The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder's Guide

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The LEGO® Technic system opens a new realm of building possibilities. Using motors, gears, pneumatics, pulleys, linkages, and more, you can design LEGO models that really move.

The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder's Guide is filled with building tips for creating strong yet elegant machines and mechanisms with the Technic system. Author Pawel "Sairel" Kmiec will teach you the foundations of LEGO Technic building, from simple machines to advanced mechanics, even explaining how to ...

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Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder's Guide

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The LEGO® Technic system opens a new realm of building possibilities. Using motors, gears, pneumatics, pulleys, linkages, and more, you can design LEGO models that really move.

The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder's Guide is filled with building tips for creating strong yet elegant machines and mechanisms with the Technic system. Author Pawel "Sairel" Kmiec will teach you the foundations of LEGO Technic building, from simple machines to advanced mechanics, even explaining how to create realistic to-scale models. Sariel, a world-renowned LEGO Technic expert, offers unique insight into mechanical principles like torque, power translation, and gear ratios, all using Technic bricks. You'll learn how to:

  • Create sturdy connections that can withstand serious stress
  • Re-create specialized LEGO pieces like casings and u-joints, and build solutions like Schmidt and Oldham couplings, when no standard piece will do
  • Build custom differentials, suspensions, transmissions, and steering systems
  • Pick the right motor for the job—and transform its properties to suit your needs
  • Combine studfull and studless building styles for a stunning look
  • Create remote-controlled vehicles, lighting systems, motorized compressors, and pneumatic engines

This beautifully illustrated, full-color book will inspire you with ideas for building amazing machines like tanks with suspended treads, supercars, cranes, bulldozers, and much more. Your Technic adventure starts now!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593274344
  • Publisher: No Starch Press San Francisco, CA
  • Publication date: 10/30/2012
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 361,249
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Pawel "Sariel" Kmiec is a LEGO Technic enthusiast based in Warsaw, Poland. A prolific blogger and model builder, Sariel's LEGO creations have been featured in many magazines, the world's most popular LEGO blogs, and even prompted the LEGO Group to use his help in developing some of its products. Sariel is a guest blogger for the official LEGO Technic website and is a 2012 LEGO Ambassador for Poland. He is YouTube's most-viewed LEGO Technic builder. Check out his models and more at ä

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: basic concepts;
1.1 speed;
1.2 torque;
1.3 power;
1.4 friction;
1.5 traction;
1.6 rolling resistance;
1.7 backlash;
1.8 efficiency;
1.9 vehicular concepts;
Chapter 2: basic units and pieces;
2.1 the Technic brick;
2.2 pins, for joining and rotating;
2.3 beams, the studless alternative;
2.4 the half stud as the minimum building unit;
2.5 two tricks for building with half studs;
Chapter 3: studless or studfull?;
3.1 LEGO evolving;
3.2 studfull building;
3.3 studless building;
3.4 combining the styles;
Chapter 4: axles, bushes, and joints;
4.1 axles;
4.2 bushes;
4.3 universal joints;
Chapter 5: gears and power transmission basics;
5.1 drivers, followers, and idlers;
5.2 gear ratios;
5.3 efficiency and gears;
5.4 backlash and gears;
5.5 controlling rotational direction;
5.6 an inventory of gears;
Chapter 6: chains and pulleys;
6.1 chains;
6.2 pulleys;
6.3 string and pulley systems;
Chapter 7: levers and linkages;
7.1 levers;
7.2 linkages;
Chapter 8: custom mechanical solutions;
8.1 a stronger differential;
8.2 differential locks;
8.3 a custom differential;
8.4 an axle with a differential lock;
8.5 ratchets;
8.6 linear clutches;
8.7 eccentric mechanisms;
8.8 Scotch yokes;
8.9 a Scotch yoke;
8.10 Oldham couplings;
8.11 an Oldham coupling;
8.12 Schmidt couplings;
8.13 stepper motors;
8.14 Geneva mechanisms;
8.15 a Geneva mechanism;
8.16 reverse lights;
8.17 flashing lights;
8.18 turn signals;
8.19 complex turn signals;
8.20 double-axle turntable transmission;
8.21 a double-axle turntable transmission;
8.22 a sturdy universal joint;
8.23 a universal joint;
Chapter 9: the LEGO pneumatic system;
9.1 the Old system;
9.2 the New system;
9.3 an inventory of pneumatic parts;
9.4 modding the pneumatic system;
Chapter 10: pneumatic devices;
10.1 motorized compressors;
10.2 a rocking compressor;
10.3 motorized valves;
10.4 autovalve;
10.5 a motorized valve;
10.6 an autovalve;
10.7 automated pressure switch;
10.8 pneumatic engines;
10.9 a single-cylinder engine;
10.10 a two-cylinder pneumatic engine;
10.11 a two-cylinder pneumatic engine with sliders;
10.12 builder showcase;
10.13 a working water pressure pump;
Chapter 11: building strong;
11.1 why things fall apart;
11.2 the right way to reinforce;
11.3 reinforced differential casings;
11.4 four reinforced differential casings;
11.5 reinforced worm gear casings;
11.6 three reinforced worm gear casings;
11.7 load-bearing structures;
11.8 choosing the strongest pieces;
Chapter 12: an inventory of LEGO motors;
12.1 2838, the first 9V motor;
12.2 71427, a popular and powerful 9V motor;
12.3 43362, a lighter 9V motor;
12.4 47154, a 9V motor in a semitransparent housing;
12.5 Micromotor;
12.6 NXT motor;
12.7 Power Functions E motor;
12.8 Power Functions Medium (M) motor;
12.9 Power Functions L motor;
12.10 Power Functions XL motor;
12.11 Power Functions Servo motor;
12.12 RC motor;
Chapter 13: LEGO Power Functions system;
13.1 manually controlling motors;
13.2 remotely controlling motors;
13.3 power supplies;
13.4 receiver;
13.5 remotes;
13.6 modifying the remotes;
13.7 a basic remote with steering wheel;
13.8 a basic remote with sideways lever;
13.9 a speed control remote with central steering wheel;
13.10 linear actuators;
13.11 extension wires;
13.12 miscellaneous elements;
advanced mechanics;
Chapter 14: wheeled steering systems;
14.1 basic LEGO steering systems;
Chapter 15: wheeled suspension systems;
15.1 driven axles;
15.2 suspension systems: concept and categories;
15.3 types of suspensions;
15.4 driven and suspended axles;
15.5 steered and suspended axles;
15.6 driven, steered, and suspended axles;
Chapter 16: tracked vehicles and suspensions;
16.1 rubber tracks;
16.2 hard plastic tracks;
16.3 tracked wheel systems;
16.4 suspension systems;
16.5 experimenting with road wheels;
Chapter 17: transmissions;
17.1 types of transmissions;
17.2 how LEGO transmission driving rings work;
17.3 transmission designs;
17.4 distribution transmissions;
17.5 a 2-speed synchronized transmission;
17.6 a 2-speed linear heavy-duty transmission;
17.7 a 2-speed RC motor transmission;
17.8 a 2-speed orbital transmission;
17.9 a 2-speed ratchet transmission;
17.10 a 3-speed linear transmission;
17.11 a 4-speed synchronized transmission;
17.12 a 10-speed synchronized transmission;
17.13 a continuously variable transmission;
Chapter 18: adders and subtractors;
18.1 hard-coupling;
18.2 coupling motors with adders;
18.3 subtractors;
Chapter 19: form vs. function;
19.1 cars;
19.2 trucks;
19.3 motorcycles;
19.4 tracked vehicles;
19.5 aircraft;
Chapter 20: scaling a model;
20.1 blueprints;
20.2 points of reference;
20.3 scaling;
Chapter 21: the modeling process;
21.1 size matters;
21.2 wheels;
21.3 other circular elements;
21.4 colors;
21.5 devil in the details;
21.6 the next step: controlling your models;
updates and additional resources;

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 14, 2012

    If you are already a big Lego fan, with a Death Star or aircraft

    If you are already a big Lego fan, with a Death Star or aircraft carrier proudly displayed in your bedroom or office, how do you take your creations to the next level? Especially if you want to include movement in your sculptures, The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder’s Guide will get you there. Author Pawet “Sariel” Kmiec takes you through the finer points of things like rotating joints, powertrains, suspension systems, multi-speed transmissions, differentials, pneumatic systems, how to scale your own models, and much more. While going through the book, I kept imagining the A’s I would have gotten on my science projects for re-creating the systems described herein. Like all of these books, it is lavishly and clearly illustrated, and thus — yes! — makes it really easy to build.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 13, 2012

    Beyond Basic Instructions: How Things Work

    The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder’s Guide gives the LEGO builder what he or she doesn’t receive from the instructions that come with the LEGO sets: an explanation, with color photos, of how things work. Rather than the customary building instructions, the author shows you component mechanisms, such as transmissions or suspension systems, which you can then incorporate into your own unique creations.

    While the book was written with the modern LEGO sets in mind, it also includes material for those who have the older sets. So even if you’re an adult who loved playing with LEGOs as a kid, you’ll find something new you can use to rediscover the joy of LEGO building here.

    Pawet “Sariel” Kmiec brings 20 years of Lego building to this comprehensive book. He is a prolific blogger and model builder, a guest blogger for the official LEGO Technic blog, and a 2012 LEGO Ambassador.

    The book begins with the basics: speed, torque, power, friction, traction, rolling resistance, backlash, efficiency, and vehicular concepts. Then moves onto the mechanics where you’ll find gears and power transmissions, chains and pulleys, levers and linkages, pneumatic devices, and finally, how to build strong.

    Part III covers motors. Then onto advanced mechanics. Part V shows form versus function, scaling a model, and the modeling process. Kmiec includes building at odd angles, building cleverly, and controlling your models.

    One of my favorite parts is the instructions on how to make flashing lights using the LEGO LEDs. With this knowledge, you can go on to give your vehicle turn signals. How impressive is that?!

    The clear and well-laid-out book allows plenty of room for your individual creativity, so use the inspiration and let your imagination go. This is a great manual for middle-grade and up, and is perfect for budding engineers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2013

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