PELA Blocks

LEGO-compatible Parametric 3D Printed Blocks and Gadgets

PELA Blocks

LEGO-compatible Parametric 3D Printed Blocks

PELA blocks are designed for easy 3D printing, strength, and rapid customization using free software. One time calibration gives perfect snap-together objects in exotic materials and geometries to help you explore your ideas and build with exotic materials and any motors and electronics you like. Example enclosures with many options for custom sensors, actuators, computers and IoT devices are included, or create your own.

These designs are not by the LEGO corporation. LEGO-compatible blocks are available from multiple manufacturers. Associated patents expired long ago in a forgotten age.

The name PELA comes from the Finnish “pelataan” meaning “let’s play”. Pelataan.

Open source design, Powered By Futurice

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These open source designs are brought to you by Futurice and contributions from the community. Come work with the best.

The software needed is free and open source, OpenSCAD. You can probably learn it in less than an hour.

Download

The STL files shown are examples only. To get a good snap fit with your 3D print, you need to fine tune the size of top and bottom connectors. It is also easy to personalize PELA designs- start by turning on or off optional features.

  1. DOWNLOAD the latest designs, or git clone git@github.com:LEGO-Prototypes/PELA-parametric-blocks.git --recurse-submodules, then git lfs install in each git module
  2. Calibrate the PELA Block models for your material and printer

Advanced Setup

See Advanced Setup for additional tricks sparse update to save you space and bandwidth, Raytraced image generation, command line STL cleanup and and batch file generation of all models when you change filaments.

Slicer Recommendations

See the Slicer Recommendations for settings recommendations and material information.

Calibrate

PELA Example fit of a calibration block

PELA Calibration Bar

3D PELA Calibration Bar

These parametric models are easily tuned for a perfect snap fit with almost any plastic and printer.

TL;DR : To get a nice snap fit, print PELA-calibration.stl and test the fit with commercial LEGO. Type the best top_tweak and bottom_tweak into PELA-print-parameters.scad. Now open any model in OpenSCAD, press F6 then Export as STL.

Calibration Instructions

Your printer, slicer settings, and plastic effect the precise fit. To correct for this, we adjust the models slightly for your printing process. Calibration is a one time process for each material. It is as simple as fitting two blocks together and editing a text file, PELA-print-parameters.scad to indicate which test block fits best.

Before you print the calibration bar, be sure to set the flexible_material and large_nozzle settings in PELA-print-parameters.scad.

After you print the clibration bar, you update three settings to get a tight fit: top_tweak, bottom_tweak and axle_hole_tweak. These can be read from the side of the calibration bar.

  1. Print the Calibration Bar and test fit the top knobs and bottom sockets against commercial LEGO. Put the top_tweak (on the side, near the top) and bottom_tweak (on the side, near the bottom) values that you can read from the side of the bar into print-parameters.scad.
  2. Use OpenSCAD to generate a new 2x2x1 PELA Block in OpenSCAD using these new settings, press F6 to render, and Export as .STL. Windows command line scripts are provided: .\PELA-block.ps1 2 2 1 or .\PELA-technic-block.ps1 2 2 1
  3. Confirm a good fit with both commercial blocks and other PELA Blocks.
  4. If you find you also need to adjust the technic connector hole size, print the Calibration Block Set. axle_hole_tweak numbers change along with top_tweak numbers.
  5. Repeat this process as needed when you change material, nozzle size or and slicer settings which affect geometry.

Advanced Calibration

An alternative set of individual calibration blocks are available, and if you have an unusual material there are other numbers you can tune such as various part thicknesses. See Advanced Calibration

PELA-compatible Part Designs

Edit PELA-print-parameters.scad and PELA-parameters.scad to adapt these models before printing them. The example models below are not yet calibrated for your slicer and printer. Calibrate and then make the tuned model from the .scad file.

PELA Block

3D PELA Block


PELA Block with technic connectors

3D PELA Block with technic connectors Optional vents help to dissipate heat. There are several types you can select from.


PELA Socket Panel

3D PELA Socket Panel Insert knobs from both the top and bottom. Zoom in to see the subtle flexure ridges for enhanced “snap” fit.


PELA Knob Panel

3D PELA Knob Panel Optional corner holes for M3 bolts can be enabled


Double-sided PELA Knob Panel

3D Double-sided PELA Knob Panel Double sided. Enable print supports in the slicer.


PELA Technic Pin

3D PELA Technic Pin This is difficult to print with some material, but useful you run short and don’t want to wait for mail order. It works best with slightly flexible materials.


PELA Technic Pin Array

3D PELA Technic Pin Array A set of technic pins for multi-point connection.


PELA Pi Camera Technic Mount

3D PELA Pi Camera Technic Mount A Raspberry Pi 3 camera holder. Pin the board in place using a technics bar.


PELA Technic Bar

3D PELA Technic Bar A minimalist technic bar.


PELA Technic Bar 30 Degree

3D PELA Technic Bar 30 Degree A technic bar at a 30 degree angle from a second technic bar.


PELA Technic Bar 45 Degree

3D PELA Technic Bar 45 Degree A technic bar at a 45 degree angle from a second technic bar.


PELA Technic Axle

3D PELA Technic Axle Rigid and flexible material shafts of adjustable length for attaching to other 3D printed designs such as wheels which you want to rotate freely.


PELA Technic Cross Axle

3D PELA Technic Cross Axle Rigid and flexible material torque drive shafts for adjustable length for attaching to other 3D printed designs.


PELA Openbeam 15 Twist Connector

3D PELA Openbeam 15 Twist Connector Insert into Openbeam 15 aluminum extrusion and twist 90 degrees to lock. This has the advantage over some other connection types that you do not need access to the ends of the beam which may require disassembly.


PELA Sign

3D PELA Sign Change the text to label your designs. Options include front and back text with either etched for raised text.


PELA Panel Sign

3D PELA Panel Sign Change the text to label your design either edtched for raised text.


PELA Box Enclosure

3D PELA Box Enclosure Use as a box or starting point for a LEGO-compatible board holder. Print a separate panel for the top lid. The bottom can be knobs, sockets, flat bottom or no bottom.


PELA Raspberry Pi3 Box Enclosure

3D PELA Raspberry Pi3 Box Enclosure Enclosure with closed sides for Raspberry Pi2/3/3B/3B+ boards.


PELA STMF4 Discovery Box Enclosure

3D PELA STMF4 Discovery Box Enclosure Enclosure for the STMF4 Discovery board.


PELA Sparkfun Pro Micro Box Enclosure

3D PELA Sparkfun Pro Micro Box Enclosure Enclosure for the Sparkfun Pro Micro board.


PELA Intel Compute Stick Box Enclosure

3D PELA Intel Compute Stick Box Enclosure Enclosure for the Intel Compute Stick


PELA Intel Compute Stick Box Lid

3D PELA Intel Compute Stick Box Lid Enclosure cover. You may prefer a knobbed or flat panel, but ensure proper ventilation.


PELA Grove Module

3D PELA Grove Module Attach a Grove module to your build such as a plug-in electronic sensors (ultrasound, touch..) with a 4 wire plug in connector. Snap your design together with no breadboarding and no soldering!


PELA Motor Enclosure

3D PELA Motor Enclosure Add a commonly available small gear motor to your design. Adjust the model parameters to fit other motor sizes.


PELA HTC Vive Tracker Mount

3D PELA HTC Vive Tracker Mount HTC Vive Tracker attachment to your designs becomes easy to remove.


PELA HTC Vive Tracker Screw

3D PELA HTC Vive Tracker Screw Use this printable bolt for flush mounting the HTC Vive Tracker (above), or use a standard tripod bolt. The printed version works better than you might expect.


PELA Velcro Mount

3D PELA Velcro Mount For attaching using Velcro or similar straps through the bottom slot.


PELA Vive Velcro Mount

3D PELA Velcro Mount For attaching the HTC Vive Tracker or other sensors using Velcro or similar straps. Use this for example to attach position sensors to your shoes.


PELA Rail Mount

3D PELA Rail Mount For attaching the HTC Vive Tracker or other sensors to a real gun rail. VR with a real gun.


PELA Rib Mount (alternative design to attach to rectangular ribs)

3D PELA Rib Mount An alternative attachment to a rectangular rail.


PELA Raspberry Pi 3 Board Mount

3D PELA Raspberry Pi 3 Board Mount A base allowing snap-in holding of the board with full connector access and optional top cover


PELA PCA9685 16 Channel Servo Board Mount

3D PELA PCA9685 16 Channel Servo Board Mount For holding a servo board within a PELA block with connectors exposed at one end

FFF Printing Tips

Resin Printing Tips

License

License: CC BY-SA 4.0

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

These designs are by PELA project contributors, not by the LEGO corporation. They are compatible with LEGO and similar blocks available from multiple manufacturers and online projects. The associated patents have expired. These designs are not identical to LEGO; they have been specially modified for easy 3D printing and offered in the spirit of open source collaborative innovation.

If what you want is available as injection moulded plastic, buy it for the higher quality and durability. These model are helpful when you want something customized, a special color, an unusual material, and for replacement parts when you just can’t wait.

Projects Using PELA Blocks

PELA is also used to create more robot parts: 3D Printed LEGO-compatible Parametric Robot Hand

The generated 3D models displayed here are hosted in a separate github project to minimize the size of pulling changes in this repo: PELA-parametric-blocks-render

Alternative 3D Block Designs

If you don’t find what you need, consider adding it, contact us or check out the many other excellent design available.

Yeggi search for LEGO

Thingiverse Parametric LEGO Group are alternate source of these and other block designs.

Contact

New models, collaboration and pull requests are welcome. You have the tools- now create something cool and share with the world : https://github.com/LEGO-compatible-gadgets/PELA-parametric-blocks

paul.houghton@futurice.com ( Blog - Twitter)

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