Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Heath Robinson In Real Lego (Part 3)

Building the final model took longer than I expected and although I needed to make a number of adjustments between the original digital model and the new real Lego one I was very pleased with the result.  I felt the final build still paid tribute to both Heath Robinson's original design and my digital model.  It was great experience going from digital model to physical model for such a complex and delicate build.


Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Heath Robinson In Real Lego (Part 2)

One of the things that I felt was important about building a real Lego model of one of Heath Robinson's designs was that it actually worked!  Manging the rubber bands and connections between the various elements turned out to be much more challenging that I expected.  There was a lot of trial and error with the placement of various elements, wheels and cogs.  Plus I also added a crank handle so that you could more easily operate the model.  

Here's a short video showing the mechanism working during the build process.

Monday, 25 October 2021

Heath Robinson in Real Lego (Part 1)

 Back in 2018 I'd created a digital Lego model "The Professor's Invention For Peeling Potatoes"  based on one of William Heath Robinson's designs.  You can see it here on the Lego Idea's site  and I've also blogged a little bit about it here Animating The Professor's Invention (Part 1) and here Animating the Professor's Invention (Part 2).  I was pleasantly surprised when I was contacted earlier this year by Heath Robinson Museum based in Pinner, West London asking if I could build the model so they could feature it as one of their exhibits!  I happily agreed to create the model out of real Lego, but I was then faced with the challenge of how I might actually do it!  A few trips to Bricklink found all the parts that I needed, but I knew that the actual build would be tricky as the digital models can be more "forgiving" when it comes to the placement of elements like the rubber bands.  Plus, as I discovered the rubber bands change the physical structure of the model quite a lot.  There were also a number of changes and adjustments that I needed to ensure that the Lego model actually worked!

The series of images below, show the progress of the model from the original illustration, through the digital designs and early physical models, to the final model.

Sunday, 3 October 2021

Back To The Brick

Gosh, it's been a crazy time!  I've managed to sort a few things out so I could have a little more time to continue my adventures with digital Lego.  As a lot of my adventures happened on the daily commute to work, during the pandemic, it was hard to find the time to continue my explorations.  However as the situation improves I find that I now have a little more spare time.  

At the end of the summer, some of my previous work got as far as MIT!  You can read the paper here  - my reference is at the bottom of Page 4!

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Leg - o - Letters Build Movie

I rendered this short movie out of Studio 2.0 to show the build process for creating smooth studless Leg-o-Letters examples

Monday, 29 June 2020

Studless Leg-o-Letters

I've continued to work on my Leg-o-Letters code.  I now wanted to create "smooth" tiled letters where the top surface was completely flat and studless.  This meant I would have to level the brick height to "fill in" the gaps up to a certain height.   I was also aware that as I was using random placement of bricks and plates, the the stability of the resulting structure was quite unreliable.  In an attempt to improve the stability I modified the code to create a base layer of generally lager plates, then to randomly fill on to the base plates, then level-up the letters to a given height, then add a layer of larger plates to create smooth, stud-less letters. 

In the image above you can see the plate layer (top left), the fill of random bricks and plates (top right), the levelling pass to bring all the spaces to same height (lower left) and the tile pass to add larger tiles to create a studless top layer (lower right).  As the placement of the bottom plate layer and top tile layer is random there is better change that the stability of each letter in the model will be improved.

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Leg-o-leters - Code published on Github

My code for creating your own Lego letters is now on github it will allow you to create Lego models in the .ldr format from text.  You can find it here...