Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Solaire 🌞 on Beyond The Brick

Brian Brannan gives a quick interview at the Brick Fiesta 2018 GBC layout.  Brian hosted a GBC workshop at Brick Fiesta where 30 Solaire modules were built.  Thanks for the continued support Brian!

And if you have ever wondered why the module is called Solaire: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solaire_of_Astora

Monday, September 24, 2018

GBC Observer 👁 Week 39, 2018

Hey everyone, I have not done too much building over the last week or so. I'm taking a bit of a break before I head down to BrickCon in 2 weeks.  I will do a small update video on my shared power modules in a few days.  And then right before BrickCon I'll share my Lego Boost module video.

Lets look at a few interesting GBC videos that appeared over the last week.

This small Japanese layout by 2 builders has some interesting modules.  I really like the articulating stepper.

Here is Maico's latest layout.  My simple Whirligig module can be seen at 5:20.

An amazing big build GBC roller coaster by "NXTChris".  The balls are just sitting in a roller coaster doing a loop and casually enjoying the ride until they are dumped out violently at the end! It appears to have a bypass as well to keep the balls moving.

Monday, September 17, 2018

GBC Observer 👁 Week 38, 2018

Here we go, week 38 of the Great Ball Pit GBC Observer!  One module, and 2 layouts!

Animatronica has created this interesting Pirate themed GBC.

Here is one of Maico's latest layouts.  Maico's latest Archimedes Screw (1:50) is shown, and my Whirligig module can be seen as well (9:30).

Here is a layout from the UK, lots of new modules here.  The big build at 2:45 really surprised me, very cool!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Road to BrickCon 2018 Seattle

So I have the hotel booked, and the convention tickets purchased.  I'm going to BrickCon 2018 in Seattle, Washington this October.

I am planning on bringing quite a few of my GBC modules:

  • Greylime XL
  • Reservoir
  • Matt's Mine
  • Morgan's Mine
  • Upslide
  • Shared Power Circus (Jumbo, Grey Glass,  D.R.O.P. & Whirligig)
  • Bridge/Bypass Module
  • Solaire
  • Jade Dragon
  • Lego Boost Module + Additional Bypass Module
  • Tri-Sep
Along with that I need to bring all the support items as well:
  • Power (Supplies, Extensions, Splitters)
  • Tablecloths
  • Extra Pieces
  • Retaining Wall
  • Promotional Material
For this trip I will be packing my modules in some "Really Useful Boxes" of various sizes.  I decided on these containers because I don't want the modules squished when loaded into the car with luggage and a baby stroller placed on top.  The really useful boxes are quite durable and won't flex when being compressed.  I have already started making custom cardboard separators for inside the containers to help keep the modules stable and separated.  As well, I've "Upcycled" an old yoga mat and cut it up into pieces to line the bottom of each box.  This provides a bit of cushion and eliminates any chance that the modules will slide around inside the boxes.

Along with all of this stuff I will be bringing a folding "Hand Truck" and some Bungee cords.  Sometimes when you are loading in and out of a Lego Convention you need walk quite far from your vehicle so this makes it easier and safer to move your modules.

I'm looking forward to another weekend of GBC fun, be sure to stop by and say hello if you are going to be there!

Monday, September 10, 2018

GBC Observer 👁 Week 37, 2018

Week 37, less then a month to BrickCon 2018!  Lets see what interesting Lego Great Ball Contraption videos have showed up over the last week on YouTube.

Maico is testing a new module, what looks like a new type of archimedes screw lift.

Sariel brings us a comparison between the Lego WeDo/Powered Up "M Motor" vs the Power Functions M Motor.  This should be a good watch for GBC builders because Lego will be phasing out the Power Functions product line and replacing it with these new Powered Up components.

Serendibite is back with a high speed "curved shot" module that fires balls down a curved track only to leave the track completely to enter another curved track.  I like that he has the linear actuators to tune the module while it's running.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Featured by Lego Technic on Facebook

Today I was featured on the Lego Groups official Lego Technic facebook page!  It's been in the works for a few months now, and I couldn't be happier now that it's happened!  Not many AFOL builders get contacted by Lego for a feature so this is really special!

When I started this website and YouTube channel, I never expected to meet and collaborate with so many interesting people from all over the world.  I'm also really happy that Lego continues to recognize Lego Great Ball Contraptions as a legitimate sub-theme.

I'm looking forward to debuting my Interactive Lego Boost GBC @ BrickCon 2018 in October so let's see if the Lego BOOST team is watching out for GBC as well!

Friday, September 7, 2018

New Lego GBC Module - Whirligig

Today I present a small module that I built earlier this week.  It's called Whirligig, and it uses axles to push balls up angled technic beams.  While I didn't come up with the concept for this lift mechanism, I did design and build this myself without using any reference material.

The most challenging part of the build was getting the angles of the bent beams correct, I ended up locking them in place with two carrot tops which I find quite amusing.  My favourite part is the 2 classic "Technic Expert" gears that I use for decoration, they are over 40 years old!

Overall this simple module seems fairly reliable as I've run it for an hour without any issues.  It should easily convert to run on a shared power system, which I plan on doing in the near future. (Update: I did it!)

Instructions for Whirligig are available on the Instructions page.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Building GBC Instructions in the Stud.io 2 Beta

Hey everyone,

I've recently built a fun little module which I'm calling Whirligig, and created instructions for it using the new Stud.io 2 beta from Bricklink.  You can get it HERE.

If you don't know, Bricklink has been developing it's own 3D Lego building software for a while and I've been using it for all of my previous instructions.  The big change in V2 is the inclusion of an instruction maker, and a photo realistic model renderer.  Previously I would have to use an additional application called LPub3D to make the instructions after building the module in Stud.io.

High Quality Render from Stud.io 2 Beta

The new instruction maker has a really great page editor that makes it easy to move things around, and insert images and text.

The biggest issues I have with the current Beta is that the Bill of Materials creator (The Parts List) is not as "Lego" looking as the one in LPub3D, as well it isn't that optimized yet to fit as many pieces as possible onto a single page.

Overall I think the software is well on its way to becoming the premiere Lego Digital Design tool, especially with the ability to connect directly to Bricklink and set up a shopping list to order all the parts.

If you would like the instructions for Whirligig, they are available on the Lego GBC Instructions Page

Monday, September 3, 2018

GBC Observer 👁 Week 36, 2018

Hey everyone,

I've been busy finishing up a few modules and started testing them for BrickCon next month.  Here are some Lego Great Ball Contraption modules that have impressed me over the last week on YouTube.

Master Builder Akiyuki is back with a "Hockey Stick Lift".  Nice parts use!

A new builder has created a shooter, and shows how it's built.

That's it for this week, I hope everyone in Canada and the USA are enjoying your day off!