Community challenge #16: Lego-style (closed)

This is a cool challenge!


Use that energy to get drawing and designing!

When I can’t actually be cutting on my machines I draw and work on things such as:


Will, I hope you’ll be flattered to know I’ve already read and bookmarked that article, and your posts here have given me loads of inspiration! And yes, I have a bunch of designs and ideas ready to go, but reading about this challenge (and the prizes, tbh) made it really hard to sleep last night.


I also think this is a great idea, it will give a better chance for new talent to win, and also allow past winners to compete without guilt over discouraging the new machinists.
I am at -7! -'Tis but a scratch… lol


hello everyone.
I am happy to present you a small project that I realized at the end of August, September.
and this challenge is totally corresponding to it :wink: thanks julien

I found a 3d lego on thingiverse in stl format.
I scaled it to a scale that suited me, and I separated the parts to load them in fusion 360, to make my machining files.

the head was the first piece made. you can see that the finish is not great, there is some finishing to do… I had made several toolpaths in fusion 360 (in parallel x and y), I ended up realizing that “adaptive” toolpaths. the finish was much better :wink:

Except the “legs”, all the parts were made in 3d, so by flipping, in two parts. (the holes of the axes are not on my files… made separately)
I didn’t have any machining problems.
But I think I can optimize my settings even more to save machining time. the precision is there :wink: the result is really nice.

since the beginning of 2020, I’ve only improved my shapeoko; by upgrading it to xxl, by buying the bitrunner, Z probe, the new hdz this summer and by making a table with storage, electricity and various switches, and a touch screen. i’m happy with my installation.
this project and the reflection of my new machine. :blush:

i can’t wait to see the new projects of this challenge which will certainly be crazier than a lego.

bras (2.7 MB) bras (1.4 MB) (267.6 KB) trou sous (34.0 KB) jambe (605.8 KB) jambe (602.4 KB)liaison buste dessous (560.7 KB) liaison buste (415.2 KB) usinage main (1.1 MB) usinage verso (423.3 KB) dessous tete (1.3 MB) dessus tete (1.0 MB)


This looks fantastic! Way to kickstart the challenge.

I downloaded a Fusion360 design file for that minifigure yesterday with the intent to play along, and now I definitely want to make one, challenge or not.

What wood types did you use ?

Also can you please include the actual design file (zipped f3d I guess unless you can still share a public link from your F360 version)


I can’t wait to see yours @julien.


I made two figurines (lego), both have the head and hands in “buis” in french, the legs, arms and connecting piece in cherry wood. ( the veining and the color is different from cherry tree)

and the difference between the two figures, one has the bust in cherry tree, the other in oak. (305.8 KB)
main (332.2 KB) mains (670.7 KB)
dessous tete (608.5 KB) dessus tete (389.9 KB)
jambe (269.8 KB) jambe (298.1 KB) (215.6 KB) trou sous (145.1 KB)
bras recto (1.4 MB) bras verso (815.7 KB)


@Bwood34 you can post fusion files in cutrocket, check this one out:
And way to get the challenge going, the minifig looks awesome!


Lego “Dovetail” joint for a lego table. I just finished the test prototype, and hope to finish the whole table by the end of christmas break:

The end goal is to recreate this table I made 5 years ago with better joints:

My inspiration was a NOEL joint that Lee Valley had posted on their website that looked like it would work great with CNC

My process:
I used the Arial Black font to create blocky text that fit the area. I then converted the text into vectors and adjusted the text so that a 1/8 end mill can fit into all of the areas with the letter G being the most difficult. One trick I used was a created a circle with same diameter as the bit and moved that around manually to check spacing and adjust vectors. I created two tool paths, one that routed out the interior of the letters and one that routed around the letters. I kept simulating until when I ran both tool paths there was no wood shown in the end result.

To hold the vertical board I followed ScottsdaleSteve method and attached a 2" thick block of scrap oak to the spoilboard that I had made square on my jointer. I then clamped the board to this block and routed out around the letters.

For the other board I just screwed the board to the waste board since this was a quick and dirty proof of concept and routed out the interior of the letters. I then lightly sanded both pieces and used a mallet to connect push them together. It was a very tight fit and actually broke part of the G off. I used a pocket offset of -.002" for the letters and will likely increase that for the final parts. Workholding is something I still struggle with and need to figure out how I am going to do it on the final boards to avoid the screw holes.

The other part of this project is I want to route out the lego portion in the middle instead of using a plastic plate. I’m currently stuck on how to make a nice enough end grain portion for this part of the build. Plan is to reinforce the fibers with cyanoacrylate glue before routing.

Part 2

I bought some more clamps and was able glue the end board blank together. I used the CNC with a 0.250 end mill to flatten the top and bottom. I used a scrap cutoff from the main section to dial in the diameter that worked best with the wood and bit I was using. I used a Whiteside RD1600 down cut bit which worked great in the end grain. In the end I found a circle diameter of 0.195" worked best to give a part that could be disassembled, but not be too loose that they just fall off.

The file is just an array of circles with a diameter of 0.195 and gap of 0.315.
Lego board portion Final.dxf (6.6 KB) I was very happy how this turned out and the end grain works perfectly. I had thought about adding a chamfer on the top with a v-bit but decided against it. In the future I would do that step to help the lego pieces get started
I did end up reinforcing the end grain with super glue. I did not have accelerator and the glue never really cured in the interior. It stung my eyes a little while I was carving the pegs. On my test piece I tried with and without super glue and didn’t notice a differnce. The board did surface to a smoother finish after the glue was applied. (I surface the wood, applied super glue to entire surface, let sit for 24 hours and then surfaced again).

As a Christmas gift to myself I picked up some of the carbide 3d end stops and the tiger claw clamps. I then used the router to create the slot the main table board will sit in with the #201 0.250 end mill. The clamps saved me a lot time and I wished I would have bought them sooner.

I was going to use the same whiteside bit for the joint portion, but I realized it only has a cutting length of 1/2" and gets wider above that height, making a loose joint. An emergency order to amazon later I used the Amana Tool - 46125 bit to carve the joint. My one mistake was making the letters exactly the height of the board. Even with very careful positioning, I always ended up with some portion of the letters not being carved. If I would have made the letters .73" tall instead of .75" it would have worked fine. Before carving I adjusted the letter spacing such that the letters did not overlap the slot.

Lego connection 5.5 inch.dxf (61.1 KB)

I made the letters 1/16" deeper then the boards they were inserted into to make sure they were proud of the other board and could be sanded flat.

When cutting the pockets I used -.0035 pocket allowance to create a tight fit, but not too tight. On my sample I used -0.002 and it could be pounded together, but not hand assembled. This is a toolpath option on varve that doesn’t seem to exist on carbide create This can probably be done with an offset path on carbide create to create a new vector, but I haven’t tried.

I then glued the joint together and put a 1/4 roundover on all edges since this is meant for young kids. I still need to build the legs yet, but I am out of time for the contest. Normally I would wait until project is complete to apply any finish, but with project deadline I applied the first coat of minwax hand rubbed polyurethane to get a picture of the final project (minus legs)

Cutrocket link

The vcarve files are below.

Lego connection 5.5inch Final design with (1.3 MB)

Just added legs and another coat of finish:


5 days to go, I’d like to see more Lego things!
@peterwup maybe ? (hint hint)

OK - I’ve been at it for several days with this challenge. I’m a complete newbie/green bean here but it’s been quite fun and learning so much. I’m not finished yet and will post final pics later but figured I would add to this amazing forum.

So my idea stems from always having a hard time finding my tools so I clearly needed to hang this up near my SO3. So instead of just using pegboard, I decided to make a lego wall to hang the parts.

I designed the lego’s all in Carbide Create from the industry standard Lego Sizes… I needed a few base plates to hang on the wall and then several pieces to hold the things I would use to hang the tools.

I’ll start with my key learnings so far - which have been way too numerous but I think that’s part of the challenge and learning.

  1. Cable drag - I just have the standard SO3 and thought I followed the instructions to a T, but as you can see from this picture, the cables drag too much in the back and it threw off the machine while cutting so I ended up not having as many pieces as I’d designed. But I added one more cable tie in the back of the machine and it does not drag any more and should not get caught anymore

  2. Workholding - here is where I seem to think I’m getting better but everytime something new happens. I have 3d printed many different size clamps but I either had them too close to the cutter or in the way of the Sweepy. I also was trying to fit the biggest size I could on the SO3 vs. just wasting some wood on the side. I also now have double sided tape that I should use if I’m cutting to the max.

  3. Precision - I first designed my piece to be 14.3" square and just cut it on my table saw, thinking I would be “close enough” to 14.3" so when I turned it over and cut the front, it would be close enough… But even just being a tiny bit off threw off the back. So the next time I had had the machine cut two 1/4" holes that went into my baseboard that was symmetrical so that I could turn it over and just push in two 1/4" bits to get it aligned exact the second time when cutting the other side.

  4. Carbide Create - I learned so many things trying to get it both designed and create the toolpaths.

a) I’m still struggling for a good way to pick lots of things at once without having to click each one while holding down the shift. I found that if I grouped some of the common circles for the cuts, then selecting them would be faster to make the tool paths
b) I was hoping to use the 1/4’ bit the most but the first time I designed it, the space between the outer wall and holes was less than 1/4". But then I read more on this forum, and just created an artificial outer box where the cutter could cut, and then made it around 50% faster. So learning how to offset to make cuts was an important learning for me
c) Carbide Create seemed limited to me at first, but when I really started learning it, there is really a lot of good stuff built in (centering to last object or stock, offsets, boolean, etc…)

  1. Random disconnects. I’m still having them but Carbide 3d team has been awesome in helping me try to isolate it. I was making all my cuts with one .nc file but learned that even with a disconnect, it would not lose the zero point, so I could just do another .nc file without the cuts that were completed. I’m confident I’ll get the random disconnects fixed soon.

Here is my completed base plate:

And here is the first part of hanging tools. I just used a small nail into one of my lego pieces.

My tomorrow project is to stack a few of my bricks together and then cut squares in the top so it can hold my CNC bits and then drill some holes to hold the allen wrenches. I hope to expand this out with another base plate and hold my headphones and eye glasses. It’s all painted red/black to match my wall cabinets.

More pictures tomorrow. And any ideas/recommendations/tips would be hugely appreciated. I’ll upload all the lego parts later too - they actually work and stay together (if I take all my learnings into account).


That’s what I am talking about! Thanks for the early sneak peek.
The red and black colors work very well I think, that should make for a pretty cool workshop space when this is all done, make sure to post a picture of that!

Can you post a pic from the back of the machine? There is definitely too much length there, you should not have those loops visible at the bottom (or did you maybe fix that in the meantime?)

That’s where side clamps like the Gator Tooth and Tiger Claw are handy, they allow you to have the top surface completely free for the cutter/Sweepy to go as far out as required.

Give painter’stape and superglue a try, I find it to be superior to double-sided tape, cheaper, and it is well suited for regular S03 work area (it becomes awkward to use for very large pieces, so XXL users may not use it as much as I do, which is all the time)

That’s a best practice for precise double-sided jobs so it will come in handy quite often.

Just in case you missed it , there are two drag box selection modes: when dragging from the top left to the bottom right, it will select all objects that are completely within the box. When dragging from the bottom left to the top right, it will select all objects that are at least partially within the box. This second mode can turn out to be quite useful, say if you want to select a series of objects that are aligned, but with other objects in between them; if you can find a location where you can draw a vertical or horizontal line touching only the objects you want selected, you can use that mode.
The other obvious tip is to select lots of things and then remove things by holding the shift key and clicking on them. And then again there are designs where you will just have to painfully hand pick the selection, and then grouping is great to only do it once.

Looking forward to seeting the completed project!


Thanks Julien - very, very helpful guidance. I’ll send a pic of the back of machine later as I do think something still might be wrong

I’ll look into other workholding devices as you recommend and will try painters tape and Superglue too.

I did miss the way to select multiple items depending on which direction you go. Where do you find all these type instructions? I had a hard time figuring out how to pan around after zoom and the forum helped me there, but would be good to know where to go for all the specifics of the software.

So here are more pictures.

Here is the way I cut squares to hold the CNC bits

And then mounted on the wall plates with my holder for the allen wrenches

Here is the near finished pics - notice my workbench if red and black so made the lego’s match…

I plan to add the Carbide C logo somewhere soon.

Again, I welcome any feedback and advice.


Here are the carbide create files. Now let the real help and advice come. Thanks

Lego Wall Carbide Create (168.5 KB)

And here is the link to the CutRocket website:


The only resource I know of is this series of tutorial videos:

They were made a long time ago so CC evolved since then, but most of it should still apply.
I am not aware of a full-fledged user manual, but maybe @WillAdams knows. He is also the best reference for all things Carbide Create :slight_smile:

That is a great workbench you got there.

For Carbide Create tutorials and didactic resources in addition to the videos we have:

which has a list of tutorials

and I wrote:

1 Like

Firstly…I am so jealous of your idea…looks amazing. As I look at it, I just think…how can you get rid of those nails?

So I thought maybe to use this

If you are worried about the strength, you could probably put a nail through it. And you may need to put two to get the right height.

Then there is the other circle, which might also work great


Again, these are just all unnecessary additions, because I love what you have done, but you did ask how you could take this to the next level.

Btw…The other option, would be to use Lego Heads as the pin to hold the spanner

Oh…and I agree with Julien…great workbench



This project was inspired by Russian Matryoshka Dolls, also called stacking dolls or nesting dolls:

Smallest box with a U.S. Dime for perspective


The smallest box is just big enough to hold one original LEGO brick, and each box maintains the proportions of a standard LEGO brick.

They are machined out of solid pieces of walnut and finished in Watco Danish Oil and a coat of Johnson’s Paste Wax. The interiors are flocked to give them a “jewelry box” look.

First step was to design the lid and basic dimensions. (Note that Box 4 never got built. I didn’t have enough wood, nor did I have an endmill that would reach deep enough to pocket this box):

Second step was a “build sheet”:

Box 1 Bottom

Box 1 Lid (bottom side)

Remove lid and pocket a dogbone into the wasteboard

Flip the lid over

Machine the studs

Box 3 Bottom (I love walnut swarf!)

Box 3 Lid (bottom side)

Pocket a dogbone into the wasteboard

Flip the lid over and machine the studs

Box 1.c2d (85.3 KB) Box 2.c2d (98.2 KB) Box 3 Base.c2d (75.4 KB) Box 3 Lid.c2d (75.7 KB)


Beautiful boxes. I assume some Lego enthusiasts might use them to store their favorite… Lego bricks.

Legoception…what a fantastic idea !