LEGO Technic Idea Book: Fantastic Contraptions

The LEGO Technic Idea Book: Fantastic Contraptions

by Yoshihito Isogawa
October 2010, 176 pp.
Full Color

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The LEGO® Technic Idea Book: Fantastic Contraptions is a collection of hundreds of working examples of simple yet fascinating Technic models that you can build based on their pictures alone. Each project uses color-coded pieces and is photographed from multiple angles, making it easy to see how the models are assembled without the need for step-by-step instructions. Every model illustrates a different principle, concept, or mechanism that will inspire your own original creations. You're encouraged to use these elements as building blocks to create your own masterpieces.

The Technic models in Fantastic Contraptions include working catapults, crawling spiders, and bipedal walkers, as well as gadgets powered by fans, propellers, springs, magnets, and vibration. You'll even learn how to add lights, pneumatics, and solar panels to your own models.

This visual guide, the third in the three-volume LEGO Technic Idea Book series, is the brainchild of master builder Yoshihito Isogawa of Tokyo, Japan. Each title is filled with photos of Isogawa's unique models, all of which are designed to fire the imaginations of LEGO builders young and old.

Imagine. Create. Invent. Now, what will you build?

NOTE: The LEGO Technic Idea Book series uses parts from various Technic sets. If you don't have some of the pieces shown in a particular model, experiment by substituting your own parts or visit the author's website for a list of the special parts used in the book.

Check Out Some "Fantastic Contraptions" in Action!

Check out the other books in the series!

Simple Machines

Wheeled Wonders
Author Bio 

Yoshihito Isogawa is a LEGO luminary with 42 years of building experience. He began writing computer manuals while at the Tokyo University of Science and founded Isogawa Studio, Inc. soon after. He has twice won the grand prize in the Japan Manual Contest held by the Japan Technical Communicators Association and he has won outstanding performance awards many times. He currently lives in Tokyo.

Table of contents 

Part 1

Four-Legged Walkers
A spider
An ant
A dog
A dynamic walker
A smooth walker with big feet

Six-Legged Walkers
A six-legged walker
An insect-like creature

Two-Legged Walkers
A simple walker
Chicken legs
A walker with square legs and one motor
A walker that shifts its center of gravity

Part 2

Using Wind
A simple electric fan
A propeller that creates wind
A hand-cranked fan
A black electric fan
Increasing rotational speed nine-fold (3 x 3)
Increasing rotational speed twenty-seven-fold(3 x 3 x 3)
A wind-powered car
Gentle lifting power
A big electric fan
An electric fan that moves up and down
An oscillating electric fan

Using Weights
Making your own weights
Pulley-powered cars
A car that moves as a weight descends
An old mechanical clock
A pendulum-powered clock

Movement Through Vibration
Vibration causes motion
Vibrating on shafts
A vibrating sled
A larger spinning mass means more vibration
Directing vibrational energy with wheels

Using Springs
A rocket launcher
A ballista
A Ping-Pong ball pitching machine
An electric Ping-Pong ball pitching machine
A pullback windup car

Part 3

Using Magnets
Various magnet bricks
A seesaw
A clutch
Dancing minifig
Magnetic vehicle suspension

Using Lights
Light bricks
Switching six colors of light
Electric plates
Fiber-optic art
Multicolored light
A lighthouse
A pop-up sports car headlight
Disco lights
A Morse code transmitter

Using Pneumatics
Pumps, cylinders, air tanks, and switches
Basic pneumatics
One end goes down, one end goes up
A pneumatic poking device
Creating rotational movement
A double-jointed arm
Moving the arm with a pneumatic cylinder
Using pneumatics with motors
Using a gear clutch to prevent damage when rotation stops forcibly
Using two pumps with one motor

Using Solar Panels
Solar panels
A solar-powered car
Making wind power

Part 4

Chairs and Tables
A folding chair and a height-adjustable table
A reclining chair and a turntable
Another folding chair
A beach lounge chair
An office chair

Off-Center Axis of Rotation
Placing the axle off center
A propeller that changes its rotational speed
The piston pumps when you turn the handle
The propeller only turns when two gears touch
A car that changes speed (and height)
A car with a traveling propeller
A propeller that changes its speed
A twin propeller
A wiggling car

Intermittent Movement
Mechanisms for intermittent movement
Cars that start and stop
A gear that looks like a flower
Using chains and tracks to start or stop rotation

Changeover Mechanisms
With a switch
With a lever
With a steering wheel
A four-way changeover with a steering wheel

Changeover by Switching a Motor’s Rotational Direction
Using a gear that shifts position
Spin the propeller or move forward
Using a worm gear
Move the arms or move forward
Using a differential gear
Spin the antenna or move forward

A mechanically animated face


"These are an invaluable set of books to have as a reference to build mechanisms."
BrickJournal (Read More)

"I can emphatically state that no self-respecting LEGO fan should exclude this series from their library."
Bricks in my Pocket (Read More)

"These are excellent books showing a lot of great ideas for LEGO mechanisms. Even if you're an experienced builder, there are surely some ideas in here you've never seen."
Brickpile (Read More)

"What I like about these cool little models is that they can be used to teach various science concepts such as gearing, Newton's Laws, and Potential & Kinetic energy—to name a few."
The Robotic Realm (Read More)

"For anyone who loves Lego, prototypes in Lego, or loves mechanical assemblies, these books are definitely required viewing, and we're not sure how we lived without them for so long."
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories (Read More)