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Review: LEGO Technic Non-Electric Models: Clever Contraptions

After you have studied Yoshihito Isogawa’s LEGO Technic Non-Electric Models: Simple Machines, what do you do with that basic technic machine knowledge? The next step it to check out LEGO Technic Non-Electric Models: Clever Contraptions and take what you have learned and apply it to creating unique apparatuses.

LEGO Technic Non-Electric Models: Clever Contraptions is the second book in a set of two. If you haven’t read LEGO Technic Non-Electric Models: Simple Machines and aren’t familiar with basic engineering and gearing concepts, I would recommend starting there before moving on to the Clever Contraptions.

Like the Simple Machines book, there are no direct instructions in the pages. Everything is done with clear, concise photos that show through example to to build and make use of the devices. The book breaks down into three sections: Practical Mechanisms, Measuring Devices, and Bonus Mechanisms.

The Practical Mechanisms section includes instructions for building things like lifting devices, gripping tools, and wind devices. It’s a rather unique idea that LEGO pieces could be used to recreate everyday tools and to do so in an effective way – but I don’t think you’ll be replacing your wrench or pliers with a LEGO build any time soon.

With the Measuring Devices, it will guide the reader through way of measuring weight, measuring length, measuring angles, and measuring airflow. These devices are a fun way to measure things, and would work well when things like a level is not available – and could create some rather unique ways to calculate and monitor measurements in conjunction with a Mindstorms set.

The final section of the book is Bonus Mechanisms, and this is where things get eccentric. Broken down into various rotating mechanisms, fun and games, and handy tools and accessories, this is where Yoshihito’s imagination gets to run wild. Using concepts from previous chapters and the previous book, his creations become weird and wacky. This section shows what an uninhibited imagination can create and ideas that could be incorporated into MOCs in unusual ways.

The LEGO Technic Non-Electric Models are essential books for building any kinds of mechanisms with LEGO. Yoshihito Ishagawa is an unmitigated genius when it comes to building LEGO machines and LEGO Technic Non-Electric Models: Clever Contraptions important part of building a solid library of reference books for building the coolest LEGO MOCs.

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