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According to LEGO insiders the most complex mold in the history of the company is for the chain element and no one knows how to replace it once it wears out.

A mold is a two (or sometimes more) part matrix into which liquid ABS is injected to create LEGO elements.

Molds used in LEGO production facilities are made of two different grades of steel and contain multiples of a single element (ie: 2x3 bricks). The harder grade of steel is more difficult to cut and thus more expensive and slower to produce but lasts longer and thus produces more elements over the lifetime of the mold.

Retired mold.jpg
Photo of a retired production mold by girlfactor.

External Links

  • How LEGO Bricks Work by Tracy V. Wilson.
  • Inside the Lego Factory By Jesus Diaz.