Free LEGO model design software
LEGO Digital Designer is a freeware computer program that lets you build models with virtual LEGO bricks. Digital Designer uses an approach similar to computer-aided design (CAD) programs, meaning you can build whatever you can imagine, right on your computer. For big kids out there, this program is basically a digital version of the famous LEGO box of bricks and pieces.
Is Lego Digital Designer still available?
Although LEGO announced that LEGO Digital Designer (LDD) would no longer be updated, it is still available to download and use. Several versions have been uploaded since LEGO's announcement. The most recent version of LDD has improved stability and a brand-new set of LEGO components for you to use and construct.
Is Lego Digital Designer free?
LEGO Digital Designer is a free software download that lets you build models with virtual LEGO bricks. The software was produced by the LEGO Group as a part of LEGO Design byME, a now-defunct service that people could use to order their own LEGO creations for delivery as actual models. The LCC software is easy to download from the Softonic website.
LDD is available for macOS (OS X 10.10 or higher) and Windows (operating system: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10). BlockCAD, Stud.io and LDraw are some similar alternatives to Lego Digital Designer. Tutorials on how to use Lego Digital Designer are available online.
What can I do with LEGO Digital Designer?
LEGO Digital Designer provides you with a huge amount of LEGO bricks and pieces of different sorts and sizes that you can use to design anything you desire. You can even get parts lists and building instructions so you can build your model in real life!
If you need some inspiration, you can also use the pre-rendered 3D figures featured in the software, either editing them or using them as models for your own designs.
Upon opening, LEGO Digital Designer displays a welcome screen that gives you access to the following modes: the LEGO Digital Designer, LEGO Mindstorms, and LEGO Digitial Designer Extended. The classic LDD mode lets you build your model using an extensive (but limited) selection of bricks, while LDD Extended offers an unlimited collection of bricks and colors, from which to choose.
Mindstorms, in contrast, are available for programmable robots, based on Lego building blocks. In this mode, you can access hundreds of virtual LEGO MindStorms and Technic elements that help you design your robot model from scratch.
You can operate each mode in three ways: Build, Building Guide, and View. View lets you take screenshots of your work and 'explode' the model. Building Guide automatically generates building instructions to a .html file.
To kick off the design program initially, however, select Build. Here, you will find all the tools that help you select, move, color, rotate, and clone your bricks. LEGO Digital Designer has a 3D working area where you place your chosen pieces. The working area can be panned, zoomed or moved in any direction so you can get a better view of your creation.
You can select pieces of work from a floating menu, where they're conveniently organized by categories and grouped by size. There's a seemingly endless list of pieces, meaning you can let your imagination run wild!
You can control LDD using your mouse (optimized for mouse controls). You can use hotkeys to choose and operate particular tools. For example, the H key is for he Hinge tool. One of the program's trickier elements is that you need to be extremely accurate with your mouse and move the working area a lot to get pieces into exactly the right spot.
Every model or design you create in LEGO Digital Designer has its own building palette that contains three tabs: Brick, Group, and Template. The Brick palette gives you an unlimited number of bricks, with which to begin building. You can filter bricks by LEGO sets or find the bricks by color. If you're looking for a specific type of brick, you can use the search field.
The Group palette lets you create a collection of bricks for later, such as bricks that you use most often (like car wheels, rooftops and aircraft wings). Each group features a preview so you can see its contents. Templates, meanwhile, is a set of groups and is helpful to access when you want to create the same foundation of bricks for a different project.
Anyone who is already used to working with digital design programs will find that the LDD user interface and experience are similar to computer-aided design programs.
What software do LEGO master builders use?
LEGO master builders are hired by the toymaker to build large-scale LEGO sculptures such as those at the company's Discovery centers, LEGOLAND theme parks, retail stores, and events.
To practice their skills, LEGO master model builders use software similar to LEGO Digital Designer, making it a great program for anyone who wants to master the art of building with Lego. LEGO Digital Designer was also the main modeling program used to create the Lego Movie franchise.
Hone your LEGO building skills
Overall. LEGO Digital Designer is enjoyable to use and offers thousands of shapes to create your design. It's suitable for both designers or amateurs that are fans of LEGO bricks and looking to hone their building skills.
While the software lets you explore new and creative ways to create LEGO designs without having the physical pieces in your possession, it's also fun to try and recreate your online design in real life with actual bricks. Younger users may find the program difficult at first but as the tools are laid out in a straightforward manner a little practice will make this fun project feasible.