It’s the frustration of many a designer: You grow up sketching and making with your hands, only to find yourself 20 years later spending the day in front of a glowing screen. The reality is, building in 3-D requires doing a lot of 2-D work first. Much of this is for practicality’s sake; in the early stages of design, it makes little sense to build a physical model when you can so easily revise and redo with the click of a button.
But what if you could build your design in real life, then tweak it virtually? That’s the idea behind Lego X, which uses networked plastic bricks to build digital 3-D files.
Lego X comes from the same team of designers behind Gravity Sketch, the bonkers Oculus Rift program that lets you draw in 3-D using augmented reality. We’re still waiting for that, but you can see the parallels with Lego X. Both projects bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds by making the act of designing more tactile. While Gravity Sketch achieved this using virtual reality, Lego X taps something more basic: Our desire to play with toys. ….