Hello all. For those that don’t know me, I’m John Knight. In Space Tweep circles I’m known as the guy who has the MECO (one and only) tattoo and I’m the only non-Lego employee to have designed a Lego set for NASA (The SDO, Solar Dynamic Observatory set!). Today I wanted to share a bit about my love of Lego and one of the best tools out there for Lego fans, Lego Digital Designer.
I’ve been collecting and playing with Lego bricks for over 35 years. I can’t recommend them enough as a toy for helping develop motor skills, eye hand coordination, appreciation for engineering, robotics and art. If you have every shopped for or purchased Lego, you know that they are expensive. I am very brand loyal to the Lego brand despite the cost simply because I know the quality of the product is worth it and the company really does a great job of taking care of the customers. This brings me to Lego Digital Designer (LDD). I’ve amassed over 100,000 bricks in my collection and sometimes that’s not enough to build some of the ideas I come up with. LDD is a free program that essentially gives you an unlimited supply of Lego bricks to play with in a friendly and easy to use computer aided design program created by the folks at Lego. This program is simple enough for children 6+years to have fun with and sophisticated enough for the hardcore enthusiast, like myself, to have countless hours of fun with. You can download it here: http://ldd.lego.com/
I’ve saved the best for last! Once you create your model in LDD, you can upload it to Lego.com and purchase it, complete with printed instruction booklet and customized box! That’s right, you’re very own custom Lego set. This is the exact process I used for create the SDO model and most of the models in my current ‘real’ space collection. Once the models are uploaded, others can download them, modify them or purchase your model!
There is no money in it for the designers (I don’t make any money for people buying my sets) but that’s more than OK by me. Seeing and hearing about my creations making appearances at NASA HQ and Goddard, not to mention the personal collections of some NASA technicians, engineers, etc, is more than enough for me!
Above are a few examples of what I’ve created in LDD. What will you create! I can’t wait to see!