So you or your students have built something amazing in MinecraftEdu and you have this 3D printer at school right? So how do these two wonderful technologies come together? This page will explain how to get your Minecraft creations out of the Minecraft world and into your hands.
- Mineways: http://mineways.com
- Printer Software
Instructions for Exporting
Step 1: Build your creation, be mindful of overhangs and hollow sections in your model. This may take some practice and test prints to work out what works best with your printer. This can be on a MinecraftEdu server, or a single player Minecraft world; either way, save the world after you have finished your creation.
Step 2: Download and install Mineways: simply unzip the downloaded file to some directory.
Step 3: If Mineways is on a different computer than your world, copy the world folder your build is in to the computer with Mineways on it. If you are using a MinecraftEdu server it will be in /minecraftedu/servertool/worlds/ or if you used a single player Minecraft game it will be in C:\Users\(your name)\AppData\roaming\.minecraft\saves\ on most Windows machines and /Library/Application Support/minecraft/saves on most Mac machines.
Step 4: Open Mineways by double-clicking the mineways.exe file. If this doesn't work, see the quickstart guide for solutions.
Step 5: Click File -> Open World and select your world from the list. If your world is not listed, instead click File -> Open..., browse to the world folder, and click on level.dat and then click Open.
Step 6: Scroll the map by clicking the left button and dragging the map around until your creation in visible. Press the F3 key to jump the map's view to where the player was last building. You can also resize the window and can zoom in by using the mouse wheel.
Step 7: Select the region you wish to export by clicking and dragging the right mouse button.
It may also warn you about the y-axis levels, read this message carefully and ensure that you click the correct button (you usually want to answer "Yes").
You can use the sliders at the top of the screen to adjust the y-axis levels. You can also use the square bracket ([ and ]) keys to precisely adjust the lower level.
Step 8: Click File -> Export for 3D Printing and select the file location and file name. Select the file type "ASCII text STL stereolithography file (*.stl)". The other two binary STL file formats should also work, and are much more compact for transferring the data, so you may want to try them out instead.
Step 9: Export using the settings in the following image:
The default options are usually good, but you may wish to adjust a few things:
- Choose the scale: "Make the model ?? cm in height," or make each block a particular size.
- "Delete floating objects" - On export you'll be warned if there are "floating bits" such as disconnected tree leaves cut off by the volume selected. On by default, this option will get rid of these floating bits in the volume you're exporting. Turn it off if you're sure you want to export everything in your selection volume.
- "Weld all shared edges" - Mineways will automatically add a block here and there if it sees parts that would be disconnected otherwise. However, by default it adds as few blocks as needed. Turning this option on ensures that all blocks that touch at only their edges will have additional blocks added to keep these blocks glued together. This makes the model stronger, but can change its look.
Experiment with these on different models to get a feel for them.
Step 10: Once all the settings are set correctly, click OK. The model will export; depending on the size this may take some time.
Step 11: Preview your model with MeshLab or other STL display software, to make sure you like what you exported.
To make changes in Mineways right click on a border of your selection area to change it. and the [ and ] keys change the volume's bottom height.
Step 12: Load the STL file up in your printer software and do whatever you normally do while your printer prints your masterpiece.
Step 13: Try again: if some time later you want to export your model again with some changes, start Mineways, open your world, and then use the File -> Import Settings feature. Every STL exported from Mineways has a statistics TXT file made along with it. When you import this file your selected volume and export settings will be set. This file is also handy to view, to get a sense of the size of the model, etc.
Step 14: Go build something even better and then 3D print that! :D