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Tyler Clites

My LEGO Journey with DHL’s Autonomous Forklift

Hey there, fellow brick builders! Tyler Clites here, and I’m stoked to share the behind-the-scenes story of one of my most ambitious LEGO projects yet: a scale replica of DHL’s cutting-edge autonomous forklift.

DHL's Autonomous Forklift lego build by Tyler Clites
DHL’s Autonomous Forklift Lego build by Tyler Clites

If you were lucky enough to attend the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium in Orlando back in June 2022, you might have spotted this towering creation. It was a showstopper – a vibrant yellow beacon of innovation amidst the bustling expo floor.

DHL's Autonomous Forklift lego build by Tyler Clites in Gartner Supply Chain Symposium - Orlando, Florida 2022
DHL’s Autonomous Forklift lego build by Tyler Clites in Gartner Supply Chain Symposium – Orlando, Florida 2022

DHL’s Vision: LEGO Bricks Meet Logistics

DHL, a global leader in logistics, approached me with an exciting challenge: create a large-scale LEGO model of their autonomous forklift. This wasn’t just about showcasing a cool machine; it was about sparking conversations about the future of supply chain automation. How could we bring this futuristic technology to life in a way that was both engaging and educational?

The Engineering Puzzle: Balancing Size, Stability, and Portability

This project wasn’t without its hurdles. The first challenge was the sheer size. This model was designed to be imposing, to command attention. But that meant stability became a major concern. We had to engineer a rock-solid foundation using a clever combination of Technic elements and strategic weight distribution.

DHL's Autonomous Forklift lego build by Tyler Clites in Gartner Supply Chain Symposium - Orlando, Florida 2022
The DHL’s Autonomous Forklift Lego build by Tyler Clites in Gartner Supply Chain Symposium – Orlando, Florida 2022

Then there were the aesthetics. Those sleek forks and slender legs of the forklift? Notoriously tricky to replicate in LEGO form. We needed to capture the look of the real thing while ensuring the model could bear its own weight without sagging or breaking.

Finally, there was the issue of portability. DHL envisioned this model as a traveling ambassador, a showpiece that could be easily disassembled, transported, and reassembled at different events. It had to be both durable and modular, a logistical challenge.

The Creative Process: From Digital Dreams to Brick-Built Reality

The design phase was an exhilarating whirlwind of sketches, digital mockups, and endless cups of coffee. After about a week of intense brainstorming and meticulous planning, we had a blueprint ready. But the real magic happened in the construction phase.

Sections of the DHL Autonomous Forklift Lego Build by Tyler Clites
Sections of the DHL Autonomous Forklift Lego Build by Tyler Clites

Over two weeks, a dedicated team of builders and I transformed that digital vision into a tangible masterpiece. It was a symphony of clicking bricks, problem-solving on the fly, and the occasional “oops, wrong color!” moment. But through it all, the excitement and anticipation grew.

When the final piece was placed, we stood back in awe. Just over 4,000 LEGO pieces had come together to form a stunning replica that captured the essence of DHL’s technological marvel. We even crafted some smaller forklift models as souvenirs for lucky attendees.

Mini DHL Autonomous Forklift Lego Kit by Tyler Clites
Mini DHL Autonomous Forklift Lego Kit by Tyler Clites

The Impact: Inspiring the Next Generation of Innovators

The completed model was more than just a display – it was a conversation starter, an educational tool, and a testament to the boundless creativity of LEGO. It drew crowds, sparked curiosity, and ignited imaginations. It was a reminder that the future of logistics is in our hands, ready to be built, brick by brick.

Check out some of our other DHL Lego projects:

If you have special Lego project in mind, please feel free to fill up the form and I’ll get back to you.

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