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Found 10 results

  1. The Glacier Express with Panorama Carriages (Stadler Rail) - one of the world`s most beautiful and mopst famous trains - is now part of my train collection! The GEX has been on my wish list for many, many years. And now, this train dream has come true - what a great feeling! This train evokes so many memories, not the least our GEX journey from St. Moritz to Zermatt in First class some years ago, a fabulous experience with breathtaking sceneries and a superb service onboard. My Glacier Express is built 7-wide and consists of: a Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn (MGB) locomotive type HGe 4/4 II with two 9V engines and a length of 40 studs, four Panorama Carriages First class (Rhätische Bahn) with a length of 46 studs each, a Dining Carriage (RhB) with two 9V engines and a length of 46 studs. The total train length is approx. 2,3 meters and the total weight amounts to approx. 3,8 kg. All beams are strengthened with supermagnets. To build this train has been a journey with multiple challenges, not the least all the decals. Special thanks to Knivsta Tryckeri, our local printing house, for their superb support! And thank you also to Selander for his inspiring advice during this project. And this is what my Glacier Express looks like: And this is what the Glacier Express looks like in reality: PS: The Glacier Express is a registered trademark.
  2. In case you have missed my earlier posts: the article below is part of the large, fully automated train layout called "Sioux.NET on Track". You can watch a video of our presentation of our layout at Lego World Utrecht 2016 at our Youtube channel: Replacement of a slow candy crane As you can see in the video, the loading of the four wagons is done by the so-called candy crane. A nice and eye-catching structure, but is is slow. Really slow. When the visiting parents asked me at Lego World what the layout was about, my answer was usually “for children it is a candy delivery machine but for the parents it is a Zen machine” ;-). The delivery of four candies took in total about 13 minutes; most of the time the candy crane was fetching the containers with candies and loading them into the train. When we walked around Lego World, we noticed the following robot arms at the Mindstorms stand. We all had the same idea: that robot arm would be our next building and the replacement of our crane. The robot arm would be responsible for moving the containers from the pickup position to the wagons. The robot arm on the photo is originally designed by Mike Dobson and a LDD file is available. But I don’t find it a challenge to build these things from a building instruction (although, rebuilding these large objects from an LDD file is quite a challenge in itself ;-). So I started to build a robot arm from scratch. Of course, you will see some parts that look similar and yes: I have stolen these ideas from the master ;-) Robot arm, six axis DOF (some background info) The robot arm that we are designing, is a so called six-axis DOF robot (DOF is an abbreviation for Degrees of Freedom). The six axis that it can move are shown on the following picture: This axis, located at the robot base, allows the robot to rotate from left to right. This axis allows the lower arm of the robot to extend forward and backward. The axis extends the robot's vertical reach. It allows the upper arm to raise and lower. Working in conjunction with the axis 5, this axis aids in the positioning of the end effector and manipulation of the part. Known as the wrist roll, it rotates the upper arm in a circular motion moving parts between horizontal to vertical orientations. This axis allows the wrist of the robot arm to tilt up and down. This axis is responsible for the pitch and yaw motion. The pitch, or bend, motion is up and down, much like opening and closing a box lid. Yaw moves left and right, like a door on hinges. This is the wrist of the robot arm. It is responsible for a twisting motion, allowing it to rotate freely in a circular motion, both to position end effectors and to manipulate parts. It is usually capable of more than a 360 degree rotation in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. The gripper to pick-up the parts, candy containers in our case. Since this is not a movement, it is not seen as a separate axis. So, let's start building! Building of the robot arm, work in progress (first prototype) We started with the upper arm of the robot arm. For the first prototype, we used a a copy of the crane grabber for the gripper part. Three motors were placed in the upper arm (for movement 5, 6 and 7). The result can be seen below: And all worked fine, apart from one major disadvantage: to make the movement "axis 4" possible, the upper arm needed to be connected using a turntable (art. 4624645). But the weight of the upper arm was too high for the turntable. It started to bent a bit, making the rotation (axis 4) almost impossible. So, we needed a new upper arm but much more light-weight. Building of the robot arm, work in progress (second prototype) We discussed in the team what could be improved. And if the weight of the arm is too much, it needed to go on a diet. So, we looked for a way to put the motors in the upper part of the arm and to get three axles through the turntable. That would save lots of weight: 1) because three motors are not needed in this part of the arm, and 2) because the arm could be much shorter. But is it possible to get three axles through one turntable? Yes, you can. I found a video that does the trick, you can find it here: Another solution uses non-Lego parts: Quite a nice solution but we have a restriction that we don't use non-Lego elements. If three axles is not really possible, let's step back to a two-axle solution. And so we did: we created an upper part of the robot arm with only one motor and a simple fix to get two axles through the turntable: The result of the second prototype can be seen here. We said goodbye to the grabber and made a two-finger gripper. And indeed, the second prototype was better than the first time. Take a look at a (kind of) complete upper arm: But another major disadvantage: if the arm made a movement around axis 5 or axis 6, the gripper opens or closes as well. The reason is that the gears that control the movement of the opening/closing of the gripper, are also rotating when the gripper is rotated (axis 6) or when the wrist rotates (axis 5). You can power the motor that controls the gripper to compensate, but it is not accurate enough. So... goodbye to prototype 2. Building of the robot arm, work in progress (third prototype) How can you prevent gears to turn when you don't want them to....? Remove the gears! So the next (and hopefully final) prototype uses pneumatics to control the gripper. We added two touch sensors to the upper arm to detect the position of movement 5. In the photo above, the read L shaped peaces are pressed against the touch sensor when it reaches the end position. At the other side, the same principle is used to detect the other end position. Next to build: a sensor to detect the rotation position of the gripper. And the motor(s) to control the movements 5 (wrist) and 6 (gripper rotation). If that is finished, the upper arm is ready and we can continue with the part that holds the upper arm. That's all for now, I'll keep you posted. Please let me know what you think of it. Enjoy, Hans
  3. For those who have not following my topics, a small introduction about Sioux.NET on Track, a large full automated Lego candy factory, trains, lots of Mindstorms EV3 and all controlled by a Microsoft C# application. Every year, we show our layout at Lego World in Utrecht, the Netherlands. You can watch videos on our Youtube channel ( with the progress of all the updates and changes we make and you can also watch a video of the layout at Lego World. The video from 2017 and 2016: We always have an interface to the visitor, the so called 'PUI' which is an abbreviation for Physical User Interface. The visitor can choose the color of the candy (s)he wants to be delivered. The colors red, green, blue and yellow can be chosen. Okay, okay, its is more purple than blue. But in our layout, that is the blue candy ;-) Through the years, we have had several types of PUI's: In 2016 and 2017 we used a so called Wheel of Fortune as the color selector: The visitor had to pull the lever, making the wheel rotate. For an adult, this works fine. But lots of our visitors are little children, who have never seen a wheel of fortune. So some children pushed the lever, some pulled it but now hard enough and some children thought they had to pull the lever and push it down until it would touch the floor. Sometimes, I really thought the Lego would crack but fortunately it survived the hundreds of enthousiastic kids. For Lego World 2018, we've made an update of the Wheel of Fortune. Instead of a lever, we decided to use a motor for the rotation. But I found out that this was easier said than done. The main problem is the weight of the wheel, it needs quite some torque to start rotating. Plus I needed a free-wheel mechanism: when the motor turns, the wheel should turn. But when the motor stops, the wheel should keep rotating until it is stopped by the pointer. I first used the free-wheel mechanism from the lever: However, he torque was too much for this free-wheel mechanism. So, I started looking on the internet for a more powerful version. On the Youtube page of William Sargeant, I found a version that looked more firm. I made two of these and in combination with two EV3 L motors it is powerful enough to spin the wheel. Apart from that, I mixed the colors in the wheel. The result: And of course a video: I need to design two buttons that will be controlled by the visitor. A green button to start rotating the wheel and a red button that stops the wheel. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for reading and watching. Enjoy, Hans
  4. Hi everyone, We (me and my brother) have created a landscape based on the Adventures theme from 1998 and 1999. The landscape was shown at Lego World the Netherlands 2017. The landscape contains a piramide, a temple, a lake town, a village and many vehicles. You have already seen the development of the vehicles and landscape in Various Adventurers Creations The piramide was build by my brother and it contains many rooms with traps, treasures, mummies and action. The Jungle was created by me and for the first time we added trees and more plants to make it look like a real jungle. I am glad that the water worked out fine. Someone told me that the river should be bigger compared to the ship the river is small. He had a point, but it was already expensive to purchase all the transparent pieces. For more pictures visit my Flickr album. Land of Adventure Questions and feedback are welcome. Sander
  5. Lego World 2017 @ Jaarbeurs Utrecht, The Netherlands. Date: Wednesday 18th of October - Tuesday 24th of October. Time: 10.00 - 17.00 each day More info/tickets @ So, anyone going? I went a couple of times when it was held in Zwolle. Pretty neat to talk/hang out with some fellow AFOL's in person.
  6. Since 2011, our large fully automated train layout will be displayed at Lego World 2017. In several subtopics, you could have read about the building of the delta crane, the train controlled by a Mindstorms EV3 and much more. A video of our layout in 2016 has been watched almost 30.000 times. For 2017, the train layout consists of 12 Mindstorms EV3 bricks and 1 Mindstorms NXT: 1x Train (EV3) 1x Delta Crane (EV3) 1x Wheel of Fortune (EV3) 1x Ticket Dispenser (EV3) 4x Delivery station (EV3) 1x Ticket reader (EV3) 1x Delta crane (EV3) 2x Container and Candy dispenser (EV3) 1x Air compressor (NXT) All the EV3 bricks are controlled by a Microsoft .NET application, written in C#. We are now in the phase of integrating the Lego builds and fine-tuning the software. Click on the picture below to surf to our Flickr page and you can watch a video on Youtube to see a full test run. The layout will be displayed at Lego World 2017 in Utrecht, the Netherlands from Wednesday 18 - Saturday 21 October 2017. Regards, Hans
  7. Lasse D

    [MOC] Dragon from Shrek

    Back in 2013 there was Shrek musical. They were advertising it at LEGO World in Copenhagen, and wanted some LEGO models of small dragons. I was asked to make some miniature pink dragons and built these: I think they liked them, but they wanted something... larger. "Lasse. Can you build the dragon from Shrek?" "Sure can do!" She was unfortunately killed while cleaning up after the exhibition, so these pictures are all that is left. The younglings didn't survive either ;( Here is the brickshelf folder with more pictures:
  8. At our Flickr page you can view the photos of our visit at Lego World 2016 in Utrecht: A video is also available: Enjoy, Hans
  9. Sioux.NET on Track is a group of enthusiastic colleagues who come together after working hours to get experience with Microsoft.NET. To make learning fun, we develop an application in C# for making a full automated Lego train, using Lego Mindstorms and Lego Power functions. The layout is always shown at Lego World in the Netherlands. Our plans for 2016 have been published at our blog: as well as an article about the new updated crane positioning. You can also view a video at our Youtube channel about the power chain systems: Enjoy, Hans
  10. Horsecreek

    The Soldiers Outpost

    Recently I finished my rocky island moc. I started building on this moc late 2011. Then I shelfed it. But now it's done and has been on display at LEGO World and Klodsfest (the Danish lugs annual LEGO event) If you haven't build rocks an mountains before you'll be surpriced at how many bricks it takes. Apart from the small DBG baseplate i'm satisfied with the result. More photos at