In our classes for young makers, we discuss how digital fabrication technology will be a game-changer. In future work, more jobs will involve converting digital content into physical things through technologies like 3D printing, CNC, and other similar technologies. Students love playing video games and enjoy the opportunity to learn how to make their own game worlds. At the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, GA, I had the opportunity to teach a workshop on building amazing game worlds in Minecraft using TinkerCAD.com. It’s so much fun to share these lessons with students! After guiding the students through some of the basic operations of TinkerCAD.com, we encourage the students to play and build projects that they care about. It was cool to see their finished work in Minecraft. While the students think about “playing and building,” they are actually exposed to many engineering and math skills too. The students learned how to displace objects in 3D space, rotate objects, scale objects, perform measurement, and many other mathematical ideas.
Some of the students attempted to build a Minecraft roller coaster structure. In a secondary step, we added Minecraft train tracks and red stone power rails to power our Minecarts. It turned out great!
One of our students decided to build a huge Minecraft creeper! A friend of mine from Ampersand Arts in MaconMacon, helped build the huge snow man shown below.
You can see a car, tie fighter, and rockets built by the students.
Very proud of the focus and work of our students. I’m also thankful to my friend Jake who helped coach the class with me.
To support parents, students, and teachers, I wanted to share a few tips to enable you to build stuff like this in Minecraft.
What’s a schematic file?
A schematic file contains 3D model data to transfer content into Minecraft. You can find schematic data files on web sites like http://www.minecraft-schematics.com/ . You can also create 3D models and convert them to schematic files using TinkerCAD.com .
How do you import schematic files into Minecraft?
I wanted to share a quick tutorial video on using MCEdit to import schematic content into Minecraft. Before doing the steps mentioned in this video, make sure to install Minecraft on your computer and create at least one world.
1. Open your web browser and navigate to http://www.mcedit.net/ .
2. Click the “Download” menu option at the top.
3. You will want to download the latest version appropriate for your operating system. In this tutorial, we will download version 2 beta 6 for Windows. (64 bit version)
4. After the install program has been downloaded, execute the program and specify a location to store “mcedit.” For this demo, we will store MCEdit in “c:\games\mcedit.” Using our file explorer, we will navigate to the MCEdit folder.
5. Open the “mcedit2-win64-2.0.0-beta6” folder.
6. Run MCEdit
7. In the panel on the left, MCEdit lists the minecraft game worlds saved by your current user account. For this demo, we’ll open the world called “demo.”
8. Select “demo”.
9. Click the button “edit.”
10. You can move around this gameworld using “WASD” navigation style.
11. You can change the direction the player is looking by holding the “right” mouse button and dragging the mouse.
12. To import a schematic file, click the “Import/Export > Import”
13. The system will open a file box enabling you to select a schematic. For this demo, we’ll select a small car created by one my students.
14. The XYZ numbers here enable you to adjust the location of the schematic content. In my case, I’ll edit the “y” coordinate to make sure to car connects to the ground.
15. Click the “confirm” button to accept the schematic content into the world.
16. Keep in mind, you’re not done yet. You need to save the session by clicking the “MCEdit” menu followed by “save world.”
17. You’re all done. Close MCEdit.
18. Open up Minecraft to test that your schematic file shows up correctly in your world!
We want to say thank you to the Museum of Aviation of Warner Robins, GA for enabling us to share this workshop. Make sure to check out their fantastic STEM education workshops here. We also want to give a shout out to the folks at TinkerCAD.com and MCEdit.NET. Without their care and craft, we wouldn’t be able to inspire these students as makers of the future. I really appreciate their work.
Make sure to check out our next workshop!!
Robotics: Building upon the programming skills introduced early in the program, students will have the opportunity to build robots from scratch using the mBot kit. Students will love customizing their mBot using puzzle based programming and the easy to assemble construction experience. Students take home their mbot to continue the tinkering fun at home.
Student registration includes a complete mBot robotics kit from Makeblock.cc.
- Workshop length: 3 hours
- Cost: $20 + $75(cost of mBot kit)
- Register for the workshop today!
- Dates – Dec 3rd from 1pm to 4pm
- Location – SparkMacon Makerspace – 557 Cherry St, Macon, GA (parking/directions)
- All ages and experience levels are welcome and the workshops are a great activity for the entire family. Parents and kids can also both attend under the same registration fee!