More Detail On That Fantastic Lego OLED Brick

It’s always great when we get a chance to follow up on a previous project with more information, or further developments. So we’re happy that [“Ancient” James Brown] just dropped a new video showing the assembly of his Lego brick with a tiny OLED screen inside it. The readers are too, apparently — we got at least half a dozen tips on this one.

We’ve got to admit that this one’s a real treat, with a host of interesting skills on display. Our previous coverage on these bedazzled bricks was disappointingly thin on details, and now the original tweets even seem to have disappeared entirely. In case you didn’t catch the original post, [James] found a way to embed a microcontroller and a remarkably small OLED screen into a Lego-compatible brick — technically a “slope 45 2×2, #3039” — that does a great job of standing in for a tiny computer monitor.

The present video shares a lot more detail on this fancy brick. The core of the circuit is four tiny scraps of PCB, hosting the RP2040 microcontroller and necessary support components. [James] used a series of 3D-printed jigs to hold the boards while soldering, which results in a compact package to fit inside the sloped brick. After attaching the diminutive OLED and doing a little testing, the circuit origami is placed into one half of a two-piece silicone mold. Translucent plastic resin is mixed up and added to the mold, which flows around the circuit to complete the build.

The results are amazing — a brick that looks like a stock Lego part, at least until it’s plugged into a powered baseplate. The way the screen is molded right into the resin and shines right through it is enchanting, and the texture on the face of the slope looks fantastic. We’re mightily impressed by the craftsmanship here, and we’re very glad [James] shared the details of his process. Now if we could only get build files…

Thanks to [Footleg], [DKE], and a bunch of other people for this tip!

38 thoughts on “More Detail On That Fantastic Lego OLED Brick

  1. That is really damn impressive. All those excellent little jigs for each stage.

    I wonder how well it will last, between the generally less elastic more brittle epoxy running out of clutch power on the battery box or cracking, and the OLED that won’t last forever. The thing is very effectively potted so going to be rather hard to repair in the end. Still really damn cool, and if its not running too hot on the OLED I expect it will last well enough.

    1. On the OLED, at Ultimaker we had multiple OLED screens that where on 24/7 for years, full brightness, and they only showed a slightly more dim pixels then new screens. While they might not last forever, they last a long time.

      1. That seems to depend a great deal on how hard they are driven, I expect to get over being a little buried in the resin casting part this OLED may need to be driven a little on hard side to shine through well enough… Do think they will last well enough myself, but it is likely the limiting factor for its lifetime.

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