Did you wish when you were a kid that you could get paid for building stuff out of LEGO blocks? It probably never occurred to me at the time (not much did), but obviously it occurred to the people at Bright Bricks. While a lot of artists create their LEGO sculptures out of a sense of artisty[sic] je ne sais quoi, for these folks it's serious business. Bright Bricks has paying customers who use the talent of the team to design and build promotional props. In this case, Rolls-Royce contracted with them to prepare a half-size scale model of their new Trent 1000 gas turbine jet engine, which is destined for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. According to Gizmodo, it took 152,455 LEGO bricks to build the 677-pounds, 6.5-foot-long model. Time from start to finish was an incredible eight weeks by four people - pretty amazing! "It required the builders to go through the actual CAD plans of the engine to reproduce every component accurately with Lego pieces." No doubt critical detail was omitted from the plans.
No cost info could be found, but the cost of the LEGO blocks alone was probably pretty high. LEGO donates material for some non-profit projects, but I'm guessing for commercial ventures like this that they have to buy everything - albeit probably at a good bulk price since it is good free advertising for LEGO.
The video below is a time-lapse compilation of the team building the engine. You can see the computer sitting there with the construction details on it. These images are captured from the videos.
Beginning the building process Low pressure compressor being built
High pressure compressor stage being built Complete Trent 1000 on display at Farnborough
Rolls-Royce logo and nameplate Front of low pressure compressor stage