Tag Archives: Science

Jonas and the Whale

Not to be outdone by Tim and his tiny choo-choo in our last post, Jonas has built this massive whale’s skeleton using the Iron Builder seed part, complete with a Museum of Natural History backdrop and guard. The whale’s skull is particularly well-built, reflecting the proportional size and shape of baleen whales like the blue whale and humpback.

Museum of Natural Science

3D-printing Martian habitats with a NASA drone

Like many sci-fi, science, and space geeks, the exploration and colonization of Mars has always held a special fascination for me. Shannon Sproule has created a LEGO version of a novel idea — sending a drone to 3D print habitats on Mars. With a realistic color scheme and extensive use of round bricks, including a pair of round 7×7 domes, Shannon has created a plausible construction robot. Here’s hoping NASA is paying attention to innovative ideas like this!

NASA 3D printing robot

Shrine of Polarized Birefringence

This build by WRme2 is simply one of the most brilliant creations I’ve ever come across:

We’ve featured many castle vignettes before, so what makes this one so special?
It’s the windows. That’s not fancy photoshoping, that’s science!

WRme2 has figured out that due to the manufacturing process of some of the earlier LEGO bricks, when photographed with a polarizer you get that amazing effect which he has so brilliantly used in this build.

Here’s what it looks like with portion of a brick under a polarizer (like sunglasses):

For those really interested, he’s also done an equally impressive job explaining the science behind these colourful bricks.

Dem dry bones

I wish I’d had one of these guys when I was studying for high school anatomy and physiology! While he may not be one-hundred percent anatomically correct, this marvelous skeleton by umamen comes pretty darn close (actually, I can’t imagine getting much closer with LEGO). He’s got everything that counts including knobby knees, boney phalanges and neck vertebrae, protruding clavicles, a healthy set of lungs, and even a complete digestive tract. And he appears to be extremely poseable. His rib cage even opens for a closer look!

LEGO: Human Skeleton (1/14)

Check out more photos on Flickr.

Launching in...5...4...3...2...1...

It is 1965, and we have been transported to Leba launch site in Poland where Karwick  has a Meteor 1 research rocket ready to launch.

Meteor-1A (polish meteorogical rocket, 1965)

Meteor-1A was a one stage ‘sounding rocket’ that would supply valuable meteorological and rocket technical data during its sub-orbital flight. The launch site for the Meteor series of rockets was Leba, Poland between 1963 and 1974.

The details on this yellow launching gantry are fantastic, especially the use of yellow minifig hands and pirate hooks to hold the guide wires in place!  The coloured hose details on the detonator box are perfect and the silver rocket is adorable (if rockets can be adorable).

Not satisfied with a sub-orbital launch, in 1970, the Meteor 2 was launched from Leba and touched the boundary of the Earth’s atmosphere into space at an altitude of 100km. Karwik’s Meteor 2 is bigger, better, chromed and has a fantastic gantry that includes a loading buggy on rails.

Meteor-2K (polish meteorological rocket, 1970)

A series of photographs providing a 360º view of the launch site of Karwick’s can be seen on Flickr.

Shiny gold New Horizons probe by Stefan Schindler

The NASA New Horizons mission to Pluto feels like the most exciting space story since the Mars Curiosity rover landed on Mars nearly three years ago. It’s no surprise, then, that we’re seeing plenty of great LEGO models inspired by this historic achievement.

Like many spacecraft, New Horizons is covered in gold foil for insulation. A couple weeks ago, Iain built his New Horizons probe using yellow bricks, since finding the parts to build an all-gold probe is quite challenging. Stefan Schindler solved this with the help of a dash of gold paint, producing this beautiful gold New Horizons probe.

New Horizons

While some of our readers may balk at Stefan’s solution, picky builders looking for some “NPU” should focus instead on Stefan’s solution for the GPHS-RTG (the plutonium generator) built from tank treads.

It’s a Plutopalooza!

It really doesn’t feel like 9+ years since NASA launched the New Horizons probe on a mission to explore the dwarf planet Pluto and its system of moons. But now the craft’s closest approach is finally less than a week away, and NASA wants you to celebrate the occasion by throwing your very own Plutopalooza party! (Heads up: You’d better make the party last 16 months, because at 1kbps that’s how long the probe will take to transmit back all 64Gb of its data from the encounter)

Since several of my Brothers Bricks co-contributors are hopeless space junkies, I thought I’d mark the occasion by building the above LEGO model of the little probe …accompanied by targets Pluto and Charon naturally! A lot easier to do now that we finally know what color they are.

It’s an interesting milestone for me since my very first true MOC was of the Voyager 2 spacecraft, back in 1979 when it passed Jupiter. Armed with a clothes line, white bed sheet, length of string and basic film camera, I had no idea that the resulting images would be…. hopelessly out of focus! T_T

Chemistry Tools

When I first spotted this, I did not realize it was a render. I am a big fan of scientific builds, and this is definitely up my alley. I particularly love the molecule model. The scale is fantastic. The periodic table is instantly recognizable.

Matt Bace is definitely knocking out some amazing things, like the power strip we featured last week. I definitely recommend poking around a bit in his flickr steam.

Chemistry Teacher's Desk

LEGO, Quantum Mechanics, and Defining the Kilogram

As Adult Fans of LEGO, we know that our hobby with LEGO bricks has some amazing applications, and we see how the creativity flourishes. I think it’s amazing when LEGO finds some very practical uses in real-world places that help not just creativity, but further science and innovation.

Five researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Standards (NIST) have used LEGO to create a LEGO Watt Balance. The Watt balances at NIST as well as other facilities are being used to help push the “measurement precision to within a few parts per hundred million,” which will hopefully achieve a redefined kilogram by 2018. This is important because as of right now, the kilogram is the only fundamental unit of the International System of Units that’s defined by a physical object, not a universal constant.

Leon S. Chao, Stephan Schlamminger, DB. Newell, J.R. Pratt and Xiang Zhang have recently submitted their paper on their LEGO Watt Balance to the American Journal of Physics. Their creation is helping bring quantum mechanics into the classroom, and will hopefully inspire a new generation.

Particle Accelerator in LEGO

While this rendition isn’t going to get the same results as a real particle accelerator, I invite you to take a look at this fantastic LEGO version from Jason(JK Brickworks).

Particle Accelerator (Large Brick Collider)

This “working” accelerator does in fact send a LEGO soccer ball around the track at 440 studs per second, or approximately 12.5 km/hr. Jason outlines some of the build in more detail on his blog.

I highly recommend checking out the video, too.

LEGO Ideas 21110 Research Institute [Review]

It should come as no surprise at all to long-time readers that the new LEGO Ideas Research Institute has been on my list since the day it was confirmed as a set, if not before. I’m all for more gender-equality in my minifig world, and love seeing sets with female figs.

All three vignettes

I picked up this set as well as the 21109 Exo Suit while I was on vacation, and admittedly I’ve been waiting to get a chance to break in and build it. Great way to spend the first day back from vacation, I wager.

So let’s get on with the review.

Continue reading

Rosetta comet encounter recreated in LEGO

After over 10 years in flight, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta space probe today arrived at it’s target, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. And builder Stefan Schindler decided to commemorate the event by recreating it in LEGO! Not only did he do a splendid job on the probe, he even managed to capture the bizarre shape of the comet as well.

Stefan has entered his creation in the ESA’s official #RosettaAreWeThereYet photo contest. So LEGO fans should head over there and VOTE FOR IT NOW! (Entries are piling up so you may have to search for it on the second or third page).