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In , Lego expanded to begin producing plastic toys. These bricks were based on the Kiddicraft Self-Locking Bricks, which had been patented in the United Kingdom in  and released in Lego had received a sample of the Kiddicraft bricks from the supplier of an injection-molding machine that it purchased. Godtfred saw the immense potential in Lego bricks to become a system for creative play, but the bricks still had some problems from a technical standpoint: their locking ability was limited and they were not versatile.
It has even been used in the classroom as a teaching tool. Despite variation in the design and the purposes of individual pieces over the years, each piece remains compatible in some way with existing pieces. Lego bricks from still interlock with those made in the current time, and Lego sets for young children are compatible with those made for teenagers. When two pieces are engaged they must fit firmly, yet be easily disassembled. The machines that manufacture Lego bricks have tolerances as small as 10 micrometres.
The company also has smaller design offices in the UK, Spain, Germany, and Japan which are tasked with developing products aimed specifically at these markets. The average development period for a new product is around twelve months, split into three stages. The first stage is to identify market trends and developments, including contact by the designers directly with the market; some are stationed in toy shops close to holidays, while others interview children.
The second stage is the design and development of the product based upon the results of the first stage. As of September the design teams use 3D modelling software to generate CAD drawings from initial design sketches. The designs are then prototyped using an in-house stereolithography machine. These prototypes are presented to the entire project team for comment and for testing by parents and children during the "validation" process. Designs may then be altered in accordance with the results from the focus groups.
Virtual models of completed Lego products are built concurrently with the writing of the user instructions. Completed CAD models are also used in the wider organisation, for marketing and packaging. The software allows the parts to be optimised by way of mould flow and stress analysis. Prototype moulds are sometimes built before the design is committed to mass production. It is then injected into the moulds at pressures between 25 and tonnes, and takes approximately 15 seconds to cool.
The moulds are permitted a tolerance of up to twenty micrometres , to ensure the bricks remain connected. According to the Lego Group, about eighteen bricks out of every million fail to meet the standard required. If the plastic cannot be re-used in Lego bricks, it is processed and sold on to industries that can make use of it.
LEGO Recycle Truck Set 6668
6668 Recycle Truck