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Mineways: Create 3D prints of your Minecraft creations, or pay someone else to

Jordan Mallory

3D printers are, indisputably, super awesome. They're boxes full of magic, hope, and lasers, which create substance from nothing and reality from dreams. Coincidentally, Minecraft basically does the exact same thing, by providing the user with a cuboid sandbox for their imagination to run wild in. Now, these two worlds of creation can be joined together via Mineways, a 3D model-exportation tool created by Eric Haines.

The process breaks down like this: Using Mineways, Minecraft players can select a portion of the world they've built and export it as a texture file and 3D model, in file formats compatible with the rendering software used by 3D printers. Those files can then be printed, creating an adorable little real-life version of whatever it is you had exported.

If you're not part of the 1 percent and as such do not have access to a 3D printer, your exported files can be sent to a printing service like Shapeways, which does exactly what a 3D printing service sounds like it would do. Based on the size and complexity of the model, getting something printed can run from 25 bucks for a small doodad to several hundred dollars for a complete landscape.

Somewhere, a very wealthy Minecraft/model train enthusiast is extremely pleased. Click here to grab the open source software directly from Eric, and to see an in-depth how-to guide.

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