Victor Gama

26, self-taught software engineer

Toolbox

  • C
  • Ruby
  • Golang
  • Objective-C
  • Clojure
  • Python
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The Lego Macintosh

Just a few know, but I started tinkering with computers using a Macintosh G3. It was awesome; digging through the system, learning bash, and following documentation to understand Objective-C was one of my favourite hobby as a kid. But that’s not the point here.

For years I wish to buy a classic Macintosh, but it is almost impossible to buy one abroad, considering taxes and the current exchange prices. (Maybe one day… [fingers crossed])

So, why not make one using beloved Lego bricks? Well, it happens someone already did that1: Jannis Hermans built a lovely mini Lego Macintosh in 2017, but sadly, I couldn’t find instructions or a list of studs to replicate it; which left with a single option: build something alike using photos them made available on Flickr2. This post is a brief history about the process of attempting to recreate it.

Designing a Lego model

A couple of years (decades?) ago, I remember using Lego Digital Designer, so the obvious first step was to check whether it still existed, and it seems it does! LDD’s latest release dates of November 18, 2019, a year ago; it was no surprise to discover it does not run on Big Sur. Shame.

After searching some forums and subreddits, I stumbled on stud.io, distributed by BrickLink3, which happened to be really surprising in both quality and tooling! It provides awesome convenient tools such as stability checker, photorealistic renderer, and even an integrated instructions maker. Of course it was also able to export a CSV file containing all bricks required to assemble the model.

A couple hours passes, yielding three or four different models, and I finally ended up with something I considered pretty enough to spend a few bucks on:

Lego Macintosh render: Front Lego Macintosh render: Back

Oh, and I made the model available for download here!

Next Steps

Now with my “BOM” I will be able to visit a Oficial Lego Store, recently inaugurated in São Paulo4, and in the meantime, I placed an order on Embedded Artists for a 2.7” E-paper display5, and will eventually search for a tiny Apple coloured logo.

…to be continued.

Footnotes

  1. I built a mini LEGO Macintosh Classic with e‑ink display | Ars Techinica, 17/Apr/2017
  2. Lego Macintosh Classic | Flickr
  3. BrickLink's Studio
  4. Lego inaugura loja certificada em SP com mosaico em homenagem à cidade - UOL Economia 09/Jul/2020 (in portuguese)
  5. 2.7 inch E-paper Display - Embedded Artists