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Building Block Stress Tests

This Machine Tests How Many Times LEGO Can be Used Before Breaking

— April 20, 2013 — Unique
I broke a lot of toys when I was a kid through general useage, but one thing I was always able to play with for ages before breaking were LEGO bricks. Like many LEGO fans, I kind of just assumed that the ubiquitous building bricks were pretty much invincible, immune to wearing down over time and usage.

Phillipe Cantin wanted to put that theory to the test by building a homemade machine that tests exactly how many times a LEGO brick can be attached and detached before breaking. The ingenious little machine automatically attaches two bricks together, holds the bottom one in place for detaching and then places them back together while keeping track of the results with an infrared sensor.

It turns out that LEGO bricks aren't as invincible as I thought, but according to Cantin's LEGO stress test, the bricks took 37,112 times before breaking. That's durability!

Cantin says his next project may be a machine that tests exactly how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, and no, I don't think he's kidding.
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