Building Angles with Rectangular Plates – Building Spirals

Building spirals in Lego bricks is not easy, especially sturdy spirals. Today we are going to build upon the diagonal building technique that we talked about last time to build spirals. The diagonal building technique has one big drawback. It is hard to create small angles, <20°, with this technique. Because to create small angel, you need long plates. Large structures are hard to incorporate into MOCs. The solution is to use half plates. Here’s how.

If we take a full 2×4 plate and apply the diagonal building technique,  we get the structure on the left. But if we look at the center of the two plates, we can insert a 2×2 plate with a single stud in there (shown in green). Then if we cut off the lower half, this structure on the right is still viable and provides the same angle.


Another option is to put a turn table in the middle.  This has the benefit of having more studs available to you, so you can be more free with the top plate. For example, you can put a 2×2 on the top instead of a 2×3. The drawback is that, the turn table connection is more flimsy.


You can apply this technique to longer plates and achieve small angles like these.


Here’s a table of angles that you can achieve using this technique.

Size of Bottom Plate Angle Formed
2×3  38.94°
2×4  23.07°
2×5  16.43°
2×6  12.76°
2×7  10.43°
2×8  8.82°


Building Spirals

Now coming back the to topic of building spirals, this technique is perfect for doing this. There are two ways to utilize this technique. First is to take a plane (could be plates, bricks, or anything with studs on top and bottom) of any shape and gradually rotate it concentrically. See example below.


Another way is to take a longer plate and apply the rotation on only part of this plate. The result is a staircase type spiral. This is unstable, so you need other support structures to hold it in place, such as a pillar in the center.


Download the LDD of the spirals below.

Spiral Builds (103.2 KiB)


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