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Creating NXT LEGO Machines & Mechanisms in Solidworks Part 1

Author: Joo Won Lee Email:
Date: Last modified on <5/30/2021>
Keywords: <Tutorial, how to, lego, Solidworks>

This tutorial will be focusing on how to make and upload simple version of Isogawa Solidworks & studio parts.

Motivation and Audience

The motivation of this tutorial is to teach how to animate Solidworks parts via motion study function. The readers will also learn how to use another simple CAD program called studio by Brick link and upload their work onto this DASL wiki page.

Parts List and Sources

* One needs all of the following programs installed on their computer: SolidWorks (preferably post 2020 version), Studio 2.0, any file compressor program (like WinZip or BandiZip).

* One also requires to know the DASL Youtube channel account when uploading videos.
Ask the author or lab member for username & password.

Before the tutorial can begin, one must download the following items from google drive.

File Name Google Drive Link Note
Isogawa Solidworks Parts Ask author or lab member for password
Isogawa Book Parts List Not all parts are all accounted for
DASL Wiki Upload helper For Power Function
Dasl Wiki Helper for SM For Simple Machine

How to Setup

Step 1

Choose the Isogawa model you want to build from The LEGO Power Functions Idea Book.
For this tutorial, we are going to build one from Isogawa's LEGO Power Functions Idea Book Machines and Mechanism #1 from the book.

Collect all the necessary parts into a folder.
For example, if you need 3647 Gear 8, 4519 Axle 3 and Motor 9V PF Medium, create a new folder and move it to that folder.
(trust me this will make the job much, much easier!)
Use Isogawa Power Functions Idea Book Parts List excel file to look up pieces more easily.

Have all the parts organized into the new folder you created.
Rename the new folder to “1_SolidworksParts”. But make sure to change the number, for this tutorial, the number is 1.
(For example, if you are making 236, then the folder's name should be 236_SolidworksParts)

Step 2

Start Solidworks. Create new project (press Ctrl + N). Click Assembly.

Step 3

You are now ready to assemble.

How to Assemble Parts in Solidworks

This section gives step-by-step instructions how to assemble the parts in Solidworks.

Step 1

Open the parts from your folder.
Make sure to get the motor first!
This is important as this is the piece that will be stationary (fixed)!!

Step 2

Open the “peg” that rotates inside the motor. Assemble it to the motor first.

Step 3

Assemble the rest of the parts.
Make sure to use gear mate for the gears.

Step 4

Watch the assembly video.
Make sure to have captions on for the tips.

How to Make Exploded View in Solidworks

This section will teach you how to make an exploded view.

Step 1

Click “Exploded View” icon on the top menu after finishing your assembly.

Step 2

Make sure to explode the steps as you are assembling it in real life.
Don't let impossible geometry to be present!
For example, don't have a piece go through another piece magically in order to assemble.
The steps you take in real life to assemble the part will be a good model to follow.

Step 3

Watch the tutorial video.

How to Animate Solidworks with Motion Analysis

This section will teach you how to animate in solidworks.

Step 1

Click on the motion study tab on the bottom.

Step 2

Set motor speed.
For medium motor it is always 80 RPM, small = 100 RPM, big = 60 RPM.
For assembly, make it 10 seconds long.
If it is too simple, you can make it shorter. If it is too complex you can make it longer.
Have the motor only run after assembly is done.
Rotate the part for the last 5 seconds of the video.

Step 3

Watch the tutorial video.

How to Use Studio 2.0 and Make Instructions

This section will teach you how to use Studio 2.0.

Step 1

Open studio 2.0
Press Ctrl + N to make a new file.

Step 2

Find pieces on the left search bar (should look up by specific name or part number).

Step 3

Assemble the pieces.

Step 3

Click “Instructions” icon on top
Make a instructions pdf by using the pdf creator.
Create about 4~7 simple step instructions on how to build your lego assembly.

Step 4

Rename your pdf to “1_studiobuildplan”. The number will change depending on what you made.
As an example, if you made 67, then the file name should be “67_studiobuildplan”

How to upload

This section will teach you how to upload your work to this DASL wiki.


Uploading will not work if the files and folder's names are in incorrect format.
Make sure your Solidworks folder's name is “#_SolidworksParts” where # is your number for that assembly.
Make sure your instructions pdf's name is “#_studiobuildplan” where # is your number for that assembly.

Step 1

Using file compressor (like WinZip, Bandizip, etc.), zip your Solidworks folder.

Step 2

Get access to DASL Wiki (login to this wiki page).
Ask lab member to give you an access if you need a username and an account.

Step 3

Navigate to Media Manager on top right.

Click Lego on the top down menu. (Only upload lego stuff here!)

Upload your live image (make sure it is correctly named like 1_photo.jpg).
Upload your Solidworks folder that you just compressed. (Again, make sure your folders and files are properly named)
Upload your instructions pdf.
For Simple Machines, zip your Studio io file and then upload it into the DASL wiki.

Step 4

Log into the DASL youtube account.
(Ask the author or lab member for the username & password to DASL youtube account).

Step 5

Upload the 2 videos onto your DASL youtube account.
1 Live demo (with real legos)
1 Solidworks video (with assembly, exploded view, animation).
Follow the same title format!!
Just look up what others did before you!

Step 6

Get urls for both youtube videos (live & Solidworks)

Step 7

Open “Dasl Wiki Helper v2” excel file for LEGO Power Functions Idea Book Machines and Mechanism.
Open “Dasl Wiki Helper for SM” excel file for Lego Technic Idea Book Simple Machines.

Step 8

Copy and past Live video url to the correct cell.
Copy and past Solidworks video url to the correct cell.

Step 9

On the page you want to add your files, click edit on bottom.

Step 10

Copy what is on your excel sheet everything right of “Photos” column.

Step 11

Paste everything you just copied on the wiki page on the right number.

Step 12

Click Save!


If you did everything right, the result will look like this!

The name of the files and folders are important because that is how DASL wiki displays correct image/files.
If the link is in red, then it means that the link is broken and you should see if you uploaded the file in the right folder or the name is correct.

Final Words

This tutorial went over the following tasks:
-How assemble in Solidworks
-How to view in exploded view
-How to animate the pieces
-How to use Studio 2.0 and make instructions
-How to upload to DASL wiki

For questions, clarifications, etc, Email:

machines_and_mechanisms_tutorial.txt · Last modified: 2024/04/22 22:43 by johnlee