The LEGO Technic line was first released as “Expert Builder” sets in 1977, and LEGO has been producing Technic ever since, including Bionicle and MINDSTORMS. The custom Technic models featured here on The Brothers Brick include some pretty crazy and amazing mechanisms that’ll blow your mind, from self-sorting LEGO to automated Rubik’s Cube solvers.
Japanese builder akiyuki applies the concept of strain wave gearing to Great Ball Contraptions, a popular LEGO fan convention theme in which hundreds of balls are passed through complex machinery. From both an engineering and a visual standpoint, the module is mesmerizing to watch. See the module in action in the following 2 minute video.
A fascinating read detailing the design process and engineering challenges faced by the builder can be found on akiyuki’s blog.
We got a look at 7 of 2017’s new LEGO Technic sets last week, but LEGO still has more surprises to come. Here are 2 more all-new Technic sets, including an awesome Air Race Jet that cops some design cues from the new F-35, such as a thrust-vectoring nozzle for VTOL capabilities. The other set is a more utilitarian vehicle; a Telehandler bucket loader. Both kits have alternate builds, and we’ve got lots of images showing their working functions.
Ingenious LEGO builders are always creating amazingly complex machines to do cool tasks — just check out this automated Christmas cookie decorating machine! Braiding rope is a fairly straightforward task for a human, but it’s complex for a machine because it requires strands to be passed underneath each other. It’s mesmerizing to watch Nico71‘s braiding machine pass three of the shuttles back and forth between the rotating spindles to interweave the 5 strands.
Manuel Nascimento built this incredible LEGO Technic Porsche 919 after watching the real-life car win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015. Not content to simply recreate the stunning shape out of LEGO, Manuel also decorated his car like the real one, saying, “I had too much fun decorating the car but at the same time I also had a lot of work because all stickers were hand made.” Check out more of this beautiful racecar below, including the working functions.
Australian builder Chade has created a vehicle from my childhood, the 1983 GMC Vandura from the 80s show The A-Team. The A-Team were military veterans, in hiding after being framed and court martialled for a crime they didn’t commit. They were ready to fight in the corner of the ‘little guy’ with huge explosions, lots of gun fire, but no serious injuries or death caused. They travelled in their black 1983 GMC Vandura with a red slash across the side. Chade’s LEGO Technic version is a little bit special as it’s a remote controlled vehicle with powered doors, working lights and enough power to allow a few high spins.
Take a look inside: seats for B.A. Baracus and Hannibal in the front with Murdock in the back, and all built with Technic parts. The sliding side door and rear doors are powered, but the front doors and the bonnet open and close via the power of a human hand. Check out this video showing all of the powered functions in action and offering a closer look inside.
If you want to build your own version of this powered LEGO A-Team van, Chade has kindly provided instructions for his creation.
This morning LEGO announced a brand new partnership with BMW Motorrad (BMW’s motorcycle brand) and revealed the first product of that partnership: the LEGO Technic 42063 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure motorcycle. The Technic roadster will have 603 pieces, and stands 18 cm high, 33 cm long and 10 cm wide. The set will include a special commemorative Technic piece to celebrated LEGO Technic’s 40th anniversary in 2017, and will be available Jan. 01, 2017. We don’t have word on the price yet.
While this is the first licensed motorcycle, the news closely follows LEGO picking up the Caterham Seven license, and LEGO has a long history of other licensed vehicles, such as the Volkswagen Beetle and Ferrari F40. Read the full press release below.
What a line! Al Pacino delivers that famous line in the role of Tony Montana in the movie Scarface. Spanish builder Omar Ovalle has used the line as the title for his creation, preferring to use Technic figures and their bigger scale over the classic minifigure. Technic figures are capable of increased expression due to their articulations and pose-ability when compared to minifigures. This guy has plenty of attitude, holding his minigun (I’m guessing) and rounds. Is that a minigun? It’s pretty big with a few barrels? Do we have a weapons expert out there to help me?
Omar has also made other vignettes using Technic figures. We blogged his Star Wars Technic figures earlier this year, and I have to highlight my own particular favourite, ‘The Angry Groom’…
Great Ball Contraptions are a mainstay of LEGO conventions, consisting of short sections of machinery which transport LEGO soccer balls from one side to another. Each builder’s machine can be connected to the next, to transport a dizzying number of balls around a display. Many builders focus on the all-important task of getting the fundamental mechanics working smoothly, but we’re seeing more and more builders take some time for the aesthetics as well. One such example is this enthralling contraption bychumuhou (楚沐猴), which has a fantastic steam-age industrial vibe. Check out the video to see it in action, too!
There’s an effective mix of Technic pieces and regular LEGO bricks, coupled with smart color-blocking in this interesting vehicle from chumuhou. That’s a battery box lurking behind the cab there, and from the looks of it, those front wheels are motorized. I’d love to see a video of this bad boy in action. The visible suspension springs and cogs on this rig lend it a chunky sense of functionality, and the icing on the cake is the rear ball wheel, fashioned from Death Star halves.
…but these Star Wars figures just may be the coolest ones around. We covered Omar Ovalle‘s Endor Trooper last month, but Omar’s been busy since then converting lots of LEGO Technic figures into awesome Star Wars characters. The Technic figures, which LEGO produced from the late 80s to the early 2000s, are considerably larger than traditional minifigures and have a lot more poseability. The size also allows more accurate scaling with small characters, like Yoda and the Jawas, who both look quite good as minifigures next to the Technic figs. Boba Fett definitely takes the cake for the best looking figure though, as he blasts his way out of the Sarlacc pit.
BuWizz is an aftermarket brick designed to bring more precise control and increased power to your LEGO creations. It is the brainchild of Roni Leben and his team over at BuWizz headquarters in Slovenia, who have just started a Kickstarter project to fund its production.
Kirill Mazurov, who has once blown our minds with an incredible ER-1250 bucket wheel excavator, keeps proving his talent for elaborate Technic models. The original John Deere 648L skidder is a heavy logging machine, and even in this scale (only half a meter long) it does look massive yet extremely smooth and stylish.
Believe it or not, there are 9 PF-motors inside this little beast. Together they are responsible for 8 various functions which makes this model as functional as the real one. And if you’re still not impressed, here’s a video of the skidder pulling trees and climbing some hills:
You can find many more awesome creations in Kirill’s photo stream. Don’t hesitate to check it out!