The evolution of the LEGO lawnmower man

by admin on October 17, 2017

in Featured Creations

Jason Allemann (a.k.a. JK Brickworks) is a master of mechanical LEGO creations, and we have featured many of his models in the past (see links at the end of this post). Another LEGO fan who focuses on mechanical LEGO models is Josh DaVid, who’s LEGO Great Ball Contraptions we talked about here. Recently, there has been some great collaboration between these two builders, as they were getting inspired by each other’s ideas. 🙂

Josh DaVid is mostly known for his small, but very complex LEGO GBCs, however he occasionally also builds some mechanical LEGO sculptures. About a month ago, he designed a kinetic sculpture of a lawnmower that gives the illusion of cutting grass. The model uses a series of conveyor belts to move the cut and uncut grass in small repeating loops. The entire model can be run using a hand winch or a single LEGO motor. In the video below, Josh demonstrates how the lawnmower works, and will also show you the interior mechanism.

Jason Alleman saw Josh’s lawnmower, and he was so inspired by it that he immediately wanted to build his own. He also thought to add a slightly modified version of his previously built Sisyphus figure to endlessly push the lawnmower – sort of like a modern day Sisyphus. In the video below, Jason explains how it all works, and he also shares on his blog: “The figure uses the same walking mechanism as in my original Sisyphus model, called a Hoeckens linkage, though I modified the geometry a bit to give it a more upright stance and shorter stride. The ‘grass’ consists of two conveyor belts, one in front of the lawnmower with tall grass and one behind with cut grass, which is essentially the same as in Josh’s original model. The lawnmower is held down by gravity so that the conveyor belts turn the freely spinning wheels, and is loosely mounted on a LEGO brick to keep it in the correct position.I added some simple decorations on the base to represent what is happening on top of the model, with uncut grass on the left, the lawnmower blade in the middle, and cut grass on the right.”

In the meantime, Josh also decided to add his own version of the lawnmower pushing guy, using somewhat different techniques. Notice the different movement of the legs, feet and, arms compared to Jason’s model.

It is really interesting to see such mutual inspiration and cooperation between two great LEGO builders. While LEGO fans often get inspired by each other’s work, it is rare to see it documented so clearly. You can check the similarities and differences of the bases, the grass, the construction of the lawnmowers, the movement of the figures, and how each builder approached the interior mechanism. And of course, there is nothing to stop other LEGO fans (including you!) to take inspiration from both Josh and Jason, and take the model even further.

What do you think? How do you like these LEGO lawnmower man kinetic sculptures? Which aspects of each model do you like? Would you like to build your own eternally mowing guy? Is there anything you would change? Feel free to share your thoughts and own ideas in the comment section below! 😉

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

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Professor Bunny October 17, 2017 at 12:57 PM

That’s so cool! I like the walking figures.
You know what’s funny, I just built a Lego Lawnmower. Mine was bigger, uglier, and didn’t actually mow anything.


Håkan October 17, 2017 at 6:23 PM

Technically, this one doesn’t either, it’s just an illusion of mowment…


Professor Bunny October 19, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Yeah, I know. But mine didn’t even pretend to mow grass…


admin October 17, 2017 at 10:48 PM

LOL! My lawnmower just died recently (I hit a big rock with the blade), so I guess it must be lawnmower week that everyone is thinking about lawnmowers! 😀


brickmaster October 17, 2017 at 1:11 PM

These are fantastic! Overall I think Jason’s is a bit better, but Josh took some bold steps with the walking figure (literally). Plus, he is the one who came up with the idea first. It’s so satisfying to watch the grass move!


LegoMom October 17, 2017 at 1:44 PM

I agree! Watching the grass is mesmerizing! 😀


brickhead October 17, 2017 at 2:10 PM

I would love to build something like this! Where do I start?


admin October 17, 2017 at 10:50 PM

I would suggest starting with a motorized LEGO Technic set. That will give you the foundation on how LEGO Power Functions works. Once you have the basics, you can head over to Jason’s website (link in article), and you can find many of his projects with step-by-step instructions. After you build a couple, you can start experimenting on your own! 😀


Ray October 17, 2017 at 8:32 PM

Would buy as a Lego Ideas set!


admin October 17, 2017 at 10:51 PM

I would love to see something like this on LEGO Ideas! It gives a great introduction to Power Functions in a non-vehicle project.


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