Tag Archives: CAD

You don’t have to own a single LEGO brick to have fun building with LEGO. Software like LDraw and LEGO Digital Designer empowers people to create virtual LEGO models unconstrained by the scarcity of a particular LEGO brick (or even its availability in a specific color).

Massive LDraw part update

While I usually don’t blog LDraw part updates, I’m making an exception for the latest one since, as far as I can tell, it’s the biggest yet, with 601 new parts on offer. In addition to an increase in the number of new parts available, the library of 12V train system parts is almost complete. Many thanks must go out to all parts authors and reviewers, especially those who’ve recently started, and to Chris Dee (the Parts Library Administrator), Phillipe Hurbain and Steffen for the huge work they’ve put in to this latest release.

And to those who’ve never heard of LDraw, or are interested in checking it out, please visit the forums.

Big news from LDraw and LEGO [April Fool's]

LDraw.org is proud to announce that we are teaming up with The LEGO Group to bring you a better LEGO Digital Designer product with full access to the LDraw parts.

LEGO Group Acquisition of LDraw.org Parts Library Announced

LDraw.org and LEGO System A/S jointly announced today that LDraw.org has agreed to sell its rights in the development of the LDraw Parts Library to the LEGO Group, the publisher of the virtual building software LEGO Digital Designer (LDD), for $5.35 million. The LDraw.org Steering Committee members have been offered employment by the LEGO Group, who will continue software development and operations from the former LEGO Universe studio in Louisville, Colorado.

“We’re excited about the integration of the LDraw Parts Library to fill the gaps of old virtual LEGO parts currently missing in LDD, but re-engineered by the fans and are happy to have the core of the community officially join the LEGO team,” said Søren Askildson, Senior Executive Vice President at the LEGO Software Engineering; Development Department. “This acquisition demonstrates our commitment both to the ongoing success of LEGO Digital Designer and to an overall strategy to expand our brand online.”

“LDraw.org’s focus is developing a solid easy-to-use library on an open document file format, and publishing the next generation of virtual building CAD systems,” said Willy Tschager, Member of the LDraw.org Steering Committee . “We’re proud of the library our community built, and are certain that it has a bright future. The transition of members of our team to the LEGO Group enables us to focus completely on internally-published, free-to-play software businesses.”

LEGO System A/S entered into a free-data-for-advisory relationship with LDraw.org as to build LEGO Universe in 2006. The acquisition of the rights to the library and the ability to transition members of the team to continue work on the library follows the fulfillment of the LEGO Universe development contract.

LDD as a virtual building experience attracts several million people each year to build a huge range of amazing creations. The LDraw System of Tools is a popular system of free software tools for modeling LEGO creations in 3D on a computer. The parts library that is central to the programs is under continuous maintenance and extension by the LDraw community since 1997.

CGI Train

Ben Beneke is one of the greats of LEGO train building, with even his old steamers still standing out as some of the best. I’d been wondering what had happened to Ben recently (he usually posts at least one new train a year) but apparently he’s been spending time making excellent animations using LDraw and POVray. An animation like this is really hard to do in POVray. I know, I’ve tried.

Lego Flying Dutchman for the Lego Pirates of the Caribbean video game

Carl Greatrix is a designer for the official Lego games, and his design of the Flying Dutchman for the Lego Pirates of the Caribbean video game shows why he’s the man for the job. Even though this is a render, just about all the parts used are official Lego elements.

Flying Dutchman for POTC game

Not the castles you’re used to

Not only was it really difficult to choose a `lead’ shot for this amazing collection of castles, it’s quite hard to quite describe the bizzarre form of creative genius RoxYourBlox has used for them. They’re casles, but not as you’ve ever seen them. Making tidy work of both LDD and excel for the trigonometry he (I assume) has created some of the oddest geometric castle-like structures I’ve ever seen. And you should see the one that didn’t make it to the brick.

Crazy castle

Cars Roundup

There are too many fantastic entries this month into LUGNut‘s Cars, Too theme, so I do believe I’m just going to list my favorites here, in no particular order. We are, after all, big fans of all things Pixar here at this humble blog.

So! Onto the cars.

Tim Inman, with Giselle Grocery Getter:

Peter Blackert, with Ramone:

Peter Blackert, with Ramone’s sister, Coral:

Nathan Proudlove, with a LEGO Chatterphone (While not in Cars, necessarily, this one DOES figure into another Pixar favorite!):

LEGO Catan?


Settlers of Catan
is, by all accounts, a rather fun German board game. LEGO is, by all accounts, a rather fun toy. So it makes sense to combine the two.

Lego Settlers of Catan Board WIP

Except Michael (suparMacho) hasn’t actually built this. He’s use SR3D builder (an LDraw editor) and POVray to render it. Aside from those people lucky enough to use LEGO’s in-house rendering tools this is the most photo-realistic LEGO render I’ve seen.

LEGO 3D scanner used to generate 3D LDraw parts

Did you know you can make a 3D laser scanner out of LEGO bricks and a few custom parts? No? Nor did I until today. Did you know you can then use your LEGO model to scan LEGO parts and turn them into 3D CAD LDraw parts to make virtual LEGO models out of? Amazing hey?

Phillipe Hurbaine (philo) is well known for his clever software, hardware, LEGOware and general LEGO-mechanical skill but I have to say his latest work just takes the cake. And as if making a 3D scanner wasn’t enough he has actually used it to model some LDraw parts. I think this is probably the best working LEGO thing I have ever seen.