Today’s post was written by Mike Grenier, FIRST® LEGO® League Mechanical Engineer. We hope you find these tips and tricks helpful as you assemble your RePLAYSM Mission Models!

Find the RePLAYSM Mission Model Building Instructions here.

A few tips before you begin:

  • Make sure to take your time! All Mission Models serve a purpose/function, so improper builds can cause large flaws in the game
  • Make sure to grab all parts listed in the top left corner of each step.
  • Remember: when grabbing parts, make sure that you take note of the color and length that it calls for.
  • Organizing beams, axles, and other elements by length, can help decrease error margin and can sometimes help save time.
  • Watch for pictures of what you are building. There may be assemblies or subassemblies that need to be built more than once and will include a 1x, 2x, 3x… etc.
  • The symbol shown below signifies an orientation/view change. This is different than years past and is important to note. Make sure to orient the model to mimic the view shown in that step.
  • Teamwork is key with a task like this. It will take a single person many hours to complete a Challenge Set. With a team, the work can be divided among many people. Remember: Many hands make for light work!
  • Working with a team not only can make for light work but can also help decrease the margin of error.
  • Having several individuals following along, helping with the build, and/or checking your work, makes it significantly harder to make those same mistakes you may have made on your own!

Bag 1:

Contents: Green Cubes, Red Cubes, Yellow Cubes, Blue Cubes, Precision Tokens, Health Units, Cell Phone and RePLAYSM Pins

  • First, it is important to note that the RePLAY Pins do not have a function in the game and because of this, a placement for these will not be mentioned in the Robot Game Field Setup. These are simply a fun keepsake for your team!
  • As a general comment, and one you will notice in this bag, is that you will build many similar subassemblies. To save time, make sure you are watching for the multiplier (example: x5). It is key for these types of models.

Bag 2:

Contents: Pull-Up Bar

  • Remember when I mentioned the importance of noting subassembly counts? Well, here is another example where you can use that new skill!
  • Beginning on page 9 (Step 14), you will see a picture of a subassembly noted 2x. This can save you quite a bit of time if you build them together. Otherwise, when you get all the way to page 20 and have to go back to page 9 begin the process again before continuing to Page 21.

Bag 3:

Contents: Bench and Basketball

  • This bag requires quite a few elements be collected from the unlabeled bags provided in your Challenge Set. Make sure to grab all the proper lengths and take note of the color and quantity of each element.
  • It is also important to note that this bag includes two models that are made of more than one mechanical structure. Page 30 and Page 42 show the assembly of these pieces into individual models and provide helpful instructions for the model with a yellow arrow.
  • Page 42 shows the hoop being placed on the rest of the basketball assembly. This might be tricky to setup the first time, so take note of the helpful yellow arrows provided for combining these structures.

 Bag 4:

Contents: Slide and Step Counter

  • Again, this bag requires quite a few elements be collected from the unlabeled bags provided in your Challenge Set. Make sure to grab all the proper lengths and take note of the color and quantity of each element.
  • This model has many unique mechanical connections and it is recommended that you build slower than usual and double check your work as you go.
  • On Page 42, you will be asked to press an axel and coupling together. Make sure that that when you assemble these elements that you do not press these together too hard, as this needs to be able to move freely.
  • On Page 46, take your time to ensure proper alignment. It is quite easy to misalign this locking mechanism, and this could lead to a model failure.

Bag 5:

Contents: Boccia Frame, Boccia Aim, Boccia Share

  • In this bag, you will be building elements of the shared mission model for this season. It is important to take your time with this model to ensure proper function.
  • On Page 62, in one of the final steps, you will be asked to combine the tipping mechanism with the main structure. It is quite easy to misalign this which could result in the model not functioning as intended.

Bag 6:

Contents: Weight Machine and Row Machine

  • Again, this bag requires quite a few elements be collected from the unlabeled bags provided in your Challenge Set. Make sure to grab all the proper lengths and take note of the color and quantity of each element.
  • On Page 40, take note of the orientation of the rack. It is easy to flip this and then the model would not function as intended!
  • On Page 50, it is quite easy to mix up which side you are looking at and it can get confusing. Try to make sure that the blue wheels are on the correct side early on.

Bag 7:

Contents: Heavy Tire, Light Tire, and Treadmill

  • This bag includes the treadmill, which is a highly mechanical model. Take your time when building this as there are many moving parts.
  • On Page 6, you will be asked to push a white coupling into place. Make sure to not press too hard, as this could add friction due to compression that may cause the model to not function as intended.
  • On Page 38, you will be asked to put a number of colored elements into place. If you are working with a black and white print, this could prove quite difficult. You may want to refer to a screen or ask multiple team members to double check the color placement. You can also look to your Robot Game Rulebook for additional pictures of this model.

Bag 8:

Contents: Innovation Elements

  • This bag is unique in that we provided a bag of elements that do not require building. Instead, they have a different purpose in this year’s Challenge. You can use this to prototype your project solution and then use this design as a way to earn points in the Robot Game (M01 – Innovation Project)! Check out this year’s Challenge Documents for more details about how these fun elements are used!

Bag 9:

Contents: Giveaways!

  • This bag is also unique in that none of the contents of this bag serve a game purpose. Instead, these are giveaways provided by LEGO®. Share, have fun, and enjoy!

Have fun building, and have a wonderful RePLAY season. Good luck, teams!

Check out our Challenge and Resources page and YouTube channel for more RePLAY resources.