Think E3 is easy?
I've done 86318 steps,
walked 63.48 kms and
burnt 22521 calories
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.
...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.
I like video games, fishing, Depeche Mode, long walks on the beach, writing discussion papers and cups of tea. Not necessarily in that order.
By Michael Irving
By Jimmy the Geek
By Lachlan Birdsey