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Casting LEGO bricks!

Casting LEGO bricks!

by scientiffic | updated October 08, 2015

I tried casting my own LEGO bricks! It ended up being a tricky process where, in the end, I created a mold using LEGOs and casted some plastic bricks. Unfortunately, the pegs are not precise enough to actually stack the bricks. Turns out making LEGOs are more difficult than I thought!

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I tried casting my own LEGO bricks!  It ended up being a tricky process where, in the end, I created a mold using LEGOs and casted some plastic bricks. Unfortunately, the pegs are not precise enough to actually stack the bricks.  Turns out making LEGOs are more difficult than I thought!

May 22, 2013 at 4:32 PM
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I started off by working in SolidWorks to create the mold.  The trickiest part was remember to create the positive of the part (rather than the negative).  To do this, I created a model of the part and then created the mold by splitting the part in two.

May 22, 2013 at 4:37 PM
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I machined the mold on the Shopbot because it's faster than the Modela.  It still took 2 hours (too long), though!

May 22, 2013 at 4:40 PM
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First, I had to cast the Silicone mold that I could then use to create many LEGO bricks.  I mixed the two parts of the OOMOO casting material in equal parts (by volume) and mixed them together using a popsicle stick.

To reduce the number of bubbles, I made sure to stir by shearing with the popsicle mixing stick (rather than mixing), and I tapped the plastic cup on the table a few times to let the bubbles rise to the surface.

Luckily, OOMOO casts pretty quickly, so after about 40 minutes, I had my mold!

May 22, 2013 at 10:36 PM
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To start off, I tried casting the bricks in hydrostone, a type of concrete. Unfortunately (as you can see from the images), it didn't quite work out. ) :  It seemed like the walls were too thin in my mold, so the bricks fell apart. =/  I guess back to the drawing board...

May 22, 2013 at 11:24 PM
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It took a long time to design the CAD model of the mold and machine it, so I decided to try a quicker way to create a mold.

I saw that last year, Jie casted some bricks using LEGO bricks themselves (so she didn't have to machine a mold from scratch).  

I created the mold using LEGO bricks (a fitting material!).

May 24, 2013 at 5:39 PM
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Creating the Silicone mold was pretty straightforward since I already went through the process once.  Luckily, not much of the material leaked out through the cracks of the LEGOs.  I did have to trim the mold a little bit using a razor blade to get rid of excess material.

May 25, 2013 at 5:40 PM
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Finally, I casted the LEGO bricks using plastic!  The process was pretty similar to using the OOMOO material, but I had to work faster since the plastic cure time is much quicker.  This also meant I could make bricks much more quickly.  Unfortunately, the bottom of the bricks are not precise enough to actually stack.  I guess that's why we have LEGO factories! ( :

May 25, 2013 at 8:41 PM
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This is super cool! As someone who has never done anything like this before, why did you choose the materials that you did?
almost 3 years ago
I just ended up using the plastic resin that was lying around in the media lab. ( : I tried to make it as close as I could to an actual LEGO piece!
over 2 years ago
I second zhaveriane's question, I'm also intrigued by your materials choice for this awesome project.
over 2 years ago
for clarification, the concrete was used mostly just to test the available casting material in the shop. this project was for a class I took at the media lab. I ended up casting another character in all the different types of materials that we have in the shop, which you can view here: http://fab.cba.mit.edu/classes/863.11/people/tiffany.tseng/6/images/tt_army.png
over 2 years ago