Monday, April 19, 2010

LDD for Technic?

Traditionally Technic creators have used either photos or LDraw to document their constructions, and sometimes with stunning results. However the learning curve for LDraw is quite steep (despite the existence of several tutorials). On of the main 'problems' with LDraw used to be the fact that parts don't simply click together and that traditionally LDraw even permits the existence of a part completely or partially inside another*.

For those who have never tried LDraw for these and other reasons, at first LDD looked  like it might be the solution. However, the limited number of available parts and colours, as well as some initial bugs in the program soon made it clear that it wasn't the tool many had hoped for, especially for Technic builders.

A recent development in LDD has changed some of that though. It still isn't the perfect Technic Designer tool, but it may be closer to an interesting starting point for those who want to begin documenting their constructions with a CAD tool.

A recent post on EuroBricks revealed that a minor change in one of the .ini files now gives you access to what is called the LEGO Universe (LU) mode. This mode gives you access to a much larger number of parts and colours, although no longer with the certainty that anything you build can also be ordered - the original purpose of LDD.

For instructions on how to activate LU Mode please refer to the information posted on EuroBricks.

Is it any good? Well judge for yourself: zblj made the following instruction file based on his mini off-roader:

* There is an LDraw compatible tool that does incorporate this click-into-place function as well as many other advanced options, called SR 3D [1][2]


Anonymous said...

Please delete the information on how to activate LU Mode. It states very clearly on the Activation Info that it is NOT to be re-posted on the web, instead link to the original post at Eurobricks. Thanks.

Jetro said...

My apologies, It appears I didn't read as carefully as I should have. This has been emended.

Anonymous said...

the ldd model pictured is zblj's mini tt, not the tt10 lynx. Just to clear that up....

Jetro said...

Again, thanks. Corrected.

Junkstyle Gio said...

Maybe if we ask TLC very nicely with sugar on top (and by great numbers of AFOLs) the models made in LU-mode of LDD will become available for ordering....

Nahhh, don't think so.

But it is a great way to start with CAD-designing!

Dornbi said...

Having the Universe mode is definitely awesome news!

Jernej said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jernej said...

That model was drawn when LDD was still unlocked. But the Lynx is drawn in LU version, and the results are much more spectacular:

Junkstyle Gio said...

Is there a LDD-file already available?

Mark Bellis said...

I think the release of LU mode to AFOLs might have something to do with this article that appeared in the magazine of the Institution of Engineering and Technology a while ago:

The crowd-sourcing of technical design solutions would be a lot easier with Technic parts in the palette, without it having to result in the ability to purchase an LU model at this time.

Are motors etc... included in the LU-mode palette?

Jernej said...

@junkstyle Gio
Here is the link to LDD file of lynx:

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