Things to install (mac)
- Lego Digital Designer (lego.com)
- Bricksmith 3.0 "complete"
- LDraw parts library (sometimes included with Bricksmith)
- parts.lst file (necessary for Mac version)
Once all of the above function properly, you're ready to go.
- 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
- Save often
- File > Export Model, Format: "LDraw-Files (*.ldr)"
- Use Bricksmith to open the LDR file exported from the above step.
- Look for missing pieces and replace them
- Look for missing and inaccurate colors and fix them
- menu: (View)->(Step Display)
- In the bottom of the "File Contents" pane, click on the footprints to add a bunch build steps
- use the "step" selector in the upper right to view different steps
- In the "File Contents" pane, drag pieces to fit into the desired steps
- 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.
- Save often
- Use LPub to open the LDR file saved from the above step.
- Configuration - Page Setup to adjust page size and shape
- pick the other configuration panels and change stuff (see below)
- If desired, right click on step 1 (or any step) and "Add Next Step" to add it to the current page
- "Display as Rows/Columns" to adjust layout
- "Add Divider After Step" to adjust layout
- Go to last page, Edit, Append page
- go to the new last page, "Add Bill Of Materials"
- Click the PDF logo, or "Print to file" to export a document
Now, that all looks nice, but here's a better way
- (File) Export as PNG images
- Save them all to some location
- Select all and open them into Preview (on Mac, obviously)
- (File) Print
- [Show Details]
- Landscape Mode
- Orientation: Landscape
- [ ] Auto Rotate
- Scale to Fit, Print Entire Image
- Pages per Sheet: 6
- Layout Direction (down on left col, then down on right col)
- [PDF] - Save as PDF...
- 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)
- Step Parts count and BOM font: Helvetica Light 18
- Step number font: Helvetica Bold 48 (64 if you want BIG numbers)
- Parts List Border: Round Corners, Margins 0.15 0.15
- Parts per step location: (Page) -[inner] Top/Left
- these are setup such that you pick the point of reference ("Page" in the above), and then where "this thing" goes with relation to that point of reference. ("Top/Left" means it is anchored to the top left of the screen... "Top:Left" means it is on the top of it, over to the left. Confusing
- Step Number Location: (Parts List) - [outer] Bottom:Left
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