In this LEGO Digital Designer Review, we take one final look at arguably the easiest LEGO designer software you can download for free. And I say one final look because LEGO has now made this software obsolete and will no longer be updating this software.
This means any new LEGO parts won’t be available for future builds but they have claimed it’ll still be available for general use.
Only time will tell how long it’ll be available to download, so if you haven’t got your copy yet, then make sure you download it before it’s too late.
LEGO Digital Designer Review
Have you ever wondered how to create a .ldd file for a lego MOC you’ve created? Or perhaps someone has asked for build instructions so they build it themselves.
Well the LEGO Digital Designer is the software you’d turn to if you wanted to test out a build, create a .ldd file or even create printable build instructions for your creation.
The LEGO Digital Designer Software has been the go-to program for LEGO enthusiasts since 2004 and is available for the Windows and OS platforms.
Although originally used to create kits for a DIY service called LEGO Design by ME it continued to be used by the MOC (My Own Creation) community long past the end of that service in 2012.
When you first load the software, you’ll have the option of choosing the basic, extended or Mindstorms mode.
The Basic Mode limits you to a set range of building blocks and colors, whereas the Extended Mode allow a great range of current and obsoleted blocks with the ability to put them in any color you choose.
This later feature was ideal for MOC builders who wanted to promote a new LEGO Idea with the hope that LEGO will one day choose their design to develop into a new LEGO set. And obviously, choosing the right colors was important to budding designers as not all blocks are normally available in every LEGO color and making a new design authentic requires a precise color pallette.
As mentioned before, the LEGO Digital Designer is easy to use and is even suitable for young children.
And the design software is smart enough to stop you from connecting pieces together that would not normally work in the real world. This is a neat feature and stops you from ending up with a project that doesn’t actually work if you built them for real.
However, spinning, rotating and placing pieces does take some patience and will never beat the ease of which you can put together real LEGO.
Oh, and there is no auto save function so make sure you regularly save your design or risk loosing it like I often do.
Over all the LEGO Digital Designer continues to be the preferred LEGO designer and I suspect it will continue to be used long after it’s no longer available, such is its popularity.
LEGO have suggested they’ll continue to support Digital Design so only time will tell us what they have in mind. And given they’ve stopped funding for this project leads me to believe they are channeling those funds into another similar product.
Verdict: It’s a shame to see this piece of software be neglected by LEGO but here’s hoping they have bigger better plans in the pipeline. Until then I’ll continue to use the LEGO Digital Designer and so will thousands of LEGO enthusiast.
Best alternatives to LDD
LDraw – An opensource project program which can create Lego models in 3D. Windows/OS/Linux.