Showing posts with label cones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cones. Show all posts

LEGO Techniques - Cones Askew

Cones don't seem like they have the broadest of outside the box uses.  Perhaps this is true.  Maybe I've tapped the full potential of them.  But in another stroke of genius from the (neighbor) kids, this little technique gave me fodder for another blog post.

Due to their conical (not to be confused with comical) shape, the cones aren't limited to rigid vertical uses in an otherwise rigid vertical assembly.  If the stud has a little wiggle room then the cone can be cockeyed a bit to have the appearance of pointing out.  I have feeling that the 4x4 round plate contributes something to this little trick as well.

It's not the strongest connection, but it sure does look good.  The main use I can see is for control jets on a landing space craft.

LEGO Techniques - Arm Nubs

Think it can't be done?  Let my kid show you.  My 5 year old daughter showed me a little "table scrap" the other day telling me it was such and such a thing.  I was deep into work but stopped short when I noticed what she had.

"How'd you do that?"
*shrug* "I just did."

Well, how else would you know unless you tried right?  She had made some sort of chandelier / jewel holder by snapping a droid arm into the hollow stud of a cone.  Not one of the clips on the droid arm, mind you.  But onto what I would otherwise call a machining mark or decorative moulding pattern.  Sure enough there's an adequate amount of raised surface at the elbow to snap it into a hollow stud... sometimes.  But she had found two elements that worked.  Ten minutes later something had worn off too much and it wouldn't properly stick anymore.  So perhaps the half-life of the technique is rather short, or at least limited in uses.  Nonetheless this adds a whole new element to the greebling process.

LEGO Techniques - Cones

Cones come in several shapes and sizes.  From the tiny 1x1x2/3 "Fez" to a gigantic 8x8x6 built from two halves.  But until only recently were the studs on the small end.  In 2013 TLG released a cone that is upside down.  On the small end is a bar but on the larger end is a positive stud.  Therefore, it's an inverted cone.  This part comes in one color so far and is only used as an ice cream cone.  Pity it gets classed under "Food".  It's useful to so much more than just Epicureans.

I didn't think much of the new cones when I saw them other than, "Hey, new mold!"  But as I wrangled the part around in my head I wanted to try a few things.  So I bought some.    Turns out they're sort of handy for SNOT and stuff.  Grab your hanky and let's go!

Your first inclination might be to just straight stack the inverted cone with a regular cone.  Way to go regular Joe!  It's not bad, it gives some texture and the bar works kind of like an anti-stud with open studs (as cones have).  It's cool and all... for like a weaving spindle. 

I hope Kevin doesn't mind me using his sig fig to show off his mad skillz.

But lets go 180 and see what happens.  I was hesitant at first but delighted to discover that the inverted cone bar will fit into the underside of the regular cone.  If you weren't aware, the inside of most cones (any size) can accept a Technic axle.  Technic axle holes are also formed to accept a bar with good grip.  The bar is long enough to grip into the axle hole and stay there.  I wouldn't be doing any sole structural connections with this technique but it will stay put.

Those look kind of like dolls...

There, that's better...
The side effect to this is that you now have studs going 2 ways.  Not only that but you have studs going two ways with what looks like two and two thirds normal stacked cones.  The only drawback to this connection is that it is ever so slightly under 5 plates high.  It's just enough in this case to cause failure in the bar/axle hole connection when used side by side with 5 plates.  I give this connection 2.5 out of 5 studs.