The third and final book of the LEGO Master Builder Academy Invention Designer (20215) is Kit 12 – Inventor’s Lab. This book focuses on different inventions and mechanisms inspired by Leonardo da Vinci from LEGO Designer Steen Sig Andersen. Like the first two books, there are instructions for a main model and three springboard models. In addition, you can access seven more springboard models on the LEGO Master Builder Academy website.
For Kit 12, the minifigure is the same as in the other Kits except for the accessories. He wears a black cap and has a old-school camera with a flash for his accessories.
The main build for the Inventor’s Lab is Leonardo’s Boat. This build was taken from Leonardo’s drawing of a boat with paddles. The designers took the drawing and used various LEGO techniques to create to model. You will find that all of the builds from from Kit 12 makes use of gears which was one of Leonardo’s principles in his inventions. In the middle of the boat is module for the paddle function. It uses a series of gear that are turned with a hand crank in the back of the module. Another feature of the boat is the rudder on the back of the boat. It is created by using a 1×4 Technic rotor to act as a tiller bar to control the direction of the boat.
The first springboard model of Kit 12 is the Four-Wheel Drive. It is a simple yet effective build to help you create something that you can add to a frame of an auto body. The gears are connected to each other so when one wheel turns, all the others turn at the same time.
The second springboard model in the book is a Helicopter. It uses and internal mechanism in which the top rotor is connected to the back rotor. It’s nothing too fancy but it’s a neat technique if you’re thinking of making a helicopter in the future.
The final springboard model in the book is a simple Flying Machine. You use a series of gears and cross-axles to create a machine that flaps it’s wings with the use of a hand crank in the back. It looks a lot like a flying machine based on Leonardo’s drawing of a device that has the structure of a bat’s wings.
In addition to the models you can create in the book, there are also seven additional models to build from the LEGO MBA website. The first of these and springboard four is a Slow-Fast Gear. This module is similar to the one in Leonardo’s Boat but the gears are switched up so that the gear on one side has a slower rotation while the other has a faster rotation.
For springboard five, we have a neat little Drawbridge that you can add to any building or structure. It uses gears and a crank to lift the bridge up and down.
In the next springboard model, we have a Drummer. This build is just a fun invention that uses the gears and a crank to make a drumming machine that taps at two different tempos. The arms are lifted by Technic elements to simulate the tapping.
The next springboard build is a Piston Engine. A piston engine or a reciprocating engine converts the gases inside the engine to energy. Using a knob at the end of the engine, you can spin it to simulate the pistons going up and down. This is achieved by using gears in the middle of the engine to turn the Technic beams which acts as the pistons.
For the next springboard model, we have a Winch to extend or retract a rope or a wire. You can use the hand crank function to either tighten or loosen the rope. There is also a brake to stop the gears from slipping.
In the ninth springboard, you get to create a Power Hammer. This device is perfect for a factory that needs to flatten an object. When you turn the gear, it lifts the Technic piece which in turn lifts up the hammer.
For the final springboard model for Kit 12’s Inventor’s Lab, we have a Mechanical Clock. You turn the lever on the back of the “second” wheel and the Technic bar will in turn hit the “minute” wheel. Each one and a half turns of the “second” wheel will turn the “minute” wheel once. This build is a nice starter model for a clock that you can use in real life.
Overall, the Kit 12 – Inventor’s Lab of the LEGO Master Builder Academy is a pretty good book showing the use of gearing techniques to create simple inventions that you can use for future builds. The many techniques that you will learn from Kit 12, such as the Mechanical Clock, will help you in your own creations that can be used for real world applications.
As regards to the Invention Designer set as a whole, I thoroughly enjoyed building everything that was included in the three books as well as all the springboard models online. I learned a lot of new techniques that I haven’t done before and will probably implement some of these techniques in my future creations. This set is a great addition for anyone who wants to learn more LEGO techniques to their arsenal. There will be two ratings below, one for Kit 12 and one for the Invention Designer set as a whole. You can also read my review of Kit 10 – Time Machine here and Kit 11 – World Architecture here.