This week, the live-streamed broadcast on the Intel Insiders Community Discord channel highlighted a project with Intel Arc Graphics cards and LEGO. The show, a recording of which is now available to watch on Twitch, featured Zach Hill, an Arc Graphics tech marketing exec and LEGO fan. Hill has been working in his spare time for the last six months on creating a 1:1 or life-size model of the Intel Arc A750 graphics card using the huge library of LEGO bricks available in software.
The project aims to create a replica of the A750 as close as possible using available LEGO bricks. For this purpose, Hill uses BrickLink Studio, a free software package (LEGO Group owned) which allows 3D building and rendering of projects using the full gamut of LEGO bricks still produced. According to Hill’s estimation, the project, as you see it in the pictures throughout this article, is 80% finished. If you watch the video you can see and hear areas of the project which Hill still thinks require attention. One of the obvious non-LEGO issues, though, is that the sticker needs changing from Arc A770 to A750.
Hill and regular host Bob Duffy discussed whether the life-size graphics card could have LEDs or even RGB. A brief answer to this question is that there are some LEGO lighting kits available (previously released in a LEGO blacksmith and a lighthouse kit, for example), but in making the graphics card model a 1:1 size, there really wasn’t room to include them. This was also partly why Hill targeted the A750 for his LEGO design project – it doesn’t need LEDs to be realistic, just some silver accent LEGO bricks.
Non-LEGO fans will probably learn a lot about these creative building bricks from watching the video. Some of the things we picked up included a pair of new acronyms; AFOL (Adult Fans Of Lego), and SNOT (Studs Not On Top). The Arc A750 design uses quite a lot of bricks which are SNOTs.
On the topic of making these LEGO Intel Arc A750 graphics cards widely available after the project is completed, things seemed rather uncertain. It was highlighted that the LEGO Ideas Set (opens in new tab) program could get an official kit mass-produced with 10,000 votes behind it. However, Hill didn’t seem keen on this idea, perhaps because the project isn’t yet finished to his satisfaction. Also he seemed to direct those interested towards the future possibility of the BrickLink Studio design being made available and users sourcing / buying their own bricks using the catalog associated with the model.
If someone were to build the project in its present state, Hill reckons the 500 to 6000 bricks needed would cost about $120 or more. That's almost half the price of a real working Intel Arc A750 GPU.
Somebody spent a quarter of a million dollars and 6 months of their time on a fake model that accomplishes nothing except advertise a laughably overpriced toy brand.
It's such a pityable hobby and a waste of money and potential creativity. I just get really bummed out patents think their r like, a brain building STEM toy. But at this point, the whole business model is just FOMO dropping pop culture loot-box collectables for rich kids.
Such a pitiable hobby is (pardon the pun) literally the building blocks for many a child.
Some of the benefits:
Hand Eye Coordination
Don't be such a cynic ;)
Glad you see the hobby in the same light I do! The skills I value as an adult I attest to endless hours building as a kid.
As for Giroro's business model assessment, The LEGO Group does indeed make lots of cool adult-oriented pop-culture sets but I feel zero pressure to "catch 'em all," especially with how costly large sets are. As Chris Pirillo and I talked about on-stream, thrifted or used bulk LEGO bricks are a great way to avoid that premium and give kids or adults ways to build those skills (and maybe a MOC - My Own Creation - to be proud of while they're at it!)
Plus the in-house LEGO themes (Ninjago, Monkie Kid, City, etc.) all carry a smaller premium for the same size set as licensed sets like Harry Potter, Star Wars, or many of the one-off Icons sets.
Building Legos as a kid was one of the things that inspired me to become me an astrospace engineer.
Building Lego as an adult helps me connect to my kids as I help them build. It's a 1000x more interactive talk time than any video game.
Its a hobby of creation, like models painting and wood working.
Dang I hate phone auto correct. It makes me look like an idiot.
Later, when I started programming, I remember that same sense of delight, as I started to implement programs and code snippets I dreamed up. So, I guess you could say it gives kids a low-stakes way to experiment with their ideas and potentially fosters the delight of creation.
Legos are brain-building. They teach manual dexterity, spatial relation, and how to follow directions. I'd much rather kids play with legos than videogames.
Face it: kids are always going to have toys. What better toy than one where you can essentially build other toys? Then, as you play out imaginary scenarios, you're less limited by the toys you have. If you need some new piece to play out a given story line, you can potentially just build it.
These days, I think there are way too many specialized pieces. I don't love the brand tie-ins, either.
LOL, I'm the same. I'm often answering on my phone while travelling to or from work. And then end up editing all my mobile posts to fix up bad typing/typos, when I get on my PC at home. DOH! :tearsofjoy:
I absolutely loved Lego as a child (in the 70's - I know I'm old!!) I loved it for the exact reasons outlined. It was the basis for a lot of my dreams, and hopes. It brought out the creative in me, even when I wasn't the most creative. Building worlds, or vehicles or little towns out of many, many different sets, and the remnants of other sets really stretches and challenges the mind of a child.
I also used to love Meccanno! I remember building a yellow crane something like this: Top Race Metal Diecast Construction Crane Model Toy - Perfect for Boys and Girls or for Display : Amazon.co.uk: Toys & Games with my Unlce, who was about 7 years older than I was. These memories last a lifetime, and the skills learned have helped me along the way :)