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  • Cryostat thermal shield | A "strong back" for a fragile component

    The lower cylinder thermal shield is a large silver-plated component, circular in shape and five metres tall, which fits inside the depression in the cryostat b [...]

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  • Diagnostic shielding | B4C ceramic bricks prove their worth

    A number of materials can effectively shield diagnostic equipment from the neutron flux coming from the plasma. To find the best one, the diagnostics team at IT [...]

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  • Image of the week | The cryostat top lid, batch after batch

    Batch after batch, the elements for the top lid of the ITER cryostat keep arriving from India. As of today, 7 out of the 12 required segments have been delivere [...]

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  • Cooling water system | The tanks within a tank

    Deep inside the bowels of the Tokamak Building, the entrance to one of most spectacular rooms of the whole installation resembles that of a broom cupboard. [...]

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  • ITER assembly | Last major assembly contract signed

    One year after finalizing two major machine assembly contracts, the ITER Organization has chosen the contractors who will carry out assembly and installation ac [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Let's go Lego!

While the Lego company encourages users to create original models, it will only consider making them into an ''official set'' once the project has received 10,000 votes of support. (Click to view larger version...)
While the Lego company encourages users to create original models, it will only consider making them into an ''official set'' once the project has received 10,000 votes of support.
The ITER Tokamak seems to be quite a source of inspiration for Lego aficionados. In June 2012, Newsline reported on Japanese artist Sachiko Akinaga who had created an 8,000-piece ITER mockup that was both realistic and naïve, using standard Lego bricks.

A new Lego venture is now creating a lot of excitement within the worldwide fusion community. Another Lego fan is working hard to convince the Lego company to bring the ITER Tokamak into the commercial production line.

Yes—a Lego set that would enable children to build a cutaway section of the ITER Tokamak.

Andrew Clark is an "Environment and Texture Artist" with Firaxis Games, a Baltimore-based game development studio that produced such blockbusters as Sid Meier's Civilization and X:COM Enemy Unknown.

Andrew has done a lot of computer wizardry to model and to "texture" environments such as terrain or skies, but he's retained a nostalgia for the simplicity and the almost unlimited creative potential of Lego bricks.

And recently, as he told Newsline, he "started getting back into it."

"I came across the Lego Cuusoo website," he explains, "which enables people to submit designs that Lego, under certain conditions, can use as a basis for an official Lego set. I started to think of ideas..."

The ITER Project had already attracted Andrew's attention: "The idea that we can create fusion, the process that powers the stars, inspired me strongly. So I visited the ITER website and the internet to gather as much material as I could find."

Baltimore-based artist Andrew Clark is working hard to convince the Lego company to bring the ITER Tokamak into the commercial production line. (Click to view larger version...)
Baltimore-based artist Andrew Clark is working hard to convince the Lego company to bring the ITER Tokamak into the commercial production line.
Andrew first worked with Lego Digital Designer, free software for creating original Lego designs. The next step was to go from virtual to actual, using available bricks and components to create a real Lego construction.

The operation took a whole weekend, plus some tweaking the following Monday. The result was a striking (and beautiful) rendition of the complex arrangement of the modules, piping, ports and feeders that form the central part of the ITER Tokamak.

But now comes the hardest part. While the Lego company encourages users to create original models, it will only consider making them into an "official set" (and in that case launching fabrication and commercialization) once the project has received 10,000 votes of support on the Lego website.

So we all know what we have to do now: go to the Lego Cuusoo site and press the green "Support" button. There's still a long way to go to get to 10,000 votes ... fusion in Lego appears to be as difficult as fusion in real life.


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