3D Printing with Minecraft - Eva Varga

December 6, 2013

My kids have been interested in computers and robotics for some time. Not surprisingly, they are are also both captivated by the popular Minecraft game. When I stumbled upon a 3D Printing with Minecraft class, I knew I had found the perfect hands-on opportunity for them to integrate their interests.    

MinecraftBuild It offers fun, innovative, and project-oriented classes to children ages 6 to 18 in Northern California. Their goal is to empower children to master technology, nurture creativity, and live a limitless future.

I was delighted to see a room full of enthusiastic, young minds eager to express their creativity.  I was not surprised, however, to see that my daughter was one of only two girls in the class.

When the class first began, they were instructed which server to use and how to claim a plot of land on which to build their creation.  They were then shown examples of other projects that didn’t work well in the 3D printer.  Essentially, the printer builds the design from the ground up.  Thus, designs that are wider on top are not suitable for 3D printing.

Thereafter, they were given a couple hours to build whatever they desired within the plot.  Buddy had intended to build an aircraft but he was advised that the design wouldn’t print well.  He was there after determined to build a space shuttle, but even then his design didn’t turn out quite as expected.  Sweetie initially wanted to create a snail but discovered it was too complicated in the limited time frame of the class.  In the end, she created a book laying open.

As each project takes about 2-3 hours to print, we returned a few days later to pick up their creations.  Both of the kids really enjoyed the class and look forward to taking additional courses.  To give you an idea of how 3D printing works, I thought I would close with a clip highlighting the summer camps at Build It.

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