Some people take their play time to an incredible level. Dawid Szmandra has turned his living room into a construction site with an immaculate Lego reproduction of a crane. Not only is it just stunning to look at, it’s structurally sound. Just watch this video to see some of the impressive weights this “toy” can lift.
Our long time contributor Sarah Vitak talked to Dawid to get some answers on his build.
Did you play with Legos as a kid?
Of course, Lego was my favorite toy.
What inspired you to make the crane?
Have you made other large Lego structures before?
Yes, but not this big. You can watch them on my YouTube channel and Flickr.
What other kinds of things do you make? Are you an engineer? Do you work with real cranes?
No, I am a mechanical engineering student.
About how many Legos are in the crane? How much would you guess all the total parts cost?
The crane is made of about 20,000 Lego pieces. As for cost, I do not know exactly.
How long did it take to make this thing from start to finish?
It took me two years of planning, buying parts, testing, etc.
Does the crane run on a battery? Is there a motor of some sort? And what is running the software side of things?
The model is powered by Lego Mindstorms motors and run on Mindstorms rechargeable batteries. The software was made in Lego Mindstorms’ software.
What was the hardest part of this build?
Probably slewing the ring. This is the element which allows the entire crane to rotate. To make it, I repurposed the heads from some Lego minifigures as balls in a bearing.
What are the specs? How tall is it? Is it built to scale? How heavy is it? How much weight can it lift?
Currently, the crane’s height is limited by the ceiling. In one of the pictures, the total length is 5.7m. The maximum height should be 7, or 7.5 meters. The total weight is around 27kg. The maximum lifting capacity is 9kg.
Have you used it for anything useful? Or have you just played around with it?
Just played around.
What are you going to do with it now?
Currently I keep it in boxes. In the summer, I will take it on the Lego exhibition.
Do you have any tips for someone making something similar?
Start with something small and simple.