Mini LEGO ZX81, TS1000 with 16K RAM Pack

Two z80 based retro computers, designed out of LEGO bricks, and rendered for your enjoyment.

When I first created my Mini ZX81, I had modeled a Timex Sinclair 1000 (TS1000) as well. My intent was always to render them together, but other projects kept getting in the way. Finally getting back to it last week, the results came out better than I expected.

[Image]ZX81, TS1000 and 16K RAM Pack by Steven Reid, on Flickr

That said, I couldn’t leave well enough alone. The ZX81 didn’t look the same without the 16K RAM pack, a must have device to do any real programming on it. So, I created one. The design is okay, a bit blockier than the real one, but is otherwise a good representation. Yet, I had a problem. The original model wasn’t designed for it.

Not content with just sticking it on the back—they should work like real LEGO bricks after all, I dug back in. This was first attempt at using the Mecabricks Workbench. Up till now, I’d been using LDD to design these retro computers. Removing old pieces first, I quickly got the hang of finding, adding, and moving pieces. As a result, you can now connect and disconnect the RAM pack from the back.

I then modeled the the Timex Sinclair version of the RAM pack, leaving it separate so you could see the model. Not quite done, I also removed the grill plate on the side of the ZX81, adding a slot instead. Like the back slot, I could connect a TV or tape player in the future. Come to think of it, I could add the thermal printer as well.


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