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View Full Version : LEGO Modeling or CAD softwares available


Elgin Clock
12-06-2005, 12:44 AM
I'm always working on a Lego design of something, mostly architectural based but sometimes mechanical

Anyways, I was wondering what type of Software people use for LEGO modeling or CAD.

So far I have used:

Lego Creator - Basic bricks, and a kid type interface with enough to get a project going in a virtual world, but like all games as opposed to hardcore design software it has it's limits.

Lego Digital Designer - This just looks to me like a toned down version of Creator with a smaller base to build on?? Is this a correct assumption?

LDraw - I just downloaded this and started looking at it.. It looks nice, but I'm guessing it needs a bit of time to learn and I'm starting that already. Tips appreciated!

SolidWorks - Yep, I started reverse engineering some parts I had and assembling them in this mainstream CAD software. The bad thing about this is when the assembly gets really large with many parts I have a huge refresh time - plus the work of making the parts in CAD for the first time.

Does anybody use any of these, or know of any others??

Also, since I use Solidworks for some designs, does anyone know of a place online I can find premade CAD type models to import?

Also, anyone have any tips for me for LDraw??? I use the MLCAD version of the bundle pack with a GUI and not the DOS version.

DCA Fan
12-06-2005, 01:39 AM
I really enjoy MLCad, I recommend using the tutorial to get the basics down, but it's pretty easy after that, just grabbing the model pieces and plopping them into place.

Elgin Clock
12-07-2005, 12:41 AM
I really enjoy MLCad, I recommend using the tutorial to get the basics down, but it's pretty easy after that, just grabbing the model pieces and plopping them into place.

Are you talking about an online tutorial, or one accessible from the help menu??

If you are referring to the latter, I don't see one.

As for MLCad, I was spoiled by creator in a way where the parts "snapped" together. With MLCad, I had a heck of a time lining up the parts, and went back and totally redid my grids till they made sense.

Also, the default import is annoying. I put a part at 0,0,0 for the origin and it doesn't line up with one I just plop in with the grid set to using 5 for the default snap.

Using AutoCAD I prefer to line up a corner of a part with 0,0,0 origin point, and the MLCad interface allows that but only by manually trying to figure out how off I am and using the 3 different grids for placement.

DCA Fan
12-07-2005, 01:16 AM
Yeah I was talking about the online one. It's true that MLCAD is very much "do it by eye", but it's a minor drawback, you can still do a lot with it, though I've often wondered if you made a bunch of TECHNIC parts in Inventor could you hook them together and make them move?

Elgin Clock
12-13-2005, 02:59 AM
...though I've often wondered if you made a bunch of TECHNIC parts in Inventor could you hook them together and make them move?

I have done that before in SolidWorks as I have not had much experience with Inventor yet. I'm sure it can be done (both being 3D modeling programs and all)

Anyways, George, or anyone who wants to answer this one with experience with MLCad:

How do I make Multiple part models. I imported 2 models, but they seem to be in separate windows??? :confused: This is very odd to me.

I want to basically make an assembly with multiple parts interacting with each other. Like a CAD system does (ie: SolidWorks) , I want to make individual assemblies, and then put those together.

In simple terms, think a bicycle. I have an assembly of a wheel drawn, and a frame with fork, and a seat/stem and I want to add them all together as an assembly.

How would I do this in MLCad?

cardiac
11-23-2006, 10:30 PM
Ok, This is slightly off topic. I would like to make my wife a model of her autocross car in LEGOs. Is there software that allows me to use a picture and it models the image in LEGOs?

Morgan Gillespie
11-23-2006, 11:33 PM
There was a plugin I found for 3dsm that allowed you to take a 3d model and turn it into lego pieces but I couldn't get it to work right away and then I lost it. If I find it again and get it to work, there is still the matter of finding a 3d model of her autocross car.

Astronouth7303
11-24-2006, 01:21 AM
Ok, This is slightly off topic. I would like to make my wife a model of her autocross car in LEGOs. Is there software that allows me to use a picture and it models the image in LEGOs?

Two dimensionally? The newest MLCAD will do that.

nasa-sempai
07-03-2009, 02:08 PM
This might help you. I have made over 200 Lego parts in Autodesk Inventor. You can download them at my website: http://sites.google.com/site/krisbase/ and go to the Lego page. Have fun! :]

youngWilliam14
07-06-2009, 01:10 PM
they were showing some FTC stuff in Pro/E. i'll bet you can find some legos for that

youngWilliam14
07-06-2009, 01:13 PM
yeah, take a look at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7B7-VukHwYM
and
http://jacquesmichel.tripod.com/id13.html

maybe you can ask that guy for the lego parts?

mplanchard
07-06-2009, 01:32 PM
Hi Elgin

Here is a complete model of tribot http://blogs.solidworks.com/teacher/2009/01/solidworks-tribot-assembly-steps-to-make-lego-mindstorm-r-robot.html

Create sub assemblies and load them light weight - this wont require so much time.

There are other LEGO models at www.3dcontentcentral.com. Marie