Mineways Turns Your Minecraft World Into Real 3D-Printed Creations
By Kevin Lee
The greatest thing about Minecraft is that it lets you shape a virtual world to your own liking and imagination. Now there’s a new program called Mineways that helps bring all your virtual creations into the real world as 3D-printed objects.
Developed by Eric Haines, Mineways is a free, open-source program that translates sculpted Minecraft worlds and objects into ready-to-print models and texture maps. The program also allows you to tweak colors, remove unprintable features (floating islands), and hollow out otherwise solid areas to bring down the cost of 3D-printing.
To get started, you have to load-up your Minecraft map into the program and select the region you want to print from a birds-eye view. After the program processes that part of the world into a model, you can still change the materials used, empty spaces, simplify impossible-to-replicate features, and perform other tweaks to make your model cheaper and look better. Haines posted an extensive guide on how to use the program.
Once you’ve done all that fine-tuning, you can send it to a 3D-printer or upload the files to a 3D-printing service like Shapeways. The full-color, five-inch model of the Eiffel tower (seen above) that Haines created was printed with sandstone for just over $25. Meanwhile this impressive large-scale replica of a Minecraft landscape costs $634. Haines has also put together a Shapeway Store and Flickr Image Pool full of printed Minecraft examples.
This is not the first time Minecrafters have been given a way to 3D-print their virtual creations. There’s been printed Minecraft figures from MineToys and single tone models from Minecraft.print(). This, however, is the first time we’ve been given the chance to print non-object specific creations and landscapes in full-color.