Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!


by paulharter, published

Printcraft by paulharter Jun 13, 2012

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Printcraft by paulharter is licensed under the BSD License license.

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A Minecraft server that emails you .stl files of models created in-game


New server up and running!!!

Log in to Minecraft and go to eu1.printcraft.org

Build in one of the glowstone areas

Add a signpost with your email

Press PRINT and you will be sent a .stl file of your model

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So Is the server online from what i can see it is not

Ummmm... Im running minecraft 1.8. is there any chance this will be updated?

Hey, I was at MineCon!!! What is the new IP??

will this be updated for 1.5?

Can someone upload the .stl of that skull? I don't have minecraft

can something made on the server be considered a derivative?

I don't really know. If it was made using it I guess so


I have spent a couple of days on Printcraft and added a few things, some based on suggestions from here:

A domain of its own http://mc.printcraft.orgmc.printcraft.org
A one page website at http://www.printcraft.orgwww.printcraft.org
A twitter account ="printcrafting:twitter" href="http://twitter.com/printcrafting/printcrafting
A separate printing process on the server with a print queue
Three new 100 x 100 block printing areas.
Food in the chests
Email error reports from OpenSCAD if it goes wrong

Also I will be at the 3dprintshow in London on the 19-21 - come and say hello if you are going


Thanks I'm glad your reprap build class like it - I think I met some of them on the server.

I have added three new outdoor spaces that they might like

Also thank you for putting up the subdomain - I have finally got around to giving the server a domain of its own - If I have done the A record right http://mc.printcraft.orgmc.printcraft.org should work soon.


Hi Tom,

These are both very good ideas

I have just put in three new areas to build in that are 100 x 100 blocks. I have put them outside because although I like my building it is a bit dark in there sometimes.

I am thinking about how best to use world edit safely. I think I could wrap some of its functions with commands of my own that would check the bounding box.



I added a subdomain address so it's easy to remember: http://printcraft.1178.usprintcraft.1178.us That's my house's domain name. My reprap build class students love the idea of designing in Minecraft for their new MendelMax printers! Thanks!

Paul, this is amazing! I did a few tests and it's great!

Some feedback:

  1. Maybe make some duplicates of the building so that when more than one person is online trying to make something they can just use different buildings?
  2. World edit? (but only within the bounding box)


if there is something already there, is it safe to remove it without messing up someone else's work?

I assume the email is sent when you pull the lever, and after that whatever is on the field isn't needed any longer.

I just wanted to make sure before digging up someone else's project.

I'm not really sure. I haven't thought this through enough.

I will at least add a sign asking people to clear their work when finished.

Maybe I should add more spaces to build in so there is always room?

I really love this idea but I'm new to mine craft how do I activate the fly command to build faster please?

I added a plugin called extrafly the command is /ef to toggle flying on

I really love this. I was making things in single player mc and just exporting it myself but I like your system a lot more. Would you be willing to share these plugins and setup info for others to use? Thanks!

Ahh, I found this: https://gist.github.com/2933588https://gist.github.com/293358...

Thanks for sharing your creation! I made a little tree emblem on your server. It's neat :)

I apologize for leaving so many comments but I just wanted to add that this is my most favorite thingiverse entry to date. Thanks again.

thanks - its really nice that people are using it.

This is brilliant! My kids love Minecraft, and took to this immediately. It's a great way to get kids (or anyone!) modeling and printing.

Still some bugs, some of our more ambitious constructions never came through as .STL files (more than 1500 blocks). Not sure why. Have had some email contact with Paul, and he's given some good feedback.

Big Kudos for this Paul - keep on updating it!

Should note that I had 4 ten year olds here this weekend, logged into the server from 3 machines and working collaboratively to build objects. It was great!

I have made a couple of changes:

  • You can build with clay as well as sand and so make overhangs.
  • Enlarged blocks by 1/100 to avoid upsetting OpenSCAD.
  • Added diamond shovels

I have also put the main source files in a github gist:


The javascript is called using TriggerCmds and WorldEdit plugi

The JavaScript creates a scad file and then uses Java to call the Python script. This is a bit painful as Rhino doesn't seem to wrap the Java runtime in the necessary way to call exec - hence loading it by name.

There is actually an extra python file inbetween called http://main.pymain.py but it does nothin
g but:

import scad

This is necessary for the http://scad.pyscad.py file to know its own location in the file system with file (there are other ways to do this)

The http://scad.pyscad.py file converts the scad to stl by calling OpenSCAD , saves the files, saves the details to couchdb and emails the stl


So I just tried it but haven't got my e-mail yet.

Am I understanding this right, only the SAND is "printed"?

Other block will be voids in your prints?

Yes only sand is printed. This was to avoid overhangs but it seems that some overhanging is ok so think I will change this, and I might build a bigger stage area with the blocks coming out a bit smaller by default in the STLs.

Sometimes the STL creation fails, see below, I am going to try tbuser's fix for this, but for the moment it fails if blocks meet only on an edge and not a face.

I don't get how everybody have forgotten everything about http://www.minecraftprint.comwww.minecraftprint.com . With that software you don't need to share some sandbox server.

I haven't forgotten about minecraftprint. I certainly went through every painful step of loading the custom libraries, placing the waypoints, exporting the data from the world. And it still didn't work. First try with this server and I have an email in less than a minute with an STL file ready to print. This is awesome!

Just based on reading the descriptions, paulharter's method here sounds like it is easier to use. But it's always good to have multiple options.

It works great!

More and more, I am thinking Minecraft is becoming the ultimate educational tool.

Lovely idea! How do you generate the stl file? Using mineways or something from the world file directly, or through some in game plugin?

I used a slightly Heath Robinson combination of the Rhino embedded JavaScript engine in the WorldEdit plugin to read the blocks and write a scad file. Then do a Java exec from js to run a Python script that in turn forks a call to OpenSCAD to make STL and then python call to Postmark web service to post file. Not v pretty! But it works ok.

Any chance you could release the source code?

Yes - but I need to tidy up a bit first. I'll try and do it this evening

This Idea makes me think about my opinion on minecraft... It seemd to be "waste of time" to me (as many games probably are, even if a really nice waste of time in fact) but this is one of the most creative ideas that I got over in relation with Games and 3D printing! Great! 8-)

I tried it out and it seems great. I haven't gotten the STLs in email yet. Not sure if it takes awhile or if that is glitched. I'd also recommend diamond shovels be available to quickly remove misplaced sand. Also your spawn point appears to be under water? Or at least that's where I spawned. Otherwise it looks great!

Oops! I'll move the spawn point. It should be on the end of the pier.

I'm not sure why the stls aren't working for some people. I will add some logging this evening.

I can add diamond shovels. That's a good idea. Thanks


I think stl creation is failing if you create a model which includes blocks that touch edge to edge diagonally only. It confuses OpenSCAD which I am using to do the conversion in the backend. I will try to add a warning if this happens.

heh, I got around this limitation with my openscad bitmap module http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2054http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... by fudging the size of the blocks so that they overlap slightly and not cause coincident faces, basically: block_size+0.01 :)

OpenSCAD Bitmap Fonts Module
by tbuser

Very nice and orignional idea. I like the idea that children can play and learn to use 3D on such an easy and playfull way.

How does it work? I might be being dumb but could you explain further? :-P

If you have access to a 3D printer you can use this to build models using Minecraft. Minecraft has a very simple intuative interface for creating 3D models that many children (including my own) already know how to use, so they can easily make new things to print.

If you login into Minecraft and visit my server at you can create models which are then converted into .stl files and emailed back to to you ready to print.

This sounds super cool, I'll try it soon, but won't the 90 degree overhangs of Minecraft be a problem for FFF?

I thought of that - so you can only build models with sand which has gravity so it enforces no overhangs 8-)

but, TORCHES! :-)

...and redstone lamps, and domes and moorish arches and ..... :)

Very cool. I'm more curious how the light switch works. :) is it redstone or is there a plugin at work?

The lights are just redstone lamps with redstone and repeater wiring in the walls