Engineering With LEGO Technic

Engineering With LEGO Technic

LEGO is not just for kids anymore. With sets like EV3, NXT, and Technic, you’ll have ample opportunities to help your LEGO-loving child transition from simple kid sets to more complex robotic sets. And this is a good thing, especially if your child wants to be an engineering or scientist when they grow up.

My son has thoroughly loved his advanced sets from LEGO Education, and he uses the parts every week. But even with all these Technic and robotic pieces at hand, a child can eventually run out of ideas for new things to build. What to do then?

Buy a guide!

The legendary Yoshihito Isogawa has written two new books, The LEGO Power Functions Idea Book, Vol. 1 and The LEGO Power Functions Idea Book, Vol. 2, to guide you in your LEGO Technic adventures.  Both volumes are published by No Starch Press.

Yoshihito Isogawa is a LEGO luminary with 46 years of building experience. In addition to running Isogawa Studio, Inc., he regularly holds LEGO workshops, lectures at schools and science museums, and creates LEGO models for events and exhibitions. He is the author of the popular LEGO Technic Idea Book series (No Starch Press), as well as other Japanese-language LEGO titles.

Engineering With LEGO Technic

This is what my son’s man cave floor currently looks like as he is working his way through one of the volumes. It may take years for him to get through both books! LEGO Power Functions Idea Book volume 1 contains 316 pages of high quality images and instructions to teach you all about machines and mechanisms, while volume 2 is equally gorgeous with 318 pages all about cars and contraptions.

What I Recommend

Look at the parts list. I recommend that you look at the parts list in the preview pages of the books on Amazon. Here are links to volume 1 and volume 2. Click preview and then scroll to the last few pages of the book to see the entire parts list. If you already have a large collection of random LEGO pieces, you have most of the parts you need. Don’t worry about the colors.

Purchase the books. 

Order the motors. You will need certain motors, all shown in the parts list. I recommend this set: LEGO Technic Power Functions Motor Set (8293). Compare the prices, because is sometimes cheaper than Amazon. As I am writing this, the set is only $30 on, but $60 on Amazon!

Order any other parts you need. 

  • has a section called Pick-a-Brick, where you can purchase individual LEGO pieces.
  • is also a great place to find very inexpensive pieces.
  • We’ve always been able to find great bulk deals on Ebay. Try searching LEGO Technic parts. Wow, lots of great deals. I think I may need to go shopping now!

Add a remote control. Motorized sets are so much more fun with a remote control! This small remote is only $9.49.

What are some of the creations you can build with The LEGO Power Functions Idea Books?

The LEGO Power Functions Idea Book

*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.

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