Makeblock: the body of your open hardware projects.

Posted on 2012/12/23

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I have always been the LEGO kid. I especially liked the space sets, but I understood quite soon that the Technic series was the best for me. A couple of times in my life, when I wanted solutions to small physical problems such as “how can I fit this webcam to the top of monitor?”, I found myself thinking “I bet I could do this with LEGO”. For this reason when I saw the Makeblock it clicked immediately.

Makeblock Caterpillar

Makeblock Caterpillar, from their showcase.

Makeblock is a China-based project whose objective is to fill the need of thousand of makers, that need to give their prototypes a solid body and form. They offer building blocks which are very similar to LEGO Technic and Meccano, but they are made to be used with the most beloved pieces of electronics that hobbyists are using for robotic and automation ideas, such as Arduino.

I saw the showcase video and I understood the simplicity and usefulness of the design. The threaded slot seems very useful and flexible and the fact that many pieces are compatible with common electronics and with LEGO is a big plus. When I saw the guy stand on top of a Makeblock tank to show its resistance I was really impressed, and I bet that they are also very light, being made by aluminium. The building blocks may lack some axles, but overall it seems they should suffice (at the moment) for a wide range of applications. I’d like to see a 3D printer made of these, which can also create custom blocks.

If you want to donate to Makeblock, this is their Kickstarter page: Makeblock : Next Generation of Construct Platform by Makeblock — Kickstarter. They offer different kind of starter kits to backers, depending on the amount.

The product site: Makeblock-Aluminum Robot Kit

Posted in: Hardware