LEGO Model Designer Woon Tze Chee has revealed in an interview with Forbes what went into designing LEGO Ideas 21323 Grand Piano. He confirms that even though many of the functions would go unseen, he still ensured they were influenced by a real piano.
“I am particularly happy with the piano action in the model, which comprises each key, hammer and damper,” he explains. “Instead of holding the key through a technic cross axle, our design balances it on a cone element, allowing it to pivot like a seesaw just like a real piano key. Despite the fact that this entire action will be hidden in the piano most of the time, we still wanted to make it as authentic as possible. We wanted to include all these details, from the colors of the key to the small lip that you would normally find in a real piano key.
It turns out that Woon Tze’s wife plays piano, giving him an extra passion for the project: “She was my inspiration and model for this. I saw it as a great opportunity to bring both our passions for music and LEGO together. When designing the model I looked into different brands of pianos and ended up mixing some of the more common aesthetic features into the final product. We also wanted to preserve what the fans voted for, so even though we had to rebuild the model to our product quality and standards, we strived to keep the overall shape and size of the original submission.”
While the designer’s task on this model was to take Donny Chen’s fan design and turn it into a stable rebuildable LEGO set, he understands LEGO fans – despite working for the company, he is still building MOCs himself.
“I am a fan myself so I do build MOC during my free time. When building a MOC, I don’t have to worry about how others are going to build it, or if it can be played with multiple times. I mainly need to focus on making it the way I want it to look, and could use building techniques that wouldn’t necessarily hold up with rough handling.”