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Lego Graduation Gifts

My daughter will be graduating from college in the next couple of months and I wanted to give her something special to remind her of LEGO-filled youth and also tie in with her collegiate major. Although it wasn't a super difficult project, I've been working on this MOC periodically over the past 3+ years. I still need to get the frame completed, but at least the hard part is done. Yay!

Special thanks to @klsmith007 for the awesome job he did custom printing the periodic table of elements!



  • catwranglercatwrangler Member Posts: 1,894
    Oh wow, that's such an amazing and personal gift! :)
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John Member Posts: 2,405
    edited March 2017
    Thank you @catwrangler! It was a labor of love. Ironically LEGO is made from ABS, which is one of the many materials she studied as an undergrad. Since she is continuing on to get a Phd in the fall, I expect someday she'll hang it on her office wall for her students to see.
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,779
    Pfft. Chemistry. Just the physics of an atom.

    Sorry. Great job- I may have to make myself a diploma someday.
  • Rainstorm26Rainstorm26 Member Posts: 1,011
    edited March 2017
    ^Chemical engineering....not chemistry...  written by a fellow chemical engineer

    But that display is awesome.  My son graduates from grade school this year and now I am thinking about doing something like this for him.
  • ecmo47ecmo47 Member Posts: 2,101
    Very nice! It will cherished much more then any other gift, I'll bet. 

    You definitely will need to get it framed. Unless you glued all the pieces down, it will need glass to keep it together over time. You may need to replace all those stud-jumpers with regular tiles to keep the surface flat. 
  • Sds407Sds407 Member Posts: 2
    TTU - as in TN Tech? If so, that's where I went and where my daughter is headed in the fall. 
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John Member Posts: 2,405
    edited March 2017
    Sds407 said:
    TTU - as in TN Tech? If so, that's where I went and where my daughter is headed in the fall. 
    Yep @Sds407...that's the place. I have a Visio file of the mosaic if you want a copy to use for your daughter someday. Here's a screencap of the file image. It made it much easier for me to plan out my BL orders. The parts list on the right-hand side excludes the custom printed pieces since they were special order; not BL'd.

  • bandit778bandit778 Member Posts: 2,370
    Very nice mosaic. I actually prefer tiles to plates when doing a mosaic as I think it doesn't look quite so busy when working on a single baseplate build.
    Concerning the framing, when I had my mosaic finished, I had it fixed in place on a standard picture mounting board (so the baseplate couldn't flex) without the glass so it still had the texture of a built picture and I've had no issues with tiles falling off in the year or so it's been hanging up.
    ^ That's slick! Nice work Dad!
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John Member Posts: 2,405
    edited March 2017
    Thanks @MAGNINOMINISUMBRA! I would like to do something similar for my other kids when they finish college, but unfortunately I'm drawing a blank in the ideas department. And to complicate matters, I believe @klsmith007 is no longer making custom tiles.
  • catwranglercatwrangler Member Posts: 1,894
    Maybe you can crowdsource some ideas from the denizens of the forum! What are your other kids studying? 
  • Bricklover18Bricklover18 Member Posts: 722
    That looks amazing! 
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John Member Posts: 2,405
    Maybe you can crowdsource some ideas from the denizens of the forum! What are your other kids studying? 
    Definitely a great idea!! My next child is interested in electrical engineering. I was considering a bunch of custom printed electrical elements on 2x2 tiles with labels for each. For example, resistors, inductors, capacitors, transistors, op amps, logical gates (and, or, not, xand, xor, etc.), diodes, transformers, voltage source, current source, switch, and so forth. In fact, I might be able to break them into groups, sort of like the elements are on the periodic table. The key will be finding someone to do the printing...

    I would be gladly interested in hearing other ideas though...these things are not my strongest suit. :-)
  • catwranglercatwrangler Member Posts: 1,894
    I wonder if it's possible to a circuit board three-dimensionally in a box frame...
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John Member Posts: 2,405
    Update on the graduation present project:

    An important part of this project is the frame. For some dumb reason, I assumed the large gray base-plate #628 was exactly 15"x15". In reality it's a one off size...15 1/16" x 15 1/16" (or roughly 38.5mm x 38.5mm). The standard 15"x15" frames are just too tight and I'm not interested in using matting with a LEGO mosaic, so I decided to make a custom frame.

    I found four 2'x1.5"x0.75" lengths of oak at Lowes and cut a rabbet along their length to hold the LEGO mosaic, the glass, and the backing board. I then used a compound miter saw to cut the 45 degree corner angles. I found and purchased a cool frame tool that holds the corners tightly together while the glued corners dry. Brass corner brackets (shown in the bottom picture) from Lowes will be used to strengthen the corners. I put everything together and now have to sand and stain the frame. Hopefully I can find some non-reflective, anti-UV glass/poly-carbonate at Michaels and it should be close to done. Here is a shot of the frame in its current unfinished condition.

  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu Member Posts: 2,318
    Love those element tiles, a great idea. If one of my boys should show an interest in chemistry would you mind if I borrow the idea?
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John Member Posts: 2,405
    edited April 2017
    Hi @VorpalRyu - Feel free to ask question or use any and all ideas (including the frame) I've put on Brickset. I've been trying to pull this together for at least a couple years now and couldn't have done it without the help of @klsmith007. Anyway, I'm happy to pass on any help I can.
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