheels tend to drag sideways on the ground when suspension travels up and down, reducing efficiency 7. Trailing arm parallel independent suspension Personally I have not used this suspension yet, but I did use a normal trailing arm suspension which does not keep the hubs parallel. Normal trailing arm suspension which does not keep the hubs parallel acts similarly to torque tube suspension. For the prallel version of the trailing suspension I imagine the following: Advantages: 1. Independent suspension with low unspring weight, suitable for high speed 2. Robust design with low number of moving parts 3. Long links allow for high suspension travel 4. Very easy to connect spring to the chassis 5. Can be configured to carry power to each wheel side independently Disadvantages: 1. Hard to keep the wheels from sagging under the weight of the model. 2. Difficult to transfer power to the wheels 8. Double wishbone suspension This suspension uses two A-shaped arms to keep the wheel hubs in place. As of late it's my favourite suspension system due to: Advantages: 1. Independent suspension with low unspring weight, suitable for high speed 2. Very customizable design with lots of adjustable characteristics (suspension arm lengths, caster angle, camber angle, steering geometries) 3. When build correctly it is far more robust than live axle suspension 4. Increased ground clearance compared to live axle suspension, especially when used with portal hubs 5. Can be configured to carry power to each wheel side independently 6. Extremely easy mounting of springs 7. Very stable compared to live axles 8. Frame holding the suspension can be part of the chassis, therebye lowering the center of gravity Disadvantages: 1. More moving parts as live axle suspension, increased mechanical complexity 2. Limited wheel travel - Lego wishbones allow a max. of around 25 degrees of suspension angle 9. Multi-link suspension To be updated when I build my first multi-link offroad suspension. I can assume the following characteristics: 1. Independent suspension with low unspuing weight, suitable for high speed 2. Extremely customizable design with lots of adjustable charactersitics (suspension arm lengths, caster angle, camber angle, steering geometries, virtual pivot point) 3. Large steering pivot point compensation 4. Increased ground clearance compared to live axle suspension, especially when used with portal hubs 5. Can be configured to carry power to each wheel side independently 6. Very stable compared to live axles 7. Frame holding the suspension can be part of the chassis, thereby lowering the center of gravity Disadvantages: 1. Very high amount of moving parts, increased mechanical complexity 2. Limited wheel travel - Lego wishbones allow a max. of around 25 degrees of suspension angle 3. Hard to connect springs to the chassis 10. Spring types Listed below are the most common types of springs available: 6.5L Soft shock absorber Advantages: 1. Small, easy to implement Disadvantages: 1. One stud of suspension travel 2. Low spring rate, can't support heavy models 6.5L Hard shock absorber 1. Small, easy to implement 2. High spring rate, can support heavy models Disadvantages: 1. One stud of suspension travel 9L soft shock absorber When using 9L shock absorbers I suggest you do not use the default offset upper attachment point, but use an in-line attachment point instead. This will reduce the friction and allow for better high speed performance Example: Advantages: 1. Two studs of suspension travel 2. More attachment possibilities than 6.5 L shock absorber Disadvantages: 1. Default attachment points create friction 2. Low spring rate, can't support heavy models 9L hard shock absorber Advantages: 1. Two studs of suspension travel 2. More attachment possibilities than 6.5 L shock absorber 3. High spring rate, can support heavy models Disadvantages: 1. Default attachment points create friction 2. Rare and expensive 11. Attaching springs to live axles If we start with basics, the first things we have to check is how position of springs affects suspension of live axles. The closer you place the springs together, the more flex the suspension will have, but it will also be less stable: I suggest you to keep springs at a distance of around 1/2 of the total model width. When placing springs you should keep them in-line with the wheel bearing in order to reduce friction. First example of bad spring placements: And example of good spring placement: When using multiple springs make sure to place them symmetrically centrred to the wheel hub: When attaching springs to torque tube suspension, you have to allow springs to tilt in two planes: You can also attach the springs to the suspension links to increase suspension travel. This technique is especially common on Trophy Trucks: 12. Attaching springs to independent suspension Independent suspension allows for much more flexible spring placement. Generally the closer you attach the spring to the main suspension arm pivot, the higher spring travel you get, but lower suspension force. Examples going from the hardest suspension with low travel to the softest with high travel: You can also attach springs inside the suspension arms: Or horizontally: As with the live axles make sure springs are in the center of the wishbones. Example of good placements: And an example of bad spring placement, which causes excessive friction and suspension binding: 5. Steering Steering is the system which allows our model to change direction. Generally there are two types of steering system used: 1. Skid steering Advantages: 1. Very simple to implement and control with two separate motors for left and right sided wheels. 2. Does not require a dedicated steering motor Disadvantages: 1. Not efficient, since wheels have to skid to steer 2. Power had to be reduced or even reversed in order to steer. 3. Not very accurate 4. Not very effective offroad 2. Classical steering with steerable wheels Advantages: 1. Efficient, with minimum loss of speed 2. Accurate 3. Does not reduce the power of the drive motors 4. Can be used in front, rear or all axles for tight steering radius or crab steering 5. Effective offroad Disadvantages: 1. Requires more complex hub assemblies 2. For best steering accuracy you need a dedicated servo motor. Examples of a simple classical steering system for live axles 1. Parallel steering system for live axles Here both hubs are always parallel. Position of the steering in the front or rear rack has no affect on the steering. Advantages: 1. Very simple and robust 2. Easy to build Disadvantages: 1. No Ackermann steering geometry 2. Steering rack moves inwards as it steers, requiring more space. 2. Ackermann steering system for live axles This system allows the hubs to steer at different rates. The steering arms are offset inside so they form a virtual steering point where at the point where lines meet. Advantages: 1. Better steering performance Disadvantages: 1. More complex assembly 2. Steering rack moves inwards as it steers, requiring more space. 3. Steering system with diagonal linkages This system acts similar as Ackermann steering system by using diagonal steering links. Advantages: 1. Better steering performance 2. Steering rack only has to move in one direction without sideways movements 3. Can be configured to be used in front or the rear of the axle. Disadvantages: 1. More complex assembly 4. Simple steering system for independent suspension 1. Very simple and robust 2. Easy to build 3. Can be even more robust when using double steering racks and links 4. Steering rack only has to move in one direction without sideways movements Disadvantages: 1. No Ackermann steering geometry 5. Ackermann steering system for independent suspension Advantages: 1. Better steering performance 2. Steering rack only has to move in one direction without sideways movements Disadvantages: 1. More complex assembly, less robust. 3. General steering tips 1. When using independent suspension always make sure your links are paralel to the suspension arms, otherwise you may end up with wheels which are not parallel and are causing excessive friction: 2. When using standard portal hubs make sure your steering system is robust enough to deal with the forces generated by wheel driving into obstacles. 3. If possible use servo motors which allow for high steering precision and return to center. They are especially useful at high speed models. 4. Most efficient way to steer the wheels is using the steering racks. 5. Build axles in such way they have positive caster angle, example for direction of travel from right to left. This will self-center your wheels and reduce rolling resistance. 6. Drivelines Drivelines are the responsible for transferring the power from the motors to the wheels. There are various drivelines you can build, here I listed few with their characteristics: Driveline types 1. Permanent 4x4 Advantages: 1. Simple, centralized, low mechanical complexity 2. Wheels are always powered, great offroad performance 3. Light weight Disadvantages: 1. Poor steering radius 2. Tyres have to skid when steering, lowering efficiency of the model 2. 4x4 with open differentials Typical example of this driveline is 42070 Advantages: 1. Differentials allow the wheels to so spin at different rates when steering 2. Very efficient since wheels don't have to skid when steering Disadvantages: 1. If one wheel loses traction, all the power is transfereed to it, poor offroad performance 3. 4x4 with lockable differentials Advantages: 1. Differentials allow the wheels to so spin at different rates when steering 2. Very efficient since wheels don't have to skid when steering 3. All differentials can be locked, so wheels are powered for great offroad performance Disadvantages: 1. Higher mechanical complexity 2. Dedicated motor is required to actuate differential locks, higher weight 4. Axle mounted motors Typical example of this driveline are 9398 and 41999. Advantages: 1. Differentials allow the wheels to so spin at different rates when steering 2. Very efficient since wheels don't have to skid when steering 3. If one wheel gets off the ground the second axle can still pull/push the model. Disadvantages: 1. Higher mechanical complexity 2. Usually the rear axle motor is more loaded than the front, especially when climbing uphill, the motors can't "help" each other. 3. Worse offroad performance than permanent 4x4 5. H drive: This is my favourite driveline due to the following reasons: Advantages: 1. Motors allow the wheels to so spin at different rates when steering 2. Model can skid steer 3. Very efficient since wheels don't have to skid when steering normally 4. Having 2 drivelines allows you to carry more torque to the wheels 5. Redundancy, even if one drive fails the model can still move 6. Wheels are always powered, great offroad performance Disadvantages: 1. Higher mechanical complexity 2. Slightly higher weight 6. Wheel motor drive Each motor powers a wheel independently. Advantages: 1. Motors allow the wheels to so spin at different rates when steering 2. Model can skid steer 3. Very efficient since wheels don't have to skid when steering normally 4. Redundancy, even if one or more motors fails the model can still move 6. Lower mechanical complexity Disadvantages: 1. Motors can't "help" each other 2. Higher weight due to a higher motor count Transferring power axially When transferring power via axles, you can reduce the flex by using connectors instead of simple "bare" axle: Use axles with stops to prevent them from sliding out of gears: Where possible always brace tooth gears from both sides: Transferring power at an angle Where pairs of U joints are used, make sure to align them to eliminate vibrations: Brick built CV joint which can transfer high torque at over 30 degrees angle Brick built cardan joint which can transfer extremely high torque up to 15 degrees angle Brick built flexible drive which can transfer medium high torque, extract and retract, suitable for low angles Transferring power perpendicularly The following perpendicular gearboxes are the best suitable for transferring high torque Avoid knob and worm gears, because they waste energy Gearboxes In my models I generally use the following gearboxes: 1:3 differential gearbox Advantages: 1. Very high gear ratio between low and high gear, 1:3 2. Capable of transferring high torque 3. Very efficient since only 2 gears are used at any time Disadvantages: 1. Takes a lot of space 2. This gearbox requires a good housing to brace the gears properly Compact two speed gearbox Advantages: 1. High gear ratio between low and high gear, 1:2,77 2. Capable of transferring high torque 3. Very efficient since only 2 gears are used at any time 4. Very compact design Disadvantages: 1. Requires two of the rare 20 tooth clutch gears 2. More complex shifter assembly. Diagonal gearbox Advantages: 1. High number of gears 2. High gear ratio possible, over 4:1 2. Capable of transferring high torque 3. Very efficient since only 2 gears are used at any time Disadvantages: 1. Takes a lot of space 2. Input and output axles are not parallel. 3. A complex shifting assembly is required for sequential operation. Driveline effect on suspension Transferring torque on the wheels can affect the suspension, especially when live axles are used. The following photo shows how the torque causes one side of the axle to push down and the other to lift up: In order to minimize this effect I suggest the following: 1. Make sure to have most if not all the downgearing inside the axles, so you do not need high torque going to the axles. 2. Make sure your models have a low center of gravity 3. You can eliminate this effect by using two counte rotating axles which cancel each other's torque, example below: 7. Motors and control Following are the most common types of motors used for Lego models. You can find more info here: http://www.philohome.com/motors/motorcomp.htm My personal favourites are L and RC motors due to the balanced output speed to torque ration and great mounting options. 1. PF-M Advantages: 1. High speed output 2. Smallest available motor 3. Cheap and available Disadvantages: 1. Low torque 2. Poor mounting options 2. PF-L Advantages: 1. High speed output 2. High torque 3. Cheap and available 4. Great mounting options Disadvantages: 1. Odd shape 3. PF-XL Advantages: 1. Very high torque 3. Cheap and available 4. Good mounting options Disadvantages: 1. Slow speed output 2. Large form factor 4. PF-Servo Advantages: 1. Very high torque 2. Very precise output with 15 positions 3. Good mounting options Disadvantages: 1. Slow speed output 2. Output axle can move a max of 180 degrees 3. Large form factor 4. Hard to find 5. 9V-RC motor Advantages: 1. Most oowerful Lego motor 2. Very high speed output 3. Good mounting options 4. Two output axles with different gearing ratios 5. Drive axles can pass through the motor Disadvantages: 1. Low output torque 2. Low efficiency 3. Power hungry 4. Odd form factor 5. Hard to find and expensive Power options 1. PF - AA battery box Advantages: 1. High capacity 2. Good mounting options 3. Works with rechargeable batteries, but with lower performance 4. Cheap and easy to find Disadvantages: 1. 750mA current limit - not enough to fully power RC motor 2. Heavy 3. Has to be removed and opened to replace batteries 4. Wasteful 5. Odd form factor 2. PF - LiPo battery box Advantages: 1. Small form factor 2. Light weight 3. Easy to recharge Disadvantages: 1. 750mA current limit - not enough to fully power RC motor 2. Low capacity 3. Studded design 4. Expensive and hard to find 3. RC control unit Advantages: 1. No current limit - can power 2RC motors at once 2. 3 Power levels 3. Has integrated steering output with 7 positions 4. Good mounting options 5. Easy battery replacement 6. Radio based control Disadvantages: 1. Poor quality, prone to breaking 2. Limited angle (45 degrees) and torque from the steering output 3. Has to be removed and opened to replace batteries 4. Very large form factor 5. Expensive and hard to find 6. Heavy 7. Required dedicated antennas and remote Control options 1. PF receiver and controller Advantages: 1. Receiver is easy to integrate into the model 2. Controllers have physical feedback 3. Cheap and easy to find Disadvantages: 1. IR based, low range, useless outside 2. Lack of PWM motor control, unless using train controller which is awkward to use 3. Odd form factor for use with steering 2. RC control unit See above 3. Third party options such as BuWizz and Sbrick Advantages: 1. Smaller form factors, easy to integrate into model 2. More outputs than PF system 3. Smooth control of motors 4. High range thanks to Bluetooth control 5. Higher power available with BuWizz 6. Customizable profiles Disadvantages: 1. Smart device is required 2. No physical feedback 3. Sbrick is limited by PF battery box 4. Price 8. Chassis Chasis is the backbone of your model which olds everything together. For chassis I suggest you to use the following components in order to make it strong and robust enough to deal with the stresses involved when crawling or driving at high speed: Some flex in the chassis might be a good thing to improve offroad capability, but only if id does not affect the driveline and cause friction on the drive axles. Remeember to use diagonal support, since triangles are the strongest shapes. You can also use panels and motors as structural support. Interlocking your chassis will keep it from slipping apart. For good examples of chassis designs I suggest you check the instructions for 9398 and 42083.
  4. Hey guys, i´m building a little shrine thingy on a step hill to put in a minifig statue, and i want to cap it off with a nice pagoda styled roof. The problem is,i never build one and i´m kinda struggling with making it pretty. Pagoda Roof This is my take on the problem,but i hate how there are still large gaps between the 4 roof sides even with trying to fill them with 1x4 plates. Any of you master builders have a good idea to show? The pagoda roof needs to sit on a 6x6 plate but can overlapto the sides.
  5. You may have encountered it: you built a nice model in LDD, but it looks surreal because it lacks decorations on e.g. the minifigs. This tutorial is here to help you with that. In this little tutorial, I will try to explain how you can enhance the POV-Ray renders of your LDD models with custom decorations. You can design entirely new figures for example, or you can apply the decorations that aren’t available in LDD. My example in this tutorial will be a stormtrooper minifig. This figure lacks all decoration in LDD, and is commonly used in digital Star Wars builds. It gives me the opportunity to explain how to decorate surfaces that aren’t directly accessible in LDD, how to fit custom decals and explain the general principles. This method doesn’t involve any hacking and doesn’t require any sick programming skills (although the custom decorations might need your artistic talents…). And the best of all: all programs I use here are entirely free! I’ll be using Lego Digital Designer, LDD2POV-Ray, POV-Ray and Inkscape. So let’s get started! Decorate the target pieces in LDD LDD2POV-Ray, the program that will eventually place your custom decorations, can only replace already applied decorations. So firstly, you need to give the pieces you want to decorate a replacement decoration in LDD. Make sure to use different decorations for each surface, so that you later can keep track of which filler to replace with which substitute. Also, taking a screenshot for reference is not a bad idea to support your memory. But wait a minute… Some parts don’t allow for any decorations at all in LDD! Minifig torso’s are not a problem at all, but things like helmets are a whole different story. But luckily, there is an easy way to apply decorations that will work in most cases (no guarantees though!). You have to export your .lxf file to the LXFML format (File -> Export Model). This .lxfml file is actually a textual representation of your model. Among others, it contains a list with the placed parts, including their color(s) and decoration(s). To find your part, use the search function (Ctrl + F / Cmd + F) and type in: in which you replace 30408 (the designID of the storm trooper helmet in this example) with the designID of the part you desperately want to decorate. You can find this ID by clicking on the part in LDD and looking at the bottom left corner. If multiple of these parts are available, you can give the specific part a different color and check for the one that says materials=”26” in which you replace 26 with the number of the color you used (you can find this number by hovering over the color in the color menu in LDD). The key part is then to change the part that says decorations=”0,0,0” in which the amount of zeros dictates the amount of surfaces that you can decorate. If the line isn’t present at all, you’re out of luck and won’t be able to decorate your part. Otherwise, replace the zeros with valid decoration ID’s. It’s best to take decorations that are square and detailed (I will explain why later), so I suggest using the decorations of the 2x2 flat tiles. You can find these ID’s by placing some of these decorated tiles in your model, and check in the LXFML file what number is filled in in the decorations line of those parts. To make it easier for you, here are some handy decoration ID’s you can use: 73023, 63708, 99825, 55350, 63404, 601245 Then, save your file, and open it with LDD. You’ll see your parts are looking very ugly with those random decorations, but you’ll be happy to have decorations. You can copy these parts to a ‘normal’ .lxf file, and get rid of the parts you used to find the decoration numbers. Now we can move on to step 2! 2. Open your model with LDD2POV-Ray LDD2POV-Ray is a program that converts your LDD model into a file that can be rendered with POV-Ray, a ray tracer that simulates the behaviour of real light to simulate a realistic effect. You can set lighting etc, but more importantly, you can set your own decorations. To do this, go to the “Decorations” tab, and check the box “Use custom decorations”. A list will appear at the bottom, showing all the decorations you used. Clicking on them will reveal a thumbnail. Now you’ll be happy that you used different decorations to know which is which. You’ll notice that the decorations (unless they are square) are a bit stretched out. That’s because the program only accepts square decorations. So to load your own decorations, you’ll have to make sure they are square. Otherwise, they won’t cover the whole area you intended. If you already have your decorations (you found them on one of the indexes of the customisation forum here, for example), you can skip to step 4. Otherwise, I’ll give a brief account on how to make your own decorations in step 3. 3. Create your own decorations Personally, I make my decorations with Inkscape. It’s an easy to use vector based program. That means you can easily create very clean, smooth and crisp shapes. I’ll leave it to others to educate you in this nice software, but I’ll show you some general strategies to make accurate decorations. When working on complex curved shapes, like the storm trooper helmet, you won’t know for certain how your image will be mapped to the surface. That’s when the screenshot you took comes in handily. Because you have used decorations with a lot of detail (if you’ve been following properly!), you can easily see how the image is deformed and placed on the surface. You can identify the regions where you want your details to come, look to what part of the placed decoration it corresponds, see what it looks like in its flat state (you can see this in the thumbnail in LDD2POV-Ray), and place your detail in the according place. So in the example of the storm trooper helmet, you can see that the mouth should somewhere at the center of the graph. LDD2POV-Ray shows that that graph is a bit above the, so now you know you have to place the mouth around the center of your decal. When you’ve finished your decoration, you have to make sure your decoration is square. This will most certainly occur when you’re designing decorations for minifig torsos. If you leave it in its actual proportions and plug it in LDD2POV-Ray, you’ll see that the image doesn’t fill the whole area, compared to the stretched out decoration you have to replace. So you resize your decoration. In Inkscape, simply go to the top, where you can enter dimensions. Then you go to File -> Export Bitmap and a dialogue box will pop up. Make sure to select ‘from selection’, and that the amount of pixels of your image is high enough. Otherwise it will look pixelated in the render. Finally, chose .png as file format, and remove the background color of your decoration. Because it might look like the right color in Inkscape, but in your render it will look like the decal has a different color than the body, which isn’t what you wanted. So now you have your parts temporarily decorated, and you got your custom decorations ready. So time to replace them and render them. 4. Render your decorated model Firstly, you have to load your new decorations in LDD2POV-Ray. There are multiple ways to do this, but the easiest method is to select the decoration you want to replace and then click on the empty canvas. A window will pop up to allow you to select your decoration. Just select it. Repeat for the other decorations, making sure you replace the right decoration with the right replacement (that screenshot will come in handy now, especially since you can’t have both LDD and LDD2POV-Ray open at the same time at this moment!). Then you can fiddle around with different settings like lighting etc. For test renders I suggest to place in the first tab the slider on the lowest positions: ‘LDD geometry’. This will result in slightly less good, but much faster renders, allowing you to quickly get feedback about your decorations, so that you can adjust placement and proportions. For flat parts this won’t be necessary, but it can help for curved parts. That’s why I included the TIE pilot in the render. You can see the ensignas are slightly deformed. That’s not my intention, but I already predeformed the circles in the decal, so that it looks more or less round on the surface. You’ll have to experiment a lot with these ones. Anyway, when you're satisfied and feel the need for a more glamorous render, you can turn 'render with visible bevels' on in the slider bar, and wait for some time. You'll get something like this. Hopefully now you know all about rendering your custom minifigs, making your models more realistic. I hope to see some around! Anyway: happy rendering of your minifigs! If anyone is interested in downloading the decorations I designed for the stormtrooper (for now without back printing) and the TIE pilot (torso printing already present in LDD), have a look at this page. Hope you've found this useful.
  6. I've recently come out of my Lego "dark age" and started rebuilding some of my old sets. I was never one to keep sets together very long, so naturally i've lost a lot of stickers. One of my other hobbies is classic bicycles, which often share the dilema of missing or damaged art. This method for producing decals was taught to me by a clever artist on a popular bicycle forum, so he really deserves any and all credit. This method is simple and inexpensive and much of the materials are common. I assume the trickiest part for most people will be producing the art. I happen to have Adobe Illustrator at home, so I am able to create my own vector art files. I believe other cheap, maybe even free software exists. Sometimes high quality art can also be found as images on the web. On to the step-by-step: 1) Produce the art. Use a laser printer and any cheap printer paper. Laser printing is key... if you don't have one, you could try any of the copy shops around. As mentioned, I used Adobe Illustrator. I am replacing the decals for 6594 Gas Transit. DSC04389 by mkeller234, on Flickr 2) Cover the art with packaging tape. DSC04390 by mkeller234, on Flickr 3) Burnish the tape onto the image. I use scissor handles and rub over the tape surface. You will be able to see which areas have bonded well. It doesn't take much effort. DSC04391 by mkeller234, on Flickr 4) Cut the decals out. The closer, the better. I usually follow the shape of the art, but it doesn't really matter. DSC04392 by mkeller234, on Flickr 5) Submerge in water DSC04393 by mkeller234, on Flickr 6) Once the paper is saturated, it can be rubbed away with light pressure from your thumb. Remove as much paper as possible. DSC04394 by mkeller234, on Flickr As you can see, the decals are clear. This is both a blessing and a curse. I happen to be positioning these over white bricks, so the colors will look nice. For use with dark bricks, you will need to either paint the back with white paint, or find a printer that can print white (ALPS). DSC04395 by mkeller234, on Flickr 7) Place the decals on your model. These decals are very forgiving and can be slid around easily. They stick on their own without glue. Make sure you allow them to dry completely before really handling them. 8) Admire your work! DSC04399 by mkeller234, on Flickr DSC04398 by mkeller234, on Flickr Ahhh... the teeth marks of my youth. DSC04400 by mkeller234, on Flickr Lego trucks sure have changed since I was young. I love the detail in these new models! DSC04401 by mkeller234, on Flickr
  7. bricksboy

    MOC LEGO NYC News Stand Tutorial

    The model has been uploaded to LEGO ideas. I will appreciate your support my project if you like my model. Thanks :D https://ideas.lego.com/projects/28eae663-6faa-4111-b9c3-8d8965ee3ead The news stand is base on New York City style :) My other MOC models: [MOC] New York City Police (NYPD) Car [MOC] Lego Mini Cooper [MOC] Japan Tokyo Taxi vol.1 東京無線タクシー [MOC] Ice Cream Truck [MOC] LEGO California Highway Patrol [MOC] LEGO Police Car [MOC] Police Motorcycle [MOC] New York City Taxi / Cab [MOC] LEGO NYC News Stand [MOC] New York City Transit Bus [MOC] Newspaper Rack [MOC] Coke/Beverage Cooler Initial D AE86 Racer AC Transit Bus AC Transit Bus Short Version Ice Cream Van
  8. ZetoVince

    [MOC] Ford GT

    And a short video to showcase some of the most interesting parts of the construction Racing version
  9. Hello there, Today I'd like to share my custom AT-RT design from Battlefront II and the Clone Wars. As with all Lego creations, there always has to be a compromise between scale, accuracy and structural integrity. With this one, I focused mainly on scale and accuracy since I wanted to use it in MOCs and for display. This means that it cannot, in any way withstand a child's play, but still holds together rather well for us older children and can easily be posed. As part of my accuracy factor, it was important for me that the legs of the pilot were positioned as if a human was sat on the walker instead of the usual minifigure sitting position that other lego walkers use. While keeping all of the important details and geometry, I also tried to reduced its size to match as closely as possible the minifigure scale and I think I achieved that rather well. It is made up of a total of 77 pieces and an additional 1x2 plate can be added for aesthetics when the pilot is on. I hope you like it and if so that you'll build your own since I have also created building instructions for everyone to use in their own MOCs (credit is always appreciated :D) I'm always open to comments and constructive criticism so let me know what you think of it and feel free to ask if you have any question concerning the building instructions. Front 'Head' Body and foward antipersonnel cannon Legs and feet Body assembly, foot rests and armoured joints Rear, antennas and pistol holder Mounting the pilot and additional tip
  10. Hello. I hope this is the right thread for this topic. I made a simple tutorial on how to build a LEGO TV. It's very simple but I feel like it's a good portrayal. It's supposed to be one of those old TVs from before flat screens that everyone had in the 90's and early 2000's. Tell me what you think.
  11. First time posting one of my creations, apologies if this is not the right forum. Credit where it's due: Furniture was heavily inspired by brickbuilt.org furniture tutorials and google. The sliding mechanism was adapted from someone's assault gunship MOC I had saved. It's been reworked extensively but without the original builder I never would have gotten this done. https://imgur.com/a/Oz6st First we need to build a couple piece of furniture, 2x6x7 and 2x8x6. The only real important dimension here is the 4x8 plate the right piece is covering. The nitty gritty of the technique. The bookcase runs on a pair of axles feeding through a pair of technic bricks in the back wall. They will protrude into the next room when the bookcase is pushed back. By pushing them the bookcase can be returned to it's starting place. Fairly self explanatory, bit of SNOT work to attach the 6x8 plate to the back of the wardrobe. The 6x8 plate attaches to the two brackets in the channels. These brackets are half the magic trick. 1x4 tile, 1x4 plate, bracket and 1x1 plates. This is the difficult bit. Using 1x4 L-shaped tiles and lots of jumper plates we build a pair of channels. The 1x2 plate with clip hinge helps to keep the door on the rails, without it gets caught and refuses to slide. The 1x5 brick acts as my slide stop. A different angle. Everything is built onto a 2x8 plate , jumpers give a half stud offset and provide half the channel. More jumpers return us to standard studs to set up the second channel, and yet more jumpers to repeat the previous channel. Followed by more jumpers to bring us back to standard studs so we can attach to the wall. Until it's connected to the wall the whole assembly is pretty fragile. My apologies about the picture quality. I'm not much of a photographer to begin with and my cellphone camera wasn't helping much.
  12. mandaci-customs

    [MOC] Construction mini Truck Tutorial

    Hi Everybody, I want to show you my LEGO MOC Construction mini Truck. This Tutorial shows, how you can build the Truck with LEGO:
  13. Hi Everybody, I want to show you my Instruction Tutorial, which shows, how you can build the Pipe Wrench from PC Game Half - Life Oppsosing Force:
  14. Hi Everybody, I want to show you my Tutorial, which shows, how you can build Transformers G1 Optimus Prime in ROBOT MODE:
  15. Hi Everybody, I want to show you my Instruction Tutorial, which shows, how you can build the Red Fury Racer, known from Cartoon Saber Rider Star Sheriffs:
  16. Hi Everybody, I want to show you my Search - Rescue Helikopter. This Instruction Tutorial shows, how you can build the Truck with LEGO:
  17. Hi Everybody, I want to show you my Army Rocket Launcher Truck Transporter. This Instruction Tutorial shows, how you can build the Truck with LEGO. I used Tan & White Bricks for the Truck, to show the winter - snow digital camoflage
  18. Hi Everybody, I want to show you my Army Rocket Launcher Truck Transporter. This Instruction Tutorial shows, how you can build the Truck with LEGO. I used Tan & White Bricks for the Truck, to show the winter - snow digital camoflage
  19. Hi Everybody, I want to show you my Army Tank Transporter Truck. This Instruction Tutorial shows, how you can build the Truck with LEGO.
  20. @LEGO presented their variation of Ken Block's Hoonicorn machine for the Gymkhama video. So I decide to have a reverse engineering challenge of the brick model. Could not find any rear photos so went for a freestyle build in the rear part. Full how to build tutorial in the video! Thanks for watching!
  21. Peteris_Sprogis

    [MOC] 60117 alternate mocs

    Hi, I've made several alternates using just the pieces from Lego city 60117 set. 1.Dump truck. Euro style dump truck with balanced color scheme. 2. Convertible. Some neat SNOT windscreen positioning and other stylish details. 3. SUV and trailer. Sleek looking SUV with a functional trailer. 4. Explorer VAN. Same like in the original design a VAN but this time it has higher clearance is more suitable for off road exploration 5. Cabrio. Dialing in some wild snot segments in the construction so that the lady has herself a cool and fast cabrio car. Thanks for watching!
  22. This is a reference for some techniques that can be used to create LEGO spheres. Hope this helps when deciding which option to use. And a look at the inside of the larger and more complicated spheres.
  23. Slegengr

    Tutorial: Pine Tree

    Pine Tree Technique Have you ever wanted to make LEGO pine trees that are a little more realistic than the molded ones that TLG produces? Here is a tutorial for just such a technique. You may notice that this technique is not for the faint of heart or weak of pieces, though! The techniques are fairly basic, but this is one of the SHIP-est tree techniques I have seen. Try it at your wallet’s risk! First, a Bill of Materials needed for one tree: Now for the tutorial: First comes the trunk. This is quite basic. The start of the needles is next. Notice the direction of the bend on the droid arms. Alternation is critical to the proper appearance. Now fill out the foliage a bit more. Add an internal trunk support. Next is the trickiest part of this technique: the first ring of thick needles. Pay attention to the direction of bend on droid arms. This helps to fill out the needles with fewer gaps. Note that the droid arms are sometimes spread a bit on the bars. Not each connection can be snugged completely against the earlier connections. For ease of tutorial and some final color variation, I alternated droid arm colors every layer. …finally add the ring around the trunk support. It should rest neatly on the black octagonal bar plate used earlier. Now repeat the process for the next needle ring, only this ring is smaller. …and add the second needle ring on top of the first needle ring. Wiggle and rotate the second ring a bit during assembly. It should interconnect and seat slightly into the first ring to lock the position and keep the needles densely layered. Another trunk support is needed to hold the second needle ring in place and provide support for the rest of the tree. One more needle ring is needed to finish out the tree at this size. This needle ring is much smaller to allow for the conical shape on the final tree. …and add the third needle ring on top of the second. Of course, pine cones are a nice addition. Some can be added along with additional needle sections to make the needles denser. If more pine cones are desired, simply make more pine cones from the three flower plates and add them to the tips of any spiked vine piece. The additional needle sections do allow for the pine cones to be settled into the needles to give a more realistic appearance than having pine cones on the ends of the earlier branches. To attach the additional needle sections, just nestle them over earlier needle sections and allow the other branches to cover over and lock in the droid arm. This might take a little practice and determination to get the right appearance. Before finishing the top, more needle sections should be added to make the needles denser and provide a better mesh with the top section. Note the different direction of bend on the droid arms. This allows some sections to be placed nearer the trunk to give varying degrees of thickness and conical shaping to the tree. After assembling the needle sections, hang them around the third needle ring and allow the spiked vines to fall into the spiked vines from the third needle ring. Play around with the rotation of the vines in the droid arm clips to get the best fit and tree shape. Finally, we are nearing the top! A critical note for this top section is to use a black octagonal bar plate of the earlier version with thinner tabs attaching the bar to the plate. TLG later thickened the tabs to reinforce the piece. The increased tab thickness decreases the bar width by enough to not allow for proper connection and spacing of two droid arms on each bar section. While building the top section, pay attention to the direction the droid arms are attached to the black octagonal bar plate. Also note that the vines are not parallel along the length of the droid arm. By rotating the vines slightly, a better mesh is achieved between the upper and lower layers of this top section. Now, slide the top section on the trunk support until it is against the stop-ring on the top 6-long bar. Add the round brick and cone to top the trunk, insert 4 spiked vines to finish the top needles, and press in the upper droid arms on the top section to close them around the top needles. …and we are finally finished! Note that different colors can be used for the droid arms to allow for slight variations on the internal portions of the tree. These pieces show through at different spots, so the colors do have an effect on the finished tree. Varying the number of needle rings, number of bars in a needle ring, and height of the support trunk allow for many different variations on the tree height and shape. Some evergreens have denser needles while some have more visible branches and more separation between branches. Keep this in mind when considering how many needles to add. Let me know what you think of this design with comments and constructive criticisms! I am always looking for improvements to the design, so I look forward to seeing how you can use and expand upon this technique! Thanks for looking, Slegengr
  24. Peteris_Sprogis

    [MOC] 4x4 Adventure SUV

    city / speed champions style 4x4 Adventure SUV car moc. 6 wide minifigure scale, cabin seats one fig and the rear trunk can be lifted up. Free building tutorial available in the video. Thanks for watching!