3D printing with LEGO

With 2400 LEGO bricks and a lot of patience, [Will Gorman] built a LEGO 3D printer. It’s similar to a RepRap or a Makerbot, but instead of extruding plastic, it uses pre-extruded building blocks (aka LEGO bricks).  The grey wall extending far above the unit itself is a feed magazine which holds the raw material. A Java application takes an MLCad file and translates it into building instructions for the printer. Those instructions are then sent to the device via USB. See it happen after the break.

Now this just needs to be combined with the LEGO sorting machine for an inexhaustible supply of bricks.


  1. Astronouth7303 says:

    I would like to point out that it’s an LDraw file. MLCad merely uses it, like a half-dozen other programs.

  2. Jon King says:

    This thing is made of win. If you disagree, you are a terrorist.

  3. Doublet says:

    Lol, at such a speed, the servos really sound like a real printer :)

  4. spiderwebby says:

    Damn you Gorman!!!
    see: http://flic.kr/p/8DXBpL

  5. spiderwebby says:

    *actually reads post*
    *withdraws above statement*

  6. Rachel says:

    Lego bricks are moulded, not extruded. This is more of a Lego pick-and-place.

  7. 3-R4Z0R says:

    This thing is sooo cool. Almost unbelievable!

  8. phil says:

    so roughly 2.5 minutes at 16x speed means it took almost 40 minutes to make this house? not bad for legos.

  9. ursua says:

    simpli the coolest and more awsome ting never seen made from lego, COOL

  10. xeracy says:

    yo dawg…

  11. xeracy says:

    @spiderwebby – holy smokes! is that a viable reprap?

  12. Marco says:

    Given Lego pricing it would probably be cheaper to build a reprap and extrude lego bricks with it.

  13. vonskippy says:

    Lego freaks are just to weird to comprehend.

  14. kronos says:

    lol legos ftw
    speed ftl

  15. dombeef says:

    What if it could extrude plastic? then i would make it

  16. Sootie says:

    Kinda takes the fun out of playing with lego doesnt it

  17. Pb says:

    If it could make a copy of itself, I’d be really impressed.

  18. Kaijuu says:

    Cool design. :)

    During Lego World in The Netherlands(starts the day after tomorrow), a similar device will be on display, building a design with 59 parts in about 40 minutes.
    One of the users at Eurobricks designed and built it.

  19. koen says:


    The Reprap people would probably call it a LegoStrap or something but only after it has proven to print at least one part of a reprap by showing a youtube video..

  20. Winston says:

    So have we now reached the lego singularity? Lego building more lego?

  21. Squirrel says:

    I’d almost call this more of a Pick and Place machine rather than a 3D printer. Or maybe it’s some type of cross-breed…

  22. Rollyn01 says:

    So then it’s ok to say “I just lego’d” instead of “I just s^!T a brick”?

  23. Grovenstien says:

    I just love the subtle flexing of the gantry when that mother lays a brick!

  24. GRabo says:

    An absolutely amazing piece of work. Would be cool to have a multi color and multi variety of lego bricks.

  25. Hirudinea says:


    Yep, its the begining of the legopalypse!

  26. Link says:

    Lets just hope this device never becomes self- aware

  27. E. says:

    Can we have a cost list, parts list, and building instructions please? Because I would build this.

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