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Fab-your-own Lego

3D Printing & Imaging Fun & Games
Fab-your-own Lego

Check out the work of Ottawa maker Andrew Plumb. A few months ago, he created the .stl of a four-stud disk, uploaded it to Thingiverse, prototyped it on his Makerbot and then sent it off to fabbing service Shapeways to be output in plastic as well as bronze-infused steel.

In more recent experiment, Plumb used a laser cutter to create plates with holes sized for Lego studs and pins.

At first glance, I’ll have to tweak the designs more for the laser’s kerf. The hole inner diameter is too loose for Lego and too tight for my Shapeways-printed stainless-steel disc buttons, so that places the inner diameter somewhere between 4.9mm and 5.0mm. Will have to break out the calipers when I get home for more precise measurements.


12 thoughts on “Fab-your-own Lego

  1. sweavo says:

    The LEGO people have patented many aspects of their connection system and are very fierce about defending their intellectual property! I hope this maker is allowed to continue because it’s really neat. But if you’re interested in this stuff, better download the files ASAP!

  2. John Baichtal says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much — most of Lego’s patents have expired decades ago.

  3. says:

    What John sed. The minifig patents just expired last year so there’s even more mashup potential.

    All the core source files are creative-commons licensed and created from scratch. Any mention made of “LEGO” always includes “-compatible” or “-type” in the same context. The focus is encouraging others to do their own explorations and mashups.

    Aside: Trademarks would still apply, so anything I (or anyone else) choose to should not be directly associated with “LEGO”. After all, you don’t see MegaBloks marketed as “Lego-compatible”! ;-)

    1. says:

      Typo: “…so anything I (or anyone else) choose to [sell] should not be…”

  4. Silverman says:

    In the US there’s also a research exemption for patent infringement that allows you to make patented things just for fun.

    1. ewertz says:

      Unfortunately laws don’t always seem to prevent lawyers from coming after you “just for fun”. 1/2 :-)

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My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

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