July 25, 2024

Observe the Rotation of This Lego Gearbox to Understand the Functioning of CVTs

The wonders of Lego education.
Gif: Bricks Master Builders via YouTube

Lego building blocks are quite marvelous, they can be utilized to replicate iconic airports, enable you to construct your ideal vehicle and are now being used to illustrate what occurs inside your car’s transmission. This is attributable to an individual on social media who has taken it upon themselves to elucidate intricate engineering concepts with enjoyable plastic toys.

Instagram user Bricks Master Builders has established a reputation by crafting intricate models from Lego bricks. Previously, this has encompassed reproducing engines, pistons, and even developing a functional fan to stay comfortable on scorching summer days. Presently, they have taken on the modest continuously variable transmission.

The CVT is the favored alternative in many automatic automobiles instead of a conventional gearbox filled with cogwheels and gears. Rather than discrete gears, the CVT utilizes a pair of cones to offer theoretically limitless gear ratios. But, how does it work?

Well, Bricks Master Builders is here with their collection of Lego bricks to demonstrate it to you. For their model, they employ two cones constructed from Lego bricks and attach each to a shaft: one mimicking the input from the engine and the other the output typically sent to your car’s wheels.

LEGO Technic Simplified CVT

The two cones do not make contact; instead, they are linked by a band that encircles each. By using a basic Lego rod, the band travels across the cones, changing the output speed. When the band is at the widest section of the input cone and the narrowest part of the output, the output rotates significantly faster. Conversely, when it is placed at the narrowest part of the input cone and the widest part of the output, the output spins much slower.

Though not the most intricate Lego model we have witnessed, it effectively illustrates what occurs beneath the hood of your cherished Subaru.

If this has sparked your interest in further engineering explanations, we have an informative deep dive into how Honda engineered a CVT for its mountain bikes, as well as another article delving into the innovative technology involved in constructing Koenigsegg’s seven-clutch gearbox.


  • What is a CVT transmission?
  • How does a Lego model help in understanding complex engineering concepts?
  • Can Lego bricks be used to recreate other mechanical systems?


Exploring complex engineering concepts using everyday objects like Lego bricks can make learning more engaging and accessible. The Lego model of a CVT transmission by Bricks Master Builders is a fantastic example of how creativity and play can enhance understanding of intricate systems.

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