Brick Builders Assemble

Update 14 Oct 2017: my Lego Ideas project submission, Planetary Outpost, has been accepted. Please visit my page there, support, and help spread the word. If you want to see this as a set, we need 10,000 votes for Lego to consider the idea!

The building process has begun. It’s quite exciting to create in the real world what has only existed virtually for over a year.

Obviously a large project of around 2,000 bricks (I’ve lost count) would be a nightmare to recreate were it not for LDD’s Building Guide Mode.

This feature is awesome – for the most part: LDD analyses your model and creates a step-by-step animated guide to assemble it. The killer feature as far as I’m concerned? Being able to rotate and zoom into the building at any time of the construction process.

Assemble 2

Except it’s not perfect: sometimes it leaves holes in your model you have to fill in later – which means disassembling a section and reassembling it. If I didn’t know what was missing ahead of time since it’s my design (!), this would be really frustrating. Other times it oddly insists that gravity plays no part in the creation process.

You can generate an HTML guide of that set of instructions, but you then lose any animation or ability to rotate the model, and as this instruction is automatic, sometimes you’d have no idea where a particular piece is supposed to go from that HTML version.

Assemble 3

I’ve had to split my design into multiple LDD projects to force the Build Mode to create what I need in a relevant and sensible order.

These glitches aside, it’s a vital part of the build process because without it, I don’t think i would’ve been able to recreate my project so easily.

One thing I discovered though is that real world building brings up design flaws which weren’t apparent before.

A hinge system I’d created needs to be reinforced, another part is too vulnerable to gravity (there’s that pesky gravity again!), and yet another needs to be tweaked. I’m sure there will be more as building progresses. For the time being, the changes I need to make are actually minor yet necessary alterations which BrickLink can easily help with (I’ve found out how to use the system now! Too many options for a neophyte, but I’m a neophyte no longer!)

So while I await replacement parts I can share with you that the assembling experience is a lengthy but positive one, the painted pieces look awesome, and I’m now looking for backdrops as I’m nearing the stage where I’ll be setting up a photoshoot! 😀

Until the next time,

Captain out.

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