Book Structure

Part I: Basics of LEGO building

Who doesn’t have fond memories of playing with LEGO as a child ? For many of us (especially the readers of this book) these colorful plastic bricks continue to hold an irresistible allure that draws us in, even as adults. A part of the allure comes from the fact that LEGO is the perfect medium for adults to explore their creativity and artistic skills. Of course, this would involve moving beyond the building sets you can buy off the shelf and using LEGO to build something that is entirely of your own creation. This book can hopefully serve as a primer to help you do just that. First, we will familiarize ourselves with some basic terms and the most common types of LEGO elements. We will then cover the concepts of scale and proportion before moving on to some basic building techniques that can set the stage for a discussion of more advanced techniques in the later chapters.

Chapter 1 (Introduction to the LEGO System)

Chapter 2 (All About Scale)

Chapter 3 (Basic LEGO Techniques)

Part II: Venturing outside the LEGO grid

The LEGO system, as we have seen, is based on a regular square grid of stud locations. We normally think of LEGO models as being built by stacking bricks, one on top of the other, while staying within the confines of this grid. Finding creative ways to break out of the grid is always the key to designing the most interesting LEGO models. If you take a closer look at these models, you will see that they employ techniques to offset bricks by fractions of the grid unit (a stud), build sideways, create angled walls and even round shapes. Keep reading to discover some of these techniques along with insights into the math that makes them work … 

Chapter 4 (Half-stud offsets)

Chapter 5 (Sideways building aka SNOT)

Chapter 6 (Angled walls)

Chapter 7 (Round shapes)

Part III: Computer-assisted LEGO building

Mosaics and sculptures are not the kinds of LEGO builds you can create just by playing around with a random pile of bricks. You usually have to rely on some kind of software to help you design these. In preparation for writing these chapters, the author decided to dust off his coding skills and try developing his own programs to create LEGO mosaics and sculptures. This way, he hoped to get more insights into the inner workings of software that can create these types of LEGO builds. The following chapters will attempt to demystify the process involved in creating LEGO mosaics and sculptures for the reader.

Chapter 8 (Mosaics)

Chapter 9 (Sculptures)