Parametrized Lego Bricks
by wizard23, published
Of course it does not snap in place as nicely as original lego bricks but it should be good enough to create the custom lego piece you always wanted.
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You could certainly make an Arduino-based equivalent of Mindstorms, (There is already a Lego-compatible holder for an Arduino module on Thingiverse.)
For the power/signal connectors, you could make Lego-compatible blocks that hold a standard small plug (maybe IDC or 2.5mm jack), or just use standard connectors without blocks.
Ideally, you would want adpaters from these to Lego-compatible connectors. That would require 3D printing metal parts, but since the parts are small, you could use a commercial 3D printing service just for those parts. Or you just buy Lego extension cables, cut each in two and wire your plugs onto each half.
You would need motor driver circuits connected to the Arduino. You could make a Lego-compatible holder for that circuit too, and support a variable number of them connected to the main Arduino Lego-compatible block. (You could easily support more than 3, even with an Arduino Uno).
You could then package various sensors (touch, thermistor, LDR, etc.) and outputs (LEDs, motors, etc.) in Lego-compatible blocks with your chosen electrical/electronic connector.
If the signals from sensors were simple analogue (or digital) signals (the sensor output just changes the resistance), they would be much simpler than EV3 ones (my impression is that they include a microcontroller and are connected by a serial interface).
Then for programming, you could provide an Arduino library, and an optional simplified environment (maybe similar to Scratch).
There might still be Lego patents on Lego Technic pieces (the patent on the basic pieces is expired) that might prevent you from making Technic-compatible pieces.
I never used support, when printed like in the stl (nobs on the top) it works without support because with ABS you can bridge. It should fit together with normal lego (thats the idea!)
do you print it with or without support? do you have to use abs with water soluble plastic and dual extrusion? or just regular abs single extruder? does it fit together with regular legos or does it only fit together with makerbotted legos? do you print them upside down, rightside up, or sideways? thanks.
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To generate other sizes our under development and undocumented MetaCADEvaluator plugin is needed. This is part of the development version of CSGEvaluator for Art of Illusion: objects.reprap.org/wiki/Builders/Metalab/AoI_CSG_Evaluator
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