I've been working with polymer clay (FIMO, specifically) since I was about 15.  I always thought it would be neat to sculpt customized bricks to use with my LEGO and Megablocks sets, but I've been kind of stumped about how.  After much thought, several false starts, and some consultation with my little brother, I've come up with a workable solution.

This is a pretty cheap and fun way to make all sorts of specialized bricks for use with your building block sets.  They won't ever replace the core sets, as they aren't as regular as the real thing, but they can add some awesome elements and your own specific style to your creations.

Essentially, I made metal stamps the shape of the dots and depressions of the building bricks.  Polymer clay is wrapped around the dots or pressed into the depressions, and then baked.  Once cool, the stamp is removed, leaving either the desired dots or depression that will mesh with the standard building bricks!

Step 1: Gather Supplies

Here are some tools and materials you will need.

  • Liquid latex for mold making
  • Mold conditioning spray
  • Latex Caulk . . . maybe.  See step three for my misgivings about this.
  • Plaster of paris
  • Plumbing solder (higher melting point than electrical solder)
  • Polymer clay (I use FIMO out of habit, but Sculpey is cheaper and generally easier to find)
  • LEGO or Megablocks bricks that you don't mind getting a little messy
  • Wax paper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Cheap paintbushes (you WILL ruin them, so just go to the craft aisle at the dollar store and buy a couple packs)
  • A mixing container for the plaster, I used an old cool whip tub
  • An old metal spoon (also will be ruined)
  • Propane torch
  • Heat gun or hair dryer
  • Towel
  • Something pointy and metal, like an awl or a fine pointed screwdriver
  • Craft knife
  • Baking sheet
http://poll.pollcode.com/GFH please vote! legos or megablocks?
<p>Wtf, Megablocks?? Who would vote Megablocks? I mean unless you are some weirdo or something. Probably the Jeffery Dahmer types. Lego is of course the one and only correct answer.</p>
diy means do-it-yourself, atlas portal 2
I would take a look for a small book titled, &quot;How To Cast Small Metal And Rubber Parts&quot; by W. A. Cannon. <br>Look on page 10 for Plaster Mold Casting . &quot;A mixture of plaster, talc and water is poured around a pattern. (Take out the pattern)... , and the mold is baked in an oven to drive off moisture.&quot; <br>I would guess baking at 200 degrees overnight would do it. <br>This would prevent the solder from spattering. <br>There are low temperature metals listed in the book as well.
Nice, thanks for the recommendation! It's only ten bucks on Amazon, I may pick up a copy. I think I might find it useful!
about that? what does DIY mean?
Oh, that's what they call the electronic profile patches pro members can give out.
your welcome
If the flawed castings were due to the solder solidifying too quickly, baking the plaster mold and filling it while it's still hot may help to slow down the cooling of the solder.
Hmmm, I hadn't considered that. If I ever try this again, I'll go that route to see if I can thoroughly heat the mold before dumping in the solder.
can you leave out the latex part because i can't find (cheap) latex in my local (craft) stores
If so, you'll have to find a substitution--latex was the cheaper alternative to my original plan to use pourable silicone.
I've found success casting solder in oogoo before. just saying.
Like, directly into oogoo? I tried casting it directly into LEGO, and it kind of worked, but wasn't usable with other bricks.
yes. it is heat resistant enough to withstand a few seconds of molten metal, which is long enough to get a mold in. I'm not sure if it would be ideal for this, though, with all the small crevices. it doesn't stick to the metal and form a perfect model.
very nice i wish i had thought of this when i was younger lol well at all for that matter
Thanks ansil, glad you liked it!
so imake polmeyer clay then vacum form them to make plastic ones like the real ones
Is this something you've done? I'd love to see how you went about it!
i know
So just what does this mean? Did you actually do this, or are you making a suggestion concerning the vacuum forming?
im saying a suggestein and i tryed it once yeah well i needed a few new things after thaat
Seconded! Tinker, if you've actually done this we would all like to know how, please share!
thats cool but Friendly plastic would have been much eaiser
What's the advantage of Friendly plastic? Isn't it just another type of polymer clay?
check this out http://www.ehow.com/how_7533253_instructions-friendly-plastic.html I picked some up from hobby lobby an used it to mold vampire fangs caps directly on my teeth. Pretty cool stuff an none toxic an reusable.
Those &quot;dots&quot; are called Studs, just for future reference.
Good to know, thanks for the info!
do you use LSD or something
Clay is hard to work with :P Unless you're a professional anybody who uses clay makes creations that look like they were on LSD.
Too true, keeping things regular and non-melty looking when working with clay is nigh-impossible!
Awesome idea. I wonder if you used that low-melting-temperature plastic to make the connection points(&quot;Utileplast&quot;, the stuff that melts in hot water), then molded your clay around those (so the plastic part is hidden), then removed the plastic, baked the clay, then used cyanoacrylate to glue the plastic connection points into the clay, if they'd connect a little better--the plastic's a bit more flexible than clay. <br><br>Basically, making plastic inserts for your clay. Hell, you could bulk fabricate plastic pieces with all sorts of ribs for connecting to the clay, and metal pieces to match, then churn out custom parts like crazy. If I wasn't in the middle of trying to sell our house (and all my toys in storage), I know what I'd be doing today.
Interesting! I've not heard of utileplast, is it reusable?
lol. Something pointy and metal? :p
Heck yeah! Screwdriver, awl, craft knife, metal filings, sword, rocket, whatever!
Nice, I'm going to use the sword. :)
Great! <br> <br>You got my vote.
Thanks masynmachien!
Rated! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks shunshiine, glad you liked it!
Custom toys, mold making <em>and</em> fire?! This Instructable has everything!<br /> The possibilities for this are endless! Now, where'd I stash all my LEGO?<br /> <br /> <br />
Thanks Mikeasaurus, I believe I have achieved some awesome synergy with this one!
Cool, this looks like a lot of fun.
Thanks ChrysN, it really was!

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Bio: depotdevoid is short for The Depot Devoid of Thought, the place where you go when you lose your train of thought and you're waiting ... More »
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