Autodesk Maya: a 3D CAD tool for LEGO(R) (?)

when looking at some of the pictures from LEGO(R)'s production line, some people in the NXT STEP forum pointed out that the Billund designers obviously use Autodesk Maya as a 3D design tool for LEGO(R) models.

The discussion ensuing there revealed that that product is known as something rather professional but experience with it amongst the forum members is quite limited.

How about you? Can somebody from the community provide information here (best in the according forum topic thread, of course)?


My question is this: is Maya easier to use than LDraw or MLCAD? This is, of course, assuming you could get the NXT library for it (of which I'm somewhat doubtful...)

Anonymous said…
Thats funny!I discovered that in the pictures too. I tryed to do some research on it but it couldn't find anything helpful.
Ethan Steckmann said…
My question is this: is Maya easier to use than LDraw or MLCAD?

Think of it this was what your asking as the same as asking is RIS easyer the use then NXT-G.

Hope this helps and that lego reads this and gives us the parts for MAYA


I have to ask if you have first-hand experience with Maya? I've used some of the CAD apps but never Maya. I do have a sneaky feeling that Maya might be easier to use... but it could just as easily be much more complicated and have a higher learning curve.

If you've used Maya, please tell us about your experience with it and maybe some examples of things that work better/worse... thanks!


Ethan Steckmann said…
I have a good freind tha has used maya a lot and i have used it some and from what i did there was a learning curve but it was easy to learn if you have a book. I do now that is works better on a mac then a pc but will still work on a pc.

I think that it would be easy to do if you had the part but i this thats is very much like Google sketchup but i think it may be a litte harder to learn but it can be done with a little work and well i like a chalenge.

hope that help if you have any more guestions email me @

and while your at it check out y site at

Anonymous said…
I think we should bear in mind that Maya in a profesional 3D graphics and animation program used in the film industry that costs a lot of money yes there is a free training version that I have on my computer and have used quite a lot but the free version cannot load some of the ad on packages.

In my experience I would stick with Ldraw as the learning curve for Maya is great as it is a very complex program.

I have seen some very good lego creations created in Maya but they have taken many weeks to complete.
GeekyTom said…
I can tell you from experience that Maya is by no means a CAD tool, it was created as an animation and rendering tool, not a design or manufacturing tool. It evolved from many tools from many companies, most notably Wavefront and Alias. My company made the transition to Maya (along with XSI and Mentalray) a couple years ago and it's definately not for the feint of heart. I requires a small army of support and specialists. Of course, LDraw and MLCAD could learn a few things about interface and automation from it.
Anonymous said…
umm, depends on what you're doing.

Maya is a top of the line professional 3D graphics and animation production tool with a very steep learning curve, but...if you're intending to make lego animated films, or want to be able to make professional renders with film quality lighting, then Maya is worth the effort of climbing up the learning curve, because your potential will be unlimited.

visit and search for Maya to find out more about what Maya is and what it can do... (the short answer is: anything)

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