Lego in 3D: Arthur Sacek

LEGO is great. My daughter is now playing with the same set of Lego I played with when I was a kid. I was into the Space LEGO and have still got all different kinds of spaceman and spaceships and moon craters.

space lego

In the past years LEGO has become more and more creative and you can now get all these Meccano type motors and pistons and systems that link it up to your computer.

It’s great for playing Lego Robot Wars or Ultimate World Machine Invaders or, er.. anyway..

Some clever people are using the technology to do some really interesting things. Take Brazillian designer and engineer Arthur Sacek from ZOOM Education for Life, he’s built a special milling machine to produce 3D sculptures.

We caught up with him to ask him about his passion for those little bricks.

How long have you been building things from Lego?
Since I was 6, but,as professional designer since I was 18 years old.

Why do you think Lego is so popular?
LEGO gives you the opportunity to see your own ideas getting life. And you don´t need to be afraid if it gets wrong… you just need to disassemble it and start again. Certainly the next model will be equal or better than the other before.

Did you build the 3d lego printer?
Yes… But is not a 3D printer, it is a milling machine. The result looks like the same: a 3D object.

How much did it cost to build?
I really don´t know… Maybe about $500,00.

How long does it take to build a 3d map of a face?
Today it is quite slow. It takes two hours and a half to make a 80x80x30mm model. But I am working on ways to optimize it and increase the speed of the process.

What software do you use?
To produce the 3D model, I used Autodesk Softimage, and to control the LEGO NXT I just used the NXT Software, it comes with LEGO Mindstorms sets.

What are you working on at the moment?
I have got lots of projects in the pipeline, but at the moment I am working towards making a real LEGO 3D printer.

Have you been to Legoland?
Yes, I went to Bilund, Denmark to visit Legoland. It’s a very nice place, there are some wonderful things there made of LEGO, very inspiring. It is perfect place to visit if you have small children.

You can visit Arthur’s website here
For more info on Lego Mindstorms visit