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Progress visualization of printable 3D things with lego-likes

by danielkschneider, published

Progress visualization of printable 3D things with lego-likes by danielkschneider Oct 29, 2012

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It's 2 in the morning and your partner inquires when you plan to get some sleep...

Your answer will be that completion levels for your 3D thing project are yet too low. In particular, with respect to:

  • the design idea
  • the model that embodies that design idea
  • succesful slicing and print
  • testing with yourself and then real users

You then show the visualization to make your point graphically...

A project is represented as a tower. Each of the four dimensions has a slot that you can fill up with five 2x2 Lego bricks in order to display progress. There are several versions. See the pictures.

This thing is a fallout from http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:33001, a thesis project board kit. I just wondered how the advancement of that project could be visualized in a simple way. The answer is 40% of idea, model and printing stage. 0% testing.

I didn't print all the models and bricks, but similar things I made let me tell that all should print with a good "higher resolution" PLA printer.



  • I only upload some of the bricks !! However, in STL.zip you will get all.
  • Source.zip has all the source (Openscad and netfabb)
  • STL.zip has printable objects, including standard Lego-compatible bricks. However, fit of these may be too tight or too loose. That depends on your printer and your slicer settings. Quality will require fiddling with the openscad source code.


  • 0.25 layer capable printer (or better) needed
  • Flat print bed, nozzle real close


  • 0.25 mm layers of lower
  • Print at medium speed, e.g. 40mm/s (towers can be shaky)
  • Use a fairly high fill (35% or higher)


  • Since the towers can shake during the build-up you may have to file off some irregularities.

More information:

Context and disclaimer:

  • This thing is just a meta thing that was quickly done while I was trying to figure out how to go more 3D with the 2 1/2D thesis project board. It's not what I would call a derivative. Anyone who is designing 3D models for 3D printing can print this and use it or at least smile at this simple idea .... Actually, I do believe that creating simple 3D objects as thinking and communication tools does have future.

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