19 March 2020

Old Elementary: LEGO® technique and geometry articles, part 1

Posted by Admin
Stuck inside much? Here at New Elementary we have been discussing ways to keep you entertained... and we have lots of ideas coming up!

First off we thought you might like to read some specially chosen articles from New Elementary's back catalogue. To start with we went to the beginning; 2013! See if any of these LEGO® articles take your fancy.
It's interesting to recall what new elements came out back then, and still useful info today for your building. These four articles describe parts and their place in the LEGO System, along with some ideas and techniques for using them. Which never gets old!

Each article opens in a new window.

p.s. In that final article I mentioned that once I had enough of that part I would create a LEGO rhombicuboctahedron. Well folks, nearly seven years later, that day has at last come!

LEGO rhombicuboctahedron

It is pretty neat to build. First I stacked two 1x2 plates, then a Brick, Modified 1 x 2 with Studs on 1 Side (Design ID 11211). After taking these pics I realised you could of course simply use Brick, Modified 1 x 2 x 1 2/3 with Studs on 1 Side (22885) in place of that subassembly! In fact that would be stronger. Anyhoo.

Next, attach two of the seed part Wedge 2 x 2 (Slope 45 Corner) (13548) as shown in the right of the picture above. This completes the subassembly – now repeat it another 11 times so you have 12 of these in total. Therefore you need 24 of part 13548 to make this model.

No further parts are required; by arranging them as shown you have enough connection points to build the rhombicuboctahedron. Good luck!

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  1. There are two additional changes you could make, separately or in conjunction, that would further increase the strength. The design of the infrastructure leaves a perfect cube-shaped void in the center. You could add a 2x2 brick sandwiched between a 2x2 top tile and a 2x2 bottom tile (or plate) to fill that core. You can also put #3 axles inside the 1x2x1-2/3 bricks to provide some rigidity in the centers. At the moment, there doesn't seem to be much that can be done with the hollow voids at the corners, since they're all 5x5x5 LDU and parts tend to come in 5x5x6 or 5x5x4 increments.

  2. One thing from the old wedge article that I didn't see mentioned is that the angle of the aircraft wing does match one other part, even though it's not a plate—the 16x4 curved wedge slope (part 45301). It actually lines up perfectly with the wider side of that slope, though there's no part that can continue to line up with the rest of its length.

    1. Bah! Rather than go chase down one of each, I tossed them into MLCad, so it took me a little bet to figure out why they weren't lining up correctly, but it appears you're correct. If you line up the wide ends of both parts it doesn't work, but if you move the wing one stud towards the narrow end of the wedge, it does line up precisely along the angled edges. It's a bit weird that that works, but it makes me wonder how often it's been incorporated into MOCs.

    2. Love this! Thanks Andrew!

  3. For the rhombicuboctahedron my first thought was: you could use the dice from the board games but that thing seems to be a fraction off-system...