Sorting & Creating Custom Categories: BrickLink Studio Tips & Tricks
One of the fun of playing with infinite bricks is having access to almost every part in the LEGO library. But where to start? This article will show some tips and tricks to help get you to sort out your own personal library using Bricklink Studio.
Coming Across From Digital Designer
One of the biggest questions is how to set up the Bricklink Studio interface to feel more like LDD. Digital Designer has all of it's parts split up by colour and shape.
While both programs are identical in what they do, build with bricks, there's a few fundamental changes in how they operate that has confused a few newcomers to the scene. Studio has everything sorted by shape with colour applied afterwards. However a similar system can be used when building from an imported set, which we I will discuss later in the article.
Sorting Out Which Parts Are Which
Starting outbuilding can be a bit frustrating to see a cool piece used in a set and have no idea what it is.
Tiles, plates, bricks, panels, jumpers, slopes, bars and minifigs are all common element names that can be found in the Master section of the Shapes list. While all of these categories can be found by scrolling through the list, they can be searched manually. These are all context-sensitive by type and stud size. So typing in "1x2" will give you anything that meets that dimension. This is also handy for trying to track down a piece, try using descriptive terms such as round, clips or handles, hinge or bars. Also try unusual combinations, 3x2 for instance is a quick way to track down the modified plate with a rounded edge and a hole. You can also try adding "modified" to bring up any pieces that have been modified from the norm such as decorated bricks or parts with clips or handles. Minifig items fall under utensil. The brick icon next to the search toggles decorated or un-decorated and is handy for if you just want to build without decorated brick variants clogging the menu.
'New Parts', used to highlight what was released in the latest update, 'Hidden Parts' for items you don't want to see (found by right-clicking on a brick in pallet and pressing hide) and 'Custom Parts' for anything that came through Parts Designer.
If you are used to Bricklink's way of sorting you can press BL Categories to see a different arrangement. Each of these headings can also be dragged up and down the list. So if you are builder who works in technic, you can group common element categories at the top. Alternatively you can press the star icon when hovering over a category to pin it at the top. But what if you just want a very limited amount of pieces or you know there's a cool bit in another set but you don't know it's name? Well fortunately Studio has the ability to import nearly any LEGO set in existence. Head to File -> Import -> Import Official LEGO set and type in the set number. These can be found on manuals or by searching an online database.
Next to the Set Number are two buttons under "Import". In Scene will place every piece in order in your workspace. As Palette will create a new category with all of the parts. However, some parts may not exist if they aren't in the Ldraw library. This will often include very new pieces, custom decorated parts and minifigs.
With your new category selected a new organizational subcategory will appear : colors. This sorts all of the parts by colours. These can also be searched for, so typing in 1x2 red will list anything that fits. Finally, remember to clear the search button with X to return to view all parts.
But what if you want to make your own that reflects parts you already have? This is easy. Place into the workplace any bricks and parts and colour them. Select them all and Right Click -> Add to Palette -> New Palette. This will ask you to give it a name and then press ok. Then head down to the palette selection an find your new Custom Palette. You will note that even if you have ten of one kind of bricks adding to the custom palette has simplified this to only index one of each brick type. But there's a way around this.
This method can also work for creating submodels, that is fully built models, good for quickly replicating repeating elements. Firstly build an object then select all of the bricks and group (ctrl-g) then right click and add to custom palette. You will see a separate custom palette group where your complete submodels will be there.
Very Custom Palettes
But what if you wanted to create a set of limited parts for a break apart challenge or to accurately reflect your own stock? Well there's sneaky hack for this.
Start off by importing an existing LEGO set, but use a set number such as 6, this is a motor wire set that has one object that can be deleted. Select the bricks in your scene and go Add to Pallet and select your new pallet. Then delete the bricks in the scene and you will see them appear in the list. If you want to import an existing lego set, then select "In scene" when importing a LEGO set and select all (Control+A) and add to pallet. If you want to copy in your own set manually, then you'll have to do it brick by brick, placing down items and then colouring them. Copying and pasting batches of bricks in groups of ten often is a quick way to build up the numbers. Another way is to import an existing LEGO set and choose in scene, this will place every part in the set on the workspace. This then can be selected (control A) and added into your palette.
Renaming And Other Ways To Import
By Pressing down on the drop-down menu next to the Master parts menu you will see a list of all your custom pallets that you have been building up. To sort these out scroll down to Config and this will give you options to rename or delete items.
Simply hover over an item and you will see three icons. The pencil renames. The bin delete and the square with an arrow exports out the list as a .xml file.
In the "Choose a way to add a new palette there are a few options. Creating an empty, importing from LEGO and the n importing an .xml from Bricklink or another brick catalogue site that can come with a quantity count.
I hope these tips help you in Bricklink's Studio. Keep an eye out on CheepJokes.com for more tips and if you have any suggestions for what you want to see next, let us know in the comments.