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##

Lego Bricks

The resistance of the plastic material (ABS - acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)
of Lego bricks far surpasses the force necessary to either join two of them
together or break their unions. This makes it possible to conceive a model that
ignores the resistance of the material and evaluates the stress forces over
a group of bricks only at their union areas. If a Lego structure fails, it will
generally do so at the joints, but the actual bricks will not be damaged.

This characteristic of bricks structures makes their discretization for modeling
an obvious step. Instead of imposing an artificial mesh for simulation purposes
only (as FEM does), these structures are already made of relatively large discrete
units. A first simplification is thus to ignore the physical characteristics
of the bricks and study only those of their unions.

Our second simplification is to ignore bending effects. In standard structural
analysis, the effects of stress are observed as deformation of the original
shape of a body. Here strain deformations are ignored altogether.

*Pablo Funes*

*2001-05-08*