Ironing LEGO Bricks:
Ingo Althöfer; March 12 and 13, 2014
First of all a clarification: "LEGO" is a trademark
of the LEGO group in Billund, Denmark. This website is
neither sponsored nor authorized nor supported by the LEGO
Back in the 1980's, I have been fascinated by the American
space shuttles and their system of heat-resistant tiles.
These tiles shall guarantee that the shuttles do not
burn out during reentry in the earth atmosphere.
After landing the tiles sometiles looked a bit
Already some time ago I thought how to mock this process
with LEGO bricks. Finally, I performed a small experiment
with a yellow 4x12 plate, covered by transparent
tiles of size 1x2 each.
Bad news first:
In a water bath in the microwave (almost) nothing happened.
The structure in the microwave oven.
The "LEGO sandwich" after several minutes with medium radiation.
Then I dust off an old flatiron and warmed it up.
Of course, the iron was not set diretly on the plate with the
tiles. Instead, I put an old white blanket in between.
The result was very satisfying.
Gently curved, almost like the glass roof of Munich's
You can see that the yellow plate is more curved than the
It was haptic fun to take the tiles from the curved plate.
The slightly curved pieces give a feeling between the fingers
that is rather different from that of "normal" tiles.
Title of this still life: The Wave.
After the Ironing: Washing
One day after the ironing I wanted to know if the more or less
curved pieces were still willing to form random complexes in the
washing machine. So, the yellow plate together with the 24 tiles (25
single pieces) were knotted in a sock and washed at 40 degree
Celsius, together with a normal load. The result came as a surprise,
especially in its quantity:
10 of the 24 tiles had "found their places" on the plate!
Let me close with a hint: Of course I do not take any liability for
damages in LEGO experiments, executed by others.
Everybody has to know by himself or herself what (s)he can do with
his or her bricks.
In case of doubts, please try to stay on the safe side.
Do only what your wives allow!
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