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Legal Building Techniques / Purism

DaddyDeuceDaddyDeuce Member Posts: 272
edited May 2012 in Building and Techniques
If a building technique is ever used by the LEGO group, does that make the technique by definition "purist"?


  • dougtsdougts Member Posts: 4,110
    I suppose it makes it "endorsed" or "supported". Perhaps in the context you are talking about it might be akin to saying it's a "canonical" technique.
  • fyrmedhattfyrmedhatt Member Posts: 128
    edited March 2012
    Jamie Berard seems to have done a powerpoint on "legal" connections a few years back, talking about which type of connections the designers are supposed to do, and which they should stay away from due to stability problems or part fatigue. I believe these rules were established as part of the Lego renaissance from 2005 onwards as quality assurance.

    Here it is: Lego

    Other "illegal" connections were used by designers prior to this, so if your gauge of connections is what Lego has ever used, then you have many more options. I don't know of any resource that shows every building technique Lego has ever used though, so you might have to do thorough research to find them.
  • sidersddsidersdd Member Posts: 2,432
    Thanks for the Powerpoint. Very nice. Similar to the USS Constitution example, the brick built horses in the 375 classic yellow castle used the "illegal" technique of wedging a tile between studs.
  • DaddyDeuceDaddyDeuce Member Posts: 272
    What about sawing pieces in half? Is LEGO does it then does it become a "canonical" technique?
  • sidersddsidersdd Member Posts: 2,432
    ^ Such as hose/tubing? Sure.
  • DaddyDeuceDaddyDeuce Member Posts: 272
    edited March 2012
    ^ Such as bricks and other elements...
  • prof1515prof1515 Member Posts: 1,550
    Only sawing smartass AFOLs is legal. Sawing parts in half...that's obscene.
  • DaddyDeuceDaddyDeuce Member Posts: 272
    edited March 2012
    What about this then? "Obscene" or now a canonical technique?

    Lego Star Wars UCS X-Wing 7191 RARE Store Display

  • sidersddsidersdd Member Posts: 2,432
    ^ Heh-heh, yeah, I've seen that before. Bizarre. Gluing and screwing and all sorts of other things go into those displays.
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    Does anyone know if the correct thing to do when building is to make sure all the LEGO logos are the same way up (where possible) when building? Or do I take things too far sometimes?
  • NeilJamNeilJam Member Posts: 272
    I don't think having the logos on the studs the same direction matters for many people. That said, I also tend to try and make them match where the studs are visible. Maybe it's just some slight OCD.
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP Member Posts: 1,917
    ^^ Yea, I think you're taking this way too far. No one can really see or care which way the logos are facing.
  • dougtsdougts Member Posts: 4,110
    ^ on similar lines. Take this piece for example:

    I find that there is a very slight left/right variation in this piece, thus when stacking them, I always take care to make sure the stud with the injection mark on it is always lined up over the same stud on the brick underneath, etc. this results in a more uniform appearance.
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    ^^ Yea, I think you're taking this way too far. No one can really see or care which way the logos are facing.
    It depends on the scale of the model. If you do a microscale building on an 8x8 plate or smaller, it really shows when you look at it.
  • prof1515prof1515 Member Posts: 1,550
    I cut my minifigures in half to see if they'll scream.
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    edited March 2012
    The whole concept of 'purism' in Lego building is, to me, ridiculous. If you are happy with modifying elements, why should you care what anybody else feels about it? Set you own boundaries, if you need to, based on what feels right to you; you're not harming anyone else. Everyone's boundaries for this are different; no one's view is either 'wrong' or 'right' ... in my opinion, of course ;-)
    "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law"
  • prof1515prof1515 Member Posts: 1,550
    edited March 2012
    I remember the Lego Purists group. Their logo was a BURP with a slash through it. A lot of Lego purists began in opposition to Lego's increasing reliance on pieces that could otherwise be created from existing ones (like the BURPs or the 1984 castle wall segments which took the place of several regular bricks). Modifying Lego seems to be a later consideration though a natural one since the idea of Lego purism was to simply build with the existing palette of basic bricks.
  • PerijovePerijove Member Posts: 116
    edited May 2012
    Hello all,

    I've been a long time fan of Brickset and this is my first post. I hope this helps others as much as I hope it helps me.

    I guess the usual protocol for first posts is an introduction. I am a Mechanical Engineer who has worked on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover along with a few other spacecraft. I'm also the guy who built this: , which you will soon see relates to my question.

    Any project on CUUSOO, in order to be released, will have to adhere to the techniques that are considered legal by the LEGO Group. The best resource I have found so far has been the presentation called "Stressing the Elements" by Jaime Berard. Here are a few links to this useful guide: and The guide, however, is a little old and I think it would be great if this thread became a place to learn more about what LEGO considers legal or not.

    I have recently been working on updating my CUUSOO model to keep within accepted LEGO building guidelines. Right now, my model uses the technique of assembling a Technic pin into a round 1X1 brick, which according to Jaime's guide, is not legal due to possible residual stresses. If you look closely, you can see this technique used in the "neck" that supports the head of my rover model.

    I have worked on several alternative solutions and the best one involves using the newish 1x1 round plate with the hollow stud that is found in the games theme: So, finally, here's my question. Is it really okay to have have bars go through these hollow studs? So far, I have not seen LEGO actually do this. They've mostly just used them as eyes for creatures in the games. Are they worried about these parts breaking if bars are put through them? I also wouldn't mind knowing why these parts have so far not appeared in any sets outside the games theme. It seems too useful to be so restricted.

    Ultimately, I have no problem with "illegal" techniques used in many of the great MOCs out there. I'll bend the rules myself from time to time. I do find it interesting and useful to know what LEGO considers legal or not and would love to hear from others about any other current rules that LEGO adheres to.

  • caperberrycaperberry Member Posts: 2,226
    Hi Perijove, it's a lovely model.

    In short, I don't know the answer! But I wouldn't be too concerned about remaining 'legal', as far as I am aware this is not a consideration when they approve CUSSOO models. LEGO will assess the model and redesign it wherever they think necessary. I've read Jamie's doc yet still see some rules broken in official LEGO models.

    The Q about 1x1 dots with holes was raised at AFOLCON; designer Mark Stafford answered that it was something to do with Legal who weren't happy about not being able to have the 'LEGO' mark on a stud. He explained it as best he could and I don't remember exactly what he said, but it was clear he thought it was ridiculous, as did we!
  • mressinmressin Member Posts: 843
    Slides 19 and 20 might give insight to a certain degree. Would be interesting to know what plastic the hollow studs are made of.
  • DianeKSDianeKS Member Posts: 3
    A technic 1 x 1 brick connected to another identical brick by a short connector rod is used in Lego set 5891 to support the garage door. One such connection is put on each side of the top of the door so it can be lifted up and down. I don't know why this would be illegal since Lego uses it in their own sets.
  • andheandhe Member Posts: 3,940
    edited May 2012
    ^The 'illegality' only occurs when the connector pin can't be 'clicked' in place. Putting a connector into a 1x1 round, although it fits, does not click, so the pin remains squeezed, causing stress. However I don't think this is what you are describing.

    @perijove looking on bricklink, it does seem the hollow stud plate is only in game sets so far. However I have the Minotaurus game and can confirm that the minotaur is constructed by putting a bar through the open stud, so it must classify as a legal connection. If a somewhat fiddly one to remove.
  • dougtsdougts Member Posts: 4,110
    ^ official sets quite frequently have a bar inserted completed through a round 1x1 brick (with hole in stud). I don't see how inserting a bar through a round 1x1 plate with hole is any different than this.
  • luckyrussluckyruss Member Posts: 872
    ^ or indeed a 1x1 cone, which also seems pretty similar.
  • PerijovePerijove Member Posts: 116
    Thanks andhe for the info on the Minotaurus game. I have several of the games, but not that one so I didn't see that they utilized the hollow stud. It's good to have proof now. Thanks to everyone else for the useful and interesting replies.

    I was thinking that maybe LEGO was avoiding putting bars through the hollow stud in the new 1x1 round plate because there wasn't enough material around the edge to keep the piece from splitting if too much force was accidentally applied. I'm sure many of you have seen this happen with things like Technic bushings. Bricks with hollow studs wouldn’t have this problem and clips have open ends that allow for some flexing.

    It's a great piece and I hope it eventually comes out in other themes with other colors. It's not the only LEGO piece that does not have the LEGO logo on it, an issue caperberry describes above (I’m pretty sure the 1x1 round bricks and cones are pieces with studs and yet no logo). Hopefully that doesn’t ultimately prevent the part from seeing more use.
  • fyrmedhattfyrmedhatt Member Posts: 128
    Check out the known sets that include the piece on Bricklink, and you'll see that the Glendale Arizona Lego Store opening model has horn/fang pieces lodged in these hollow 1x1 plates, so it seems like that is a valid connection.

    Lego has been known to do similar bar through hole connections, the only exception where this would not be allowed was if both pieces were trans/clear colored elements, as the increased friction of that plastic type would make the bar stuck.

    The Jamie Berard reference is really your best reference, and I'm fairly sure those rules are still what the designers use.
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    ^ Gluing and screwing and all sorts of other things go into those displays.
    LOL... for a moment I thought you were talking about the Rev. Brendan Powell Smith Sodom & Gomorrah Biblical Diorama.... ;-)
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam Member Posts: 574
    Jamie Berard's powerpoint was very interesting. Other than the first technique using System and Technic elements, I don't think I've used any of those illegal builds. Many of them I've experiment with, but rejected using them for the reasons Jamie give. Felt too tight and was worried about taking apart or damaging elements. I know in one case I could tell things were as flush as the should have been and that would cause problems farther down the road.

    That 0.12 mm difference between the System Techine elements is interesting. There's a couple times I've used this illegal build. Sometimes there's been no problem, others there's a minor issue. Knowing there's a 0.12 mm difference I may go back and see if I can make my build legal (and more stable).
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