A LEGO city/minifig-scale automated side loading garbage truck.
About this creation
My son and I have been working on a minifig/city scale automated side-loading garbage truck build for the last year or so.
We've finally gotten it to the point where we'd like to share it and get feedback. The bin arm is operated by a knob and reaches out and grabs and dumps standard LEGO dust bins with a plate on the bottom.
There is also a ram in the hopper that is operated by a second knob. It pushes the trash into the dumper. The inside of the dumper is smooth to allow the trash to dump out:
We also made a video that shows the truck and functions in action. The video may show the functions of the truck more clearly than the pictures can.
We're interested to get feedback on the build. Getting the bin arm to smoothly and reliably dump trash and integrating that and the ram into a compact build was definitely one of the big challenges. The truck with some "waste" bricks is about 450 pieces. This design was created and refined with bricks on hand over the course of more than a year and at least a dozen different design iterations. We then created a model in LEGO Digital Designer and used digital renders to visualize different colors. The custom printed tiles were created digitally using LDPatternCreator, using Bricklink's Studio tool and Blender with some custom lighting for the final digital renders and some animations. The video is partly digital rendering and partly live filming. For creating actual custom printed bricks, we made color laser prints of the designs, covered them with scotch tape and then gently washed the paper off using water, leaving enough stickiness on the tape to stick to the bricks. This was quick and easy and the tiles were durable enough to play/build with, so that worked very well for our purposes.
The cab holds a minifig comfortably, and there is a a hand rail and ladder for another minfig to ride along. There are clips to hold tools for cleaning up as well.