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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Culture

Lego Rube Goldberg machine tackles physics through plastic

Lego dominoes and an elaborate marble run power a fan-made kit that romps through physics concepts using a combination of imagination and Lego building skills.

Lego Physics set
Rube Goldberg meets Lego in this fascinating machine. Christian Bechinie

Lego and complex Rube Goldberg contraptions are a match made in toy heaven. At least that's what the Lego Physics set seems to prove by making the study of matter and motion through space and time wildly entertaining. Created by Christian Bechinie, Lego Physics is comprised of 200 flat-sided Lego "dominoes" and an intricate marble run that sends multiple balls around a roller-coaster-style track.

Bechinie's brainchild is one of several projects posted on the Lego Ideas site, where it is gathering supporters. If 10,000 people back the project, then Lego will consider putting the set into production. Lego Physics has more than 1,200 supporters with 338 days left to run.

Boasting a design that would make engineer and inventor Goldberg proud, Lego Physics includes a working catapult triggered by falling pieces, plenty of curvy ramps and a point at which multiple balls stack up to set off the next stage of the machine. The grand finale involves a small kinetic sculpture rotating through the air.

The set is intriguing for a lot of reasons. It's not based on a popular-culture movie or a television icon. It's just pure physics play that looks like it would have a lot of room for customization, redesign and experimentation. The complexity of the kit may put off some Lego fans, but others will find the design inspiring. It may not be a shoe-in for a production kit, but it should give builders plenty of ideas for ways to play with the Rube Goldberg concept within the Lego universe.

(Via Brothers Brick)