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3 in 1: Elephant, Rhinoceros & Hippopotamus

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Fun fact: Elephants, rhinoceroses, and hippopotamuses used to be classified as Pachydermatans. This means 'thick skin,' but is no longer used because even though their skin looks similar, they are genetically very different.

I have always been fascinated by the LEGO 3 in 1 creator sets and wanted to try creating one for myself to find out how well I could create three different builds using the same bricks. I chose to create an elephant, a hippo, and a rhino because they share the same skin color, making the challenge slightly more achievable. I also thought it made sense for a set since all three animals can be found in the African Savanna.

I never realized how many bricks went unused in other 3 in 1 sets, with sometimes less than 50% of bricks being used in some builds. For this reason, I'm very proud of the final result I created in which:

  • The elephant can be built from 96% of the total amount of bricks.
  • The rhinoceros can be built from 87% of the total amount of bricks.
  • The hippopotamus can be built from 86% of the total amount of bricks.

During a long and iterative design process, I kept track of which bricks were missing from each model and kept experimenting with new bricks to see if they would improve the final result. To get an idea of what that design workspace looked like at the end of the process I included the image below.

I used color to keep track of what bricks were used in each build. In the image below, you will be able to see the animals together with the bricks that were left unused in their creation.

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