Getting Started – Step 2

Download and install the Minibrix add-on

I'm afraid this installation is a bit rough-and-ready, but at the moment I have no easy way to integrate the Minibrix add-on with the LDraw installer. The process here prevents the accidental deletion of any other additions or customizations you may have already done to the LDraw package. All the Minibrix parts and primitives have file names that start with "x_". This has two advantages. First, there are as yet no Lego parts files that start with an "x", so I know nothing will get overwritten. Second, in MLCad the whole Minibrix collection can be accessed as a single, stand-alone set by opening up parts tree “Other\X”.

1. Download the parts definitions

The Minibrix add-on is packaged as a single self-extracting Zip file. To download it, right-click on the following link, and save the target file to any directory of your choosing.



2. Unpack the parts definitions

Run the downloaded file, either using Windows “Start” / “Run”, or by double-clicking on the file in Windows Explorer. In this dialog box that pops up:

Change “Unzip to folder:” to the path where you installed the LDraw package

Press “Unzip

The files will all be extracted to the correct subdirectories. Only one file will be overwritten ( The rest are new.

3. Configure MLCad

There are two changes to make: load the extra parts into the tool, and define a suitable grid spacing so that Minibrix parts snap together correctly. (Minibrix bricks are considerably larger than Lego bricks.)

Start up MLCad, and you should see a screen similar to this:

Select “File” then “Scan Parts” from the menu:

After a short while a pop-up message will ask: “Write new Parts.lst file?”. Press “Yes” and the new Minibrix parts will be added to MLCad’s parts browser.

Now select “Settings” then “General” then “Change...” from the menu:

In the dialog that opens select the “Step, Grid, Snap” tab. Change the values in the “Default for grid medium” row (the middle row) to be
 X Step units =16
 Y Step units =24
 Z Step units =16
 Rotation angle =90

The result should look like this:

The coarse grid now corresponds to the dimensions of Lego parts, and the medium grid to Minibrix parts. The fine grid can be used with either.

Press “OK” to save the changes. Close MLCad, and you're ready to start modelling!


  New LDraw users:

Step 3: Learn how to use the LDraw tools.

  Existing LDraw users:

Step 4: Learn how to use the Minibrix add-on.

Page last updated 4 July 2020