Build LEGO Non-Electric Models with Yoshihito Isogawa!

Books Entertainment Reviews

Yoshihito Isogawa is a LEGO expert with over fifty 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 has written a host of LEGO inspired books, and we’ve had the opportunity to gain early access on both these new titles, specialized in building non-electric models.

LEGO Technic Non-Electric Models: Simple Machines. Vol 1 by Yoshihito Isogawa

This first volume delves entirely on cogs, gears and the fundamentals of physics. They show how you can build and then operate a variety of mechanisms.

We tried a rotation device with gears and a handle, like a steering wheel. Also a model for a reciprocating mechanism.

The models are all for creating basic mechanisms and the principles behind them: the power of gears and rotation, some moving vehicles, and other simple machines that demonstrate linear, oscillating, rotary, or reciprocating motion.

My husband found it interesting, albeit a bit technical. My kid did not want to try out any of the mechanisms. However, when we started with volume two, he was hooked. I would say that you must try the next book first, and then delve deeper with the first volume; call it counterintuitive, but it is what happened to us.

Both books have no instructions to follow; they are photograph-based with a display of the parts that will be needed, photographs at different angles of parts of the process, and the final result. The author is confident that builders will be knowledgeable enough to infer what goes where.

‘LEGO Technic Non-Electric Models: Simple Machines’ is on sale since July, 2021.

Publisher: No Starch Press
Format: Paperback / softback, 192 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781718501201
Illustrations: color illustrations
Published: July, 2021

LEGO Technic Non-Electric Models: Clever Contraptions. Vol.2 by Yoshihito Isogawa

The second volume was by far the most entertaining if the two, because you get to build stuff that inspires play.

My kid enjoyed the doors, (as you can see in the videos and photographs), the Spirograph and the spinning tops.

Because the models range from practical tools for lifting, gripping, shooting, and measuring, to working gadgets, the immediate use of each tool was what enhanced our interest the most. The fact that they also demonstrate principles of mechanical engineering added to the fun.

The models do not require electric elements or sensors. Instead, you will need cranks, winches, doors, and rotators to operate devices including wind turbines, spinning tops, grabbing tools, and the mentioned Spirograph.

I found both books clever, but the second one provided us with lots of excuses to try out different things.

‘LEGO Technic Non-Electric Models: Clever Contraptions’ is on sale since July, 2021.

Publisher: No Starch Press
Format: Paperback / softback, 192 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781718501706
Illustrations: color illustrations
Published: July, 2021

Disclosure: GeekDad received early access to both books but all opinions remain entirely my own.

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