LEGO-Sorting Vacuum Defeats The Problem

What’s the worst thing about LEGO? Most would agree that it’s the fact that those bright and colorful pieces of ABS are somehow the most evil thing that can come between your bare feet and solid ground. [Unnecessary Inventions] have done a one-eighty from their handle and made a quite useful invention — a LEGO-sorting vacuum cleaner called Suck It.

Well, technically, it’s a shop vac attachment, but it does the job beautifully. [Unnecessary Inventions] started with a never-used machine and a clear plastic cylinder cut into fourths. Then he designed some 3D printable brackets that have two jobs: they hold the cylinder together again, and they do so in stages that collect and sort LEGO by size.

The sorting brackets have no top and bottom layers to them — they are all sorting holes and infill to allow maximum suction. But wait, it gets even better, because the brackets click together satisfyingly with embedded magnets. The only thing that would make this build better is some kind of head attachment that could gather more than a narrow swath at a time. Be sure to check out the build and demo video after the break.

Of course, with this method, you still have to open up the sections and put your LEGO away. You could just vacuum them straight into the box.

17 thoughts on “LEGO-Sorting Vacuum Defeats The Problem

  1. I do still play with my Lego blocks but I actually prefer to keep them all mixed up together in a big shopping bag, it is actually easier to find what you need because there is a lovely assortment of blocks right there on the top of the pile. if you get the model kits then the parts are basically color coded and it’s really easy to just pick out the blocks you want. Yes I know this does not work for the really tiny parts but you usually save those for the end and at that point the bag is mostly empty anyway.

    If you play with your legos on a blanket you can just pick up the blanket and dump them all back into the bag, low-tech but fast and no vacuum noise.

    yes my wife thinks I’m weird but what else is new.

    1. Really depends on how many bricks you have and if you always keep models together then – no way a single shopping bag, or giant toy chest can hold some peoples hordes, and if you do have so much Lego trying to find that one or two of part x you have in the unsorted pile is nearly impossible..

    1. It seems to me the mesh in the 3D printed trays are allowing very small particles to pass through into the shop vac itself. The smallest piece are the 3mm bar so if the mesh is 2mm or smaller, dust and dirt will still get sucked off LEGO pieces and away.

    1. Not if the mesh was printed small enough. The smallest LEGO piece are 3mm bars so if the mesh is 2mm or smaller, no LEGO pieces will go through but dirt and dust can still go through

  2. OR, hear me out, do it like the Japanese: tech children, from very early days, to pick theirs toys after play. Fun fact – there are few cleaning laydys in schools, yes, child labour is active and fully legal when it’s kid own mess.

  3. After years of having a box of mixed LEGO from my childhood, I took some used yogurt containers and sorted the pieces by type. Now they sit neat in drawers and save time when I create something in my mind. Now that my kids have stopped playing with their sets, I need to sort theirs at some point…

  4. Looks a bit like sometimes blocks stay on one of the upper stages because it comes to a rest close to the edge. Maybe making the top hose connection a bit excentric would help to produce a rotating air flow (similar to a cyclone but not so strong) to avoid pieces staying on the wrong stage.

  5. I think your invention is great but I noticed in the video that sometimes the LEGOs <— get stuck by the wall. What if you reprinted the top piece and had the vacuum port come in horizontally. Do you think it would work like a cyclone dust separator and swirl the pieces around, preventing them from being stuck? Anyways, pretty sweet.

  6. Love the invention. My now adult son and I have built a lot of Lego(s?) and I recently could have used this after spilling a large set in the hallway at my storage cube facility just before closing!

    Robo Dog Name Ideas: Ardee (for RD) or maybe Robo Doodle from Golden Doodles and such (assuming you’ve actually crossed a robot with a poodle at some point, right?

  7. I think it needs some sort of turbine driven unbalanced weight to vibrate the whole assembly to encourage pieces to move where they may have settled higher than they could actually fall.

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