3D Printing

Realize your Minecraft masterpieces, with Printcraft

Realize your Minecraft masterp...
Minecraft's virtual worlds become reality thanks to Printcraft
Minecraft's virtual worlds become reality thanks to Printcraft
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A Castle made in Minecraft and printed via Printcraft
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A Castle made in Minecraft and printed via Printcraft
Minecraft cow 3D printed in color
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Minecraft cow 3D printed in color
3D printing underway ...
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3D printing underway ...
... completed Minecraft creation!
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... completed Minecraft creation!
Printcraft makes it easy to realize simple 3D shapes and objects made in Minecraft
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Printcraft makes it easy to realize simple 3D shapes and objects made in Minecraft
One of Pac-Man's rivals?
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One of Pac-Man's rivals?
Various objects created in Minecraft and printed through Printcraft
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Various objects created in Minecraft and printed through Printcraft
Kids can make all sorts of cool stuff in a game they're already familiar with
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Kids can make all sorts of cool stuff in a game they're already familiar with
An example of a 3D city created in Minecraft
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An example of a 3D city created in Minecraft
Children enjoying the creative process
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Children enjoying the creative process
Printcraft makes it easy to print your Minecraft masterpieces
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Printcraft makes it easy to print your Minecraft masterpieces
Minecraft's virtual worlds become reality thanks to Printcraft
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Minecraft's virtual worlds become reality thanks to Printcraft

Playing a bit like a computer version of Lego, Mojang's Minecraft – the darling of the indie game movement – has been an impressive success story. It soared to mainstream popularity as intrepid players proudly showcased their elaborate creations online. Its similarity to Lego didn't go unnoticed by the toy giant, and in 2012 kids of all ages could enjoy the game AFK with a licensed brick set. The problem is, you'd need an awful lot of bricks to recreate what you can make in the game (for example, check out this version of Game of Thrones' King's Landing), so that's where Printcraft – and the magic of 3D printing – enters the picture.

Developed by Paul Harter, Printcraft is a multi-player Minecraft server that converts player creations into STL files ready for 3D printing. The idea came about because of his kids' obsession with the game, mixed with their desire to make stuff on their dad's Thing-O-Matic 3D printer.

"They wanted to build things to print on it, but most CAD applications are quite hard to learn at 11 or 8 years old," Harter explains. "However they are both adept at Minecraft. So I wrote a script to create printable 3D models from within Minecraft. It worked well so I have put it online in an easy to use web service. Several groups around the world now regularly use Printcraft to build and play."

A Castle made in Minecraft and printed via Printcraft
A Castle made in Minecraft and printed via Printcraft

That Minecraft's rudimentary 3D models could be considered entry-level CAD design should come as no surprise. The game has proven such a user-friendly creative tool that a Swedish grade school has incorporated the game into its lesson plan. Now any of those creations can be realized with Printcraft. There are 100 spaces available on the server, and designs can be immediately uploaded to Thingiverse – an online repository of 3D models.

Check out a video of the program and its results below.

Source: Printcraft via 3ders

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