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Newbie question about studs

Some elements come in both hollow and solid stud versions (famously 2362a and 2362b in Cafe Corner). I can see the benefit of hollow studs: you can grip some elements (light sabers for example) in the hollow stud. Why aren't ALL lego elements built with hollow studs? Are hollow-studded elements less durable, perhaps?

Comments

  • I dont think they are any more or less durable, although a hollow stud has less support from around it so maybe more likely to split. I think it is to do with the apperance as hollow studs would look less pleasing asthetically (perhaps a mute point now that SNOt building techinques are popular). Also it is to do with tradition lego have always been like it.
  • Plus those hollow studs can get full of dirt when grubby kids fingers touch them.
  • ^oh god yes thats a nightmare as well
  • I don't know the reason, but I find it useful to distinguish between a regular brick and a modified brick, like a technic brick or hinge plate. Don't know if this was the intention or a useful by-product.
  • I believe the biggest reason is probably branding-- LEGO wants you to know that you're building with their bricks. If the logo is prominent on the studs, people will associate the brand with the bricks, and will (hopefully) give customers a better feeling about LEGO bricks.

    Also, as Redbull above says, there may be some structural integrity issues with the hollow studs, since they're slightly more likely to break or warp.

    One other point (I'm not sure how much of an issue this is) is the fact that hollow studs can be attached to the "mini tubes" on the underside of 1xN bricks or plates. That can (in some circumstances) create confusion for younger builders, because the attached element underneath can be offset by 1/2 of a stud rather than a full stud increment, causing frustration. So for simpler bricks (IE, bricks that are intended to be used in sets with a younger age range), solid studs might be preferable to make building a more enjoyable experience.

    Those are all guesses, of course-- I haven't heard anything specific on this issue, although Jamie Berard *alluded* to the fact that branding was a big issue with the LEGO logo being prominent on elements. Specifically, he hinted that LEGO would have preferred to modify an element (minifig heads) to have solid studs again, thanks to the branding issue, BUT, was required to maintain the hollow stud thanks to certain elements that make use of the hollow opening.

    DaveE
  • ^Thanks, DaveE. That seems like a pretty authoritative answer.
  • ^find me something @davee123 has said that isnt :-D
    Joseph
  • Thanks for the link. Would it be right to infer that 2362b is made from a polycarbonate while 2362a is not? And further that 2362b addresses a structural weakness issue in some models that used 2362a?

    As far as I can tell there are a number of non-Technic elements (some slopes come to mind) that are hollow-studded. Are they made from a polycarbonate?

    And - sorry for going on and on about this - are polycarbonate elements typically hollow-studded?
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