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Old January 27 2009, 01:39 PM   #1
All Seeing Eye
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LEGO

Why can't we create big brick sized thick strong lego blocks and build houses out of them?
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Old January 27 2009, 01:42 PM   #2
The Borg Queen
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Re: LEGO

There are, well almost. They're made of wood and they're more like planks than bricks.

However I suspect the main reason is either due to lack of raw materials for mass-production, difficulty in manufacturing them large-scale or simply because they're far too expensive.

So yeah, one of those three reasons.
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Old January 27 2009, 01:49 PM   #3
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Re: LEGO

Toss some Legos in a fire and stand back as the intense heat of burning/melting plastic melts your face off. Even if you make it fireproof the intense heat would melt the plastic into a sticky goo. You could never get out of a melting goo house and firemen couldnt get in to save you. Years of sunlight exposure would break down even the best UV deterents and then your house would start to flake away. No insulation value in plastic blocks. Plastic is easily damaged and scratched making repairs a problem. And the list goes on.......
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Old January 27 2009, 02:50 PM   #4
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Re: LEGO

I gather the question was more about the shape of the things, not the material.

Today's stone houses are typically built of "stone" blocks a foot or two per side, cast in shape out of concrete-type materials, sometimes with insulation preinstalled inside the blocks. But they don't have the classic locking mechanism of knobs and holes. And there's a pretty good reason for that: the walls of a house require support against sideways forces/bending, not just compression. A locking mechanism every twenty-thirty centimeters just doesn't cut it - there have to be bracing irons all the way from the bottom to the top of the wall.

Which isn't that great a modification to the concept of LEGO brick houses, really. Ordinary clay bricks aren't that different from LEGO ones in the end: it's the toy that got the inspiration from the building material, not vice versa...

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Old January 27 2009, 03:00 PM   #5
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Re: LEGO

I assumed the reason would be to do with resources.

You build about half the house, then before you can put the roof on, you've got yellow and blue pieces, and you'll be buggered if you can find a piece with just one nobble on top to put in the corner, so you end up using a wheel instead.

Having said that, I'm sure I read an article not so long ago saying that they were trialling "flatpack" houses, made out of cardboard, in London some time in the last year or two. Kinda the same principal as Lego, with the added bonus of being environmentally friendly. And turning to mush on you the first time it rains
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Old January 27 2009, 03:18 PM   #6
All Seeing Eye
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Re: LEGO

Ok when building a house how about erecting 4 steel girders in 4 corners creating a square formation and then making four large square walls completely from concrete and then sliding those concrete walls into slots on the girders, then each corner can be filled in using mortar.
Saves all the messing about laying bricks.
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Old January 27 2009, 03:28 PM   #7
Timo
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Re: LEGO

Which is why so many houses today are built exactly like that. There are even prefabricated concrete elements that have tiles glued to the outer surface so that they look nice.

However, the economics of this aren't on the side of fabricating "standard" walls, the way the LEGO bricks are standard. It's cheaper to fabricate just the type of wall element that a particular house needs, right when the house needs it.

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Old January 27 2009, 04:37 PM   #8
Icemizer
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Re: LEGO

Edison had a concrete house idea in 1906
http://flyingmoose.org/truthfic/edison.htm
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Old January 27 2009, 04:47 PM   #9
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Re: LEGO

As long as you remember insulation, you're talking a house that could even possibly survive a sideswipe by a tornado.

My grandfather designed their house from layers of cinderblock mortared together. One thing he forgot was insulation, but the house actually did come through a sidedswipe by a tornado undamaged.
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Old January 27 2009, 05:31 PM   #10
billcosby
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Re: LEGO

LEGO is pricey as hell, and no end in sight.
A dinky l'il set with a eighty measly mini pieces goes for about $20.00 USD in Japan or Australia.
Purportedly it's made with real oil, which inflates the price point.
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Old January 27 2009, 09:57 PM   #11
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Re: LEGO

billcosby wrote: View Post
LEGO is pricey as hell, and no end in sight.
A dinky l'il set with a eighty measly mini pieces goes for about $20.00 USD in Japan or Australia.
Purportedly it's made with real oil, which inflates the price point.
Were you not aware that most modern, common plastics are petroleum based?

It's not just LEGO, the price of plastic toys in general is impacted by the price of oil.
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Old January 28 2009, 02:01 PM   #12
Jadzia
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Re: LEGO

Tachyon Shield wrote: View Post
Why can't we create big brick sized thick strong lego blocks and build houses out of them?
They have experimented building houses out of cardboard. I'm serious.

Recycled paper waste is mixed with glue and squashed into interlocking lego bricks (the prongs are fewer and deeper in the version I saw). These are cheap and strong enough and water proof enough for general housing construction in 3rd world countries. Build time is very fast too because the bricks are ligher weight and there's no messing around with cement; they just stack together.

And if they want to move home, they can pull these bricks apart and take their house with them
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Old January 29 2009, 03:52 PM   #13
Meredith
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Re: LEGO

FordSVT wrote: View Post
billcosby wrote: View Post
LEGO is pricey as hell, and no end in sight.
A dinky l'il set with a eighty measly mini pieces goes for about $20.00 USD in Japan or Australia.
Purportedly it's made with real oil, which inflates the price point.
Were you not aware that most modern, common plastics are petroleum based?

It's not just LEGO, the price of plastic toys in general is impacted by the price of oil.
Yeah and the price of Oil is waaaay down and LEGO are still expensive, damm those Danes and their addictive Bricks.


If they are going to make prefab wall panels, they should be made out of several materials, kind of a composite type structure. Use Steel for strength, Plastic for sealing, Wood of Vinyl siding for the outside and Aerogel for insulation, also make them kinda like Cubicle walls int hat they have electrical hookups in them to easy wiring.

Don't force me to post pics of my LEGO creations
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Old July 25 2009, 08:26 PM   #14
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Re: LEGO

Well, looks like TV's Captain Slow is going to have a go:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/surrey/8168892.stm

Top Gear presenter James May is looking for volunteers to help him build a new house in Surrey - made entirely out of Lego bricks.

As part of his BBC series James May's Toy Stories, he plans to build a two-storey house in the middle of the Denbies Wine Estate, in Dorking.

More than three million Lego bricks have been delivered to the site.

May will host a building day next Saturday, when members of the public can help him with the project.

The house will be life-size with a staircase, toilet and shower, and May said once it was completed he intended to live in it for a few days.
I'm quite fascinated by this project, actually. Anyone here from Surrey wanting to help out there? (They're still looking for volunteers.)

I'm sure they will get an adult to supervise for the more complicated models. Or if the whole plan fails, they can just take the bricks and make a huge starship, just like I used to do.

However, this quote caught my eye:

He said although the house would be temporary, there had still been various "planning hoops" to leap through.

"I've got a man working on a flushing Lego lavatory. We think it's possible.
[Insert "put a brick in your toilet" joke here]
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Old July 26 2009, 08:23 AM   #15
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Re: LEGO

There y'go, TS! make a trip down to Surrey, see if it can be done!
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