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The LEGO reverse engineering challenge

There is a very interesting LEGO fan group on flickr that I became aware of through the LEGO Ambassador Forum. It’s called the LEGO Reverse Engineering Challenge. The idea is to figure out how small but complex LEGO creations were built. Once a challenge is posted, members submit their solutions, which are then shared in the group for everyone to see, discuss and critique. 🙂

The group was started by LEGO fan and graphic designer Ryan Howerter (a.k.a. eldeem on flickr), and has over 400 members who participated in previous challenges. While there are no contests posted currently, the group’s gallery is a smorgasbord of very interesting ideas and techniques. I find it particularly fascinating how many ways there is to solve a problem. The group has strict rules to keep the solutions “purist” – meaning no stickers, rubber-bands, cutting elements, and any other unconventional techniques are allowed.

If you like to doodle with LEGO pieces, learn unusual building techniques, or have a dream of becoming a LEGO designers, this group can be a great resource. You can also browse the gallery to find solutions to problems you face while working on your own LEGO models. In addition, the challenges can give you ideas to use during LEGO club meetings and other LEGO related events and get-togethers.

Ryan also shares that he is working on a book, which will contain lots of LEGO reverse engineering puzzles similar to what was used in the online challenges. Whether this will actually happen and when is not known at this point, but I’m definitely going to keep an eye on it. LEGO puzzles are fun!

What do you think? Do you like to solve LEGO building problems? Are you comfortable with using advanced building techniques with LEGO? Did you eve come up with a solution that you are really proud of? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below! 😉

And you might also like to check out the following related post:

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • E MC. May 22, 2017, 10:26 AM

    I’ll have to look into this. I am always looking for new techniques to incorporate into my own models. Thanks for the news!

    • admin May 22, 2017, 12:43 PM

      You’re very welcome. Have fun doodling! 😀

  • gid617 May 22, 2017, 12:09 PM

    I participated in the last one of these, though I think I jumped in after the first round or two. The main problem from a contest point of view was that it was too impossible for anyone who hadn’t started at the very beginning to win. But it was still fun to try to solve the puzzles. I think a coffee-table style book, ideally including pieces to solve at least a certain amount of the puzzles, would be pretty neat, a great gift for puzzle lovers even if they aren’t LEGO fans!

    • admin May 22, 2017, 12:45 PM

      Oh, cool to hear that you took part in the challenge! I would also like to see the book manifest. I like small puzzles like this as they don’t take that many parts and they help you to discover new techniques.

      • gid617 May 23, 2017, 9:38 AM

        Yep, and some of these are pretty mind-boggling! I remember the week 7 follow-up B (first one in the last picture) was just painful! I did finally get it, but it took quite a while. Most of them have multiple solutions but that one I really don’t think there’s hardly any other way to pull off.

        • admin May 23, 2017, 1:20 PM

          Speaking of techniques, would you like to write a post about your recent tutorials? I remember seeing at least a couple of them about trees. I’m thinking just a summary of each tutorial and what they are about, then link to your blog for the details. Also, do you have others in mind?

          • gid617 May 23, 2017, 6:52 PM

            Those two on trees are the only really tutorials I’ve done yet (I did a couple of single-build breakdowns too though). I do have a couple more in mind – one more on trees, and I’ve been wanting to do a tutorial on building LEGO beds for a while but haven’t got around to photographing my beds yet! Plus a few other vague ideas I have floating around.
            I’d be glad to do an article summarizing them! But maybe I should wait until there are a few more? Probably in a month – does that sound good?

            • admin May 23, 2017, 9:33 PM

              Yeah, sure that sounds great! 😀

              • gid617 May 24, 2017, 8:14 AM

                All right, it’s on my list! 😉

  • jessica wat son February 25, 2019, 1:22 AM

    Thanks for sharing .

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