Kids’ toys, shows and programs are only getting cooler as the years pass. One example: LeoCAD, software that lets you create a new Lego design, hopefully without spending a ton of time learning how to use the application.
It’s a free tool that offers creative people a way to work with more than 10,000 unique pieces to put together the Lego creations of their dreams.
CAD is for the aspiring architect, designer, builder or Lego fanatic whose ideas may be too big for the bricks they own. First developed by Leonardo Zide, this software is giving people the ability to create their own designs and then take those ideas and make them a reality.
Beginning with a blank slate, users can search through a frequently updated library to purchase pieces for assembling their creation, if they choose to make their design in real life. Users can change the colors of the blocks and then drag them, rotate them and snap them into the position they want using the program. The interface allows the creator to view what they’re building from all different angles, offering a cool feature for those wanting to get a full picture of what’s getting built.
Once designers are set with a created model, they have a few choices as to how to purchase the designs. You can either go to the Lego website to search pieces individually with their Pick a Brick service, or go to the LeoCAD website and export an XML file, which then can be imported to the BrickLink Lego marketplace, where you can shop for them.
There are also large-scale models for purchase, including the 4,000-piece London Bridge, an official Lego set.
Once upon a time Lego had a Design by Me program where customers could “design whatever they imagined on their computer, and buy the real model in their own LEGO box.” But the service was closed in January 2012 after it was unable to meet quality standards.
Still, the LeoCAD sounds like a pretty cool alternative!