Sep 7, 2014 | By Alec

Most of our readers will have spent quite some time playing and building with the world-famous LEGO bricks in their youth – and perhaps even beyond their youth – and this should come as no surprise. The almost endless potential they hold for creative minds is evident, and in that sense they are not very different from 3D printing technology. Then why not combine the two? The developers behind the Taiwan-based Hero Design Studio have come up with a simple but cool open source design for Building Bricks that are compatible with LEGO bricks without breaking their copyright.

Just like the famous LEGO pieces, these MyBuild Core Bricks feature the excellent interlocking system that ensures a solid fit that remains easily detachable. Crucially, however, they differ from the original LEGO concept in that they feature this interlocking system on all sides of their bricks, rather than just the top and bottom. While this means you can't endlessly build with just these bricks alone, they do excellently function as core bricks for original constructions that can be then coated with LEGO pieces. This is even more so the case thanks to their option to include movable attachments for arms and legs.

This means that, rather than replacing your LEGO collection, these bricks are a cool addition to it. It will allow you to more easily build thinner constructions, as the guys behind the Hero Design Studio excellently illustrate with their cool robotic creations. As they state on their website, 'we love mecha, so we've started with developing Mecha Frame, Weaponry Frame, and Airplane Frame. Our frame design allows you to create sleek and premium format model you've ever wanted.'

Watch the MyBuild Core Bricks in action here:

(Click 'HD' for better video quality)

The developer behind this cool concept is Hero Xi-Wei Lee, who has years of experience in production design. As he explained to, he first came up with this idea while playing with his son's LEGOs. Though intended as a present for his son, he started tinkering with the pieces himself in his spare time. While playing with them, he became convinced of the potential that these simple block designs have and realised that it was a great material to be used to present his concepts of product design:

"After I started playing LEGO, I have also used them to build my own toys such as robots, mecha constructions, military vehicles, weapons, and vehicles. In the assembly process I also studied how to use the LEGO parts to create my own work. I wanted my work to have a sense of design and exquisite appearance, and to incorporate the special slot techniques to let the blocks have a delicate model-like appearance."

Having found it difficult to achieve this with ordinary LEGO, Lee decided to develop his own building bricks that will give enthusiasts more variety in the assembly process and will allow the creation of more sophisticated designs.

"So, I developed a core building blocks that is compatible with the LEGO skeleton system, called MyBuild Core Bricks, that is specialized in the creation of movable joints for the skeleton." said Lee. "Not only does it require a lot less LEGO building blocks to achieve your goals, it also makes it simpler to build whatever you're aiming for, while providing your creations with a structure that is stronger than a LEGO original would be. These newly developed building blocks can be used to do the robot skeleton, but can also be used for a vehicle chassis structure. They come with studs on every side and all-sides are buildable, giving you quite a high degree of freedom. However, it is also compatible with the manufacturers brand building blocks."

Hero Design Studio has now set up a studio in Taipei, Taiwan, to develop their version of the LEGO bricks. And by using 3D printing technology, they can quickly and easily develop new prototypes. .While originally relying on SLS (Selective Laser Sintering), they have since switched to FDM printing and ABS material, as it is more cost effective.

And while their business and their products are still fully in development, they have already released their basic designs for building blocks Thingiverse. All their files include a specially designed base and print support, that will allow you to easily pull your own bricks from the print bed.

The 3D files online are shared with open Creative Commons licenses. Lee invites enthusiasts to freely download and print their own MyBuild Core Bricks, though they are looking into patenting and licensing for this cool addition to any LEGO collection. Furthermore, they hope that in the future they can expand their designs to allow for a robot that is completely 3D printable. LEGO enthusiasts: check it out!


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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Cody Chaser wrote at 10/20/2018 4:34:43 AM:

Um, where did the 3D object files go? When I went onto thingiverse I received a message that there wasn't anything there yet. Can someone please explain?

uranus wrote at 6/29/2017 12:15:07 AM:


John wrote at 9/17/2015 3:46:01 PM:

Hasbro dosint seem upset.

Søren wrote at 6/25/2015 8:45:00 AM:

I think LEGO is ok with this. First I think it's ok for you copy LEGO parts for yourself. If you want to give/sell these to other, you have to avoid the LEGO bricks that LEGO has a patent on. There are other companies that make LEGO compatible bricks. But if LEGO designs a new window frame, other people cannot copy that, they have to come up with their own window frame. The patents for the very old and common bricks have run out, which is why you can find those parts in LEGO compatible models.

Joel Ramos wrote at 1/10/2015 1:10:06 AM:

Wow that's cool I bet it helped millions with creating their own ideas as if LEGO hadn't created a piece that a builder wanted. I'm sure if I had that ability I would have gone crazy with creating my own LEGO bricks. I may be able to create new characters and arsenal (since that's what I mostly love about LEGO), maybe a whole world. P.S. Yes I just found out about this and I'm 12.

Michael Tuttle wrote at 9/9/2014 7:37:22 PM:

What does the LEGO company think about this?

Hero Lee wrote at 9/8/2014 5:54:00 AM:

It should be the special SNOT (studs not on top) techniques, but not slot.

Carey Chen wrote at 9/7/2014 8:25:34 PM:

Thanks for the fantastic report! We have also shared it with our fans on our Facebook

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