Do you want to make Lego bricks and projects all by yourself? Then there is a great way to do so through 3D printing your Lego bricks. And if you have a 3D printer, then you will surely have a wonderful time with it.
Here, I will take you through an ultimate guide to 3D print Legos. So, without wasting further time, let’s get right into the process of making your 3D-printed Lego models.
- 1 How to make 3D printed Lego
- 1.1 Step 1 – Getting the design files
- 1.2 Step 2 – Uploading the design file to the software
- 1.3 Step 3 – Check up on the printer settings.
- 1.4 Step 4 – Printing the model.
- 1.5 Step 5 – Finishing it up
- 2 Recommended 3d print Legos models
- 3 Frequently asked questions
- 4 Wrap up
How to make 3D printed Lego
If you have a quality 3D printer, then printing Lego on it isn’t that difficult at all. In most cases, you will want to have a printer that can print miniature models to give you the best results for your needs.
In the process, you will have to do the following steps to make your 3D-printed Legos at home by yourself. So, let’s take it step by step.
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Step 1 – Getting the design files
The first thing you will need is the files with the design that you want to print. It can be a Lego brick or a whole Lego model, depending on what you are printing. There are several ways to get your desired design files.
Downloading the file from internet resources
Starting with the easiest way is to download or get a design file online. You will find a lot of different 3D printable Lego design files out there on the internet. Download the file and upload it to your slicer software.
This is an excellent option for people who don’t want to spend too much time and effort on the design. It’s a very easy and quick way to get a design ready without having to overthink. And you also get a lot of varieties that can help you come up with excellent Lego models.
Make your design file yourself.
If you are creative and passionate about designing your Legos, then this can be a great option to get the files. Of course, it involves a lot of effort and requires time, but it’s going to be worth it for sure. Because here you can be creative and make something that you will surely love to have.
All you have to do here is, get a CAD package that will let you make your 3D printable design file. There are various CAD packages that you can use; among them, 3DBuilder and TinkerCAD have wide popularity.
After making a file, you can use it yourself and even share it with others on the internet. There are lots of repositories to share your 3D printable design files with others. It’s an excellent option for people who want to make something unique and be creative with their models.
Scanning a design
This works best if you are trying to repair or replicate a Lego model. Or if you want to add a unique touch to an existing Lego model, then this is a great way as well. But to do this, you will need to have a printer that has a 3D scanner. You can also get additional 3D scanners out there.
What you do here is simple: scan the model you want to copy and then create the design file from that. And if you want to add your unique touch, you will see an edit option on the scanner, which will let you edit the design.
Usually, people use this method when they have lost their Lego pieces or repaired some of them.
Step 2 – Uploading the design file to the software
Once you get your design file in the STL format, you can upload that to your slicer software. It’s the standard 3D printing process, so you shouldn’t have any issues with this step. Now, if you have made your designs or edited a scanned design, make sure to have it in STL format.
Step 3 – Check up on the printer settings.
Next up, you have to check the settings of your 3D printer. You have to make sure that it corresponds to the required stages of the filament. Then save the G-code.
After that, you have to load up your filament in the printer. Then load up the G-code on your 3D printer. Before you go ahead with all this, you should do a test run to check if the settings are correct or not.
Step 4 – Printing the model.
Now, it’s time to get on with the printing stage. To do this, you have to preheat your printer’s bed according to the filament you are using. Always make sure that you have selected PLA as the printing material.
When the printing bed is preheated to the required amount, you can start up the printing process. It’s the regular thing you do when you use your 3D printer. The only thing to keep in mind here is that you choose the correct filament material and have the proper settings for the material.
After starting up the process, just let the printer do its job, and you wait for the printing process to finish.
Step 5 – Finishing it up
Once the printer has done printing the model, it should automatically stop. But don’t touch the model right away. Please wait for a while to let the 3D model cool down and then get it off the printer. Check up the models for any flaws or defects.
If you find any issues with the models, you may have to work on the settings. In most cases, changing the settings slightly fixes the issue of bad prints. However, you shouldn’t have any problems if you always use a particular set of settings that you have already tested out.
And that’s it; you are done with the whole Lego-making process with your 3D printer. It’s pretty much the same as 3D printing regular models. The only thing here is to get the designs right and the material right. Other than that, you have all the similar steps as regular 3D printing.
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Recommended 3d print Legos models
Well, if you have a particular project in mind, then you can surely work with that. Or you can start with the very basic Lego bricks. But I have got some suggestions for 3D printing Lego models.
These are great for testing out the possibilities with 3D printing Lego models. So, if you have no idea where to begin, you can try any of these out. Let’s get started-
Lego Mini figures:
You can make some Lego mini figurines to start up your own Lego set. They are pretty easy to do and available on the internet. If you don’t want to make your design, then this is an excellent place to start.
You can even try making different types of items out of Lego mini-figures. One popular option is to print out Lego mini-figure keychains. The reason is that it’s quite usable in your daily life, so it’s not a complete waste. And at the same time, you will be able to test the process.
The start of any Lego construction starts from Lego blocks. Aside from the different Lego figurines and models, most Lego designs have Lego blocks as their base.
You can make a lot of Lego blocks and open up the possibility for going creative with what you make using the blocks. Also, try making different sizes of Lego blocks for versatility.
It’s also a great option to make as a toy to gift to children. Just print out a lot of Lego bricks and pack them up nicely. That’s it; you got a gift for kids. And, who doesn’t love to play with Legos?
Duplo to Brio converter:
Now, this is a very popular project many people try out for 3D printing Lego models. This one allows you to have a combination of Lego toys with other toys. Specifically, you can use wooden Brio train tracks in your Lego project with this model.
This is more like an adapter that helps you attach the Brio tracks to your Lego setup. It also opens up whole new possibilities with the Lego designs and brio tracks for you or your kids.
Well, if you don’t mind going creative with your Lego project, then this is a great thing to pick up on. Go for the technical gear set to create some mechanical Lego projects that will awe strike people. You may even surprise yourself.
To start with it, it’s better to go with the downloadable designs rather than creating your own. Especially if you are starting in Lego making, then going for the downloadable designs is the best for this case. Because here, you have to be precise with the measurements, shapes, and designs for the gears to work correctly.
Aside from these, you can always find all kinds of Lego parts out there with printable files. Whether you want to create your project using different parts or need some replacement parts, you can do it all.
The suggestions I gave are solely for those who don’t know what to do or where to begin. With these, you can start with your journey in Lego model printing. Also, this will give you an idea of all the possibilities you have with Lego model printing.
Frequently asked questions
Here are some common questions people often ask about 3D printing Lego models-
Q-1- What are the advantages of Lego model printing?
There are several advantages that you get in Lego model printing. Such as-
- It gives you more freedom in making your unique Lego projects and models. You can have your designs. This makes Lego building much more fun and interesting.
- You can easily make the Lego parts that you may have lost or broken. You can either use a scanner, or you can download the files of the similar Lego part.
- 3D Lego printing allows you to combine Lego toys or Lego setup with other setups to create your fantasy world. It’s a great way to express your creativity with Lego designs.
Q-2- Are 3D printing Lego models legal?
There is nothing wrong with 3D printing Lego models, as the initial patent for Lego Blocks has already run out. However, you can’t print Lego models that are still patented. Neither can you use the name Lego on your blocks or pieces you print? Doing either of those is still illegal.
Q-3- Are 3D printed Legos any good?
If you compare them with the actual Legos, they are nowhere near the real thing. Actual Lego blocks come with excellent precision and quality in every part and block. You can’t match any of that with a 3D-printed Lego set.
You can still get a good quality Lego print with a high-quality 3D printer. It will not match the actual Lego in precision and quality, but it can blend with them quite well.
Q-4- What are the limitations with 3D printed Legos?
There are several limitations to the 3D printed Legos compared to the actual thing. And to be honest, there is nothing you can do about it either.
The first limitation is the accuracy of the blocks or parts. Actual Lego parts are made with high precision that you can’t get out of a 3D printer. You will need advanced machines that Lego uses to make their models.
Secondly, the quality of the 3D-printed Legos will be as good as the filament material you use. Comparing that to the actual material of Legos is just absurd. You can’t match that quality with 3D-printed Legos.
Lastly, the durability of actual Legos is very impressive. No matter how hard you try, you can’t get that kind of build quality with the 3D-printed Legos.
To sum up, it’s quite easy to 3D print Legos, and you don’t have to do too much to get that done either. Just having a quality 3D printer and knowing some crucial settings will get the job done for you. As for the Lego models, you can go with different options that I have discussed above.