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Community: Events: BricksWest 2002

BricksWest 2002
Writeup by Tim Courtney

BricksWest 2002 marked a key turning point for the adult LEGO fan community as well as the LDraw community. This was the first annual large scale LEGO event for adult fans in the western United States. Over one hundred adult fans, or AFOLs as they are known, converged on Carlsbad, Californa, the home of LEGOLAND California for this event which had something for everyone, from the serious fan to kids.

Sparing the details of the rest of the conference, which went off beautifully,'s sessions were a particular highlight to the event. Ahui Herrera and I presented four sessions in all, an introduction to the LDraw system of tools, a file conversion and rendering session, a POV-Ray animation session, and a community roundtable discussion. Many people tried out the tools for the first time on the computers which were made available at the Grand Pacific Palisades Resort and Hotel, which was the venue for the event. I also presented to a handful of park guests who responded to our ad posters in the Pavilion at LEGOLAND, which is a large multi-purpose permanent tent we used to display AFOLs' LEGO creations. The park guests were very receptive to LDraw.

The most important part of the event for the LDraw community was the face-to-face discussion on the community and development issues at hand. The LDraw Community Roundtable Discussion was the organized element of the discussions, but outside of the roundtable, there was a tremendous amount of discussion. I enjoyed the time spent with many people, mostly people I had not previously met, and got a lot out of what each person had to say about LDraw and what the future strategies and goals of the website should be.

Its hard to compare the event to any other event, I left this event feeling more like a community than any previous event I have attended. On the other hand, probably the most important event for the LDraw community was BrickFest 2001 in Washington, DC, when the Jessiman family visited.

One thing that is common through all events attends is, the LDraw community is moving forward. With each event, not even that, with each disussion online and each milestone for the community, we are growing, becoming more focused, and refining our vision. Events are a critical part of's growth, because this is where contributors are able to flesh out their ideas in person and make things happen.

Coming out of BricksWest, my goals for the website have been refined, and my to-do list has been expanded. It will take a while to act out though, and it will require the help of the entire community. We are on the verge of growing exponentially. Ahui Herrera is probably the newest LDraw contributor, but he's putting more energy than anyone else into the project right now. He and I have begun to work on many different projects; tutorials, installation files, and the CD-ROM project to name a few. We will be seeing a lot of LDraw development on the organization and website side of things in the future. Here's to hoping the software developers can keep up!

If you haven't made it out to an event and met up with us at, I hope you will in the future. Its great meeting everyone in the LEGO community and everyone whose LEGO experience has been shaped by LDraw. And its a lot of fun discussing and implementing changes which will better this community for all.

Tim Courtney Website/Project Coordinator


Here I am teaching the Introduction to 3D LEGO-style Modeling With LDraw Tools session (photo credit Todd Thuma)

Event guests try their hand with LDraw

Event guests try their hand with LDraw (photo credit Todd Thuma)

I chat LDraw with David Porter and John Barnes

I chat LDraw with David Porter and John Barnes (photo credit Todd Thuma)

Ahui Herrera talks to an interested Steve Barile

Ahui Herrera talks to an interested Steve Barile (photo credit Todd Thuma)

L-R: Bram Lambrecht, Tim Courtney, Ahui Herrera

L-R: Bram Lambrecht, Tim Courtney, Ahui Herrera (photo credit Todd Thuma)

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In Memory of James Jessiman - 1971-1997