(Written by Duncan Bramley)
Having played extensively with LEGO Technic as a youth (I still have the original #853 LEGO Technic Expert Builder Car Chassis set from 1977), I now find myself playing with LEGO Technic with my son. I am a vehicle design engineer by trade, and this – combined with the time spent playing with LEGO Technic – resulted in an idea for a new LEGO Technic compatible part. After this idea had knocked around in my mind for some time and refused to go away, I decided to design in properly using 3D CAD and present it to the LEGO Group to see what they thought…
My ultimate aim is to add a set of parts to LEGO Technic that allow realistic functional models that work and behave in an authentic way. I love building things in LEGO Technic with my son that demonstrate real life engineering principles. This way he can learn through play and fun. The proposed LEGO Technic elements produce a planetary hub that is close in design to real world parts. This is why I even included rolling element bearings. Please watch the video below for a demonstration.
I hope the video gave you a good idea on how these new parts would work, and their potential. If you would like more technical details, here are some of the key features of these new LEGO Technic components:
- Planetary gear train built into a standard 56×34 rim – the gear train provides a 3:1 speed reduction and a corresponding 1:3 increase in torque. The output torque is generated at the internal gear and transmitted directly to the rim and from there to the tire or track, therefore it does not pass through any axles.
- Integrated 14 tooth track drive sprocket – increases potential applications, the rim flanges provide lateral support on the underside of the track segment plates. The sprocket is hidden when a tire is fitted.
- 4-point universal mount – this is designed to accommodate: rigid axle, rigid axle with steering, suspension or suspension with steering set-ups, all utilizing standard components. The pivot point is positioned to allow the use of either a one part universal joint or a 2-part Cardan joint.
- Rolling element bearings – provide authenticity, tight rim location with little free play and also give low rolling resistance.
I sent the above video to the LEGO Group to consider producing these new elements, but so far have had no success in convincing them. Unfortunately the project cannot be submitted through LEGO Ideas, because new part designs are specifically excluded. So I thought to reach out to the LEGO fan community for help. I’m thinking that if I can get at least 10,000 views on this video (which is the threshold for votes on LEGO Ideas for LEGO to review the project), LEGO would likely take it more seriously.
What do you think? Do you believe these new LEGO Technic parts would be a good idea? If so, please help by sharing my video with your friends through social-media, forums, blogs, and whatever other ways you can think of. Also, if you have any questions, comments, constructive criticism about the project, feel free to share in the comment section below. I will stop by to respond to them. And thank you for your support! 🙂
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