LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor
LEGO Building Tips
Even when following detailed building instructions, builders of all ages can run into problems such as pegs refusing to engage into holes, not enough finger grip to remove a small part, or attaching a part in the wrong place. Here are a few tips to help with some common issues.
Getting pegs (especially multiple pegs) to engage into holes
Sometimes pegs seem to refuse to insert into the hole(s) they are supposed to go into. Here is a photo sequence that may teach you some valuable tricks. Click on the photo gallery to open it in expanded view where the captions are visible then click or swipe through the sequence.
(Click to view photo sequence)
Taking models apart without resorting to teeth or pliers
Sometimes getting parts apart takes a large amount of finger strength, especially when the kit is new and the parts fit extra tightly. Young fingers may struggle with this more. But, you should never resort to using your teeth or metal tools such as pliers, since this will damage the parts.
First, make sure you always wash your hands before building a model. Oils on your hands transfer to the parts and make them slippery and harder to grip when taking them apart.
Second, make sure the part you are pulling on it not being held in place by other peg(s) or axles that will not pull out that direction. You can examine the construction carefully, try removing other parts first, or if you used building instructions then the model should always come apart in the reverse order that it was put together.
But even when you know some parts should come apart, there can be some problem cases. Click on the following photo sequence to see some solutions.
(Click to view photo sequence)
Attaching parts to the right place on an assembly
When following building instructions, you need to be be able to determine where parts go on the model, get them in the right hole(s), facing the right direction, etc. The way the building instructions from OneKitProjects work is a little different from the way LEGO makes building instructions, so here are some tips.
LEGO instructions try pretty hard to keep the assembly you are working on facing the same direction in as many steps as possible, and they use a two-arrows icon to indicate when the orientation changes. This can reduce confusion about direction but can make it hard to see where parts are added.
OneKitProjects instructions change the orientation of the assembly frequently, often with every step, to make each step as clear as possible and give you the best view of the relevant parts. So, you should plan on checking the orientation of both the existing assembly and the new parts at each step and carefully line them up to match the photos. Also, unlike LEGO instructions, there are usually "after" photos of the assembly after adding parts, so you can compare it to yours and look for any differences/mistakes.
Steps in OneKitProjects instructions will often add several parts at a time, if they can all be seen clearly in a photo. Setting all of the parts aside from each new parts inventory step will help make sure you don't accidentally skip any parts.
When building with a friend, do you ever need to call out the name of a part? Of maybe that voice inside your head just needs something to say when it grabs a part. The official names that LEGO uses for the parts (see Pick a Brick for set 51515), or alternate names as found on BrickLink and other sites, can be long or difficult to remember. If you're interested, here are short Part Nicknames that I use.
Storing and Organizing your Kit
Building is a lot more fun if you have easy access to all of your parts. How you do this is a matter of personal preference, but here is what I do. I have found that having all the kit parts in 4 storage cases with dividers plus one shoebox-sized box for the large parts makes it easy to keep all of the parts within reach when building and to find them quickly. Here are pictures of how I organize my parts in a way that makes sense to me:
I have tried many storage boxes with dividers for LEGO parts, and I recommend these cases with dividers for the parts in the Robot Inventor kit. The compartments have rounded bottoms, which makes it much easier to get parts out, the dividers are stable and don't leak parts into other bins, and they are a good size. I recommend using four (4) of these. Then you can use any shoebox-sized box (for example, this one) for the large parts and building tools (see the Building Tips above).
It is tempting to make more compartments and split up the parts even more, but note that if you end up with really small compartments then it's hard to get your fingers in, and if you end up with more cases then it's hard to keep them all open and in reach at the same time.