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Offset (Building Technology)

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Offset beginnings

At the end of the 70's LEGO designers wanted to place the oxygen tank centered at the new Classic Space Buggy #886. But the car frame was 2 studs wide. So they developed a new little element: A 1x2 plate with centered stud!

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2x2 plate with centered stud and 1x2 plate with one stud

Some different names for this little element can be heard and read amoung LEGO fans:

  • "AZMEP" = Aus Zwei Mach Eins Plättchen [German for ~ make one out of two plate]
  • "1x2 plate with centered stud"
  • "tile with centered stud"
  • "plate with centered stud"
  • "Offset"
  • "Jumper"

The main advantage: You don't have to stay in the stud-orientated geometry of LEGO bricks. You can build a half-stud offset with this brick. More detailed models can be build this way. Even LEGO themselves uses the offset technic, e.g. in tow truck #6670.

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New members in the offset family

New members in the offset family

The youngest members of the offset family are a 2x2 plate with one centered stud and a 2x4 plate with two centered studs. This offers offset building in two dimensions. And a 1x3 plate with 2 centered studs

Together with headlight bricks this element is part of the basic assortment for each SNOT builder!

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Offset at the roof of the Frauenkirche (view from the inside)

Roof of the Frauenkirche

My master piece in terms of offset building is the roof of the Frauenkirche. Each layer is offset by half a stud to the inside. So the roof becomes more and more narrow. But a 6 stud wide window had to be fit in this construction as well!

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Offset at the roof of the Frauenkirche (view from the outside)
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Offset using "plate with hole on the side"

Plate with hole on the side

The "plate with hole on the side" is not such a common element. In the beginning it was used as crane hook but can be used as offset element as well. LEGO used this plate to attach a 5 studs wide nose of the UCS X-Wing Fighters #7191 to the main body of the ship.

This elements also allows to combine offset and SNOT techniques …

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Offset with Technic bricks

Technic bricks

The holes in Technic liftarms and bricks are helpful to build offset. Use the 1x1 and 1x2 Technic bricks with holes inline with the studs.

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Offset using standard bricks and plates

Standard bricks and plates

The tubes at the bottom side of 2-wide bricks and plates are also offset to the normal stud on top of the bricks or plates. In comparision to the standard offset "1x2 plate with centered stud" even in two dimensions. Building offset in two dimensions was possible long before the "2x2 plate with centered stud" was invented.

The standard stud fits perfectly into the tubes on the bottom. LEGO themself uses this building technique, e.g. in Taj Mahal #10189.

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Special offset elements

Other offset elements

Other modified elements has offset charateristics.