Henry Poon's Blog

Lego McLaren Formula 1 Race Car

This is my build log showing all the cool things I noticed as I was building the Lego McLaren Formula 1 Race Car! Unlike the Millennium Falcon, I didn’t film a timelapse for this build.

The build itself starts with the rear suspensions. There’s actually a spring built in that makes the suspension work. The four arms are constrained to only allow up/down motion, while the central axle is attached to a ball and socket joint so that the rotational power can still be transferred from the engine. When the car is built, you can push the car down and it’ll bounce back up to its neutral position.

The set also includes a Lego reconstruction of the differential. The differential allows each wheel to spin at different rates. The video shows this in action with each wheel spinning opposite directions. It even supports the transmission of power from the engine itself! It’s really quite impressive!

I wasn’t as impressed with the engine as much though. There are six cylinders, so I expected each piston to compress each 1/6 of a rotation, but Lego has trouble with this kind of resolution so it doesn’t do that. Instead, as the drive shaft is rotated, two pistons can compress simultaneously.

From there, the build continues with the construction of the front of the car. The car is two-wheel drive, just like the real F1 cars (done to save weight)

Because the F1 car is so low to the ground, the steering column must be horizontal. The lack of 4WD reduces the space required for the front of the car means there’s less competition for space for the steering column.

The rest of the build completes the outer shell of the car – the aerodynamic stuff. There’s a lot of sticker placement and some of the stickers are so small that having a small pair of tweezers would have been helpful to place them.

Here’s the finished product!

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