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The LEGO Technic Idea Book: Simple Machines Paperback – October 25, 2010
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About the Author
Isogawa Yoshihito is a LEGO luminary with 42 years of experience. He began writing computer manuals while at the Tokyo University of Science and founded Isogawa Studio, Inc. soon after. He has twice won the grand prize in the Japan Manual Contest held by the Japan Technical Communicators Association and he has won outstanding performance awards many times. He currently lives in Tokyo.
Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately, this book is entirely free of text. I understand that Lego instructions are also text free, but this guide doesn't read like a Lego instruction book. You can get a general idea of the building sequence and parts involved, but it's not always clear. It's also not always evident just what the simple machine on each page is supposed to be used for. Perhaps more advanced Technic builders don't need that basic information, but as a novice (and as a parent), I didn't find this book nearly as helpful as I had hoped.
The Lego Technic Idea Book - Simple Machines has some useful information, but I'd only recommend it to more experienced builders. If you're looking for something that will help younger builders, this probably isn't it.
However, there are other scales and other parts that are not the typical brick and plate. Once called Expert Models, these became the Technic theme, which are models that have working features, like working steering and gear systems. These are sets that are more complex, and as a result, are tough to explore building possibilities. With The LEGO Technic Idea Book: Simple Machines, using Technic parts becomes a much easier exercise.
As the first book in the LEGO Technic Idea book trilogy,Simple Machines explains the parts and their uses in a clear, easy-to-understand format. There are no words used in the diagrams: all ideas are explained with graphics and colorful photos of example models. This makes it really easy and fun to pick up on building. The simplicity of the photos and diagrams also allows the builder to adapt the model to his creations.
For the beginning builder this is a great guide to learning how to make working models. For the experienced builder, this is a good reference on building techniques. This book would also be useful for FIRST LEGO teams, as it explains how to use gears, which is useful for MINDSTORMS robot builders.
We want to help you find those parts. To that end, Yoshihito Isogawa has prepared a hyperlinked list of the more unique parts in the books to help you to find them at the Bricklink website. We can't post a direct link to that list here, but here's how to find it on our website:
(1) Go to the main No Starch Press website
(2) Search for the word "technic"
(3) Click the first search item that comes up ("LEGO Technic Idea Book Complete Set")
(4) When you reach that page, click the link that says "See the parts list for the books," which you'll see just underneath the red text that says "Buy the whole set and save . . ."
or, if you can read between the lines, try:
nostarch dot com /technic
Please remember that these are idea books; buying these books is not like buying a pre-packaged LEGO set. As such, you're encouraged to explore and invent with LEGO. Many of our readers draw considerable inspiration from the pictures of Isogawa's models alone and I hope that you will, too.
William Pollock, Founder
No Starch Press
This beautiful book is absolutely filled with useful information. First, there are hundreds and hundreds of pictures showing different ways to combine gears and other common Technic pieces to translate power and motion in every direction. Then, the author moves on to show examples of what can be built with these basic machines... doors that slide open and shut, motorized cars, and even simple musical instruments! There are no building directions or parts lists, but we found that everything was photographed clearly enough to allow us to replicate, and that almost all of the pieces were already in our fairly extensive Lego collection.
The one huge detraction from this book, I felt, was the complete absence of descriptive labeling on the photographs within. The author does so deliberately for effect; in his own words, "This is an idea book; it's about imagination. Rather than tell you what to see or think when you look at each photograph, I encourage you to interpret each one in your own way." I appreciate the sentiment, but I can't help feeling that the author has sacrificed usefulness in his pursuit of art. The well-organized table of contents contains very helpful titles and descriptions, after all... why not transfer these same few words to the corresponding pages to help identify the extremely beautiful, creative, and thought-provoking Lego constructs shown there at a glance? Thus, while I unhesitatingly recommend this book for Lego aficionados with the patience and knowledge it requires to really enjoy it, I do so with slight reservations for the lesser, more easily-frustrated mortals among us.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I use these books as a teacher with my pupils.
They are a perfect compilation of ideas to develop further machines.
Perfect to use in the classroom. Read more
Most lego books instuct on how to build a thing. Yoshihito Isogawa teaches engineering which happens to use legos. Read morePublished 2 months ago by R. MCRACKAN
I bought this for my almost 6-year-old. To begin with, we realized that he does not have most of these parts/Legos to build these cool machines. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mommy and Monkey
Okay... it's not my favorite book... There are so many instructions and ideas, which is great, but even with our massive lego collection, we don't have nearly enough of these... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Sassy
All pictures. No explanations. Very basic. Not much in the way of models to build--primarily sub-components. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mom of Five