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LEGO(TM) CAD : Making Tricky Connections

by Ray C. Freeman III, LEGO CAD designer

Other Topics:

Technical Background
Creating Your Own Animations
Using LEGO CAD with Other Software

Most LEGO CAD elements stick together pretty easily. Sometimes however, certain combinations can be particularly troublesome. Fortunately, a simple technique can make it easy to get an axle through the center hole of a forty tooth gear, or place a brick up under a beam without the baseplate sucking it down.

The secret lies in the fact that when you Move an element (or a number of selected elements, for that matter), you can pick it up by an individual connector, and place that connector where you want it accurately.

Wrong place!When you first place an element, all connectors are equally active, making it sometimes hard to guess which connector is going to actually stick first. There are so many holes in a forty tooth gear that trying to get one onto an axle through the center hole is a little like Russian Roulette.

Move it by the connectorHowever, if you place that same gear onto the floor, then select it and Move it onto the axle, picking it up by the center hole, it will jump right on. Getting a brick under a beam is easy if you first place it on the floor, then pick it up by a top stud and stick it up under the beam.

Got it!Any time you are having trouble getting a part to stick where you want it, try this method. Even though the connectors are invisible, if you think of picking the element up by the part that you want to stick to the other part, it usually works. Remember, you have to Move the element to do this, it doesn't work this way when you are first placing it.

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This information may be reprinted so long as authorship is credited to Ray C. Freeman III, with the CyberToys, Inc. copyright notice attached.