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Building a simple photo frame - Any Advice?

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Hey everyone,

So I had this vision to build a very small minimalistic black tiled frame that would be mounted behind my sets and lifted enough to be scene above the set. (rough sketch attached).

I was curious if anyone had any idea on how to build these? Or have seen any sample builds out there? I figured I'd ask before I just jump in and start from scratch. I tried googling some, but a lot of them featuring gluing bricks ON existing frames and thats not what I want. I want to build something simple, all out of legos. That can  "pinch" the print in a frame somehow. This frame does NOT need glass, I just need something that will hold maybe a 4"x6" print in place around the edges. 

My idea was to pop this design behind various architecture sets to document when I go to these places. Sort of like a personal touch to the set and my travels. 

The sketch should give you a better idea, thanks for any ideas! Frame idea is obviously in red.

- Scott

 

 

 

IMG_4842.JPG

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18 hours ago, scatttcat said:

My idea was to pop this design behind various architecture sets to document when I go to these places. Sort of like a personal touch to the set and my travels.

I rather like this idea. It's a nice way of showing "Hey, I've been there!" with the physical build. Anyway it shouldn't be too difficult for me to whip up something digitally. At the moment I can see making the back of the frame a little larger than the picture then having the border of tiles hanging over said picture holding it down in place. Honestly there are a number of ways to go about this.

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I rather like this idea. It's a nice way of showing "Hey, I've been there!" with the physical build. Anyway it shouldn't be too difficult for me to whip up something digitally. At the moment I can see making the back of the frame a little larger than the picture then having the border of tiles hanging over said picture holding it down in place. Honestly there are a number of ways to go about this.



EXACTLY what I was thinking. That way the overlap can just be black tiles to give it a clean look that holds the picture in place!

And whatever the base is should be able to someone attach to the back of most sets (should be very simple too)

Anyways if you have any free time! I’d love to see any ideas!


Sent from my iPhone using Brickpicker Forum mobile app

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On ‎7‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 8:23 PM, TheOrcKing said:

 

Some time after this reply, I came up with a sort of billboard brainstormed from remembering this piece (modified plate with door rail). The idea being able to slide in a photo from the sides with the rails holding in place. It is different than what was asked and I will get back to that soon enough. The concept just popped in there and if anything was mostly for me to get a better grasp on the measurements provided. Now I only need to make some tweaks to structure, capture a couple renders, then upload here.

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7 minutes ago, TheOrcKing said:

Some time after this reply, I came up with a sort of billboard brainstormed from remembering this piece (modified plate with door rail). The idea being able to slide in a photo from the sides with the rails holding in place. It is different than what was asked and I will get back to that soon enough. The concept just popped in there and if anything was mostly for me to get a better grasp on the measurements provided. Now I only need to make some tweaks to structure, capture a couple renders, then upload here.

Awesome!

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Well here's the brainstormed billboard. Top to bottom standing about 8 inches tall with the primary viewing space six inches wide by 4 inches high. (Color usage to better differentiate between sections.)

picture frame - billboard 1a.png

picture frame - billboard 1b.png

 

A closer view on the rails.

picture frame - billboard 2.png

 

The Technic axle for reinforced structural stability in the pillars.

picture frame - billboard 3.png

 

The LEGO Digital Designer file should be attached to the bottom of this post for everyone to download. Altogether a decent start and warm up I think. I tried to maintain brick efficiency using the least amount of different piece types and overall stability. I believe the Technic axles can be further up going into the 2x3 brick just above the top 2x2 round pillar part however LDD does not recognize such connection. Now I do not know how good this would actually work in reality but the idea was there (has been for a while when I think about it) and figured it were worth a shot.

Well anyway with that out of the way, I can get back to the original idea here.

EDIT:
You can find the latest version of the file in this post.

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Well I about finished more or less the actual picture frame build; just need to go over the design a few times to finalize everything. The dimensions fit in the same space as the above billboard concept pretty much, maybe only a smidge wider (couple millimeters if at all) but still same standing height. Also the two pillars propping the display up are significantly slimmer and more aesthetically pleasing in my opinion (each still using a Technic axle for support of course). Best I can describe this brick (actually plate) built frame is, well, basically a picture box having the photo resting inside with a border of tiles holding it.

I stepped away from having the border tiles directly holding the photo in place seeing how photo quality paper is typically a bit thick and heavier than conventional paper meaning over time the tiles would potentially give way from their connected studs not to mention what the constant pressure of plastic against the picture could do.

Anyway I shouldn't have much left to tweak I believe, and I will simply update the previously uploaded file with this one in the upcoming post. That way there will only be a single file with all the models to maintain instead of trying to keep up with a bunch of individual ones.

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And now the picture frame I have been working on is done in a pair no less. To the left is the primary design with an inner tile backing whereas the alternate on the right is without plus an outer layer of plates has been removed to match. I have a rather 'hipster' tendency with builds trying to make them all smooth and spiffy but I realized you would not even see the inner side at all giving little point to smoothing the inside as I did hence the alternate with such layers removed. Still the tiles do look better than the open studs not to mention bringing out the front just a bit further for a fuller frame. Like before, the colors used are simply to help differentiate sections and in this case build layers.

picture frame - 1a.png

 

A view from the back (nothing changed between the two). This whole mass of plates (blue and red layers specifically) consumed the most time than anything else needing to rearrange & redesign over again in an effort to get every piece to overlap each other functionally. The rounded corner plates are probably more aesthetic than structure but I like them over the square counterparts.

picture frame - 1b.png

 

A cutaway of the front tile layer to show the depth where the photo would reside inside. Since the one on the right has an open layer of studs occupying some of the picture's intended area (1.8 millimeters roughly), there is less area for the photo to 'float' around in.

picture frame - 2.png

 

Same as the prior design with a Technic axle for support in each pillar only considerably slimmer this time around. If anything this direction is basically the axle with a little dressing using Technic tubes. To note I used a smaller length axle here.

picture frame - 3a.png

 

A closer underside back view of the coupling with Technic friction axle/pin connecting the frame to the pillar.

picture frame - 3b.png

 

Finally all three designs so far together for comparison though really it's two and a mod.

picture frame - 4.png

 

And there is another one done. Same as before the Digital Designer file should be attached to the bottom of this post. I would recommend downloading this updated one instead as all three designs is included plus each has proper grouping allowing you to view every section or layer with relative ease.

Final thoughts, I am proud of this one. Overall it was more interesting putting together and is appearance wise in particular the pillars. The first version's does their part but visually they are rather simple with the billboard stuck on top while here integrated much better into the main model itself. Additionally I feel as though the slim support will look better next to a set of Architecture than the former but that is only my opinion. This frame does utilize a number of pieces sitting at two hundred and three with the alternate using less at one hundred and thirty three; however it should be structurally sound and easy on the hands when building.

Anyway I may have another method to try perhaps using noticeably less parts than this one.

picture frame - set.lxf

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On ‎7‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 12:47 PM, TheOrcKing said:
And now the picture frame I have been working on is done in a pair no less. To the left is the primary design with an inner tile backing whereas the alternate on the right is without plus an outer layer of plates has been removed to match. I have a rather 'hipster' tendency with builds trying to make them all smooth and spiffy but I realized you would not even see the inner side at all giving little point to smoothing the inside as I did hence the alternate with such layers removed. Still the tiles do look better than the open studs not to mention bringing out the front just a bit further for a fuller frame. Like before, the colors used are simply to help differentiate sections and in this case build layers.

These rock! Thank you! Sorry I haven’t responded (business of comic con) but when it’s all done I will download and build one! Thank you so much!!!

 

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On ‎7‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 12:47 PM, TheOrcKing said:
And now the picture frame I have been working on is done in a pair no less. To the left is the primary design with an inner tile backing whereas the alternate on the right is without plus an outer layer of plates has been removed to match. I have a rather 'hipster' tendency with builds trying to make them all smooth and spiffy but I realized you would not even see the inner side at all giving little point to smoothing the inside as I did hence the alternate with such layers removed. Still the tiles do look better than the open studs not to mention bringing out the front just a bit further for a fuller frame. Like before, the colors used are simply to help differentiate sections and in this case build layers.


For the ones with 2x2 tiles as a border, can you replace some of the bottom ones with 2x2 jumpers, insert a 3L or 4L bar, and then somehow mount something that looks like a spotlight at the end?

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On ‎7‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 2:00 PM, Martae54 said:

I like these designs very much. VERY useful for city billboards as well!! Well done!!

Thank you. :thankyou: I could probably modify the second design or base off it for something much closer to a real world billboard complete with spotlights.

 

15 hours ago, scatttcat said:

These rock! Thank you! Sorry I haven’t responded (business of comic con) but when it’s all done I will download and build one! Thank you so much!!!

Many thanks, and no worries or hurry at all. Hopefully any of these will be what you were looking for. Oh, and hope you had fun at Comic-Con!

 

13 hours ago, Phil B said:

For the ones with 2x2 tiles as a border, can you replace some of the bottom ones with 2x2 jumpers, insert a 3L or 4L bar, and then somehow mount something that looks like a spotlight at the end? 

I should be able to. Good suggestion. I'll be back.

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15 hours ago, Phil B said:

For the ones with 2x2 tiles as a border, can you replace some of the bottom ones with 2x2 jumpers, insert a 3L or 4L bar, and then somehow mount something that looks like a spotlight at the end?

Here is an example using both the 3L bar (left side) and the 4L bar (right side). I used four different builds of spotlights for variety sake.

picture frame - 1.png

 

As one can see, the 3L bar fits snuggly between its clip holders while the 4L bar extends past yet however is perfect for creating a continuous pole.

picture frame - 2.png

 

An overhead view of the spotlights I used. Of course you would only use a single type throughout; I only wanted to give some options to pick from.

picture frame - 3a.png

picture frame - 3b.png

 

And figures as I was about to post, I remembered the classic spotlight type using the small antenna dish with a single circle stud inside. This is one I find works well in either an overhead or underneath source of lighting.

picture frame - 4.png

 

And yet another style just remembered. Haha.

picture frame - 5.png

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9 hours ago, TheOrcKing said:
Here is an example using both the 3L bar (left side) and the 4L bar (right side). I used four different builds of spotlights for variety sake.

 
As one can see, the 3L bar fits snuggly between its clip holders while the 4L bar extends past yet however is perfect for creating a continuous pole.

 
An overhead view of the spotlights I used. Of course you would only use a single type throughout; I only wanted to give some options to pick from.


 
And figures as I was about to post, I remembered the classic spotlight type using the small antenna dish with a single circle stud inside. This is one I find works well in either an overhead or underneath source of lighting.

 
And yet another style just remembered. Haha.

That looks good! I was thinking the poles would stick out from the billboard instead of being parallel, but this works too...

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9 hours ago, Phil B said:

That looks good! I was thinking the poles would stick out from the billboard instead of being parallel, but this works too...

Oh, now I understand what you were originally suggesting. No problem, I should have something later.

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On ‎7‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 1:32 PM, Phil B said:

For the ones with 2x2 tiles as a border, can you replace some of the bottom ones with 2x2 jumpers, insert a 3L or 4L bar, and then somehow mount something that looks like a spotlight at the end?

Alrighty then, second attempt. Haha. Here we go. The outer poles are 4L bars while inner two are 3L (for variety sake as usual). I tried spacing them all evenly as I could hence the 1x2 tiles. Coming up with spotlight designs at this fixed angle was odd until I recalled the 'claw hand' minifigure utensil thingy. It does bring the light fixture out to one side or the other but looks fine I think. (It worked with Grand Emporium.)

picture frame - 1.png

 

A close-up of each design. I used a single stud with open hole at the base of each for extra grip between jumper plate and the bar. (Note, LDD really does not like multiple connections with these bar pieces, at least anything involving the jumper and open stud anyway, seeing how when I load up the file after saving, a popup window states some parts were connected improperly then gets rid of them without actually telling me what was removed. Ugh.... Moving along.)

picture frame - 2a.png

picture frame - 2b.png

 

I imagine the spotlight concepts from my prior attempt would work here as well thanks to the claw connector. Although four lights are used, three or even two would look good enough depending on the spotlight design chosen.

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16 hours ago, TheOrcKing said:
Alrighty then, second attempt. Haha. Here we go. The outer poles are 4L bars while inner two are 3L (for variety sake as usual). I tried spacing them all evenly as I could hence the 1x2 tiles. Coming up with spotlight designs at this fixed angle was odd until I recalled the 'claw hand' minifigure utensil thingy. It does bring the light fixture out to one side or the other but looks fine I think. (It worked with Grand Emporium.)

 

A close-up of each design. I used a single stud with open hole at the base of each for extra grip between jumper plate and the bar. (Note, LDD really does not like multiple connections with these bar pieces, at least anything involving the jumper and open stud anyway, seeing how when I load up the file after saving, a popup window states some parts were connected improperly then gets rid of them without actually telling me what was removed. Ugh.... Moving along.)

 

I imagine the spotlight concepts from my prior attempt would work here as well thanks to the claw connector. Although four lights are used, three or even two would look good enough depending on the spotlight design chosen.

Perfect! I like the rightmost one the best. Perhaps instead of a 1x1 trans-clear plate you can use a trans-clear cheese slope to create the impression the light is angling up?

 

EDIT: never mind, upon closer inspection I see you already did this... Just didn't notice it on my cellphone screen.

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11 hours ago, Phil B said:

Perfect! I like the rightmost one the best. Perhaps instead of a 1x1 trans-clear plate you can use a trans-clear cheese slope to create the impression the light is angling up?

 

EDIT: never mind, upon closer inspection I see you already did this... Just didn't notice it on my cellphone screen.

Well I could have used translucent yellow instead or better angled the camera placing the green tiles behind 'cause clear on white doesn't work so good. Haha. But yeah, I like the simplicity of that one and the 'beefiness' of the one right next to it.

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