Tutorial: 3D print a LEGO-compatible LED brick with Arduino


LEGOs have been the perennial building blocks for DIYers for decades, and therefore, it’s no surprise that the bricks are being paired with Arduino to bring ideas to life. Now Makers, what if you could 3D print those very same plastic pieces? 


Over the past couple of weeks, our friends at Arduino have been designing LEGO-compatible creations using their first 3D Printer: the Arduino Materia 101. To demonstrate just how it easy it is to get started with the Arduino Mega 2560 (ATmega2560) powered device, the company’s resident 3D specialist Kristoffer has been releasing new tutorials, including bricks with some added light effects.

750x750_54cf973d1b5ef1.25587321

Over the past couple of weeks, our friends at Arduino have been designing LEGO-compatible creations using the company’s first 3D Printer: the Arduino Materia 101. To demonstrate just how it easy it is to get started with the Arduino Mega 2560 (ATmega2560) powered device, Arduino’s 3D specialist Kristoffer has been releasing new tutorials, including bricks with some added light effects.

First, the Maker designed a brick using the parametric 3D modeler FreeCAD, though just about any CAD or 3D modeling software could do the trick. He then went on to remove the knobs from the block, while hollowing out the top to make an LED holder. Kristoffer does note that a box will need to be added in order to fill the brick. After merging the brick with the box and adding a cutout for the LED, you’re well on your way to creating a blinking piece.

tutorial8-2

“To compensate for the expanding nature of the plastic, we will make the bottom edges of the brick a little bit thinner. To make the brick printable we will make the cylinder on the of the brick touch the print surface when we print it,” Kristoffer writes. Given the extremely small size of the print, the 3D specialist advises to use a lower temperature (195 or 200℃) and a lower speed. This will allow the Materia to extrude thicker plastic and ensure that the previous layers have enough time to cool down.

Interested in making your own blinking brick? You can find Arduino’s entire step-by-step tutorial here, as well as several other LEGO-compatible projects here.

1 thought on “Tutorial: 3D print a LEGO-compatible LED brick with Arduino

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s