If you have never heard of printcraft, it is a creative server for minecraft. Minecraft is a sandbox game where you break and place blocks of various materials. Printcraft is one of the many ways that players of minecraft can create an STL file of the things they create. This means they can physically print the things they create in the game. What makes printcraft different is that it converts the standard minecraft block, 1mx1mx1m, into a 2mmx2mmx2mm block when creating the STL file. This means that you can build things to scale and for specific purposes. While it is still used primarily by players who want physical copies of their favorite game elements, it is an excellent way to introduce youth to the idea of designing real world objects in 3D. So far I have printed new usb drive cases, have drawn a holder for my tv remote controls, and printed a Tardis that my 14 year old son drew. I encourage anyone who wants to create their own 3D object from scratch to give printcraft a try. If you have never played minecraft it takes a few minutes to learn the controls, and lots of practice to catch up with the kids who have been playing for years, but is not nearly as difficult as learning to use other 3D drawing programs. If you do not own the game, stop by the lab and try it out with one of our accounts.

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