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Creating NXT LEGO Machines & Mechanisms in Solidworks Part 2

Author: Joo Won Lee Email:
Date: Last modified on <6/3/2021>
Keywords: <Tutorial, how to, lego, Solidworks>

This tutorial will be focusing on how to make simple lego pieces in Solidworks and how to assemble intermediate lego mechanisms.
It assumes that the reader of this tutorial will know how to do basic mate & animate the lego pieces.
Please refer to Part 1 if the tutorial is too difficult to follow.

Motivation and Audience

The motivation of first part of this tutorial is to show how to build a rather complicated assembly that uses rack & pinion and perpendicular gear mate. The readers will also learn how to use mirror function that is used in the assembly.
The second part of tutorial focuses on creating new parts for the lego Solidworks. The readers will learn how to create lego parts and make sure they fit according to the dimensions given in the example.

Parts List and Sources

Before the tutorial can begin, one must download the following items from google drive. Follow instructions from part 1 on how to use the files.

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

How to Assemble Advanced Lego Mechanism (235)

This section will show how to assemble Isogawa's #235 Lego mechanism.

Assembly Video

Part 1 Video

Part 2 Video

This tutorial gives example on how to use rack & pinion mate and mirror function which will come in handy for complicated assemblies.

How to use Rack and Pinion Mate


In the mechanical mate section, click rack pinion mate.
Click rack (flat surface) then click gear (round/circular surface).
Click okay.

How to use Mirror Function


To use mirror function, click Linear component patter and click “Mirror Components” in the drop down menu.
One must specify the plane or surface that the pieces will be mirrored.
After the plane has been selected, click on the parts that needs to be mirrored.
One can go back to add more pieces by right clicking the mirror on the left menu.

How to Create a Lego Piece

Creating a new lego piece can be the most difficult part of the project. In order to create a lego piece, the best way to do it is by copying what the other's did.
The most important aspect of creating a lego piece is that it needs to be 100% compatible with other pieces in the folder.
This is why one must use measure tool to examine the correct size of holes and lengths to make sure that all sizes match with others.

For this tutorial, the following 1×4 red block with a hole in the middle will be created.

A simple 1×4 pink block piece and green 1×3 technic piece will be used as a guideline.

Step 1

Open up a file that is closet to the piece that you are creating.
Study how the piece work and see the dimensions on how the piece fits with others.

Step 2

Create a copy of the file you are creating to mimic and start editing it. This is the fastest way to do it.


Try to use the sketches that are already present to save time.
Make sure to use measuring tool to match the dimensions of the dimensions of other pieces.

For pieces that are totally new

For unusual pieces like this, you need to use caliper to measure the rough dimensions of it.
Once the measuring is done, make sure to compare the sizes with other pieces so that it fits with it.
Having a uniform size is the most important aspect when creating a new piece.

Final Words

This tutorial went over the following tasks:
-How assemble more complicated assembly
-How to use mirror function
-How to use Rack & Pinion mate
-How to create a new piece

For questions, clarifications, etc, Email:

machines_and_mechanisms_tutorial2.txt · Last modified: 2024/01/16 07:52 by johnlee