So our school is buying two 3D Makerbot printers next year and we, as Technology Integration Coaches, are now trying to figure out how best to use them. Right now, we have a demo version of the Makerbot Replicator (5th generation) and we’ve been madly scrambling to figure it all out. Exciting times!
As an ES Tech Coach, I’m trying to find ways to use it next year as part of our Maker Space. It didn’t take long before I stumbled upon Printcraft, an amazing way to take your 3D designs and print replicas of them. I’ve been playing around with some different tools and really impressed with both Tinkercad and Sketchpad as possibilities for ES students.
Anyway, I found Printcraft and completely blown away that this is even possible. I’m a huge Minecraft fan and have been using it with students for the last 4 years or so. This just takes it to another level. I know, I know…printing is nothing new but there was something about designing my first structure and printing a living breathing 3D object that is powerful.
So here’s how you do it.
Step 1. Buy Minecraft and install
Step 2: Go to Multiplayer mode and type in the Printcraft server (eu1.printcraft.org)
Step 3: Explore the world (very cool world btw) and find an empty plot of land. Build something interesting. A quick note that you need to use solid blocks and wasn’t able to print flowers, doors, etc.
Step 4: Go to the little panel beside your plot and click print.
Step 5: Click the link (note that you need to be in chat mode..type /?)
Step 6: It will take you to a link within printcraft. From here you can share to Thingiverse or download (Click the .stl file for Makerbots). From here you simply print from your 3D printing software. I printed mine quite small but you can scale it up on the 3D Printer. Easy huh?
From here, I can think of so many applications. You could then take the 3D model and talk about scaling, area, perimeter and a host of other mathematical concepts.