With just a simple programming script and a 3D printer, Minecraft creations can become physical objects.
How awesome would it be if you could build something in Minecraft, and later hold a model of it in the palm of your hand? Thanks to two students at the MIT Media Lab, now you can.
Cody Sumter and Jason Boggess have put together a project called Minecraft.Print() that allows you to plop down a house or a car or a duck in Minecraft and save it as a file that can be read by a 3D printer. Once you get that file, technically anything Minecraft can become a real world model.
It works in a fairly simple manner. Players cordon off a 3D area in Minecraft that they wish to print with a specific combination of blocks. This combination doesn't naturally occur in Minecraft, so you won't end up printing the entire world. Once the area is set, a Python script generates a file that's standard for 3D printers.
Sumter and Boggess demonstrate their project by creating a Portal 2 companion cube in Minecraft, and then print it with their technique. They also show off how it can create other, larger objects like the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek.
I'm sure everyone is thinking of the wonders they'd make with Minecraft.Print(), but I just want a stable of Minecraft pigs myself. Sumter and Boggess's website for the project can be found here