SNOT 1: Lego Brick Dimensions

You can’t talk about Lego building techniques without talking about Stud not on top (SNOT). SNOT to Lego is like bronze to stone age men. It opens up a whole new world of opportunity. Before I started this blog, I searched online for Lego techniques materials. I found this very useful document by Eric Brok. It contained a very useful chapter on SNOT. But the document is a bit dated. New parts that came out since brought new techniques.

What makes SNOT so interesting is the fact that Lego bricks are not cubical, its height and width are different. So before we talk about SNOT, we need to talk about Lego brick dimensions. Lego bricks can be measured in several units. Brickwiki has a great table that explains it all in detail. I categorize bricks into 5 common unit dimensions. I will call them brick, stud, plate, bracket, half-stud. They can be explained with the following pictures.


Some of these units can be easily replaced by other units, such as 1 brick = 3 plates. So I’ll talk about plates and bricks interchangeably. Some are much harder, such as 12 half-stud = 5 bricks. I think half-studs are in fact the hardest dimension to work with. I’ll explore this topic in more detail in a later post. Plate and stud are the most common dimensions, and they are ratio is 5 plates = 2 studs. Brackets are a bit more complicated to use, but extremely useful. They can be used as “gap fillers” when mixing plates and studs together, since 2 plates + 1 bracket = 1 stud. Using these facts, we can achieve a 2 studs by 2studs square in many ways.

SNOT Parts

SNOT parts are bricks with studs on different sides. Without them SNOT is impossible. The most basic of them are the bricks with stud on sides. brick w stud


Using the 5 plates = 2 studs ratio, they can be easily incorporated into any moc. See below.SNOT3

While these are easy to use, they are not always useful. There is only one stud on the 2-studs-tall side in the previous picture. To get the other stud you’ll need this bricks.

       brick w stud2


Example Usage

Using these dimensions you can achieve fine offsets (2 LDU to be exact) in examples shown below.




SNOT Lesson (6.0 KiB)


Note: Some of you might be wondering why I left out the technic bricks. According to this wonderful document by Jamie Berard, The center of the hole on this brick is slightly (0.12mm) taller than the center of the stud on the brick with stud on sides. So it is out of system. I generally don’t use technic bricks with other bricks for SNOT purposes. But they are very useful SNOT part if used in a different way…

2 thoughts on “SNOT 1: Lego Brick Dimensions

  1. I don’t think you can say that without SNOT bricks, SNOT is impossible. There are lots of other ways to connect things at angles, such as using clips and bar parts. Of course SNOT bricks are the simplest way.

    1. I planned to talk about clips and bar inversion at first. But the possibility is so many. I can’t think of a way to talk about it coherently. So I skipped it.

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