Here is guide to
help users unfamiliar with LDD prepare a model for
- When you open LDD for the first
time, you will be presented with three different building
is recommended to choose the third option: LEGO® Digital
- LDD Extended gives the most
freedom with access to almost every brick available!
- Once you
have selected LEGO® Digital Designer Extended, click on the
“Free Build” icon at the bottom.
- Use the “Open
another file” icon when you would like to return to builds you
have already started.
Configuring LEGO® Digital
- Before starting to build, it is a
good idea to configure some LDD preferences for a better
- You can access your LDD Preferences
- For Windows Users: Go to Edit >
Preferences or press Ctrl+6.
- For Mac
Users: Go to LEGO Digital Designer > Preferences or press
most important setting to activate is the “Outlines on brick”.
- This setting will make it easier to
differentiate adjacent bricks of the same color.
- You MUST restart the program before
changes take place.
* If you notice slow performance,
try disabling the settings that mention “High-quality
The Three Modes of LEGO®
In LEGO® Digital Designer,
there are three modes of operation
Build and edit your model
using vertual bricks on a virtual scene.
Play with some tools to
change the background, explode your model or take a
Building Guide Mode
Generate auto instructions of your model which can also
be saved as an html file.
- You can switch between these three
modes by clicking on the corresponding icons at the top
- Building Guide Mode is not
available until you place at least one brick down.
LEGO® Digital Designer
provides an interactive surface to build models called a
- Several camera controls are located
in the scene that you can use to better view your
Mouse Camera Controls
can also use your mouse to control the scene camera as well.
- Hold down the Right Mouse
Button to use the mouse to freely rotate the scene.
- Click the
Right Mouse Botton on any brick to center
it in the scene.
- Scroll up or down the Mouse
Scroll Wheel to zoom in and out of the scene.
- Hold down
the Shift Key + Right Mouse Button to use the
mouse to pan the scene.
- Some important project related
functions exist in the Main Icon Bar available to you in the
Each mode of LEGO® Digital Designer has its own
unique Main Icon Bar with different icons.
Placing Bricks In the
- Take a look at the Building
Palette on the left side where you will find the
bricks needed to build.
- To get started, simply click on the
desired brick category to expand it.
If you already know what brick you want, make use of the search
Tip: You can search using
- Once you have chosen your first
brick to lay down, click on it to to begin the placement
1. Click on desired brick.
2. Move brick with mouse and change
orientation with arrow keys.
3. Click once more
to place the brick in the scene.
- LEGO® Digital Designer has
the cool ability to detect connections and collisions between
- While moving a brick
around to place, any valid connection will be highlighted
- Any illegal
connections will be greyed out and will prevent the brick from
In order to move a brick that
has been already placed, click and drag the brick to
- Building tools are limited to the
Build Mode only. Different tools are present for each mode.
- Some tools
come with additional contextual tools found below the main
Selection Tool keyboard Shortcut:
allows you to select a single brick in the scene. You can also
click and drag a window that will select all bricks that are
completely inside of it.
Select multiple bricks at a time.
Selection: Select all bricks connected to the selected
brick including itself.
Select all bricks of the same color as the brick
Select all bricks of the same exact shape as the brick
Color & Shape
Selection: Select all bricks of the same shape and color
as the brick selected.
Selection: Select every other brick besides the one
Clone Tool Keyboard Shortcut:
allows you to make a duplicate of the selected brick. You can
also use this tool after any Selection Tool to make duplicates
of multiple selections as well.
Hinge Tool Keyboard Shortcut: H
allows you rotate a single or group of bricks as long as it has
a valid connection to another brick that allows for movement
(ie. bricks connected to a single stud or clip).
- A single stud connection is enough
to use the Hinge Tool. Experiment with different
You can rotate a group of bricks at once if it is attached by a
valid connection allowing movement.
red bounding box will always let you know what brick(s) are
- You can manually enter precise
values in the contextual toolbar while rotating a
Keep in mind the brick must be first connected to another brick
in order to use the Hinge Tool on it.
Hinge Aligh Tool Keyboard Shortcut:
has very conditional uses but it can quickly bring two
connection points together. It is an automated process which
requires you to select two compatible connections to
- Activate the Hinge Align
Tool and click one of the connection points to be
- Green directional arrows will let you know
what connection point is being focused.
Click on the other desired
connection point you would like the first connection point to
- If the tool has been used
correctly, the bricks auto-move to complete the desired
Hinge Align Tool can be helpful to use working with clips and
allows you to bend and twist flexible bricks that you have
placed in the scene. Bricks that are flexible will have a small
icon()next to them in the
- Anchor one end of a
flexible to an existing brick.
- Using the Flex Tool, click on the
free end of the flexible brick. It should now follow your
- Complete the process by clicking
the stud/connection you would like to link it to.
Possible connections will be highlighted in green as you mouse
Keyboard Shortcut: B
allows you to change the color and transparency settings of any
brick in the scene. You can also use this tool to add
decorations to select pieces that allow for it.
Paint Tool: Click on
a brick to apply the selected color or
Select a color from a palette to use your Paint Tool
Color Picker: Change
the color selection to that of the brick you select in the
Decoration: Apply a
decoration to a compatible brick you select in the scene. (ie.
Hide Tool Keyboard Shortcut: L
allows you to temporarily hide selected bricks from the scene.
It is helpful to hide bricks that would normally block your
vision or ones that you are no longer concentrating
Once you select a brick to
hide, this icon will appear on the top right corner of the
scene. Click on this icon to show all bricks that have been
Delete Tool Keyboard
allows you to delete any brick you click in the scene. Like the
Clone Tool, you may use this tool after any Selection Tool to
also delete multiple bricks at once.
Template Palette, you can save any selection
of bricks as a permanent assembly that is available for use
every time you launch LEGO® Digital Designer.
- After selecting the assembly of bricks you want to save as a
template, click on the “Create Template” icon at the bottom of
will crea te an
image preview of the
template in the Template Palette that can be clicked on to place
in any scene.
- Press the red “X” next to the
template image preview to delete it.
Grouping Palette, you can save any selection
of bricks as a group that will be used for the current project
only. This is very useful to organize and add hierarchy to
bricks in a model.
selecting the bricks you want to save as a group, click on the
“Create Group” icon at the bottom of the palette.
will create an image preview of the group and additional icons
that can be used to edit the group or create a
Add selected bricks to the existing
Remove selected bricks from the
Create a subgroup out of the
- You can use the Selection Tool to
select all members of a group easily by just clicking on the
group image preview.
- For users with LDraw experience,
LDD has the ability to directly import and export LDraw files
- Windows and Mac Users: Go to
File > Import and choose the LDraw file to open.
- Windows and Mac Users: Go to
File > Export and choose a name to save as.
- Make sure
to specify the format as “LDraw-Files (*.ldr)” before