Minecraft is a massively popular block building game where a player can build, survive in an open world. It is mostly popular with the younger audience so wouldn't it be a great to introduce children to 3D-Printing and 3D design via a video game they already know and enjoy. Many CAD programs can be intimidating to children and deters them from 3D design, however Minecraft is a game that allows children to express their creativity in an easy way. This guide is useful whether you want to introduce your children to 3D Design and 3D Printing or if you want to print one of their existing models so they can have it in real life.
There are two easy methods in which this can be achieved, the first of which is a bit easier and involves an online server called Printcraft. You can find their website here: Printcraft. The other involves using a function is the slicing software : Cura. You can download it for free here: Cura. The only other thing you need is a copy of Minecraft which you can buy here for £17.95/$26.96 : Minecraft. Other than that you will need a 3D-Printer.
Method one: Printcraft
For this method you first have to launch Minecraft and you will most likely have to change the version of the game to a previous version as the servers run an older version of Minecraft, this may be fixed now but at the time of writing this step is necessary.
To check what version you need first try to join the server as any normal server (you can find the server address here) and it will tell you what version the server is running, at that point restart Minecraft until the launcher and click the 'New Profile' button and then rename the profile so you know which profile is which. EG- normal profile will be '[username]' while the new one could be called 'Printcraft'. Then change the version to the version the server is running.
After that you can join a server (either US or EU server) and find a building pitch and claim it by pressing the claim button and build your model:
I am not the one to brag about building skills within Minecraft, or even close so built a simple house. A good idea to think of how the model will print while building it, so that you avoid too many overhangs. (This is a great way to teach children about 3D Printing as well.) The block structure makes for an easy model for printing which is very useful. The advantage with this server is that it only allows you to play the blocks that can be printed, eg no posts, minecraft, unlike the Cura method
Once you have built you model you can go back to the control panel where you claimed your pitch and click 'PRINT'. Then you can go into the chat and click the link.
Now we can see that our model has been processed and is ready to view and download, you can download it in many formats but .stl will work well for most slicing software. After you download the model you can open it like any other model into your preferred slicing software and print it.
A second method which allows for a bigger build platform of Minecraft models but it doesn't stop you placing non-printable blocks which might affect printing or slicing. This is a very easy method, all you have to do is to load a single player world to your liking and build then once finish exit and save and open Cura.
In Cura click tools and then 'Minecraft map import'
Then let the map load and select the region you want to print click import, then give it time to process and it will pop onto the build platform. After that you can print your snippet of your own Minecraft map!
you have followed either methods you will have a 3D Printed model from Minecraft, I used the Printcraft method and I printed a simple house, sadly my filament ran out while making the top of the roof but it still is cool:
I hope you found this article interesting, if so leave a comment or share it. If you have any suggestions or questions leave them in the comments below and i'll try my best to answer them.