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The Unofficial LEGO® Technic Builder’s Guide: 2nd edition

October 16th, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

Unofficial Lego Technic Builder's Guide 2nd editionMy first book, The Unofficial LEGO® Technic Builder’s Guide, now has a second edition.

Four years after the release of my first book comes its updated, extended and improved edition available directly from No Starch Press and also from Amazon, Book Depository and other sellers.

Important: the book can be currently pre-ordered from No Starch Press with 30% discount if you use code sariel30. If you’re looking for a free worldwide shipping, check Book Depository.

Selected reviews: HispaBrick Magazine, JK Brickworks, The Lego Car Blog, ThinkBricks

It’s been four years since the release of my original The LEGO® Technic Builder’s Guide book, a book that was started all the way back in 2010. During this time Lego has released a number of brand new elements, I have developed a number of new mechanisms, and also new trends have surfaced, such as 3D printing and using Lego rims with custom tires. All in all, I felt it was time to update this book, and I have also used this opportunity to improve it by rewriting much of the original content and re-creating many original figures, and to extend it by adding 4 brand new chapters and adding new sections to the existing chapters. The resulting book is 424 pages long (as opposed to 353 pages in the first edition) and includes a total of 25 chapters:

Green marks updated & extended existing chapters. Red marks brand new chapters added in 2nd edition.

  • Part I: Basics
    • 1. Basic concepts
    • 2. basic units and pieces
    • 3. studless or studfull?
    • 4. axles, bushes, and joints
    • 5. wheels
  • Part II: Mechanics
    • 6. Gears and power transmission basics
    • 7. Chains and pulleys
    • 8. Levers and linkages
    • 9. Custom mechanical solutions
    • 10. The LEGO pneumatic system
    • 11. Pneumatic devices
    • 12. Building strong
  • Part III: Motors
    • 13. An inventory of LEGO motors
    • 14. LEGO Power Functions system
    • 15. LEGO RC system
  • Part IV: Advanced mechanics
    • 16. Wheeled steering systems
    • 17. Wheeled suspension systems
    • 18. Tracked vehicles and suspensions
    • 19. Transmissions
    • 20. Adders and subtractors
    • 21. Planetary gearing
    • 22. 3D printing custom pieces
  • Part V: Models
    • 23. Form vs. function
    • 24. Scaling a model
    • 25. The modeling process

Now, to explain fully what it means that the second edition is updated, extended and improved:

  • Updated: all inventories of Lego pieces have been updated to the 2016 standard. This includes among others: pins, axles, gear wheels, pneumatic pieces (V2 pneumatic system), motors (EV3 motors), transmission pieces (3L driving rings) and more.
  • Extended: a number of existing chapters has completely new sections added, some of them including new building instructions, too. For example: a new transmission, new truss design, new kind of switch and also the heavy-duty custom tracks I’m using.
  • Improved: I have taken this opportunity to improve the original content wherever possible. Some sections have been corrected, like the section on differential pulleys which has been completely overhauled. Many sections have been rewritten to make them clearer, easier to understand and more accurate. Additionally, I have recreated tens of existing figures (possibly over a 100) completely anew to make them look better and clearer – you can see several samples in the video below.

As for the brand new chapters, there are four of them and they cover subjects such as Lego wheels, including ways of combining Lego rims with custom tires, the Lego RC system, now discontinued but still interesting and available second-hand, the planetary gearing, its pros, cons, the maths behind it and several examples with building instructions, and finally 3D printing of custom pieces, with numerous examples, advice and ideas and discussion of issues you may run into.

It is my belief that with its second edition, the Guide is finally the book is was supposed to be from the start: it’s greatly improved, its quality is much better and it covers subjects I was unable to include previously due to volume constraints. It suffices to say that I’ve spent 7 months working on it with a number of other people, and I believe we have effectively rewritten, updated and added somewhere between 30% and 50% of the whole content. I regret that there is no way to simply give it to the people who bought the first edition, but I’m sure there will be many discounts and promotions in the future. In any case, if the first edition was any good, the second improves on it in all the ways I could think of. Yes, it even has more hamsters 🙂

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