Making Lego Instructions 4-Dec-2014 9:46 PM
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Things to install (mac)

Once all of the above function properly, you're ready to go.

The procedure

1. LDD

  1. Use LDD to build your model
    • Use http://bricklink.com catalog search to find part numbers if needed
    • If you can't find a part, think of a set that had the part and use that to get the part number
    • Even though LDD doesn't show you the Lego piece numbers, you can search on them accurately
  2. Save often
  3. File > Export Model, Format: "LDraw-Files (*.ldr)"

2. Bricksmith

  1. Use Bricksmith to open the LDR file exported from the above step.
  2. Look for missing pieces and replace them
  3. Look for missing and inaccurate colors and fix them
  4. menu: (View)->(Step Display)
  5. In the bottom of the "File Contents" pane, click on the footprints to add a bunch build steps
  6. use the "step" selector in the upper right to view different steps
  7. In the "File Contents" pane, drag pieces to fit into the desired steps
  8. If you have any parts that need to be callouts (those inset bits in the instructions that show you how to assemble a small bit) create more submodels, and move them into there, then add those references into your model.
  9. Save often

3. LPub

  1. Use LPub to open the LDR file saved from the above step.
  2. Configuration - Page Setup to adjust page size and shape
  3. pick the other configuration panels and change stuff (see below)
  4. If desired, right click on step 1 (or any step) and "Add Next Step" to add it to the current page
  5. "Display as Rows/Columns" to adjust layout
  6. "Add Divider After Step" to adjust layout
  7. Go to last page, Edit, Append page
  8. go to the new last page, "Add Bill Of Materials"
  9. Click the PDF logo, or "Print to file" to export a document

Now, that all looks nice, but here's a better way

  1. (File) Export as PNG images
  2. Save them all to some location
  3. Select all and open them into Preview (on Mac, obviously)
  4. (File) Print
  5. [Show Details]
    1. Landscape Mode
    2. Orientation: Landscape
  6. Preview:
    • [ ] Auto Rotate
    • Scale to Fit, Print Entire Image
  7. Layout:
    • Pages per Sheet: 6
    • Layout Direction (down on left col, then down on right col)
  8. [PDF] - Save as PDF...
  9. Load that PDF back into Preview, and shove on a cover page if you want.

3a. Some good LPub settings

LPub has a lot of configurability. There are some settings that you can do to make it appear closer to Lego's official instructions. Adjusting fonts alone goes a long way to get you there. As far as I can tell, the closest modern fonts are: (referencing with a 4"x4" step display size)

Here's all of the above: (PLI is the parts list per step)

0 modelname
0 Name: 
0 Author: LEGO Digital Designer 4.3

Then right after that, paste this in:

0 Layout tweaks by Scott Lawrence
0 !LPUB PAGE DISPLAY_PAGE_NUMBER GLOBAL FALSE
0 !LPUB PAGE SIZE GLOBAL 4.0000 4.0000
0 !LPUB PLI BACKGROUND COLOR "#95eae8"
0 !LPUB PLI BORDER ROUND Black 0.03125 15 MARGINS 0.15 0.15
0 !LPUB PLI PLACEMENT TOP_LEFT PAGE INSIDE
0 !LPUB PLI INSTANCE_COUNT FONT "Helvetica,18,-1,5,50,0,0,0,0,0"
0 !LPUB STEP_NUMBER PLACEMENT BOTTOM LEFT PLI OUTSIDE 0.0 0.15
0 !LPUB STEP_NUMBER FONT GLOBAL "Helvetica,48,-1,5,75,0,0,0,0,0"
0 !LPUB MULTI_STEP PLI MARGINS GLOBAL 0.1500 0.1500
0 !LPUB MULTI_STEP ASSEM MARGINS GLOBAL 0.2500 0.2500
0 !LPUB BOM BORDER GLOBAL ROUND Black 0.03125 15 MARGINS 0.15 0.15
0 !LPUB BOM BACKGROUND GLOBAL COLOR "#b5ffb3"

And it should end with:

0 STEP
0 STEP
0 !LPUB BOM CONSTRAIN LOCAL HEIGHT 3.5
0 !LPUB INSERT PAGE
0 !LPUB INSERT BOM
0 !LPUB BOM SORT FALSE