Standing an impressive 20.5 inches tall and 30 inches wide, this LEGO Ideas entry not only demonstrates the motion of the solar system, but does so while staying true to the orbit time of each planet. LEGO builders Chris Orchard and Brent Waller’s Mechanical Solar System is a nearly 3,000-brick marvel that replicates our solar system’s celestial dance with 99.8% accuracy while a set of clocks at the bottom even count the year as the planets revolve around the sun. .
Both Orchard and Waller are self-proclaimed LEGO nerds, while Waller even mentions that he’s been associated with the LEGO Ideas platform for over a decade (dating back to when it was called “CUUSOO”). Although they claim that there are countless mechanical models of the solar system (also called orreries), nothing matches the complexity and attention to precision of the mechanical solar system.
Designers: Chris Orchard and Brent Waller
“The periods of relative orbits for each planet to complete an orbit are extremely accurate. A great deal of effort has gone into making the orbital timing of each planet more than 99.8% accurate with respect to other planets,” says Chris on its LEGO Ideas submission page. “Each planet is year is also represented through the 8 dials of the elegant octagonal base. The base also includes a motor and battery box to fully motorize the model.
This isn’t the first time someone has built an incredibly accurate planetary out of LEGO. Earlier last year, LEGO builder Marian made an orrery that accurately tracked the movements of the earth and moon around the sun with precise moon phases. The mechanical solar system, on the other hand, also takes into account the other 8 planets (or 7 planets and Pluto if you’re still holding those beads).