What are those “bumps” called on top of LEGO bricks? And how about the ones with no bumps? How do you refer to them?
It is a good idea to get familiar with some basic LEGO terms. This will help you to communicate easily with other Lego builders. It also becomes easier to locate pieces at online stores, or at least know what category they most likely belong to.
There are hundreds of different LEGO pieces; bricks, plates, tiles, doors, windows, fence pieces, wheels, slopes, arches, wedges, specialized pieces, etc. But let’s start with identifying the most basics; the bread-and-butter of LEGO.
STUDS: these are the little “bumps” on top of LEGO elements. These are what makes LEGO “stick” together.
BASEPLATES: are you building a LEGO house, or perhaps planning to create a whole town? How about a moon-base for your space-explorers? Baseplates are the foundation for the task!
These are thin plates, usually quite large, and you can build things on top of them. (They have no bottom connections.) They provide an excellent base – that’s why the name “baseplate” – for any medium to large size creation.
Some baseplates are very simple; with just studs to connect other pieces to. Other baseplates have outlines of roads, intersections, rivers, lakes, etc. And there are also very special baseplates with raised parts resembling rocks, hills, and other landscaping. These can make your creation more realistic.
BRICKS: the heart-and-soul of LEGO is the basic brick. They come in many different sizes and colors. You can attach other parts with studs on both the top and the bottom of a brick.
PLATES: these are thinner then bricks (but not as thin as baseplates). In fact, if you stack 3 plates on top of each other, you get the height of one brick. (This is useful to know while you are building.) They can also connect to other parts both on top and at the bottom, just like bricks.
TILES: these are thin, like plates, but they have no studs on top. They are excellent for floor-tiling, table-tops, and any other time when you want to create a smooth surface. They have connection points at the bottom, but not on top.
DECORATED PARTS: When bricks, plates, tiles or other parts have printed designs on them they are usually referred to as “printed” or “decorated” parts. These can ad a nice finishing touch to your creation.
MEASUREMENTS: LEGO-fans usually refer to parts not by inches or centimeters, but by the number of studs the part has. For example, a brick that has 2 studs on the short side and 4 studs on the longer side is called a 2×4 brick.
A plate with 4 studs on the short side and 8 studs on the long side is called a 4×8 plate. A baseplate that has 50 studs on all sides is called a 50×50 baseplate.
Even though tiles have no studs, they are still referred to by how many studs they would have. So a tile that is the same size as a 1×4 plate, will be referred to as a 1×4 tile.
If you familiarize yourself with these basic terms you will see that all other names for the more specialized parts are based on these.
For example, if you find a part that has the height of a brick, and has 4 studs on top, but it is round, it would be called a 2×2 round brick.
If you run across a piece that has the height of a plate, and has 1 stud, but there is a little clip sticking out at the side, it would be called a 1×1 plate with clip.
See, it is easy! 😉
Want to learn more? Head over to the ADVANCED TERMS section!