LEGO Digital Designer

Share your building instructions or ask questions about constructing your robot
physics-matt
Posts: 76
Joined: 29 Sep 2010, 06:57

LEGO Digital Designer

Post by physics-matt » 10 Dec 2010, 18:27

Just wondering whether anyone else is using LDD now that it appears to have been improved rather dramatically?

(for those not already familiar with it, LDD is a sort of CAD for LEGO. It's free software by LEGO, just google "ldd")

It's still a bit flaky in places, but I managed to build my Heli Shooter that I posted a while ago without too much trouble, here's a piccy:

Image

It doesn't have any of the 3rd party sensors for obvious reasons. I've replaced the HiTechnic sesors with LEGO ones, but left empty positions for the others.

Overall I'm quite pleased. The big advantage that LDD has over, say, LDraw is that it actually models the pieces properly and enforces them to connect in the right way. In fact, whilst putting together the sensor turret in LDD I found that a few pieces had been badly aligned and the software made it really easy to find a fix. However, the modelling is far from perfect: whether or not it lets you connect things seems to sometimes depend on the order in which you try to put them together, and there were one or two connections I simply couldn't convince it to make. It is also very tricky to get gears to mesh (yes, it even checks those!).

However, I'm probably willing to forgive its numerous flaws for sake of the fact that having proper models of the pieces makes putting them together so much easier than in LDraw.

I'd be interested to hear what others think.

Matt

rghansen
Posts: 67
Joined: 12 Oct 2010, 17:44

Re: LEGO Digital Designer

Post by rghansen » 11 Dec 2010, 11:49

Philo has used LDD quite a bit. He convinced me to down load a copy of it. It looks like just the right tool to take the worry out of taking a project apart in order to try something new. At the moment, I still worry about being able to recreate the designs that I worked so long and hard at.

Although the tutorial makes it look easy to use, I'm not sure I have the time at the moment to climb what might be a steep learning curve.

physics-matt
Posts: 76
Joined: 29 Sep 2010, 06:57

Re: LEGO Digital Designer

Post by physics-matt » 11 Dec 2010, 16:11

The interface is really quite simple, nothing like LDraw, so in that respect there's not much of a learning curve. It's very reminiscent of NXT-G in the sense that it's pretty easy to pick up and use, just quite fiddly (and in some instances, downright infuriating!) to do more sophisticated things.

I'll probably stick with it for the time being. Should I ever try to re-build anything I will just have to remember that if a peg is in a slightly odd position, it's probably because LDD wouldn't let me put it where it ought to go...!

The only thing I wonder is whether the underlying file format will remain the same - I noticed that somewhere on the help pages it says that if they update the model for a part then it may not load from older files. This is a bit worrying for anyone considering using LDD to archive their designs.

Matt

rghansen
Posts: 67
Joined: 12 Oct 2010, 17:44

Re: LEGO Digital Designer

Post by rghansen » 12 Dec 2010, 08:18

Thanks for the encouragement. I've already read the tutorial and downloaded the latest update.

Do you have any good tips on how to get started?

physics-matt
Posts: 76
Joined: 29 Sep 2010, 06:57

Re: LEGO Digital Designer

Post by physics-matt » 12 Dec 2010, 10:16

I recommend loading one of the robot models that comes with it (when the software starts, select the Mindstorms tab and you'll see three that you can load) and having a play. Try taking bits off and putting them back on again to get used to the way the software works.

After that, I think it's just a case of pick a model you want to build and try building it!

Matt

sparramc
Posts: 83
Joined: 29 Sep 2010, 08:44
Location: Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
Contact:

Re: LEGO Digital Designer

Post by sparramc » 13 Dec 2010, 00:38

I have 'LEGO Digital Designer' running on my LinuxMint Box. I was surprised how darn easy it was to install and get running.

The steps were as follows:
  • Installed Wine v1.2.2
  • Installed LEGO Digital Designer
  • Crossed my Figers
  • Loaded a LEGO Digital Designer '.lxf' file
And it worked with no tweaking!

Image

Thanx Matt for the inspiration to give it a try. Now I'll attempt 'LeoCAD' and 'MLCad'.
regards

Ray McNamara

www.rjmcnamara.com

'The Universe Consists of 1% Hydrogen, & the Rest is Ignorance!'

physics-matt
Posts: 76
Joined: 29 Sep 2010, 06:57

Re: LEGO Digital Designer

Post by physics-matt » 13 Dec 2010, 08:03

Cool. I'm impressed that it was so easy to get working in Linux. Even more impressed by the number of gears you appear to have fitted together! (still having some difficulties with gears in LDD myself)

I think one of the most frustrating things about it will be the spurious parts missing from the inventory (no 2902/2903 wheels :( ), but hopefully that will improve with time. At least when the parts are present I find it much quicker to put things together than in MLCad/LDraw.

Matt

haydenstudios
Posts: 252
Joined: 22 Oct 2010, 20:05
Location: The United States of America
Contact:

Re: LEGO Digital Designer

Post by haydenstudios » 07 Jan 2011, 15:35

Yes! I use Lego Digital Designer too! I use it to document all of my NXT robots! It is a VERY useful and easy to use program. Though it doesn't have as many pieces as MLCAD, it is a LOT easier to use. Though it doesn't have a TON of pieces, the L-U mode hack can REALLY push the limits of what can be done. I use MLCAD sometimes, but I only use it if I really have to. :D
-Hayden

arqetype
Posts: 5
Joined: 08 Jan 2011, 23:12

Re: LEGO Digital Designer

Post by arqetype » 09 Jan 2011, 20:48

This week I downloaded and installed Lego Digital Designer on my MacBook, running Mac OS X 10.5.8. That was a piece of cake, but when I launched the application it got hung up. As I noticed on the support section that the application needs access to the application folder, I tried to launch LDD after logging in as Administrator on my machine. Then it worked fine.
I already tried copying the application to my home directory. But that didn't work.

Has anyone any idea how to get it working on a regular user account?
One and one makes eleven.

linearactuator
Posts: 16
Joined: 06 Jan 2011, 06:28
Contact:

Re: LEGO Digital Designer

Post by linearactuator » 10 Jan 2011, 05:12

arqetype wrote:This week I downloaded and installed Lego Digital Designer on my MacBook, running Mac OS X 10.5.8. That was a piece of cake, but when I launched the application it got hung up. As I noticed on the support section that the application needs access to the application folder, I tried to launch LDD after logging in as Administrator on my machine. Then it worked fine.
I already tried copying the application to my home directory. But that didn't work.

Has anyone any idea how to get it working on a regular user account?
If my memory serves me correctly, I think you just need to drag the folder where LDD is installed onto your Desktop and run the ldd executable from there.
(Note: it would be good if someone could reconfirm this!)

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