Introduction: Can Legos Compute?

Picture of Can Legos Compute?

No, Legos can't compute, but you can build a Lego Computer. I had assorted computer parts but no case for them. I also had a few thousand legos. So I decided to build a computer case from the legos.

Step 1: Lay Out All Parts of Computer

I inventoried all of my computer parts to make sure I wasn't missing anything important. I had a CD drive, a diskette drive, a motherboard, a hard drive, a power supply and all cables needed to connect them. I also had a mouse, keyboard and monitor.

Step 2: Lay Out Lego Parts

First, I layed out the parts for the base. I used large flat pieces to build the base and I mapped out approximately where each computer part would fit.

Step 3: Assembly - Step 1

Picture of Assembly - Step 1

First, I placed the motherboard leaving about an inch around all sides to build the walls of the computer case. Next, I placed the hard drive to the right of and perpendicular to the mother board. To the right of the the hard drive I placed the CD drive, then the diskette drive.

Step 4: Assembly - Step 2

Next, I connected the power supply and the ribbon cables to all of the pieces I had placed.

Step 5: Assembly - Step 4 - Making the Case

Picture of Assembly - Step 4 - Making the Case

I started off by using large rectangular lego pieces to build the walls around the computer parts. I built one row at a time all the way around making sure that CD and diskette drives could open properly. Once I got to the top of building the case, it was time to build over the CD and diskette drive. Since they were different sizes it was difficult to hold them in place. You need to experiment with which is way best for you depending upon the size of the drives you are using.

Step 6: Finishing

Picture of Finishing

The last step is setting the power supply on top of the motherboard with the extra lengths of ribbon cables and other cables between them acting as a cushion. Also, make sure the power cord plug is on top and accessible. Lastly, begin building the top. Again use large flat pieces where possible. Do not cover the top of the power supply and double check to make sure all other plugs such as keyboard, monitor and mouse are also accessible. Now all that left is hooking up all of the pieces and hoping it works.

Step 7: Notes

Picture of Notes

1. A problem I had was that the ribbon cables for the diskette and CD drives would fit in either direction. Make sure they are connected properly before enclosing because disassembling the legos to correct the problem is a real pain.

2. I left the fan out of my project because there wasn't enough room. If you don't add the fan, I don't recommend leaving the computer running for more than 20 minutes because it might overheat.

3. If you look at the image attached to this step you'll notice that I did not complete the wall where everything is plugged in so that you could see how I did it.


carebare47 (author)2008-01-09

That case is practically sealed apart from the psu fan and the hole at the back and because its made of lego, the whole thing would start to melt within an hour.

zack247 (author)carebare472011-07-07

-cough cough- i know this is a really old comment... and i apologize.

but you would be surprised how well legos actually stand up to the heat, ive had legos sitting out in the sun for several hours on a hot summer day and they are just like all the other legos, except the legos from outside were a bit more faded.

a480641 (author)zack2472012-02-04

yes, LEGO which are made of ABS, will not melt until 221'F but not especially great above 176'F
if you add one or two fans and raise the motherboard off the base by about 1/4 or 1/2 inch, it'll be fine

carebare47 (author)zack2472011-07-08

In that case, I'm going to make myself a lego computer case! =D

zack247 (author)2011-07-07

this thing is so interesting!

if i were to make one, it would have to be a tower, but instead of those bumpy lego edges, i would probably use those smooth pieces just to give it a cleaner look, i would try this but i definitely dont have enough lego to do it, i have a fair bit, but not enough for something as big as this.

frosty1433 (author)2007-12-07

floppy disk drives and legos are soooo 1998

Yeah, everyone says that until it turns out they put something useful on one of those things ;).

Who's from 1998 now?


Xellers (author)2008-02-22

Actually, legos can compute. It is possible to make a simple mechanical computer from legos. Also, the lego mindstorms bricks are microprocessors that can run simple robot programs.

dungeon runner (author)Xellers2010-06-05

Yeah, there's been a lot of buzz on the webz on someone making logic gates with legos. Mechanical computers are absolutely fascinating, even when you know exactly how computers work.

I've seen four or five K'nex computers through obsessive googling. If it is as interesting to you as it is to me, then I eagerly await your lego computer :).


SpeedStrikerXLR (author)2010-01-30

 OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! that is so awsome

Id so make that if I had lots of legos
I hove bionicles though

Trainguyxx (author)2009-10-27

now, you have to try making a larger tower XD

=/ maybe even a server tower? lol

Awsumsoss (author)2009-08-08

i love this

TheCheese9921 (author)2007-04-04

I plan on building my next pc in a freezer but I'm worried about frost n stuff of and williz its dude, dood is an infected hair on an elephants butt

countable (author)TheCheese99212009-03-27

Condensation on the motherboard will be the biggest problem. If you ever brought something that had a little sachet of silica gel (it will say dessicant, throw away, do not eat on the side). Collect a huge load of those (or get them from somewhere cheap), open them up and sprinkle all the stuff around the bottom of the freezer. Cheap solution to an expensive problem.

Vissy (author)countable2009-07-12

They are mostly used up by the time you get them. I see cooling issues being more of a problem than this.

roastprof (author)2009-06-20

you can make logic gates out of lego, so a computer could be made completely out of lego lol it would take a lot of lego and space though.

pie_lover123 (author)2009-03-31

I think its a nice idea, but it seems that you ran out of rectangular legos before your casing was complete. It prolly would be better if you built it vertically and bolted all your pieces to the inside, and then added some lego hinges to one side for easy access. (and CA them all together.)

Rodancoci (author)2007-12-10

Nice one. Very cool. It gave me a GREAT idea, which, of course, I will not reveal untill the instructable.

tinkerC (author)Rodancoci2009-03-11

Please message me after, so I can see it.

cormac3050 (author)Rodancoci2008-07-29

Message me as well! sounds exciting!

mwwdesign (author)Rodancoci2008-06-30

This sounds cool. Message me when it's up, so I know which one it is!

cornflaker (author)2009-01-04

So that thing is running without a CPU video card, and sound card? :P (Yeah I know sound cards are pretty much always onboard now and the video card is sometimes too but I'm pretty sure I can see them sticking out the back of it lol)

cornflaker (author)cornflaker2009-01-04

Oh and a lan card... :P

chrisman01 (author)2008-10-22

Sweet! I'm in a computer repair class right now; I'm going to ask my teacher if we can make one!

cormac3050 (author)2008-07-29

Sweet! we have an old windows 95 pc gathering dust in the attic, I'm going to try make a lego laptop out of it!! will post photos when done.

cormac3050 (author)cormac30502008-08-01

sorry, its 98

cormac3050 (author)2008-07-30

What OS do you have on it?

livesteamfan (author)2008-06-29

This is pretty cool. For me, I took the parts I had laying around and mounted them on a piece of 1/4" plywood. Everything is showing, motherboard hard-drive, I even took the cover off the cd drive. I'm running XP on this thing and it's better than my store bought computer that I now don't use. Also, I found that putting a fan on the hard-drive helps it run better because it stays at the same temp.

computer41 (author)2008-06-09

Wouln't everything melt from the heat coming from it?

This isn't any better probably far worse but thought it was amusing:

Grey_Wolfe (author)computer412008-06-16

If it's an ITX motherboard, then it really wouldn't be worse. They run remarkably well in such confined spaces. The boards run fairly cool, actually.

computerwhizkid42 (author)2008-04-29

Nice! two of my favorite hobbies are legos and computers! What kind of hardware does it have inside (e.g. memory, video card, hard drive) , and how does it run?

Mad Cat (author)2007-05-05

Good idea, but it looks kind of bad. Sorry. Someone should try and make one out of K'nex.

zero838 (author)Mad Cat2008-03-23

it would look better if it was all one color

Xellers (author)Mad Cat2008-02-22

K'nex would be much worse! Just a neater job with legos would make a nice case.

Mad Cat (author)Xellers2008-02-24

Lego would be better at making solid, smooth surfaces, but K'nex can make a much bigger case without using up as many pieces.

Xellers (author)Mad Cat2008-02-28


cbehrle (author)2008-02-03

I laughed for at least 10 minutes when I saw this. it's very creative. I wish I had thought of it first.

Sypran (author)2008-01-08

grr i can only do this for my old comp made in 95 or somthing. for my new computer that im useing is the big one that G4 made where its cost like a little over $3,000... i would do this with it to give it style but a super comp needs to breath

the_burrito_master (author)2007-12-12

nice I would make a bigger case that could hold up every thing.

jeffconnelly (author)2007-11-29

w h y ?

zachninme (author)2007-04-01

Where's the motherboard?

led235 (author)zachninme2007-11-03

it's in the middle of the computer tower usually. It's got a tiny fan, lots of capacators and memory cards on it.

zachninme (author)led2352007-11-03

Hehe I was referring to this, I couldn't see it...

altaria1993 (author)zachninme2007-04-29

inside the case

lookatmygrlyfont (author)2007-04-07

is that windows 95 with a 640 by 480 res desktop.. wow

ich bin ein pyro (author)2007-04-02

from the looks of the top it looks like you barly had enough legos for it

ongissim (author)2007-04-01

Cool idea! Now, only if I had that many legos...

lemonie (author)2007-04-01

That monitor doesn't look very hot, but what have you got behind it - longboat of sorts? L

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