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Mecabricks: Construct virtual Lego models in the browser

The good old Danish-style terminal blocks: Long before the first computers were able to display 3D models at all, the offspring and parents constructed the colorful blocks completely analog in 3D. The process has not changed until today (from the subjective-parental perspective of the author): New sets are meticulously set up and played according to instructions. Until an accident, earthquake or Godzilla’s attack crumbles the set. After all, something new can always be built from the freshly extracted parts.

But if you don’t feel like rummaging around for hours on sore knees in dusty boxes for modeling experiments for the right parts for the new creation, this can be more convenient with Mecabricks complete. This is a computer-aided design (CAD) program that can be used free of charge for private purposes and runs in the browser. Here and there there is still a lack of the complete translation into German, but the program can be operated quite intuitively even without a great deal of English. The special thing about it is the solid in it: Instead of torus, rectangle, ball & Co., the online service relies on virtual terminal blocks a là Lego: twos, threes, plates, hinged nubsie & Co. You click into the stones with your mouse and keyboard an editor to create the finished model. This worked surprisingly smoothly with simple models on our test computer with lame onboard graphics (Intel 620). In general, however, the more complex the models, the more graphics performance Mecabricks demands for smooth operation. We tried Mecabricks on the PC and constructed a first simple model.

A look at the public community models in the “collection” reveals everything that is possible with Mecabricks.

(Image: Screenshot / Martin Reche)

The range of virtual building blocks in Mecabricks is impressive: In addition to the conventional terminal blocks (such as one, two, six) there are also Lego technology parts, vehicle components (including fenders, steering wheels, windshields), and special components with folding and rotating functions as well as plates of all kinds and of course components for figures on offer. That’s enough for endless construction sessions, especially since you can also experiment with colors, stickers and printed parts. If desired, you can also design your own stones – but more on that later.

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