The House That Jeff Built

Jeff Lummis recently finished a great little Lego house (set #4956) with his daughter - he sent pictures.

He thought some readers might like to build it, and I thought that was a cool idea too. So, trying out my plugin, I was able to load SketchUp with all the parts needed to build this set (except this one part.) The plugin fetches the Peeron page for the set, parses out the part #, quantity and color, and then populates the model with Components.

The plugin needs a SketchUp library of components whose names match the part number in the inventory. I have about 100 parts of the library finished, and will be making it available with the plugin.

This is a publicly-editable model, so download it, work on it, and upload your changes. (I reserved the right to approve changes.)

When it's finished, I would like to test another part of the Lego plugin - creating build instructions from the model. At first I thought printed instructions were what I wanted, but why not just use SketchUp - the SketchUp model IS the instructions.

By using Scenes, you can step through each step of the build. In a model like this (bottom-up), the steps can be mostly automated because each vertical layer of bricks can be assumed to be a step. And that is exactly how this image was created.


idraftnz said...

A few extra pictures here.

dedalo said...

Hi, jim, I'm just triyng to help and learn how to use SU for lego fun.

some questions:

1.- I see the house is "floating" over the green plate, I asume this is a mistake.

2.- how do you handle the snapping of the pieces on the plate? its easy when you already have e piece there but don't know hoy to move a piece to a specific row/col...

Jim Foltz said...


You make some good points. First, the house is floating because there are some base plates missing which go under the walls. I don't know how they fit, so I left them out for now.

For positioning - open the Units dialog. I suggest the settings:

Format: Decimal Inches
Precision: 0
Enable length snapping: [20, 10, or 5] - you may need to use several snapping lengths to get things positioned.

I am interested in hearing your thoughts about a Lego Part Positioning Tool.

Thanks for the comment!

dedalo said...

thanks for you answer, I will play a little with the positioning, do you know if is it posible to extend SU units? colud be great to create the "stud" unit, from that positioning and averything should be smoth.

in order to build the house I think the better is to follow lego steps,

Jim Foltz said...

OH, thanks for the instructions! - I did not find them online. That will speed things up a lot.

The stud-to-stud length is 20" in this model. 1 inch is equal to 1 LDU.

I also turn off the Display Units option and "think" in stud units.

dedalo said...

I put the 16 tiles of the back.

1.- How do I re-upload the model? using share again my SU opens a window of 3dwarehouse that hangs... making a repeating noise like the click on link on the explorer... extrange

2.- I tried to do it just moving the pieces from the "stock" this is tedious sometimes, i could be easier to cut & paste and erase the pieces from stock afterwords, I will try this approach.

3.- if you see the "house" from the back there is a misplaced column.

best regards

Jim Foltz said...


1. I don't know. SU should let you upload the model.

2. The stock is not strictly needed - the Component Browser has all the parts in there, but maybe there just needs to be a way to track the number used of each part?

3. I have downloaded the instructions and should be able to build from those.

Thanks again.

dedalo said...


Updated to step 4 of the instructions
Took the liberty to put the garage door on other layer and the porch too, just to put them invisible and work on the parts arround.

The thing changes a LOT if you hide the studs, I'm playing a a netbook here (intel atom) not tthe best configuration for this...

dedalo said...

just one thought I think 5 is not a good length for snapping, all the numbers I've seen in LDraw are even 2,4,8, etc... so 5 could drive you to undersired positioning...

Updated to one more step

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