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3D printer creates real world Minecraft

Just when you thought Minecraft couldn't get any better, two students at the MIT Media Lab have come up with a hack that makes the whole thing into a whole new dimension - literally.

Their application, Minecraft.Print(), is an attempt to "create a bridge between Minecraft and the real world" - and it does exactly what you'd think it might - by creating a fully programmable 3D printer that can be controlled by the game.

Here's the thing in action:

Cody Sumter and Jason Boggess explain that the procedure takes three simple steps (once you've got the printer set up, of course!). It's a matter of playing the game and making cool stuff, then preparing the area by laying down a specific combination of blocks, and then printing your creation directly to a MakerBot, RepRap or any other 3D printer. Technically, step four then is "show it off"!

The creative pairing have printed off a bunch of Companion Cubes (and why not?), as well as the Enterprise - but the sky's the limit for this one. The benefits of using Minecraft of course is that the game is so blocky originally that the translation to a physical object makes simple sense.

You can define the size of the finished object when it comes time to print - the maximum is, of course, set by the capabilities of your printer.

A 3D Companion Cube created in Minecraft

A 3D Companion Cube created in Minecraft

...and if you don't have the hardware yourself, Cody has hinted that - "if there is enough interest," he might be inspired to put together a web app or service that will print off your Minecraft creations, after a simple upload process.

Why not check out our latest vidcast!
Player Attack TV: July 31 2015, SE3 EP22 or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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