If a recent event at software developer Mintec’s Australian office is any indicator, Lego toys aren’t just for kids any more.

At least that’s what the staff at the company’s Perth branch is discovering since they took delivery of a replica block model made of Lego bricks.

“As soon as we got it, one of the engineers in the office wanted to take it away and play with it,” said Ian Whitehouse, branch manager of MineSight Applications Australia. “It can’t help but attract attention.”

About 70 cm long, 40 cm wide and 20 cm high (27.5 x 15 x 8 in.), the model weighs 17 kg (38 lb) and is built to scale based on a computer-generated block model.

“It’s color-coded using RGB colors from Lego, and every block represents a grade,” said Whitehouse. “To create a cross-section view, it’s cut down the middle and separates into two halves, which is just as well because it’s quite heavy.”

MineSight commissioned master Lego builder Ryan McNaught, from Melbourne, to create the block model for a recent seminar in Brisbane.

“We’re always looking at ways to do things
differently, and this helps to make something
surreal more real,” said Whitehouse.
“When we contacted the guy, he really didn’t know what the heck we were talking about at first. But we explained it all and it took him about a week and a half to do.”

That’s considerably quicker than the eight months it took McNaught to build a replica of a Qantas A380, the world’s largest passenger jet. And Mintec’s Lego block model must have been a surreal leap from his most recent assignment.

Mintec, headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, USA, is the developer of MineSight, a software solution that provides comprehensive mine analytical, planning and design tools.