Parts Tracker FAQ

Questions are in bold. Answers are in normal text.

First off, you might want to check the general FAQ.

What is the Parts Tracker?
Right now, the Parts Tracker is the place to send your part files if you want them added to the LDraw Parts Library.

Eventually, it will also be the place to request certain parts be made for LDraw.

How do I submit my parts?
First, you must be authorized as an author on the Parts Tracker. If you have parts to submit, iyou must have read and affirmed the Contributor Agreement. Then register with the Forum and send email to the Parts Library Admin (Chris Dee) with your true first and last name, and your username. You must also include the statement "I accept the Contributor Agreement with regards to all past and future contributions I make to". Once you've heard from us that you've been given submission priviliges, just click menu item 'Submit', at the top of every Parts Tracker webpage. Now choose to which folder you want to submit your part(s).

Available folders are:

Choose the file for submitting from your harddisk. If you want to replace a previous version of your own file then put a checkmark into the Replace checkbox. Make sure you never check this box if you submit your file for the first time (so the tracker is able to check if the filename is already used). Never replace a part that's not your own part (unless you've got permission from the author)!


The Parts Tracker rejected my part! Why did it do that?
You may get an error submitting your part. There are three possible reasons:

  1. The part already exists in the official part collection
  2. The part's name is already used by an unofficial part in the Parts Tracker.
  3. There was a syntax error in your file.

-CS & SB

So.. how can I submit an updated version of an official part?
Email the updated part to the Parts Library Admin. We will put it in the Parts Tracker. Once an updated version of an official part is on the Parts Tracker, subsequent resubmissions do not require admin intervention.


How do I delete a part from the Tracker?
Send an email to the Parts Library Admin, asking us to remove the file.

How do I post a review?
You must be authorized as a reviewer in order to post. There are fewer reviewers than there are authors; reviewers should have good expertise with LDraw parts, and some familiarity with the conventions of the LDraw Part Library. First, pick the file you want to review. On every part details/tracking history page, you'll find a link for reviewing. Click on it, login if prompted, and make your choice on the certify status. At the moment there are three certify statii available:

No Vote I'm not ready to vote yet. (Clears previous votes!).
This means that you're just leaving a comment. It's also a way you can undo a previous hold or certify vote, without committing to a new vote.
Hold (No) It's getting there, but not yet.
There are errors to be corrected before the part can be released. The author has to take care of the errors.
Certify (Yes) This file is ready for general release.
If you vote for 'Hold' status always make sure that you enter detailed comments about what is wrong with that part. It's the only way the author of the part gets information about what is wrong with the part.


How do I request a part?
A request feature is not yet implemented. For now, you can request a part by going to the LDraw Forum and asking.


When will the parts be released?
Long term, we're aiming towards having quaarterly releases subject to there being sufficient certified parts.


A lot of the parts in the active list are already official! What's up with that?
Parts are being updated all the time. When we get a fix, it goes into the Parts Tracker for approval, just like new parts.

What's the right number for my part?
A: Generally, to find the number for a part, look on the inside of the part. If you've never done this before, start with something easy, like a 2x4 brick. Under good light, look on the 'ceiling' of the brick. There may be several numbers. The part number will be a four- or five-digit number. The other numbers will be one- or two-digit numbers, maybe with hyphens.

Another easy one to check is a recent 4x4 radar dish - the numbers are on the inside of the dish.

Nearly all parts molded currently have a part number embossed on them somewhere. Lego has been putting numbers on parts for some time. The most common types of parts without numbers are very small parts, or parts with all curved surfaces.

For more information about part numbering, see the FAQ for LDraw Part Numbers.

I can't find a number on my part! Now what?
A: If you can't find a number, you can ask on the group if anyone else knows the number, or email Steve Bliss. He's got other contacts, people who don't read Lugnet regularly, who have part information.

When you need to proceed on a part file without a number, you can use a '3 Digit Number' (or 3DN). These are actually any number between 1 and 999. When you are making a part with a 3DN, put an 'x' on the front of the filename, like 'x181.dat'. This lets everyone know that we're still looking for a number for the part.

What's the right number for my patterned part?
A: That's a harder question. Generally, you'll have to ask for a pattern code. Ask Chris Dee, specifically.

Also, see the Patterned Part Information page.

What are 'primitives'?
Short answer: please see the Primitives Reference.

What are 'subparts'?
Generally, subparts are LDraw files created for repeating structures in parts. For example, if you create a Tile 2x2 with a new top pattern you can use the corresponding subpart, S\2068S01.DAT (it doesn't have a top face). So you only have to create the top face by yourself and then reference to the subpart for the rest of the part. This saves a lot of time and space.

As of January 2005, the following text no longer applies. There is a second reason for creating subparts: If your part uses dithered colors (color codes above 256) (e.g. in patterns), you have to transfer these colored areas to a subpart file. Inside the subpart files, use the normal base color 16. In your main part file, reference the subpart using the desired color.


What are all these 'meta-statements'?

What's the right format for a part file?
Make sure the parts header looks like this:

0 Part namee.g. Tile 2x2 with Wrench Pattern
0 Name: filenamePart's filename in lowercase letters, e.g. 3068bp23.dat
0 Author: Your name [Your username]
0 !LDRAW_ORG Unofficial_Part
0 !LICENSE Redistributable under CCAL version 2.0 : see CAreadme.txt

Ensure the last line ends with a return.

Everything else is up to your work and imagination ;).

-CS; updated 2011-07-09 CD

What are KEYWORDS?
A: Please see the CATEGORY and KEYWORDS FAQ.

How do I use CATEGORY?
A: Please see the CATEGORY and KEYWORDS FAQ.

What should I look for when I review a part?
Verify these things in no particular order:


What's this BFC?
Back Face Culling is a way for graphics programs to speed up rendering, by quickly discarding surfaces which are facing away from the viewer. LDraw's syntax doesn't support BFC operations. With some formatting rules and a few additional meta-statements, part files can support BFC-capable renderers. For more information about BFC, see Steve Bliss' BFC page.


What is the CMDLINE meta-statement?

0 CMDLINE [LDraw run-time command(s)]

The CMDLINE meta-statement is a way of permitting a file's author to *document* certain run-time commands which can be considered as default or required for the file in question.

For example, most minifig faces are printed on yellow minifig heads. Therefore, it would be appropriate for such a DAT file to have the meta-statement:

0 CMDLINE -c14

Note that the "-c14" is the run-time command to tell LDraw that the file in question is to be rendered with the "base" color of Yellow (color-14).

Note, also, that most rendering programs do *not* execute this meta-statement. As stated previously, this is a (formalized) comment.

-FWC 2002-4-5