Wednesday, November 30, 2011

TBs TechPoll 27 (Results) - 2011, 3rd Quarter - Favorite week TechVideos

TBs poll for '2011, 3rd Quarter Favorite week TechVideos' is now closed, and above 200 have voted during the past two weeks.
Poll objective was to let you choose your favorite videos, from those highlighted here every week at TBs 'Week TechVideo' category, during the 3rd quarter of 2011.

Below, the usual 1st, 2nd and 3rd most voted videos for your review.

#1- "Week TechVideo, 2011 #27 - Ball factory GBC module", by Akiyuky

#2 - "Week TechVideo, 2011 #31 - 6x6 Articulated Hauler", by Han Crielaard

#3 - "Week TechVideo, 2011 #29 - Murcielago", by Crowkillers

Congratulations to the producers of the most popular videos among those featured here during the 3rd quarter of 2011!

Monday, November 28, 2011

TBs TechChallenge, 2011 - Reverse 9392 - Last Call!

TBs TechREVERSE Challenge 2011, is running!
Take the last few days left and don't forget to send your submission until the 1st of December 2011, 16:00 CET*

This time, the model in contest is a LEGO Technic set from the 1H2012 assortment - 9392 (Quad Bike). 

Who's gonna take the prizes?

*) Use the link provided, to find the correspondent local time at your own Time Zone.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Week TechVideo, 2011 #47 - 3 functions through one turntable

It was back in 2003, with the mythic JCB JS220 Excavator from Jennifer Clark, that she shown us how to fully implement the routing of two independently driven axles, through the center of one Technic turntable [1, 2]. It took us another 6 years, till we came to see the same principle applied into the crane of an official LEGO Technic set (8258, Crane Truck), by Uwe.
Since then, some have tried to take it one step further and find one way to route three axle functions through one turntable...

Someone raised the discussion, earlier this year on EBs and then finally a viable solution came up.
Member blueShinyApple managed to convince everyone, on his concept [3] and soon fmmjqtft made a nice animation using MLCad, LDView and Blender to demonstrate it.

Here it is the corresponding LDraw file from fmmjqtft, if you need it.

However, the solution is quite big, complex and should have a considerable friction to be used at a commercial model. Don't think this time we're going to see it at an official LEGO Technic set, anytime soon...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

TBs TechTips 35 - Oldham and Schmidt couplings

Sariel made an interesting demonstration and realization from Oldham and Schmidt couplings, with LEGO Technic parts. 

The Oldham and Schmidt couplings are two various mechanical solutions for transmitting drive between two parallel axles that are not aligned in line.
Geeky as he called it, but might become useful at some point in time...

As usual you may read a full explanation by Paul, at

Friday, November 25, 2011

TBs TechTalk 07 - Designing 8110, Unimog - Call for questions!

Yes, I know we still have not presented the outcome for this other interview...
But somehow it urges now to proceed with another interview and later we will resume to the previous one. Promised!

Once more TBs is going to run an interview with a LEGO Designer.
As usual we decided to involve the community in the process, and let you come up with your own questions, related with the 2011 LEGO Technic flagship model (8110, Unimog U400) and respective design process. Hence we will be addressing Markus Kossman (Kossi) regarding the unknown about this fantastic model.

Please feel to ask as many questions as you like, by dropping a comment to this post.
In the meantime we will prepare our own set of questions and wait until next Friday (2.Dec) to gather all your inputs as well.

Although, you should be aware of the following remarks:
  • The TBs editors team will prepare their own set of questions and select among your inputs, those questions that will be forward to the Technic Designers team.

  • The questions will be grouped by similarity to prepare the final set, hence not all of them will make into the final set of questions to send.
    Also the questions will be selected by relevance and the questions that likely could not be answered by the Designers, will be dropped upfront. Obviously we refer to questions somehow related with future products (either new sets or new parts) and eventually others as well (depends on what is being asked).

  • TBs team members will do their best to consider all your inputs into a reasonable amount of questions, but of course there is also a limit to the total number of questions we should send.
    There is always a subjective judgment on the selection/gathering criteria. By leaving your questions, you are accepting these will be considered but may not find their way into the final set of questions.

  • After all and regardless of the amount and questions to send, it will be up to the Designers team to select those they will want to answer (if not all of them).

This is again a great opportunity for most of us, to get the proper answers and find more about what's going on behind the scenes.
So please don't be shy and ask!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fear it!...

Something is about to come from the darkness...

Found these new photos at Crowkillers' website and Brickshelf folder...
Looking at some details, it seems it uses the latest chassis designed by him - "2012 All Wheel Drive Transmission". Which means awesome specs. 

Let's wait for more details. 

Meanwhile a whole set of pictures has been published at Paul's website.

Feature list:
  • 5+R Gearbox (2.08, 1.60, 1.25, 1.00, 0.75 / 2.25).
  • Rear Drive or AWD, selectable from dashboard switch.
  • Full independent suspension.
  • In-car plus HoG steering.
  • Gullwing doors, driven by bevel gears on the rear of the car.
  • Openable hood and hatch doors.
Amazing specs for a car this size (presumably 1:10)

Last Update: 2011.Nov.23 23:55 CET

Monday, November 21, 2011

TBs TechTips 34 - Instructions for Sheepo's mini sequential 4-speed gearbox

On his latest car (MINI Cooper Mark I), Sheepo (Fernando Benavides) used a mini sequential 4-speed gearbox, or wasn't he the master of sequential gearboxes. 

After many requests Sheppo decided to publish some building instructions, to help you build your version and use it in your own MOCs. 

Find all the details at Sheepo's blog or download the instructions here.

And pay attention to some remarks he makes near the end of the post in his blog, as you need to replace some parts, which does not exist  in LDD. 

After building this one, if you still want a challenge, maybe you should try the instructions for Sheepo's 7+R sequential gearbox...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week TechVideo, 2011 #46 - Technic Container Crane

Barman (Barry Bosman) shown his new minifig scale Technic container crane, that uses PF to load and unload containers on the 10219 Maersk train, the trucks or in the depot. Despite the 3 PF M-motors, the crane also uses one old 9V micro motor.

It is not mentioned, but I guess this film was taken at LW 2011 in Zwolle, last month.

Building instructions are also promised for sometime ahead.  

Friday, November 18, 2011

TBs TechChallenge, 2011 - Reverse 9392 - Prize Add-on

The Challenge is moving and the prizes waiting for your participation. 

However, we are not yet done and there is something more to offer! 

I've agreed one extra prize with Sergio Reano (the author of SR 3D Builder), to offer the winner of the TechREVERSE Challenge 2011.

As you might know, Sergio has recently released 'Animation Console' for 'SR 3D Builder', which brings increased functionality, at a 35€ fee to get the respective license. This is the way to support his continuous efforts developing this excellent CAD suite, specially useful for LEGO Technic digital builders.
So in addition to the signed 9395 Pick-Up Tow Truck box, the winner will also get a licence from 'SR 3D Builder with Animation Console' with free upgrades valid for one year (not as the commercial licence which includes two years upgrades, but one specific for this contest).

If the winner of this Challenge, presents us one Animation of his 9392 model, made with SR 3D Builder Animation Console, till 30 days after the contest results announcement, then he will get a second year of free downloadable upgrades. 
Because some complex animation schemas may not be yet possible to reproduce with the actual version of the Animation Console, the winner must create or rebuild the model with most of supported animation features, to gain the second year of upgrades.

Meanwhile I leave you with a couple of videos from Sergio, demonstrating the capabilities from 'SR 3D Builder with Animation Console', for you to see what's possible to do and what is it all about.

But these are not all the videos available regarding 'SR 3D Builder with Animation Console'. You may find a few more, from Sergio's YouTube Channel.

Looking forward to see the winner's abilities with this tool sometime ahead, and who knows also from some others who have bought this premium functionality. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

TBs TechChallenge, 2011 - Reverse 9392 (Quad Bike)

TBs is now releasing the third edition from the TechREVERSE Challenge, in collaboration with the LEGO Technic product line. Thus we decided to bring one of the 1H2012 models into contest.

As usual, the challenge will consist in reverse-build one of the new models coming in 2012.
Among the several possibilities we chose one that wouldn't be just the smallest in the line, and again a model that doesn't include any new element, despite some existing elements in new colors. This is not necessarily a criteria as we may have asked the participants to simply ignore that new element, or provide you with a model for that new element, like we did in 2009. However we decided to avoid it for this time again.

So and so the set selection for the current TechREVERSE Challenge issue is the 9392 (Quad Bike).

And then the challenge TBs has for you, is exactly this!
Reverse and build your own digital reproduction from the 9392 main model, based on the product pictures available below.

As an attempt to innovate, this time we decided to allow submissions made in any of the most common CAD tools in use by the FOLs, for LEGO models (LDraw/MLCadLDD and SR 3D Builder). 

Of course you may need to download and install any of these tools and some advices given earlier regarding LDraw, may apply.
Specially make sure you use the latest parts library available for the tool you're using. Otherwise it may affect the ranking of your participation.

As for every contest, there must be some rules defined, that will help us later to determine who's the contest winner, so read them carefully.

Challenge Goal:
  • Reverse engineer and reproduce a digital model, from the Challenge proposed LEGO Technic set.
  • The reproduction should be exact (model complete assembly, parts list, colors and positioning).

Challenge Participation Rules:
  • Every contestant should submit his participation in the form of one single digital file, compatible with the latest version of one of the tools allowed in this contest (at contestant choice) - LDR, MPD, LXF or L3B.
    Hierarchical organization into sub-models is also allowed, for the tools supporting this.
  • The contestants are allowed to enter one single submission only (always the first one submitted).
  • Each contest submission must include one single model only.
  • Contestants must also include one render image from their model, with a minimum resolution of 800x600 pixels.
    It would be great if you have skills for photo-realistic rendering, but not considered as criteria for the purpose of this contest evaluation.
  • Any eventual special elements in the model must be reproduced accordingly (e.g. flexible parts, shock absorbers, etc...). Reproduction should be as close as possible to the original.
  • All the submissions must be sent via e-mail, to the TBs mailbox setup for the purpose of this challenge, with indication of the applicant identification (full name and nickname if applicable), postal* and e-mail addresses.

    TBs TechREVERSE Challenge mailbox: challenge[at]

Classification Criteria:
  • The winning participation will be the first submission sent, that exactly matches the LEGO official model being reproduced: model complete assembly, parts color, parts positioning and parts list.
  • If none of the submissions fill all the criteria above, it will be selected the first submitted model, that gets closer to the original, based the total mismatches counted.
  • Unlike in the previous editions, we will now introduce differentiated weights for each type of mismatch as a measure to differentiate the mismatches severity and increase the evaluation fairness.
    Each mismatch will sum a certain number of negative points (penalties) per occurrence, based on the respective mismatch type. The participation with less penalties wins.

    Below the penalties per mismatch type:
    -3 points, Missing parts or subparts.
    -3 points, Wrong parts or subparts (includes friction/frictionless differences).
    -3 points, Extra parts or subparts.
    -3 points, Parts or subparts misplacement (deviation and/or orientation).
    -3 points, Wrong color used for a part or subpart (if element visible at some of the pictures available).
    -2 point, Wrong color used for a part or subpart (if not visible from any of the pictures available).
    -1 point, Every other eventual situation not covered above (e.g.: wrong spring strength, significant routing deviation from the original on flexible elements, etc.).
  • Classification may not go through all the mismatches until the last one, once the amount gets too high and it gets clear the participation won't get among the first five.

  • All the submissions must be sent to the mailbox above indicated, in the next two weeks. Thus before the 1st of December 2011, 16:00 CET**.
  • The organization reserves the right to extend the submission period, if there is a reasonable justification.
  • Final results are expected to be published by the beginning of January 2012 (exact date may vary depending on the amount of submissions to the contest).


  • The Challenge winner will be awarded with one set sponsored by the LEGO Technic product line and signed by the respective LEGO Designer.
  • There will be also extra prizes for the 2nd and up to the 5th place.

And here they are. 

1st place - 9395 Pick-Up Tow Truck + One licence for 'SR 3D Builder with Animation Console' ***

2nd place - 9394 Jet Plane

3rd to 5th places - 9392 Quad Bike

  • In the event of any eventual leak with further official details about this model, during the contest submission period, it may become a justification to close the submissions period anytime earlier.
  • Any eventual issues not foreseen in the contest rules, shall be evaluated and decided by the TBs editors.
  • The organization reserves the right to cancel the contest at anytime, if participation quality levels are not getting satisfactory.

Take part in the fun!
And do not forget... these unique prizes can become yours.

*) Rest assured your private data won't be published, or used for any other purpose other than this contest.
**) Use the link provided, to find the correspondent local time at your own Time Zone.
***) With 1 year downloadable upgrades, extendable to two years under subject to the offer terms. Read full details here.

Updated with additional item for the 1st prize, as described originally in this post.

Last Update: 2011.Nov.18 20:05 CET

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