RIP LDD

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Here's a statement from the LEGO AFOL Relations team that is not good news:

"Good Afternoon everyone, I've just touched base with one of our Digital Product Specialists within the Consumer Services team. A business decision has been made to no longer allocate resources towards the LDD program / initiative.

"For now, the program will continue to be offered to anyone interested in utilizing it but please do not expect any updates regarding functionality, the adding of new LEGO elements or glitch fixes. We have decided to pursue other digital experiences.

"Although this may not be the answer you were hoping for, I hope this information will be of use to your RLUG members. Thank you for your time and continued support for the LEGO Brand and hobby."

Given how popular the tool is I imagine the news will cause much consternation. Do you use LDD? Are you disappointed by this news? Will it prompt you to take a look at LDraw, which is arguably superior for serious use?

Thanks to bricksforbrains for the heads-up in the Brickish forum.

Update: Another statement has been made to try and allay some of our fears: "I hope this will help clarify a bit of the confusion and misunderstanding from our end regarding LDD. TLG will remain committed to digital building going forward, in regards to LDD, this means that we will continue to support the current functionality.

"We will not be doing automatic updates on elements, however elements will continue to be added from time to time. Unfortunately we cannot ensure that all elements are made available. I can see that the message has spread widely in the community since our original statement and I hope that you will assist us in spreading this message as well. Thank you!"

116 comments on this article

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By in United States,

:(
It seems everyday, I draw closer to a permanent switch to mecabricks. This is the basically the final straw.

Go Mecabricks!

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By in Venezuela,

What!!! Huw, you have to add a DISLIKE button

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By in United Kingdom,

This is a real shame.

Maybe an attempt to limit the amount of digital entries to Ideas!!

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By in United Kingdom,

Aw that's a right bummer, I only just got into it. It would be really good if TLG were willing to hand over the source code so members of the community keep it active.

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By in United States,

Next to go is probably Pick-a-Brick.

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By in United Kingdom,

As stated, LDraw is for serious users. LDD was a nice pick up and build facility to try new things out before committing to proper bricks...

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By in Austria,

so what, no need for LDD anyhow... use alternatives or bulid with real bricks ;)

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By in United States,

Dislike. But it's basically what I heard from Kevin Hinkle at the last event I saw him at.

I like LDD way better than any Mac-compatible versions of LDraw I've been able to find, especially since LDraw is often really bad about updating with the types of parts I like to use. LDD feels much closer to the intuitiveness of physical LEGO building than Bricksmith, which feels more like a CAD program. On LDD, parts connect and rotate along their actual connection points instead of you having to line up the connection points yourself. You have a full 3D view of the model you can rotate in any direction.

I hear there are some fairly LDD-like LDraw programs like SR 3D Builder, but none of the ones I know of are compatible with Mac. If anybody knows an LDraw program that works for Mac and is more intuitive than Bricksmith, please let me know. In the meantime, I'll probably just continue using LDD and using placeholders where newer parts aren't available.

@Regimus: I doubt it has anything to do with LEGO Ideas. More likely it's just that it's been years since LDD has had any way of actually bringing in revenue. There used to be Design byME, but that failed. Then there was LEGO Universe, but that failed. LEGO probably wants to focus their attention on digital projects that actually either bring in revenue themselves or promote current products.

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By in United States,

There's the LEGO Worlds project going on currently. I wonder if TLG and TT are planing now to release a newer digital design platform that will integrate better with that new project.

Currently Worlds is in beta for PC only, but I believe they plan to support Mac, Linux and consoles at some point.

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By in Netherlands,

I literally use LDD everyday to design new MOCs before I actually build them in real life. Deep inside my heart I hope that LEGO changes thier mind and contineus with this program, just like they did with BIONICLE (2.0)

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By in United Kingdom,

Most likely they are planning a replacement with newer engine under it and fluent mobile support. LDD is quite dated, no matter what you say.

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By in Norway,

That was terrible news. I came from MLcad/Ldraw since i liked that the bricks clicked into place like real lego. I built a spaceship in Mlcad and open up the file a few years later and found out that it was a mess. Bricks almost in place but a millimeter or two off make a big problems later and did not looked too good.
Switching to LDD made everything a lot better. Dont want to go back until someone make a similar click into place in Ldraw.

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By in United States,

I'm not really affected by these decisions although they clearly impact other members of the community. I personally use the LDraw suite, specifically MLCad to create my models, and custom scripts to export the instructions using the LDView app. This is how I created all the instructions in my book, The LEGO Architect, and I continue to use this process to make the free bonus instructions that you can download from http://brickarchitect.com/book/extras/

I love that MLCad is a more advanced CAD software, with the top, front, side views which I am accustomed to. I would love to see some usability enhancements, but at least we get new parts from time to time.

I do wish we had a better way to export images than LDView. I would personally love the ability to export the images in a vector format instead of only bitmaps.

I am curious what employees at The LEGO Group use to create the instructions which are included with sets. Do they secretly use LDraw too? Do they have proprietary apps? I know that recent official instruction PDFs are bitmap images, but some of the older instructions (Fort Legoredo) have vector-based instruction images. This makes for extremely sharp images and small file sizes.

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By in United Kingdom,

That's a real shame, I haven't yet got round to installing LDraw (Which I have downloaded) and have been using LDD for so many years now, unfortunately however, I started using it right after the Model Maker/ Make your own product thing was scrapped too. This is a shame.

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By in United States,

I have been using LDD since 2005, and have been building models first in LDD and then in real life ever since LEGO Universe Mode (later called Extended) was hinted at. (You had to go add the section into a certain line of code... remember that?) This really makes me sad, as i have been hoping for a least a little update for release of source code since the last update "window" was missed in Fall 2014. I have build 99% of my trains, buildings and other stuff using this program, and feel like a long-time friend who was a in accident and was expected to pull though (new updates) or have transplant (LDD source code being opened) someday suddenly went critical.

In short: please LEGO, If your reading this: reconsider and don't let LEGO Digital Designer die this way!

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By in Sweden,

Hugely disappointing news. LDD is at least 50% of why I'm still interested in LEGO. Being able to create custom MOCs (especially during the slow times of the year when there are no new sets/news) sustains my interest in LEGO, so without it.. I don't know. My interest in LEGO as a whole is likely to wane, as I'm not able to own a huge collection of bricks. The software will hopefully keep working, but the lack of newer parts certainly hurts (and has been hurting for a while now).

If the fact that it produces no (direct) revenue for LEGO is what keeps them from keeping it alive, I'd gladly pay for a "LDD Pro" and I'm sure many others would too.

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By in United Kingdom,

The only good I can see coming out of this is an end to the wonderfully large amount of LDD "two figs and a baseplate" entries on ideas.
I never actually used LDD, but I know a lot of people did and I think it will be sorely missed.

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By in United Kingdom,

I've always used LDD, I never touched any other software for LEGO. I had it open as the news came in :/

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By in Hong Kong,

Very sad. My son really enjoys LDD and it's great for children to learn spatial relations. I hope it will be open sourced to the community.

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By in United States,

Mecabricks seems to be a pretty accessible alternative since it is online and doesn't require any software downloads. www.mecabricks.com

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By in United States,

Disappointing to hear.

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By in Australia,

Are there any other programs that are close to LDD? Because I like what we've got here, I know that there are a fair few dodgy Lego Ideas projects that have come from people using LDD, but the same can be said for real bricks Lego Ideas projects too. LDD an incredibly useful tool for MOCing, I seriously hope TLG reconsider, that or they are discontinuing it, as they have a replacement that is leaps & bounds ahead of LDD (like a play mode/live mode that can show models under the effects of gravity, etc). I can't help but feel that cause some bigger issues down the track. If TLG is listening, I'm another that would be willing to consider options like an LDD pro, etc, especially if some of its particularities were fixed...

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By in United States,

@bacon1986: Mecabricks looks like a nice program that some people will appreciate. Unfortunately, it's probably not for me. It seems to have a lot of the same faults that keep me from getting much use out of LDraw. Namely, their palette lacks many of the parts I use most frequently in MOCs, such as constraction/CCBS shells and beams, and while I appreciate the 3D interface, you still have to drag parts along the X, Y, and Z axis instead of parts snapping intuitively to parts that are already placed.

@inversion: I would like to hope that you are right and LEGO is planning to introduce a newer and more versatile software to take LDD's place. Unfortunately I don't know how realistic that is. :/

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By in United States,

I've used LDD daily since about 2009. I strongly disagree with the comment that "arguably LDraw is superior for serious use," as that just seems to be a statement from someone not adept with LDD. Take a look at my flickr; would you consider what I've done not "serious use" of LDD!? Could I have done those in LDraw? Technically, yes, as they can be exported from LDD in .ldr and opened in Bricksmith. Could I have imaged and created them from scratch in the other programs? I've tried and found the switch difficult.

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By in United States,

Pity. I'll use my copy as long as I can, but it makes since Lego has little interest in LDD since the loss of Lego Factory sets.

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By in Brazil,

They should open source it.

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By in Belgium,

Bugger ... now I no longer have any excuse to NOT get into the best tools for the job.

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By in Ireland,

I love LDD for its speed. I usually export to LDraw which is fine but so time consuming if you start from the beginning.

I wonder if they would consider making it open source? There's enough folks out there that could do great things with it.

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By in United States,

Well this sucks. Lego just gets worse and worse with each passing month. I am rapidly growing disillusioned with them.

@kyrodes: Yes, they should. If they aren't going to put the effort into it, they should at least give the community the capacity to continue adding new elements. :(

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By in United States,

Disappointing. I started off in LDraw, but quickly switched to LDD, finding it generally much more user-friendly. While part connection can be problematic at times in LDD, it makes building much faster and easier. While LDraw is working on something similar (http://ldraw.org/reference/specs/lcd), as far as I'm aware nothing has yet come of it for the end user.

Mecabricks is great, and in many ways already surpasses both LDD and LDraw. Its growth looks very promising.

Speaking of Worlds, it actually allows import/export in LDD (or maybe LXF, which is XML-based but works in LDD) format. Not sure if it uses the same/similar internally.

As LXF is XML-based, it could ostensibly be extended with custom parts and libraries, though the effort may be better spent on something like Mecabricks at this point.

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By in United States,

This is extremely disappointing; I didn't just use LDD to design stuff, I used it to teach CAD/3D to kids, to show them you could do more with a computer than play games. In that way, LDraw is no alternative.

I wrote a complaint to the general mailbox at TLG, as it seems the only recourse (albeit not terribly effective).

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By in United States,

This sucks but it probably will give LDraw more support and drive to improve their product now that it's all people will have to depend on. It's already a strong project and now it's more important than ever that we have them around and working hard for the LEGO community.

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By in United Kingdom,

Shocked - found it better than all the alternatives and liked the collision detection so you knew when it was and wasn't legal. If it is to be replaced at some point with something providing similar functionality (preferably not fee based licencing access only) then I can live with that. Otherwise, we need a petition!!

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By in United States,

Personally I would pay $10 a month as a subscription fee to get latest parts and features etc.

Maybe some people only or sometimes build digitally, and would now buy more real LEGO as a result of no Ldd, although there are other options.

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By in United Kingdom,

Well that sucks. :(

I use LDD almost daily, mainly for MOC'ing, but also for tweaking sets I already own.

It would be nice if, as mentioned already, TLG were going to release something similar to, but, better than LDD. I can't see it happening though for some reason.

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By in United States,

This is unfortunate. One of the nicest features of LDD is the ability to export instructions as HTML and get a full parts list with codes, which makes ordering bricks a snap.

If LEGO's plan is to abandon this type of software, it would be an excellent gesture to the community to release the source code so that it can be maintained independently, outside of the profit/loss realities of their business. How many brick sales through the online store result from LDD projects? Examining that piece of their business might make a strong case for letting this continue as an open-source platform.

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By in United Kingdom,

This is sad news for me. LDD was pretty much the only building program I could use since I build with Constraction, which is a medium that doesn't really appear in the alternatives. Plus, I tried MLCad once and I really couldn't understand how it worked at all.

I can only hope that LEGO have just discontinued LDD and are perhaps working on a similar program to replace it. Even if it was something I had to purchase... I'd probably pay decent money for it as long as that meant regular part updates.

Or if I must, I can hope for a program that uses LDraw that is as intuitive to use as LDD... and that the LDraw parts library is fully updated with Constraction pieces. I could probably live with that alternative.

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By in United Kingdom,

TLC really is going down the pan. more and more sets with design and manufacturing faults. The same crap every year. Dropping LDD.

The decline begins. We had it good for ten years.

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By in New Zealand,

It was expected for a long time. LDD did not have any parts update for more than a year and serious interface update for... ever...

@Aanchir There is a snap function in Mecabricks. It doesn't work in the same way as for LDD but it allows to build very quickly and accuratly too. You can see a video tutorial in the youtube channel.

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By in Greece,

I use ldd...I think it is very convenient but the news aren;t so bad from my opinion.I'll continue using ldd with the existant pieces...

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By in France,

Well this is very sad news, but given the lack of updates to LDD it's not entirely unexpected. I did most of my design work in LDD, I loved the auto-snap feature and the collision detection to help verify legal builds - neither of these features are usually available in LDraw editors.

And as I'm a Mac user, this comes as rather a hard blow since there are so few alternatives available - Bricksmith and Mecabricks are the only ones I know of and while they are both excellent pieces of software, they still lack some of the versatility and ease of use that LDD offered.

LDD will be much missed... :'(

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By in United States,

This is extremely sad to hear. LDD is the best next to MECABricks. LDraw looks absolutely awful and I refuse to use it.

I've been using LDD for years. I have built many things on there, and I had planned on making more with newer pieces that they haven't added. This really sucks, I had expected this was going to happen after a year of no updates.

LDD will be missed.

:(

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By in United States,

I'd love to see coverage in Blocks or Bricks doing an interview with some of the LEGO designers talking about what software they use in-house, might that would give us a better idea as to whether there's a plan or path to something which could replace LDD.

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By in United Kingdom,

As a over worked employee and parent I find little time to myself. What time I do is spent on my Lego Ideas project which requires the huge hours, no actually weeks put in on it.

Lego just launched a campaign for good non-licence based ideas which is exactly what i am achieving. How can I do this as they want if they take away the only tool available to me for the required design and parts? The work gone in to my idea is so far in, I am not able in any manner to use other programs and so will be limited in my Ideas entry as I will not have access to all parts for a final polish and execution of my design.

This is the tool I need for the Ideas project, please give it back.

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By in United States,

Haven't used it for years, but still very sad to see it go. I only wish that they had added some way of getting a parts list for models, which would make me want to use it again.

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By in United States,

Well, guess I'll have to go actually buy LEGO bricks in the real world.

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By in United States,

@mr.bob
LDD will give you a listing of parts for the model using the html instructions generator - the list appears at the end after the building steps. Choose the far right icon at the top of the menu labeled 'Building guide mode (F7)' after you've loaded in the model.

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By in United States,

I feel like the fact that 95% of us are upset about this should be evidence enough that TLG should NOT drop LDD. They'd better have a replacement in mind - LDD has been always been my designing tool, and I'm not about to start buying hundreds of pieces I'm not even sure I'll need in order to build MOCs.

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By in Australia,

Noooooo!

I've tried LDraw. Hated it. LDD all the way!

*kicks chair across room*

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By in United States,

I've always used LDD since it's more versatile and fairly easy to use most of the time. Sure, its part selection wasn't always the best, but that was something that could have been improved. But now...

It will be missed. ;_;

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By in United Kingdom,

I hope they do open LDD up for some kind of community run updates system. I use it loads, but it needs more parts. Hopefully this isn't the end.

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By in Australia,

I have used ldraw in the past and I prefer LDD for building with since its much easier to use than any of the ldraw programs I have tried.

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By in United States,

There had better be some other tool in the pipeline.

Otherwise... stop the world then, I wanna get off. :(

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By in United States,

Wow, extremely disspointed about this. I'm more of a set collector an a parts collector, and what MOCing I did was always done on LDD.

When was the last parts update done to LDD; how useful will its parts inventort be in its current state? I haven't used it in several years now.

I will surely be sending a letter of complaint to Lego, I recommend everyone else does as well. There is a rule of thumb in business that for every person who actually takes the time to register a complaint, there are eleven more who want to do the same but simply didn't take the time to do so. If we all give Lego a hullabaloo, they may well be inclined to give their decision another consideration.

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By in Australia,

Is there anything we can do? Brickset can you please organise an online petition to at least let the Lego Group know that this decision is extremely bad for, and unpopular with, the Lego fan community?

The decision does not make any logical sense at all! Especially when the Lego Group are calling for 'more' Ideas submissions and then pulling or not supporting one of the key tools most MOC'ers use to create Ideas entries.

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By in United States,

This seems sort of strange that they would drop it but they probably are because of online building apps and other things such as Mecabricks (which I have used far more) and others. It may just be competition beat them out, which is not usual because of how big of a company they are. At least we have other building software still.

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By in United Arab Emirates,

I agree with Lenzie, we should start a partition for LDD or the release of an equivalent alternative. Maybe TLG is already working on something, but LDD is essential for MOC building. We bring them good business through our MOCs!

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By in Ireland,

I'm sorry to hear this for the many users of LDD but personally it doesn't bother me. I've used LDraw since 1999 I think and never switched to LDD. I could never get my head around the UI.
Updates for the parts library shouldn't be too hard to do for them - they must have all the parts in digital format anyway. But I guess keeping the software at a level they're happy with is costing more than it's worth.

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By in Canada,

I must admit that the way they broke the news was amazingly casual.

I can only picture how the LEGO AFOL relations dude (let's call him Edvard) stopping by his Digital Products colleague's (let's call her Gunda) office on his way to the coffee and pork (heard it was a thing in Denmark. Look it up on the googles) machine:

"Hey Gunda, just touching base, how are things?"
"Good, you?"
"Not too bad, you want something at the coffee and pork machine?"
"No thanks, just had some. Oh hey, before you go, have you heard that we're shutting down the LDD program?"
"Really eh? Didn't know that. Alright, thanks, I'll send a memo to the guys this afternoon. You sure about the coffee and pork?"
"Oh hell, it's my cheat day. Can you bring me a small slice of Flaeskesteg? Oh and please cc me on that memo!"
"You got it!"
"You're a sweetheart, Edvard!"

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By in United States,

This is all my fault. Last week I sent a message asking if they were planning to update LDD anytime soon and they responded no but that doesn't mean they are completely abandoning it. I loved LDD and everything about it.

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By in Canada,

RIP in peace you glitchy piece of lovable code

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By in Australia,

@Tupperfan Well Gunda better watch out then...>:(
It does seem a shame that they're not updating, since there have been so many new parts recently...

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By in Australia,

LDD was... never very good to begin with. Its a horrible, horrible program, that I'm int he unfortunate position of needing because I don't have the time to sort my real bricks, so even though placing a piece in the right place may take half an hour in LDD, finding the piece in real life would take me ten times as long. I was really hoping it would get Microsoft Hololense support, as that would solve its gigantic perspective issue, but I guess that'll never happen now.

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By in Australia,

BrickPost (@brckpst) has started running twitter campaign, asking everyone that uses LDD to retweet their post, if you're on twitter, please retweet. I've retweeted it on both my twitter accounts, @CJBlkcz & @VorpalRyu (the one for my Lego Ideas project).

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By in Canada,

The way some of you are reacting sounds like they're deleting it off everyone's computers... I gotta say, it makes perfect business sense. It doesn't really generate money beyond people MOCing and then ordering, but even then, how many of those pieces are bought through Lego?

At best it would be nice to be given the source code so others could keep expanding on it, but I'm sure there will be a replacement brought along in the future.

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By in United States,

I have never used it, but I would have loved to have the ability to use this on my IPhone.

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By in Singapore,

i didn't like the software anyway. maybe they're working on a new digital building experience that will clash with the LDD. so, for now, let's wait then. ^^

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By in United States,

All Lego bricks ordered to build MOCs designed in LDD must have originated from Lego, by definition. Therefore, for anyone to claim LDD makes Lego no money would be false.

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By in Singapore,


My first reaction was NOOOOOOOOO!!! LDD was my favourite tool to do MOCing with, because i have a relatively small collection of bricks. It allows me to build MOCs i would not have done in real life and allows me to experiment with new techniques. I really love working with LDD, and ever since the start of my Lego hobby/passion/obsession i had used it.

However, to be honest deep down i had expected this. The last time lego updated LDD was very far back, and i felt it was only a matter of time. Furthermore, its very true that "from a business perpective" as stated by lego, LDD being a free software which could very possibly render the need of real life bricks useless in a sense, which also requires a lot of effort and manpower to develop and mantain, is extremely unprofitable. Its also my belief that we all should appreciate the amount of effort spent by lego to develop this program for us.

That being said though, one question would be why didnt lego release this announcement sooner. My guess would be that they were deciding whether or not to roll out an updated version of LDD for a fee. I would gladly take that anytime though.

As mentioned by other users, a new digital version of LDD would probably be in the cards, and i hope that it turns out to be true =P In the meantime, i would certainly seriously consider LDraw

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By in Australia,

I came out of my dark ages due to LDD. Like many others here, I test out techniques, MOC's and Mods on LDD before committing to bricks. I think this is a huge mistake by TLG, and will have a far reaching negative effect for years to come. I would happily pay for updates, I have no intention of using any other software. If they won't support it, then at least make it open source so that the AFOL community can keep it alive.

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By in Colombia,

This is a real shame.
And is a HUGE mistake LEGO is making.

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By in United States,

Unbelievably bad news. I'm very upset right now, so it is probably best if I don't say anything else at this point. Broken bricks, inconsistent colors, stupid stickers, missing parts - I will grumble about, but can deal with. Killing LDD? This is the first time I feel like walking away from the hobby. LDD is a huge and crucial part of the building and design process of LEGO fans of all ages. Okay, I will just stop here. We should definitely petition this... :(

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By in United States,

I formally submit my protest of Lego dropping LDD.
LDD is essential to my hobby and is the only tool I use to design before I buy. I will be calling the company and writing letters to express my deepest disappointment.

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By in United States,

Nooo!!! I use LDD to experiment before making my MOCs out of real bricks :(

LEGO is getting to be real jerks.

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By in Australia,

I feel exactly the same as you theBrickBlogger, so disappointed and this decision by the LG along with more and more design / part shortcuts that the LG are seeming to make with recent set releases is making me feel very disillusioned about this hobby also.

I kit bash and improve almost all of the sets I buy from Lego. So using LDD to determine what can be improved or modifying the design and then generating part lists to order any additional parts I need from either Lego themselves or from BrickLink is an essential part of any build for me. To now know that part updates and any further support of the tool by the LG is not going to happen is a significant blow for the whole Lego customer base.

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By in United States,

This is very disappointing to hear. I am a huge user of Lego Digital Designer and use it in all my LEGO Ideas projects and others... I hope they make a new similar tool that is similar and better for those who wish to design projects digitally because of lack of necessary parts or for large-scale projects

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By in United States,

Brickset lost my original comment so I'll shorten it up.

LDD is ESSENTIAL to my hobby.

A revenue stream is here: LDD -> MOCs -> Secondary market -> Primary Market -> LEGO revenue. I think TLG has little idea how many people use LDD as a tool in their building.

THE COMMUNITY NEEDS an easy to use (and easy to download / install) fully functioning digital MOC tool with regular element updates seamlessly integrated with the secondary marketplace. Ideally, there would be some decent rendering feature for digital sharing as well. If you have the skills and people networking to make this happen...NOW IS THE TIME TO LAUNCH YOUR KICKSTARTER.

The beauty in LEGO is the ability to make your own creation. The public (and the loss of LDD makes me think TLG) has lost this perception. Kids build a set and never take it apart. TLG may as well mold one piece toys. The Creator line, showing 3 in 1 builds, helps some realize the potential. LDD is the way the amateur hobbyist plans his build, orders parts, and creates his finished product.

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By in Germany,

Really a shame, but due to the lack of updates recently it was to be expected.

I've always tried getting into LDraw but it just doesn't do it for me most of the time. This is mainly due to it's very untidy parts database and heavy use of often confusing unofficial names and numbers for both DesignID's and colors. Also the need for multiple programs and occasional quality issues with older parts (looking at those multiple entries for the same pirate head for example). Also, I kind of don't get the 'serious use' statement. Except from decals there is virtually nothing you could achieve with LDraw you couldn't with LDD given you know the right tricks.

Well I guess it's up to modding now... Any official statement if they're ok with any fan-made patches (given they are marked properly as such) to LDD?

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By in United Kingdom,

Clearly a lot of you are upset by this. I will make sure our Ambassador makes your feelings know in the ambassador network.

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By in United States,

I'm super disappointed. Like many here have said, LDD is an essential part of my MOC building process. I've been using LDD almost daily since the day it released. As a kid, I could never afford huge quantities of pieces, and LDD is what gave me the freedom to build and express myself through my teenage years. I can 100% say that I would not be an AFOL, and I would have "outgrown" LEGO a long time ago if it weren't for that program. Mecabricks is the only other program that I think I could get used to. LDraw is soooooooo dated and all over the place. I've tried using it and it takes me ten times longer to build anything.

I'm going to write a message to TLG to let them know how their decision is affecting me as one of their customers. Along with building MOCs, I also like to collect their kits. However, I would rather buy parts to build MOCs with from third party sources like bricklink, than keep spending a ton of money directly on a company that seems to care less and less about their fan base. I know children make up TLG's main customer base, but I was a child when I started using LDD, and it's part of what kept me as one of their customers. I wonder how many other potential future adult costumers TLG will lose with this decision.

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By in Germany,

@Huw: thanks for using the ambassador network to let TLG know about the fanbase reaction.

I myself have used LDraw/MLCAD for a few years but even though it had way more parts than LDD, especially when it comes to older ones from the 1970s/80s (where LDD is missing far to many imho), the uncomfortable user experience made me change to LDD, which I have been using ever since. LDD works perfectly on the machines I use, no glitches whatsoever. So this decision by TLG is very bad imho. Ok, they hadn't updated the parts library in any meaningful way in a long time anyway, but I had never given up hope that they sometimes would. As a matter of fact I asked them about half a year ago specifically about upcoming parts updates, especially those many missing ones from the 1970s/80s, and they replied by saying that I should make a list of said parts and they would try and include them in the next update. So at least it seems that at that time they had plans for some kind of semi-regular updates.

Shame really. Or is there an LDraw addon that makes usability as easy and functional as LDD?
I have tried several, but so far, none has come close as a "complete package" i.e. having snap-fit, drag&drop, easy any-direction-full-rotate of parts and views, auto-instruction generator etc. etc.

Or is there a way to integrate new parts, say converted from LDraw base files, into LDD?

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By in Canada,

Recent to said "A revenue stream is here: LDD -> MOCs -> Secondary market -> Primary Market -> LEGO revenue. I think TLG has little idea how many people use LDD as a tool in their building." Very true, they do in a quite indirect way make money. But it is not something they (or us) can quantify. The best they could probably do is see how many folks downloaded the latest parts update, but that doesn't indicate any sort of brick buying.

If you have a team working on something like this, you can't really find out how much money they are making for you. Putting them on something with a more direct line to purchasing is a no brainer.

Again, it sucks, but Lego is a business after all and needs to do what makes the most sense. And If they do make a new digital building tool, it could surely only be better.

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By in United States,

Crushed. Since I work overseas for years at a time most of my actual bricks get left in storage and LDD was my only option for designing MOCs. I wonder if an upcoming Minecraft competitor they have in the pipeline is the real reason they are dropping LDD. If it still allowed for MOCing and exporting part lists I could be more forgiving even if the new product costs money.

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By in Canada,

This is a huge disappointment for me. I've poured countless hours into that program, from planning MOCs, to building others MOCs that I've found instructions for online, to recreating official sets that I will never own a copy of... It's a great way to try things out when I don't have the necessary parts. To date, I've used nearly 37,000 pieces across all the models I've built in that program. I guess I can understand why they wouldn't want to keep supporting it, but I sincerely hope that they release the source code so that the fans can keep it alive.

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By in United Kingdom,

Am I missing something here? I can see that the software is to be dropped with no further support or element updates, but it will continue to work as it has done previously won't it? The fact that the software will become obsolete doesn't stop anyone using it or enjoying it as they have done for the last several years. Aside from not getting new elements to play with, it's the same as it always has been. Isn't it?? Am I being dumb?

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By in United Kingdom,

There seems to be a lot of support for the idea of LEGO giving the source code away for the community to develop. At the very least it would be great if LEGO could find a way for fans to update the database of new elements and colours for LDD so it continues to be relevant.

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By in Netherlands,

Really sad about this. While I doubt we can convince LEGO to start work on LDD again, I think we stand a chance convincing them to make LDD open source. I've been using it a lot, and while it takes a little while to learn, it becomes incredibly quick once you've learned it. I've used several thousand pieces in LDD in just the last month. It really is a nearly perfect building tool. Like others have said, the indirect revenue stream seems like it'd be worth supporting.

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By in France,

@iso3200 The software is still useable on Windows, but the latest Mac OS X left LDD unable to render brick outlines - I can't easily tell if (say) an 8x8 plate is a single piece or a mass of 1x1 plates. Without an update to fix this, LDD is useless to me. Longer term, it will become very frustrating not having new bricks to play around with. There's been several points in this last year alone when I wanted a new 2015 part that wasn't in LDD. Also, as others have pointed out, LDD was a great way for building Bionicle or CCBS MOCs since the complex shapes of these parts mean that you don't get too many in LDraw.

@benredstar
Nice idea but I don't see it happening. LDD was developed in house by Lego, they'll want to maintain ownership and control over it. They never wanted anyone modifying the bricks database in the past, I suspect they still won't allow anything like that in the future.

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By in United Kingdom,

Sadface :-(

Any mocs etc. I have made, were designed first in LDD, then buy the bricks and tweak. It is a great prototyping tool.

If it is to become Open Source, I offer my humble Java development skills into the mix. Or for anything else!

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By in United Kingdom,

Another statement has been made:

""I hope this will help clarify a bit of the confusion and misunderstanding from our end regarding LDD. TLG will remain committed to digital building going forward, in regards to LDD, this means that we will continue to support the current functionality.

"We will not be doing automatic updates on elements, however elements will continue to be added from time to time. Unfortunately we cannot ensure that all elements are made available. I can see that the message has spread widely in the community since our original statement and I hope that you will assist us in spreading this message as well. Thank you!"

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By in France,

^Well this is something! :) But how often will bricks really be added? "From time to time" is very vague... And it's heading up for 18 months since the last brick update...

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By in United Kingdom,

This shows you TLG has no idea what is going on in it's own four walls. I would hope they would think, "Ok, before we tell them that we are no longer going to support LDD lets make sure that this is our final decision".

Personally, I think we should as a community continue to pester for LEGO to keep supporting/updating LDD and send a letter to the only person who knows what is going on at TLG...Jørgen Vig Knudstorp. It might fall on deaf ears, but we shouldn't allow LEGO to become the next Mattel.

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By in United States,

Of course I am as extremely disappointed as the next person. Like many of you, I too found it a great way to build MOC's before committing to purchasing and building in actual bricks. But unfortunately the writing has been on the wall for a while and it was only a matter of time. The latest update from them does give some hope that things are not entirely dead. It does show that TLG in some ways understands the community's reliance on LDD if they said they're willing to add elements "from time to time" better than yesterday's statement of pretty much "It's dead Jim".

So maybe in the not to distant future we could see some new elements added, at this point anything would be helpful. But without an active development cycle (and no official word on a future comparable application one way or the other) LDD will continue to age and get more and more buggy as operating systems continue to advance - like is the current state of LDD on El Capitan for the Mac. But at least today from yesterday, I have some small glimmer of hope for (however shaky) the future of LDD.

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By in Singapore,

@Huw, thanks for helping to convey our views to Lego, its greatly appreciated. =)

About Lego's second reply, I am glad that they decided not to let go of LDD entirely, even though the reply was vague, as it reaffirms my belief that Lego is a company that holds the views of its fanbase in high regard, and would seriously consider them. About the new parts added, I hope that they would add and prioritize the new hinges/slopes/bricks over the new minifig parts/accessories/hairpieces.

However, I still see little hope in the LDD that we all know and are familiar now. Lego would probably release, in the near future I hope, a digital program that functions similar to LDD, but has to be paid for, and is also compatible with mobile phones and tablets. That is where Lego is headed, after all.

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By in United Kingdom,

@NathanR2015 Fair points. I'm also on Mac - but I have LDD installed on an OSX 10.6.8 machine and I haven't noticed problems. That said, I tend to use Bricksmith for my digital designs - so I'm already used to elements limited by the LDraw libraries, though I haven't found the limitations affect me too much.

At least there seems to be a little light in Lego's second statement - though rather dim and in a long tunnel ;-)

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By in Poland,

A real pity.
Although LDD has shortcomings (rendering, which I do with bluerender), instructions output, among others, I think it is a great tool. LDraw has caused me a fair amount of trouble to use. The click on in LDD is a lot better, as well as the part selection which is globally a lot easier

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By in United Kingdom,

Just a thought. How many of the Lego Idea's(Cussoo) sets were designed in LDD originally? There is a revenue stream from LDD.

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By in United States,

Oh, they are going to update parts from time to time... that's good. Hopefully they'll, you know, add the Bionicle and Star Wars Constraction parts...

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By in United States,

Am I like the only one who doesn't really care? I haven't used LDD for a long time.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ I'm sure there are many others who aren't affected by this situation, but they apparently have enough tact to not reach out for confirmation.

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By in Mexico,

I feel very disappointed, just a few weeks i downloaded the app to design a elevated railroad for my sons lego train, and i discovered that the flexible tracks (7499) aren't suported, so i realize those pieces won't be available on ldd anymore. Sad, I`m mexican, and I had to learn english to use the ldd, to understand the terms in social media, because of lack spanish literature in lego design. Although lego is very expensive in mexico, i bought a lot of sets to my son, but, with this notice, i start seriously to reconsider, maybe next christmas i bought him playmobil...

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By in United States,

I have never even downloaded LDD, but I'm aware of the many other FOLs of all ages who do use it, and I certainly share their pain. If TLG doesn't have a replacement system within a year or two I hope they at least make LDD open source so that its many users can continue to work with a cyber-building system that seems to have no exact equivalent anywhere.

"Ask not for whom the bell tolls...."

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By in United States,

I E-Mailed Lego last year asking them about LDD and if they were working on making a new one like it and a few other things and they said that at that time they had not plans. This was as I said a year or maybe more ago lol.

Any how I never liked LDD due to not having very many parts to work with, if TLG came out with a new software that is better than LDD I would love that!

For now I will just have to rip as many of the bricks etc as I can before it shuts off for good and we can not get them at all.

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By in United Kingdom,

Typical corporate mentality, make something good that its hard to make money off then it has to be scrapped.

The click and connect interface of LDD makes it far superior to LDraw and Meccabricks. I use it everyday for Moc's. Probably the only way to save LDD now would be every user of it emails a complaint about its retirement. I don't know of any serious corporation that doesn't keep a count of complaints and topic summary.

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By in Belgium,

This is simply unbelievable. An outrage and a damn shame.

LDD was the sole reason for coming out of the dark ages and has led me to invest
in bricks and sets worth thousands of euro's over many years.

LDD is at the core of my Lego hobby: experimenting, building, re-imagining and then
build it in the real world. And even then you improvise while building with actual bricks,
which in turn would fuel ideas for the next MOC that would start in LDD and end up in the next display case.

I simply can not believe they can't think of anything to make this profitable.
There are nummerous ways of doing that. And seeying the disbelief and dissapointment heremany would pay good money for this software. Nobody is holding a gun to Lego's head (minifig size off course) to keep the software free.

LDraw... I tried four times but I find life is just too short. Also unbelievable they never
tried the implementation of bricks that would automaticly connect like real Lego (like in LDD). Mecabricks... I'm looking into, not sure yet. The problem is that I build fairly large MOCs. Right now a 13.000 bricks Ferris wheel that will stand 1m70 high. I would have to reïncarnate 4 times to complete that in LDraw or the likes. It took me four months in LDD and a fun four months it was.

Simply upsetting, no matter how expected this was. Lego has been surprising me the last couple of years with odd choices and sometimes shameful pricing of sets. Please Lego, take note from AFOLs as well, they bring in big bucks too.

And now, back to LDD, the best ever!

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By in Sweden,

You should make another news article with the updated statement, I don't think most will have seen that unless they were scrolling down to articles they've already seen. If they are indeed still planning on supporting LDD, however limited, help them get the word out to all the disappointed AFOLs.

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By in Australia,

The update certainly goes a long way to allaying some of the fears I had. I do not use it too often, but certainly it has been handy for some of my MOC's.

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By in United Kingdom,

I am disappointed, but it was always going to happen- it was never going to be supported forever, so its fine by me.

I'm grateful though that they'll add bricks from time to time, nice of them. I mean, it's not going to give them much profit, so its all good!

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By in United States,

I would be happy to pay for a Pro version in exchange for Lego to continue it with updated inventory and features. They would need to hire people to continue development and support for consumers; only makes sense to have to pay for the software.

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By in United States,

@darkstonegrey
Well, looks like I know what I'm doing this weekend. Thanks!

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By in United States,

@mr.bob
I forgot to mention there's an 'Export BOM' feature (BOM = Bill of Materials) under the Build mode File menu which will generate an xlsx spreadsheet file of the parts list which can be opened with MS Excel or any compatible program that can read xlsx files. The info is broken down into Brick id, Name, Picture, Part number, Color code, Quantity and Total part count so it's a bit more useful than what's shown at the end of the building steps. It's more convenient since you can skip the wait generating the Building guide which can take a while for large/complex builds.

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By in United States,

I, too, would like to express my dismay and disappointment at Lego's decision to leave LDD on life support. It is a very useful tool and has greatly added to my enjoyment if the hobby as an AFOL.

In light of Lego's gigantic success (and earning) over the past few years I cannot believe that the support of LDD is that big of a financial burden for them. It really seems like another giant middle finger to the AFOL community.

That being said, if Lego doesn't want the responsibility of maintaining a digital building program, I'd like to see them sell it to somebody like Bricklink. Wouldn't that be a great marriage? They have data on all the parts and they have to remain current of new items to stay relevant. Once you have finished your MOC, not only could print out a parts list but you could easily have a supplier list of said parts as well. If they updated it with some Blue Render type options, that would be killer!

So while Lego should have the resources to keep LDD updated and improved, here's a great opportunity for some company to provide that service.

Heck, maybe it's Brickset's first paid-for service!! (Hint, hint)

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By in Norway,

This is sad news. I love LDD. I use it almost daily. It has some problems. It's an older code, but it checks out.

When I came out of my dark age some 4 years ago LDD was my only way to try out new parts and build MOCs. I later translated them into real bricks. LDD is extremely important for me and many other AFOLs.

Please LEGO. Continue developing LDD. Make it a killer software. We will pay you! Please take our money!

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By in United States,

I'm just glad they're not eliminating the program. I've only started to use it again after a long time. Yes, there are limitations. And upgrades would have fixed that among other things. However I also don't see it as the end solution. With Lego there is always countless possibilities. And I hope for the day they will return to maintaining the program. A possible solution would be outsourcing it to another company that specializes in related software and programs.

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By in Netherlands,

It would be a real shame if TLG stopped updating and supporting LDD. LDD is an awesome tool for LEGO builders to share their models with the world. I think it is an essential part of the LEGO building experience these days.

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By in United States,

The problem here is that it is a free program. Maybe they should create an advanced advanced version that subscribers could pay for. A basic version could still be still be available but with less features. Maybe you can't make a directions or a parts list with it but you could still build with it. Maybe limit the parts available for it so you can't just create something and send it to your buddy who had the paid version.

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