Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Minecraft Map of Northwestern Campus Printed In 3D

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the rock-hammer-for-scale dept.

Technology 70

erich666 writes "Ben Rothman has created a five-foot-wide scale model of most of Northwestern University, where he was a sophomore this past year. This campus model is unique: it is the first modeled in Minecraft and then printed on a 3D printer. It is also the largest Minecraft 3D print to date, and will be on display in the main lobby of the largest building on campus in a few weeks. Ben began in November and spent about 600 hours recreating the campus. He notes that "this felt like playing a game more than a modeling task." The cost of the print material was about $2000 to $2500, well less than the cost of the display case being built for it (admittedly, labor costs are included for the case). The free Mineways program was used for export. It can help upload an exported Minecraft model to Shapeways, i.materialise, or other 3D print service. Models cost as little as $5."

cancel ×

70 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Poor guy (5, Insightful)

C_amiga_fan (1960858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40219947)

Wasting primetime college years not getting laid.

Re:Poor guy (5, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40219993)

It's a tech college. There's no women there.

Re:Poor guy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40220067)

::sigh::

I took my daughter who is considering graphic design up to RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) a while back --- when we returned, and my wife asked her over dinner what the most interesting thing she had learned was, her response?

``There aren't many girls attending, so the girls all have their choice of boys, so everyone has a _really_ nice boyfriend.''

So the solution is to be one of the nicest guys (as perceived by the girls) around.

Re:Poor guy (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40220109)

RIT has a saying: The girls are like parking spaces. The good ones are handicapped or taken.

Oh god, I'm going to hell.

Re:Poor guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40220311)

My girlfriend works at RIT and I've known a number of people who went there. They're great for the hard sciences, but I wouldn't remotely consider them for any non-science degree.

Re:Poor guy (1)

fredprado (2569351) | more than 2 years ago | (#40221489)

Or do the smart thing and look for girls in a place where offer and demand are not so skewed to the wrong side.

Re:Poor guy (3, Interesting)

Chees0rz (1194661) | more than 2 years ago | (#40221775)

Beware of this. As an RIT alumn I can tell you that this causes a very strange social dynamic. It's kind of creepy. (OK - it is continually getting better)

One time... i witnessed a group of students walking towards GCCIS (the computing college). This group was composed of about 10 guys, and 1 female (very typical at RIT). The girl was in the back of the pack.

The first two guys reach the doors and grab the handles. They pull the doors open and stand to the side. One by one, the guys stand to the side until the single female is directly in front of the door in an aisle of 'gentlemen.' With a look of horror, she walks through.

She was BEHIND them all, but they all knew she was there and being geeks had no idea how to act. Creepy shit like this happened all the time.

Re:Poor guy (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220141)

My experience in a similar situation was the 99% female nursing college was about 100 feet from the electronics lab building. There was a biz school with excellent M/F ratio a couple blocks away, but the nurses outnumbered us guys, so never bothered with the bean counters. Technically there were no women, you had to walk at least 100 feet. The key isn't how many women are signed up, its how many women per square mile in the greater campus area. Are there "tech schools" out there that are sausage fests surrounded by 100 miles of nervous sheep with no NEARBY women?

Re:Poor guy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40220543)

Not quite a hundred miles, but Michigan Tech fluctuates between 4 to 1 and 3 to 1 (used to be 8 to 1) male to female ratio, and the nearest school with even close to a 50/50 ratio is a 2 hour drive away through wilderness. The end result is a lot of drinking and any girl with an interest in anything technical is extremely popular.

Re:Poor guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40224877)

With the exception of Finlandia University of course....which is just across the canal in Hancock, and is loaded with hot and horny art students.

The male-female ratio at Tech is just a lame ass excuse for all the gamma males to explain why they can't get laid. Meanwhile this town is full of fine ass women of all types, who are all desperate for a real man to save them from all the legions of slobbering geeks. Luckily the real man to woman ratio is a pretty encouraging .75 : 1 or so, meaning the real men have their pick of the litter in this town.

Re:Poor guy (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#40223961)

At my college/university, I think it was 3 (females) to 1 (males) ratio back in the late 1990s/90s. Its computer science (CS) department were right next to the nursing department in the same building on the other end. They both shared the same entrances and exits. I never saw both groups talk to each other. Lots of attractive gals too. I only knew one CIS major who dated a nurse from there. Of course, me still a virgin and single as of today. :(

Re:Poor guy (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#40224379)

"me still a virgin" At least you don't have unusual burning/itching feelings in the nether regions.

Re:Poor guy (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#40224477)

Actually, but all over my body due to allergies. :(

Re:Poor guy (1)

superdude72 (322167) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220255)

Huh? Northwestern is divided into separate "colleges," but they're all on the same campus and students can take courses from all of them. There is nothing (aside from lack of social skills) preventing a student in Tech from spending most of his free time with theater majors.

Of course the theater / Radio / TV / Film majors tend to drop out and head to Hollywood after a year, so there's that.

Re:Poor guy (1)

Dmritard96 (1268918) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220789)

actually, its a university. and there are more women than men.

Re:Poor guy (1)

erich666 (109137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40222127)

Northwestern University has more female than male undergrads [collegeprowler.com] . Oops, my nerd-streak is showing, I shouldn't let the facts get in the way of a good joke.

Re:Poor guy (1)

shiftless (410350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40224711)

That's the excuse all the beta males use to justify why they're not getting laid. Meanwhile the confident dudes at the school have no problem pulling fine ass all day long.

northwestrn does not let anyone in even f football (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40220221)

northwestrn does not let anyone in even for the football team.

Re:northwestrn does not let anyone in even f footb (2)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220331)

or maybe they set the bar just high enough to rule out those who can't spell the name of the school.

Re:Poor guy (1)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220359)

How long until we find out he's on academic probation after pulling a 1.22 GPA this past semester.

Re:Poor guy (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#40222259)

Soon, I hope, because if their classes are so easy that students have 600 hours of free time in a 6 month period then they're doing it wrong. That's roughly 4 hrs a day, every day, for 6 months straight. Wish I had that kind of free time when attending MST

Re:Poor guy (1)

Dmritard96 (1268918) | more than 2 years ago | (#40222929)

NU is on quarters rather than eternal semesters...

Re:Poor guy (2)

benthemonkey (2655527) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227705)

600 hours, 100 of which were over spring break with a friend (50 hrs each) = 500 hrs. My calculation had me spending 14 hrs/weekend (which is somewhat accurate). 6 months = roughly 25 weeks = 350 hrs on weekends. Now I have 150 hours spent over 25*5=125 weekdays. That's basically an hour a day, which I easily took out of the time I usually spend messing around online / playing video games. In conclusion, I'm rockin' a 3.5

cheater (5, Funny)

demonbug (309515) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220025)

I don't see any tell-tale creeper scars in there. I bet he wasn't even mapping in survival mode; cheater.

Finally! (3, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220065)

A site which doesn't use that craptacularly insecure Flash to display simple pictures.

And on one page no less!

Maybe that supposed Mayan prediction is coming true after all.

Other Link (1)

Dareth (47614) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220225)

Here is your Flash Fix [planetminecraft.com]

Re:Finally! (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220305)

Coool. I want to print-out the internal map for Link to Zelda. (Or maybe just a giant GIF.)

>>>A site which doesn't use that craptacularly insecure Flash to display simple pictures.

Wow? I've never seen sites that use Flash just to display pictures. Well a few but not that many. Most websites download just fine as JIFs and JPEGs.

Re:Finally! (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220773)

I've never seen sites that use Flash just to display pictures.

I have. CNN is one that used to do this. One picture for the story in Flash.

I know a few of the sites that have been linked from /. have also done the same thing in the past.

But the trees! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40220077)

NU has some of the oldest/biggest trees in the Chicago area. The campus is really beautiful, with lots of different and interesting architecture going on.
There's a gothic cathedral, some modern art buildings, etc.
It's a very nice campus and it covers probably half of Evanston.

Re:But the trees! (3, Informative)

erich666 (109137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40222403)

It turns out that Minecraft trees tend to snap off when 3D printed at that scale. The trunks are usually too thin to stand up to the model cleaning process.

Re:But the trees! (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 2 years ago | (#40230889)

Would a forest with conjoined canopies hold up, or is overhang difficult to handle in this process?

Re:But the trees! (1)

erich666 (109137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40230949)

Yes, enough trees together definitely hold up, this model [shapeways.com] (one of my favorites) is printed at an even smaller scale, 1 mm/block, and the canopy prints fine. The forest has to be pretty dense, though. The default Mineways print size of 2 mm/block is mostly good enough that normal trees are unlikely to snap off. More info here [realtimerendering.com] .

Copyright question (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40220121)

Wouldn't this violate the copyright held by the architect?

Re:Copyright question (2)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220301)

Interesting question, but there are numerous architects, and this would be protected as "fair use" for a number of reasons. See Google Maps, Google Earth, etc for similar representation of copyright-protected architecture.

Re:Copyright question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40220455)

Wouldn't this violate the copyright held by the architect?

Fuck you. Fuck people who claim I can't photograph public art. Fuck people who claim I can't photograph the Eiffel tower at night.

My photograph doesn't fully "copy" your statue or building.

You don't want images of your art or building? Don't put it in a public place.

Re:Copyright question (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220737)

You can photograph the Eiffel Tower at night, what you cant do is profit from it. Its an important distinction.

Re:Copyright question (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220967)

The Eiffel Tower is also probably not the best example because French 'IP' law is rather odd by American standards. They take their 'moral rights' stuff seriously.

Re:Copyright question (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40220753)

Nice overreaction to what came off as an off-the-cuff question rather than an accusation.

Re:Copyright question (1)

BatGnat (1568391) | more than 2 years ago | (#40224185)

No, it is a parody.

waste (3, Insightful)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220133)

While this would be a cool spare-time project, I don't really see how using Minecraft to model something is even a remotely useful skill that a school would want to teach, let alone spend $5000+ on. He should have spent the 600 hours learning a real CAD or modeling software package. 600 hours is enough to get really good at just about anything. Seems like a waste of school resources to me. Flame away.

Re:waste (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220213)

Typical education vs training situation. Never seen the campus but if the architecture of the campus is worth anything, he probably learned an awful lot via osmosis if nothing else. Although, yes if you're in training to be a solidworks operator, spending 600 hours on minecraft is a complete waste of TRAINING time. I don't know why you'd pay extreme money to go to a university merely to get training on a specific software package, I'd rather get an education in architecture or engineering for that kind of tuition...

Re:waste (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40220349)

Simply put, this is not a trade school. Northwestern is a research university. And research is often thought of as a "waste." Just ask NASA or any number of research scientists.

It's debatable whether students should aspire to trade schools (like MIT) or research schools (like Harvard).

I'd imagine that in the mid 2000's, the idea of building a database of classmates so they can message each other rumors and post pictures of themselves drunk was deemed a waste of time by advocates of trade schools. -- a simple database like that does not require a great deal of skill -- it's been done by Oracle many times before and at much higher quality. The pursuit would have been a pointless and time-wasting excise in narcissism. The free time required would not have been budgeted for in a trade school.

Re:waste (2)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220697)

in 40-50 years all standard construction will be designed out of 1m^3 cube templates, really not a bad idea from an insulation and materials standpoint which will be good because the only CAD program left will be minecraft Pro version 37

Re:waste (2)

ScottSClark (2655413) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220847)

This is basically just a PR stunt. Nothing wrong with that. The kid shows he's a diligent worker and able to bend existing tools to his needs. Minecraft gets some PR. Northwestern gets some PR. The whole "3D printer" thing has another example. If this gets the kid a summer internship or a leg up in the job market, then it did everything it needed to do. For the rest of us, it's just "cool". To be honest, I was ready to scoff that he cheated by just doing the buildings in 3D but laying them out by hand (Minecraft doesn't do angles). But he even laid it out within the constraints of the tool. As a guy who used to hand draw circles in pixels on screen, I can appreciate the level of effort there :)

Re:waste (1)

erich666 (109137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40222291)

You might be interested in the history of the project [reddit.com] , which shows it's what you might expect: guys starts out small with Minecraft, goes into "gotta build it all" mode. Ben didn't have a plan at first, didn't get paid, and did it mostly because it was fun and exciting. From what I can see, no real PR stunt, which is a nice change of pace.

Tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40224383)

The Minecraft first person view should give hints towards different tools than the typical birds eye view. We have all the technology we need for a globally accessible persistent user-constructable 3D world, but it hasn't happened yet. We even have a bunch of movies pointing the way, I wonder why it hasn't happened yet?

Re:Tools (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#40225651)

a globally accessible persistent user-constructable 3D world, but it hasn't happened yet

SecondLife. The limiting factor is that after you've created a dildo gun and traded it for strap on wings, it comes down to either socializing (which IM accomplishes with lower hardware requirements), or endlessly creating for creativity's sake, which only a small percentage of people care to do.

Great for planning mass shootings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40220215)

Kinda like when someone at my local university made a Counter Strike map of the student union, called de_union (where terrorists had to plant a bomb). They recreated every detail, every desk placement, etc - all five stories of it, even the basement, which is filled with all of the mechanical equipment, etc.

We played it during LAN parties on campus. It was for fun, but someone told on us and the LAN club got disbanded.

Cheaper Solution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40220273)

Make a poster of it at mineposter.com. Might be a little less than $5K

"Little Chicago" (1)

GJSchaller (198865) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220373)

This sounds eerily like a page taken from the Dresden Files books, in which the titular character builds a model of Chicago in his basement in order to better keep an eye over his home town using magic.

But if your order now! (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220409)

Seriously the last line just kills it. "Models cost as little as".

Re:But if your order now! (1)

erich666 (109137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40222357)

Yeah, I should have said that better. The sad thing is that people see, "$2000 to $2500" and conclude "nope, I couldn't ever afford that myself". So excuse my weaksauce "order by midnight tomorrow" text; how about, "Small models are quite cheap"?

600 hours (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220785)

how much time would it take to make that model in blender instead?

Re:600 hours (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220867)

how much time would it take to make that model in blender instead?

Assuming you know how to use Blender. Likely far less time, a simple object like a cube is dead easy to duplicate numerous times in Blender, you can create multiple sets in one go and the camera controls for editing are superior to that of what you can get in Minecraft.

Re:600 hours (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40222197)

The Worldedit plugin for Minecraft can vastly decrease the amount of time needed to create buildings and such.

No idea if it was used in this creation or not.

Re:600 hours (1)

erich666 (109137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40222447)

Right, he used WorldEdit, MCEdit, and Spritecraft, as it says in the caption [imgur.com] .

"this felt like playing a game..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40220841)

No shit. You were playing a game. MineCraft is a game.

RepRap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40221649)

Online 3D printing services are nice to have, but you can also make your own 3D printer [reprap.org] . Some RepStraps are even made from discarded Epson inkjet printers.

If you don't feel like you're able to design your own, you can also buy parts or even full kits from MakerBot, Ultimaker, etc.

Re:RepRap (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 2 years ago | (#40221763)

But why didn't print the display case too? Or even print the model IN a display case in one go?

That sure is a nice university you have there. (1)

FilmedInNoir (1392323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40222205)

SSSsssssss! Ahem, anyway, what's with all the bum hurt in the posts? Modeled the university and made a physical model cheaply, win win. Looks better than the dioramas I see in museums.

3D Printing Material Quality (1)

utkonos (2104836) | more than 2 years ago | (#40223495)

This is actually the first time I've seen 3D printing material up that close. It actually doesn't look very high quality. The edges are not at all sharp. It actually looks a bit like some kind of foam rubber or styrofoam cut into those shapes with an exacto.

Re:3D Printing Material Quality (1)

erich666 (109137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40223989)

In fact, this particular material is called "sandstone" (really, a gypsum powder glued together, then coated with superglue). It's heavy and a bit cold to the touch, and is definitely bumpy - see this closeup [flickr.com] , for example. There are plenty of other materials out there, this just happens to be the one that Shapeways provides that can print with a wide range of colors. That said, they don't have any really great smooth plastic multicolor material available now. Here's an example [google.com] (excuse my crappy camera phone) showing a much nicer colored result, from an Object Connex 3D printer. Things appear to be rapidly improving in this area - my main wish is "cheaper" at this point.

Re:3D Printing Material Quality (1)

utkonos (2104836) | more than 2 years ago | (#40224307)

Thanks for that ultra closeup. That explains a lot about the material. It would be nice to have something with clean edges like molded plastics can exhibit. On the topic of cheaper, what is the material cost of a model like your example?

Re:3D Printing Material Quality (1)

erich666 (109137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40224657)

Shapeways has a good materials cost chart [shapeways.com] (I don't work for Shapeways, by the way, I just use them a fair bit). Cost is all by weight (plus a fixed fee per model), so complexity is free. From what I can tell, their markup for labor doesn't seem to be all that much, maybe 50% above "retail" materials, if you had your own ($70k) color 3D printer? I suspect I'm spending someone's venture capital when I make an order, as their prices seem pretty low all in all.

Re:3D Printing Material Quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40269811)

I've seen Makerbot prints better.

He's probably a terrorist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40223701)

Just wait until the DHS catches wind of this. After all, if taking a 2D photograph of a public building can get you hit with being a threat to national security, just think how DANGEROUS a 3D model of a school campus could be.

Re:He's probably a terrorist (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227981)

How about a 3D model of the Pentagon or nuclear power plant? The White House (where you can get blueprints from public sources)?

What happens when DHS sees a bunch of pyros make these models out of TNT in Minecraft?

Where is my pick-axe? (1)

BatGnat (1568391) | more than 2 years ago | (#40224195)

Gotta mine that....

Enterprise ???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227585)

Well.............

Does this mean there is a method for 3D printing that full scale model of the Enterprise NCC-1701-D when they are finished with it ?????

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>