Crane Boom

August 2007


This was my first personal building project using the new LEGO beam pieces. I had built the LEGO Tow Truck technic set, and found the beam approach both intriguing and frustrating. I was intrigued because a peg-and-beam approach allows you to build lighter and stronger structures with less pieces. I was frustrated because the classic approach to LEGO building of sticking bricks together no longer worked; to get a working model you had to think and adopt a modular building approach.

I decided to try a very modular project using the beams from the Tow Truck and my new NXT set; a Tower Crane. There are many many good examples of tower cranes already on the Internet, so I don’t claim to have invented anything new. In fact I haven’t even posted a design for the tower piece, as that is relatively straightforward to build.

This was a learning exercise for me in:

  1. 1.Build using a peg-and-beam approach

  2. 2.Build modules that integrate into a whole

  3. 3.Build light but strong

  4. 4.Learn a LEGO CAD program to document the design


MLCad file for the trolley that runs on the boom: BoomTrolley.ldr.

Download a zipfile containing the boom trolley building instructions (1MB).

The step-by-step boom trolley instructions

MLCad file for the module for building the crane boom: CraneBoomModule.ldr

How to put the modules together and build the rail for the trolley: FullCraneBoom.ldr. Download a zipfile containing the final assembly instructions (6MB).

The step-by-step boom module and final assembly instructions

Last updated 23 May, 2008

All content © 2008 Mark Crosbie

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