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James Jessiman develops original LDraw software and file format. The program is intended to generate part images for James’ set inventories.

LEdit, an editor based on LDraw, is developed. The first release contains 3 parts: a 2x2, 2x3, and 2x4 brick. The original had no 3D view.


The LEGO community starts a project called the ‘Minifig World Tour,’ to send two mini-figure travelers ‘Jill’ and ‘Gary’ around the world to different peoples’ houses. The tour included a community idea book where the participants made building instructions for their models with James’ LDraw program. This was where LDraw became popular.

A group of LDraw users splinters off of the Minifig World Tour mailing list and forms the ‘L-CAD’ mailing list to discuss LEGO-style CAD subjects. The discussion is not to LDraw itself, but includes other programs, such as Tore Eriksson’s SimLego and Leonardo Zide’s LeoCAD.

Leonardo Zide releases LeoCAD, a Windows LDraw-based editor.


Steve Bliss releases LDraw Add-On, a file management and launching tool for various LDraw applications.

James Jessiman dies of flu complications at age 26.

Terry Keller puts together the James Jessiman Memorial site, now archived on The site allowes people to post their messages for James and his family and memories, etc. At the time of its release, it also served as a basic starting point for LDraw tools and programs.

Jacob Sparre Andersen releases his Fractal Landscape Editor, a landscape generator for LDraw.

Lutz Uhlmann releases L2P, for LDraw to POV-Ray. With the assistance of his POV-Ray LEGO part library, LGEO, L2P converts a model in an LDraw file to a model in a .pov file. This allows the user to create very high quality renderings of their models and add them into an already made POV-Ray scene.


Paul Gyugyi releases LDrawVR, a web application that allows a user to browse an LDraw model in VRML.

Jean-Pierre Paris releases LD2Vr, which converts LDraw files so they can be viewed in a VRML plugin.

Lars Hassing releases L3P, which also converts LDraw files to POV-Ray files. The main difference between L3P and L2P is that L3P does not require a separate parts library. Users are no longer limited to what parts are in the LGEO library. L3P generates the POV parts as a part of the conversion process.

Paul Gyugyi releases LDLite, a Windows based DAT rendering program based on LDrawVR.

Bram Lambrecht releases his LDraw and Ledit tutorial, and is well received by the LDraw community.

Todd Lehman and Suzanne Rich start LUGNET, a news server with focus newsgroups for different LEGO-related subjects. Among the topics in the initial groups is lugnet.cad. LDraw and L-CAD discussion move there towards the end of the year.


MPD, which stands for Multi-Part DAT, is introduced, allowing users to contain multiple DAT files in a single file. Typically a user creates a model and uses several ‘subfiles’ to act as units within the larger model, and then puts the files together into an MPD.

Tim Courtney releases this website,, on July 7, after several months of devleopment discussions with the community. becomes the central website for LDraw-related topics.

Steve Bliss releases LDraw Add-On, a file management system, application launcher, and shell editing tool for LDraw files.

Paul Gyugyi releases LDLite, a Windows DAT file viewer.

Michael Lachmann creates MLCad, a Windows editor for LDraw model files. It soon gains widespread popularity.

Datsville, a virtual LEGO town designed entirely in LDraw, is born. John VanZwieten organizes the project and Kevin Loch creates a web application, DAT Explorer, for users to maneuver virtually through the world.


Tim Courtney and Bram Lambrecht host a basic LDraw presentation at BrickFest 2000, located in Arlington, Virginia (USA).

Lars Hassing releases L3Lab, a Windows editor which is designed around closely analyzing LDraw files. This is a very useful tool for parts authors and contains many advanced options.

Tim, along with Bram Lambrecht, Terry Keller, and Mike Poindexter present LDraw at the LEGO Maniac KidVention, a national LEGO Club event held at LEGOLAND, California. The display focused on physical LEGO models and high quality rendered scenes of the same in an art gallery format. LDraw presented alongside Greater Midwest LEGO Train Club, and enjoyed their help along with the help of the Michon family.

Travis Cobbs releases LDView, another Windows LDraw viewer. This one features realtime 3D rendering using OpenGL.


Several LDraw organizers and program authors meet with LEGO Direct to discuss virtual LEGO topics.

Don and Robyn Jessiman, the parents of the late James Jessiman, traveled from Australia to meet many of the LDraw organizers at BrickFest 2001. Among those LDraw contributors in attendence were Steve Bliss, Tim Courtney, Bram Lambrecht, and Erik Olson. There was an LDraw presentation outlining the history and basics of what LDraw is, and Steve was presented with the first annual James Jessiman Memorial Award from the Jessiman family.

Jaco Van Der Molen demonstrates LDraw at LEGOWORLD 2001, a LEGO fan event in Zwolle, Netherlands. This event draws crowds of over 27,500 people.

The LDraw History document is far from complete. If you recall anything of significance that was not mentioned here, remind us please! We did not have the time to dedicate to writing a 100% complete history.

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In Memory of James Jessiman - 1971-1997