The Toys That Make Engineering Noise: Part 2
Who doesn’t love LEGO? While no parent enjoys stepping on them in the living room, I’d rather have my kids building a castle, a tower or a giant LEGO wind mill then watch their faces glued to their cell phones for hours on end.
Regular Gear Technology contributor, Liebherr is one of many companies immortalized with LEGO building sets. A 19,000 piece 370 EC-B Fiber tower crane was prominently on display at Bauma in Munich back in 2019. The company also had a R-9800 mining excavator created in 2019 with 4,000+ pieces.
The R 9800 Excavator came with an array of true-to-life features and functions, introducing LEGO builders to advanced elements of engineering. A multi-function control screen on the app enabled users to drive the excavator in all directions, rotate the superstructure, extend and raise the boom, open and tilt the bucket, play realistic sound effects and get real-time feedback, such as boom position, power usage and drive distance.
When I wrote my first article on toys that influenced engineers in the gear manufacturing and power transmission industries, the conversations always came back to LEGO.
Each year, my favorite building block company of all-time, continues to innovate in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This summer, LEGO celebrated yet another special milestone.
A LEGO Technic Ferrari 488 GTE “AF Corse #51” had the honor of speeding through the legendary Modena circuit in Italy. This memorable event was possible thanks to a team of about 20 people, who installed the brick version of the racing car on a real Ferrari 488 GTE, driven for the occasion by Giancarlo Fisichella, Ferrari Competizioni GT Official Driver.
The LEGO model was installed on the front of the racing car thanks to a mechanical arm specifically designed for this occasion. 8 cameras and 2 drones were involved in documenting the very first time a LEGO set was launched at full speed onto a real racetrack, from every point of view.
These images and sounds will be edited to create a video where all LEGO fans and motor enthusiasts will be able to experience the speed, the engine roar and the vibrations of the race as if they were part of the race themselves. Absolutely amazing!
The LEGO Group launched the LEGO Technic Ferrari 488 GTE at the end of 2020. Designed for LEGO fans and those who love motor racing experiences, this 48 cm long racing model is crafted from 1,677 LEGO Technic elements, making it a rewarding immersive building experience for older builders aged 18+ who love endurance racing, motorsport and Ferrari cars.
“The LEGO Technic Ferrari 488 GTE is packed with authentic features and beautiful design elements from the original racing car model. It is so similar to the real one, and all that it needed to really come alive was to be able to speed through a real racing car circuit,” said Camillo Mazzola, marketing director at the LEGO Group Italy.
LEGO crane? Check. LEGO mining excavator? Check. LEGO Technic Ferrari 488 GTE? Check.
It’s time for other manufacturing companies to get on the horn with LEGO and celebrate gear manufacturing and power transmission brick by beautiful brick.
The question I would like answered before I write Part 3 in this series is simply, “Where’s my LEGO Girth Gear for the Mining Industry or my LEGO Perseverance rover with working Forest City Gear components?”
Please keep the LEGO engineering marvels coming!
The article "The Toys That Make Engineering Noise: Part 2" appeared in the September 2021 issue of Power Transmission Engineering.