A LEGO Orrery

We aren’t sure how accurate you can get with LEGO, but a building block orrery looks cool, if nothing else. [Marian42] saw one done a few years ago and decided to build a version with a different mechanism. At first, the plan was to use some 3D printed fixtures, but the final product is made entirely from LEGO bricks. Very impressive. The video below shows that it has been complete for awhile, but the write-up that goes into great detail has only just arrived and it was worth the wait.

This is one of those things that seems simple if you don’t think too hard about it. However, when you sit down to actually do it, there are a number of challenges. For one thing, the Earth tilts at 23.5 degrees, and as the planet rotates, the tilt stays in the same direction, making it tricky to model mechanically.

The moon also has a 5.15 degree inclination, but since that’s hard to notice at this scale, the LEGO orrery exaggerates it. So, the Moon’s track has its own set of design problems. The whole thing has to rotate on a concentric shaft, which is also tricky to get right with kids’ building blocks.

Compared to the last orrery we saw, this one is huge. We’ve always been partial to ones that you have to look up to.

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