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My book available now

My book on building with LEGO Technic is available now at Amazon and elsewhere! Update: list of reviews included.

I’m happy to announce that my book: The Unofficial LEGO® Technic Builder’s Guide is available for sale now.  You can buy it at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, directly at No Starch Press website, at BookDepository.co.uk, or you can check the distribution network to see who sells the book in your country.

The book is also available in:

Reviews (in English, unless stated otherwise):

The book, published by No Starch Press, focuses on explaining the theory and principles that rule the world of LEGO mechanisms, while providing plenty of practical examples. With over 350 pages printed in full color, showing more than 500 figures and 40 building instructions, the book should be helpful to any LEGO Technic enthusiast, regardless of his building skills.

While the book uses vehicular LEGO models as primary examples, the theoretical knowledge and working principles it describes can be applied to any sort of mechanism. The 20 chapters start simple for first-time builders, but quickly move to advanced material. The book covers subjects like:

  • gear wheels and gear ratios
  • levers and linkages
  • pneumatics and custom pneumatic devices
  • LEGO motors and their characteristics
  • suspension and transmission systems
  • the modern LEGO Power Functions system and its elements
  • reinforcing your builds
  • studfull system vs. studless system
  • methods of scaling and modeling of various vehicles, from bikes to helicopters and airplanes, including challenges and opportunities that come with different types of vehicles

What the book does not include are complete instructions for any models that I have built. Instead, it introduces you to a vast array of mechanisms and provides examples of how to use them in your own constructions.

Eric Albrecht (Blakbird), the world-renowned collector and expert on LEGO Technic, has provided technical review of the book, and it comes with a foreword by Fernando Correia, the TechnicBRICKs editor-in-chief.

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  1. Sariel
    November 26th, 2014 at 16:22 | #1

    @Jose
    Of course it works the way it is. I think you don’t understand how gears with clutches work – the book explains it. Even better, you can build it and see for yourself.

  2. Jose
    November 26th, 2014 at 00:25 | #2

    Hi Sariel,
    I’ve just bought your book and have a doubt about the two speed synchronizes gearbox on page number 254. I think that it can’t work the way it is. The gears on the output axe are engaged with the gears on the previous axe, (24-8 gears) and (16-16) gears, so that they can’t move. Ami right?.

    Thanks.

  3. Sariel
    November 17th, 2014 at 09:13 | #3

    @Preston Kenner
    What model? I’ve built a Ferrari Enzo already.

  4. Preston Kenner
    November 17th, 2014 at 03:00 | #4

    What do you start with when building a Technic model life the Enzo .

  5. Sariel
    September 6th, 2014 at 10:03 | #5

    @JD430w
    Lego Ideas is a bad joke invented by Lego marketing team to make the company look good. They reject great stuff for no reason, and they only accept things that are small, simple and can sell well.

  6. JD430w
    September 6th, 2014 at 03:01 | #6

    I swear by this book. It has made studless building endlessly easier. I’m still terrible at it though.

  7. JD430w
    September 6th, 2014 at 02:59 | #7

    You shoulda posted it on Lego Ideas. Then it could be a Lego set.@Sariel

  8. Sariel
    September 5th, 2014 at 13:37 | #8

    @Tom
    It does not exist, sorry. As for plans – it’s impossible without a French publisher who would be interested in making it.

  9. September 5th, 2014 at 13:31 | #9

    I’m looking for a French translation for the school I’m teaching at. Does it exist? If not, any plans for a French edition?

  10. Sariel
    July 2nd, 2014 at 08:09 | #10

    @raymond
    Contact No Starch Press. Is this you valid email address you provided?

  11. raymond
    July 2nd, 2014 at 06:47 | #11

    If we are looking for translate this book into another language for publish, who should we contact for?

  12. Sariel
    May 21st, 2014 at 09:17 | #12

    @Tim Hawkey
    It’s not better, it’s different.

  13. Tim Hawkey
    May 21st, 2014 at 03:28 | #13

    This is a fantastic book. Thanks so much for writing it.
    I see that there’s a new lego worm gear part out.
    More like an axle with one tooth (all it really needs I guess).
    Do you know if this is better somehow, or just less expensive to make.

  14. Ev3fan
    April 17th, 2014 at 10:02 | #14

    I ‘ve got your Book in the german version and I really like it. You can learn a lot and it’s really inspiring. Actually I found out about your Website with this book.

  15. Sariel
    April 3rd, 2014 at 09:24 | #15

    @Alexey
    I think you can buy it at Amazon and have it shipped anywhere. I don’t translate anything – it takes a Russian publisher interested in the book to make a translation.

  16. Alexey
    April 3rd, 2014 at 01:09 | #16

    Hi! Thank you for a great book! How do you think, is it possible to buy the book somewhere in Elblag or Gdansk in English (I’m from Kaliningrad)? Or maybe you have plans to translate it to Russian?

  17. Sariel
    March 17th, 2014 at 09:08 | #17

    @art
    Of course it’s all Lego parts, and of course this will never be a Lego set.

  18. art
    March 17th, 2014 at 05:31 | #18

    will lego make a tow truck ll? is tow truck two made of all lego parts? very interested in trying to build one just like yours. thanks for your time.

  19. Sariel
    January 21st, 2014 at 15:45 | #19

    @Myeong Mo Kim
    I’m glad to hear it :)

  20. Myeong Mo Kim
    January 21st, 2014 at 15:08 | #20

    Your book helped me a lot in understanding lego technic:)

  21. October 8th, 2013 at 14:22 | #21

    At first, i thought about buy the german version, but i understand it better in english, and i dont wanna spend 10€´s for a translated version… Bought it yesterday at amazon, im curious about the book :DDDDD Ur da best, man! :D

  22. Klaas De Smedt
    May 26th, 2013 at 01:15 | #22

    @Sariel
    How do you want me to approach an explanation of why the second interpretation is the correct one and the first interpretation is the equivalent of a simple hoist?
    Can you build the 2 different interpretations? And, for comparison also build a Windlass (the 2 connected drums with different diameter)
    Can you mathematically derive the formula for the mechanical advantage?

    If you want, we can discuss this by mail/chat/FB/…

    kind regards,
    Klaas De Smedt

  23. Sariel
    May 25th, 2013 at 19:53 | #23

    @Klaas De Smedt
    That seems to be the case. I’m strongly inclined towards the first interpretation.

  24. Klaas De Smedt
    May 25th, 2013 at 11:41 | #24

    @Sariel
    From the English Wikipedia:

    […] of two connected pulleys determines […]

    […] It consists of two fixed pulleys of unequal radii that are attached to each other and rotate together, a single pulley bearing the load, and an endless rope looped around the pulleys. […]

    […] on the connected pulleys […]

    The English page clearly states that the 2 pulleys are connected to each other.

    I don’t speak Polish so I translated the polish page with Google Translate so it is possible that I make wrong assumptions from the Polisch wikipage.

    Some text fragments from the translated Polisch wikipage:

    […] in which there is a sliding disc and the fixed disc is composed of two circles of different radii. […]
    […] w którym występuje krążek przesuwny, a krążek stały składa się z dwóch kół o różnych promieniach. […]

    This fragment of text could be the origin of the disagreement we have. The translated text could be interpreted in 2 different ways:
    – The sliding disk and a fixed disk are on the same axle with different radius (this is the system that is described in your book)
    – The sliding disk refers to the pulley with the weight (hook) on. The fixed disk is composed by two pulleys with different radius. (this is the system that is described on the english wikipedia and how Betelgeux and I state the system should work.

    Can you confirm that this is also the case in the original polish text?

    Kind regards,
    ing. Klaas De Smedt

  25. Sariel
    May 25th, 2013 at 09:39 | #25

    @Klaas De Smedt
    Like I said, the engineer verified it already.
    The links are here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Differential_pulley plus a Polish entry with another interesting diagram: http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wielokr%C4%85%C5%BCek_r%C3%B3%C5%BCnicowy

  26. Klaas De Smedt
    May 25th, 2013 at 00:18 | #26

    @Sariel
    Thanks for the quick response.
    Can you provide the link to the wikipedia article so we are talking about the same mechanical system?
    Also, can you ask your professional engineer to verify that the system is correct?

    Regards,
    ing. Klaas De Smedt

  27. Sariel
    May 25th, 2013 at 00:12 | #27

    @Klaas De Smedt
    Thank you. Now:
    1. The pulleys shouldn’t be connected.
    2. The pulleys rotate in opposite directions, friction is minimal.
    The system I have described exists in Wikipedia, for example, and my description of it was approved by a professional engineer, not to mention that I have tested a working model of it. I believe the only problem you and Betelguex have is misunderstanding the description.

  28. Klaas De Smedt
    May 25th, 2013 at 00:01 | #28

    @Sariel
    Thanks Sariel for this great peace of work. I just got the book and started reading it. But I’m stuck on page 63. (differential pulley system). I read the paragraph several times but every time I come to the same conclusion of @Betelgeux .

    I see 2 problems with the suggested system in the book:
    1 – the 2 pulleys should be connected.
    2 – the friction between the rope and the pulleys won’t be enough to make the system work.

    The solution that Betelguex proposes (with the 2 connected drums with different diameter) will work as a differential pulley system.

    Kind regards,
    ing. Klaas De Smedt

  29. Sariel
    May 19th, 2013 at 09:42 | #29
  30. gleipnir
    May 19th, 2013 at 08:14 | #30

    Jest dostępna polska wersja językowa?

  31. artur
    May 18th, 2013 at 11:35 | #31

    @Sariel no po 2 miesiącach się już trochę wkurzyłem, więc postanowiłem się ciebie spytać o poradę.

  32. Sariel
    May 18th, 2013 at 00:40 | #32

    @artur
    Może problem w tym, że piszesz zamiast skupić się na budowaniu?

  33. May 18th, 2013 at 00:19 | #33

    hmmm. ostatnio ciagle mam problem ze wzmocnieniem konstrukcji, mimo iz stosuje sie do porad z ksiazki, to konstrukcja rozpada sie po kilku przejechanych metrach, jestem otwarty na porady

  34. Sariel
    May 17th, 2013 at 22:45 | #34

    @artur
    Dżungarskie.

  35. artur
    May 17th, 2013 at 20:33 | #35

    a jakie wg. ciebie rasy chomików są najbardziej przyjazne?

  36. artur
    May 17th, 2013 at 13:51 | #36

    @Sariel dziwne, mój jest całkiem dziki, teź dźungarski, samiec, ma 3 mies. nic się nie da z nim zrobić, ciągle gryzie po palcach. byćmoźe ktoś go kiedyś przestraszył i teraz nie jest przekonany do ludzi

  37. Sariel
    May 16th, 2013 at 18:44 | #37

    @artur
    Całkiem łatwo.

  38. artur
    May 16th, 2013 at 17:04 | #38

    @Sariel a łatwo było go oswoić?

  39. Sariel
    May 16th, 2013 at 09:03 | #39

    @artur
    Dżungarski.

  40. artur
    May 15th, 2013 at 23:44 | #40

    jakiej rasy jest twoj chomik?

  41. Sariel
    April 26th, 2013 at 11:53 | #41

    @shreck
    You can buy it at Amazon, for example.

  42. shreck
    April 26th, 2013 at 11:51 | #42

    Hi !

    I have the printed version of your very good book.
    How can I get the pdf version?

    Thank you.

  43. Sariel
    April 3rd, 2013 at 18:09 | #43

    @Crack
    Sure, go ahead.

  44. April 3rd, 2013 at 17:37 | #44

    Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long
    as I provide credit and sources back to your site? My blog is in the exact same niche as yours and my users
    would genuinely benefit from some of the information you provide here.
    Please let me know if this ok with you. Many thanks!

  45. Sariel
  46. olc1984
    March 3rd, 2013 at 21:52 | #46

    Witam mam pytanie czy mozna ta ksiazke dostac na jakis polskich serwisach tudziez od Ciebie ??

  47. Danielius
    January 30th, 2013 at 13:04 | #47

    amazing book thanks sariel
    @Sariel

  48. Betelgeux
    January 29th, 2013 at 19:41 | #48

    @Sariel
    Sorry, I’m the last one, who would want to criticise the contents of the book, because I love it. Its a really good job. Only this part is somehow foggy to me. What I wrote as a working sollution differs in that not the pulleys but the reel drums on the driven shaft are which produce the difference of string pull speed.
    The version you wrote is based on the real life “Weston” differential pulley system, which is used every day in workshops with chains. But there the main concept is exactly that the two pulleys (sprockets) are bound together rotationally, and also there is an anti-reverse lock. The person using the system just pulls the chain with a faster speed from the bigger pulley (or sprocket) and the loop in the other direction is a bit slower going up to the smaller sprocket. So the loop the guy holds on the pulling end always earns new lenght and on the other end always looses lenght but a bit less than the other ears. So the loop gets bigger and bigger.

  49. Sariel
    January 29th, 2013 at 17:50 | #49

    @Betelgeux
    I think you misunderstood something. What you describe as a working solution is EXACTLY what I describe in the book: the discs are independent, they rotate in opposite directions, and the advantage relies on the difference in their radii. Maybe you just didn’t notice that one of the discs shown in the book rotates freely on the axle. In any case, the book was checked by a professional engineer, so you can trust it.

  50. Betelgeux
    January 29th, 2013 at 17:24 | #50

    Greetings!
    I’m just reading the book, which is very good.
    At the part where the differential pulley system is explained on page 63 I think I’ve found a troubling part. I think, differential pulley system should not work that way. It says “Instead, it uses an upper group with two independent pulleys that can rotate at various speeds in opposite directions.” The point of differential pulley system is that the two pulley discs are bind together and rotate together the same direction and same speed. They cannot be independent. If the thing the author described with the picture would exist it would produce no advantage at all, it would be the same as a single pulley crane.
    On the other hand I think a differential pulley system could be made with lego with much more simpler and working way. You just need to use two reel drums with different diameters on the same axle, but with an opposite roll direction. Both stings go on a separate upper pulley disc which can be same diameter but really independent this time. And the lower group consists only of one pulley disc the same way. The adantage depend this time on the difference between the reel drums, but this is not really a coherent system for long strings because the drums outer diameter changes as the strings rolls up or down. Anyway if the diameter is the same then nothing happens when the driving axle is rolling other than it rolls the string from one reel to the other. It starts to actually do something when there is a difference between the outer roll diameters, and the larger the advantage the smaller the difference.

  51. Mel
    January 24th, 2013 at 10:10 | #51

    @Sariel

    finally got from Amazon… amazing book! Thanks a lot. Worth every penny.

  52. Danielius
    January 13th, 2013 at 22:30 | #52

    i like this website
    i like your hamster
    i like your creations
    you are best
    i am 12 years old from Lithuania

  53. Alberto
    January 10th, 2013 at 09:33 | #53

    Alberto :
    Just bought as my Christmas present at The Book Depository

    Arrived yesterday .. it’s amazing! Thanks!

  54. Sariel
    January 5th, 2013 at 16:40 | #54

    @Felix
    The book is in English only.

  55. Felix
    January 5th, 2013 at 16:23 | #55

    Is the book in german available in an other language, like german too?

  56. Sariel
    January 2nd, 2013 at 15:02 | #56

    @mel
    It was selling it in December. I don’t now why it doesn’t now, ask them perhaps?

  57. mel
    January 2nd, 2013 at 15:01 | #57

    Hello,
    is EMPIK going to sell it finally? I’m waiting for this fantastic book since months…

    Cheers,
    Mel

  58. Qwertyuiop
    December 29th, 2012 at 04:11 | #58

    Got it for Christmas, and I must say, it is literally the most helpful LEGO-related thing I have ever read. Absolutely loving it. I’ve already incorporated many designs from it into some of my models and tested them, and there are some solutions in there that I never would have thought of. Thank you, Paul, for all the long, hard hours you have devoted into making this book, so that others can share and read into your knowledge of LEGO. Keep making those unbelievable models and constructions!

  59. Fin
    December 26th, 2012 at 21:51 | #59

    I like the way you used the hamster as a scale for the power functions lights

  60. Fin
    December 26th, 2012 at 21:49 | #60

    I got your book for Christmas, it really helped me build my small robot arm

  61. Sariel
    December 26th, 2012 at 09:40 | #61

    @AJ
    Nearly 2 years.

  62. December 26th, 2012 at 06:05 | #62

    I love your book. It’s just brilliant! One question, how long did it take you to wright it?

  63. December 25th, 2012 at 21:58 | #63

    I have it and i just want tonsas that this book is great i love it very much ;)
    In my oppinionnit is one of the best books i have ♡☆
    Thx Sariel go kn with ur fantastic creations i love them

    Greetings TexhnicWolf

  64. Alberto
    December 24th, 2012 at 20:03 | #64

    Just bought as my Christmas present at The Book Depository :)

  65. technyk32
    December 19th, 2012 at 01:53 | #65

    I got your book for Hanukkah, and it’s awesome! I built your amazing live axle design. Since there is only one u-joint in the driveshaft, I realized that I could make a version with the unimog’s ball joint, and it worked very well. Although, as you said in the Sandrail post, the suspension is affected by the driveshaft. Anyway, keep up the good work! :)

  66. December 7th, 2012 at 21:02 | #66

    Finely I have it in my hands and I love it

  67. Sariel
    November 26th, 2012 at 17:00 | #67

    @gabry
    Well, it took nearly 2 years to write. That’s why I have built very little MOCs this year.

  68. gabry
    November 26th, 2012 at 16:50 | #68

    where could you find the time to write it? I could never imagine how many hours you needed to realize (is this verb good?) it… You’re an idol XD

  69. Sariel
    November 24th, 2012 at 18:28 | #69

    @Kevin
    No. Check the links in the second paragraph.

  70. November 24th, 2012 at 17:24 | #70

    Is Amazon the only place to buy your book?

  71. Sariel
    November 23rd, 2012 at 17:49 | #71

    @gabry
    Thanks. English is the original version.

  72. gabry
    November 23rd, 2012 at 16:28 | #72

    I just got a copy of the book… it’s only… AWESOME! But I have aquestion: is English the original version of your book or somebody translated it? However it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen

  73. mai
    November 23rd, 2012 at 16:14 | #73

    I recieved my copy of the book. It’s fantastic. Many thought provoking ideas

  74. Dubesta11
    November 18th, 2012 at 23:40 | #74

    Sariel, I loved your work since I found out what lego technic was. I found you on youtube, the chainsaw that you made (which is epic). Your book I ordered is very nice, a lot bigger than expected, and it has everything needed for planning future builds.

    There is just one thing I have always wanted to ask you, what got you into legos? There must have been some type of drive, I love technic because of the mechanical aspects of it. Thanks for reading this, and good luck :)

    -Dubesta11

  75. ben
    November 16th, 2012 at 16:44 | #75

    I recieved my copy of the book. It’s fantastic. Many thought provoking ideas.

  76. hamlet
    November 15th, 2012 at 14:22 | #76

    @hamlet
    love the hamster by the way!

  77. hamlet
    November 15th, 2012 at 12:54 | #77

    received you book via amazon today!
    after 30 pages of reading I know a christmas present for my brother…;)

    greetings from germany,
    hamlet

  78. Jeroen
    November 13th, 2012 at 10:49 | #78

    Your book just arrived. Can’t wait to start reading.
    Just flipped through the pages, it looks awesome!

  79. Sariel
    October 26th, 2012 at 20:54 | #79

    @Ashir Mittal
    I think the best solution is to contact the publisher at help@nostarch.com and work it out.

  80. October 26th, 2012 at 20:43 | #80

    Hi!
    I am unable to buy your book due some restrictions on Indian cards (Visa and Master both) Pls mail me so that we can find some solution please !! I cant wait to get my hands on the book !!
    P.S. PayPal is also not possible due to same issues
    “https://pnb.electracard.com/pnb/enrollment/enroll_welcome.jsp” for details on problem :(

  81. Cody
    October 25th, 2012 at 22:52 | #81

    @Sariel
    Okay, thank you. I look foward to your book, it looks like it will be alot more helpful than the one i have right now. And i’ll be able to hopefully work up from making what i make now:
    http://morrow250.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d5i9b02
    To making something more complicated.

  82. Sariel
    October 25th, 2012 at 15:10 | #82

    @Cody
    I don’t know shipping prices. You can check them at http://nostarch.com/technicbuilder, or Amazon should list them as you place an order. But I imagine shipping within US can’t be expensive.

  83. Cody
    October 25th, 2012 at 15:08 | #83

    Hey, sorry if im just new to finding out shipping and handling prices, but i looked on amazon and coudlnt find any, how much do you think it would cost to ship to idaho?

  84. Sariel
    October 25th, 2012 at 13:01 | #84

    @max
    You can try here: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Unofficial-LEGO-Technic-Builders-Guide-Pawel-Kmiec/9781593274344
    As for release dates – it’s depends on the seller, not on me.

  85. max
    October 25th, 2012 at 12:59 | #85

    Sorry but if I go to buy on amazon.co.uk it say that is not yet release how many days I have to wait you know?? buying in amazon.co.uk it’s the only way for me to save money and shipping cost because I’m from italy

  86. Sariel
    October 24th, 2012 at 16:19 | #86

    @George
    Thank you. I don’t know this user and I don’t think he should be selling this book. From what I know, the electronic version is not public yet and he can’t have it – perhaps he is trying to cheat you. I never gave him my consent, and I don’t think the whole thing is legal. I will let my publisher know about this. Again, thank you.

  87. George
    October 24th, 2012 at 16:14 | #87

    Hello Sariel,

    I’m from a LUG in Romania, RoLug, and it seems a new user there is trying to sell your book, in electronic format with a price of about $10 or less. He says he knows you and it’s perfectly legal. I’m curious if this is actually true.
    http://forum.rolug.ro/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1603

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  1. June 2nd, 2012 at 08:05 | #1