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Adafruit Industries hopes to inspire future engineers with a Lego version of its workshop

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Adafruit Industries has created a Lego version of its workshop and hopes to inspire future engineers by making it an official Lego set.

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Not everyone can hang out at DIY electronics company Adafruit Industries, so founder Limor Fried decided to create a Lego version to show children, particularly girls, how much fun engineering can be. Working with Lego artist Bruce Lowell, the Adafruit team created Ladyada's Workshop, which shows Fried's alter-ego Ladyada and her cat Mosfet surrounded by a laser cutter, sewing machine, soldering station, and other tools. In hopes of getting the set released officially by Lego, Fried has submitted it to Cuusoo, the site that gives homebrew sets a shot at mass production and is best known for producing the Minecraft Lego set.

Fried was inspired by the backlash over Lego Friends, a female-oriented branch of Legos that was criticized for its limited building options and focus on passive, stereotypical feminine activities like shopping or hairdressing. "I thought about what type of Lego set I would have enjoyed as a kid, and thought about one I would have liked to imagine myself in as young maker," she told CNET. "I think it's important that kids can actually see someone in real life that is doing engineering so they can imagine themselves doing this too."

So what would it take for Ladyada's Workshop to become an official set? First, it would need to go from its current 600 supporters to 10,000. If it reaches that number, it will be examined by Lego and evaluated for brand appropriateness, conflicts with other sets, profitability and popularity, and the difficulty of making the set among other things. Even if it's not produced, guides to making a couple of the pieces are up over here.