A Customisable Computer Built Entirely From LEGO

A Customisable Computer Built Entirely From Legos

Legos have been experiencing something of a renaissance lately. With adults now using their childhood building bricks in more creative ways than ever, it was only a matter of time before somebody decided to bring a portable, customisable, LEGO-based desktop computer into the world.

Top image via Total Geekdom

And there's no one more fit for that task than Mike Schropp, the Total Geek behind the Total Geekdom website. Schropp has been building LEGO computers for years, from small home systems to massive multi-system farms. But for his first foray into constructing a saleable system, Schropp really outdid himself, going through many design iterations before settling on a compact 19.05 x 19.05 x 13.97cm system -- practically as small as he could go and still fit the motherboard inside. His goal, he says, was to build something portable, endlessly customisable and packed with the power of a full desktop computer.

Oh, and did we mention the entire thing is made of LEGO?

A Customisable Computer Built Entirely From Legos

Lego computer wired. Image: Mike Schropp

The base system, which starts at $US999, comes with an Intel i3-4360 Dual Core processor, 8GB of memory, a 120GB SSD, and an Intel HD4600 GPU. Three different cases (shown above) are currently available, each featuring a user-controlled LED light bar that encircles the top of the case and displays up to 20 different colours. You can learn much more about Schropp's design process, and check out the full specs and pricing for several different builds over at Total Geekdom. [Total Geekdom]


    It looks cool but wouldn't lego as a case be terrible for overheating (and noise)?


      Lego works pretty well actually as a case material. It's made from the same material (ABS plastic) that the majority of computer cases made from plastic are. The design of the case and airflow through it are what control the cooling system. The way the case is designed allows for high flow air from the larger system fan to very quickly cycle the air through the case, which keeps everything cooled.

      As for noise, the fan and it's location determine the majority of the acoustics. That's part of the reason I decided to use a higher end Noctua fan, because for airflow versus noise they do a great job.

        Dust being the second highest cause of overheating, I don't see any dust filters in the design. How are you preventing dust from entering the case?

          There is a provision in the top of the case right below the inlet to allow for a single removable DEMCiflex filter. It's not standard on every build, but can be added.

          Here was my thinking in regards to the filter. The casual computer user is probably not aware that such things even exist, and even if they are, will they remember to clean it from time to time? I wasn't really sure if that would be the case, and I worried that if someone neglected cleaning the filter that it would eventually become quite the restriction itself.

          I made the case so that a filter could be added though if that was desired. Most computer savvy people are plenty capable of keeping up with cleaning a dust filter, so it's an option if desired.

          The case incorporates positive pressure, along with relatively high speed airflow directly over all the components. In my couple of months of testing I haven't noticed much dust build-up. That's not to say that over time dust won't accumulate, but I think the air pressure and airflow are helping keep some of that accumulation at bay.

    Oh, and did we mention the entire thing is made of LEGO?

    I think we need to have a discussion about what the term "entire" means.

      No, not at all. Electronic components comes in LEGO these days.

    Also, Legos is not a word:

    $US999? For those specs?

      I only included the i3 dual core processor option for those that wanted a cheaper alternative and didn't need a lot of processing power (casual users, office software, internet browsing).

      For $50 more you get i5-4590s quad core. Which offers a pretty big performance gain over the i3 processor. And if you need even more power you can get a i7-4790s quad core with hyperthreading. Also you can get dual SSDs and up to 16GB memory as well. Keeping in mind that it's all packed in a pretty small case that doesn't have much of a footprint.

    I like the idea of if I need more room for extra storage or a optical drive I can just build more case.

    But do you have to assemble it yourself, cause that is most of the fun with lego (and building computers).

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