Do you remember the last time that technology gave you a “wow” moment? The precise second when you realised that new things were possible by harnessing a tool that could unlock your imaginings and make them a reality?
In 2016 I was in Melbourne, Australia and saw the HP Sprout for the first time which seemed to defy the conventional constraints of design possibilities and gave me a truly “wow” moment, leading me to blogging about it immediately – read it here (sadly, some of the official HP videos have been removed and it seems the Sprout was ahead of its time in many ways).
Today, I had another of those “wow” moments, this time courtesy of the team at Craftplicator who have created an ingenious, web-based app that allows you to convert designs made in Minecraft to LEGO models, complete with brick inventories and build instructions. Check out how easy it is in this video:
Giving It A Go With Minecraft: Education Edition
The Craftplicator FAQ clearly indicates that this is supported for Bedrock Edition and Java Editions of Minecraft, and yet I work exclusively in the Minecraft: Education Edition. I tried to upload the .mcworld file for an exported world and it failed, so I needed to get creative.
- I tried going to the actual path of the world files where M:EE stores the worlds I’ve been editing in Minecraft. On my computer this was:
- It’s worth noting that the folders contained in \minecraftWorlds\ are not labeled with the human readable name of the world that you see in the Minecraft application itself, instead, you’re better off editing the world you want to work with, saving it and then searching by Date Modified:
- When you use the upload tool at Craftplicator you need to select the top level folder (as per the screenshot above) and that will be uploaded – interestingly, at that point the Craftplicator app can read the correct world name and displays this before the final upload:
At this point, you simply follow the three steps on the website to complete the process of uploading your world, selecting your model, and being emailed the instructions:
It’s worth noting that in my experience, for larger worlds it is easier to be standing near the model you’re wanting to export. I was in one large world and I could not scroll around the map far enough to find the model I wanted when I was standing a long way away in the world when I exited it in Minecraft: Education Edition. I suspect this will be to do with file upload limits.
Within a minute of submitting the models I experimented with, I received an email telling me they were being processed, and usually withing 5-10minutes I received the final email with the (super cool) animation showing the ‘build’ of my model and a link to get the brick inventory. Here are some examples:
The email contains a full link to the build instructions (some of these cost money) and the brick inventory. Here’s a few screenshots from the waka hourua build as an example (I’ve only include a few images from the complete instructions):
Clearly, there is some cost associated with ordering custom brick packs from LEGO for a model, but I think this highlights the need for an iterative design process that puts drafting and versioning at the forefront and teaches real world understanding of the costs associated with taking a design concept to production. I’m looking forward to giving this a go!