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Sustainable Minecraft town recreated with Mimaki 3D printing

The 3D printed model was given to the winner of Minecraft's sustainable town challenge

My knowledge of Minecraft has admittedly been limited in scope. As far as I knew, it was a world-building computer game enjoyed by most kids. So I was honestly a bit surprised to learn that last year, Minecraft had partnered with a French government administration to host a nationwide contest aimed at raising awareness about social and environmental causes through the creation of sustainable Minecraft towns.

Since the competition—called “Villes et territoires de demain”—launched, over 1,200 participants submitted their sustainable Minecraft town designs. The submissions were judged by a panel of professionals, including Microsoft and IGN executives, architects, social media influencers and government officials. The winner was announced this past October and was awarded with an intricate 3D printed replica of their Minecraft town.

Minecraft town Mimaki 3D printed

The 3D printed model was manufactured using Mimaki’s 3DUJ-553 full-color 3D printer, which enabled the virtual town to be recreated in stunning detail. Of course, the printing preparation process was not quite as simple as pressing “print.” According to Mimaki, it took over 19 hours to translate the Minecraft landscape into a 3D printable model.

Ultimately though, Mimaki’s 3D printer was able to execute the job, thanks in large part to its over 10 million color capability and its water-soluble support material. In the end, the Minecraft landscape was recreated in full—with all colors accurately represented, the cube-like nature of the town maintained and even the most fragile details, like wind turbines, being printed.

Minecraft town Mimaki 3D printed

“As a company which has long been committed to preserving the environment and finding solutions for greener products, this competition was an absolute honour to be a part of,” commented Thierry Lim, Area Sales Manager at Mimaki. “It has been very inspiring to see so many conscientious and visionary young people engaging with technology to explore environmental solutions and imagine living spaces with sustainability at the core.

“To be able to push technology even further and actually bring the participants’ designs to life in front of their eyes is a real privilege—and that is entirely down to the capabilities of the 3DUJ-553. With these young people already imagining the kinds of innovations which might shape their futures, it is exciting to be able to share with them the cutting-edge advances in 3D printing technology and provide an insight into the immeasurable possibilities that it might hold for them in years to come.”

Minecraft town Mimaki 3D printed

The competition’s top prize was given to 16-year-old Louis Varin, who was presented with the impressive 3D printed model. Eight other winners were announced across four categories: Young Individuals, Young Teams, Adult and Professional Teams and Educational Projects. Additional mentions included the Audience Prize and the Special Jury Prize.

“This competition was about giving people the opportunity to think about our society’s challenges,” added Agnès Petit, Chef de projet digital, Ministère de la Cohésion des territoires. “Part of the key to its success has been the fact that Minecraft is a fun platform which is widely enjoyed, particularly by young people, and it has provided an engaging way for them to share their visions about the future of their cities.”

In other contest news, the annual 3D Pioneers Challenge is now accepting submissions for its 2020 edition.


Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault moved from her home of Montreal, Canada to the Netherlands in 2014 to pursue a master’s degree in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. It was during her time in Amsterdam that she became acquainted with 3D printing technology and began writing for a local additive manufacturing news platform. Now based in France, Tess has over two and a half years experience writing, editing and publishing additive manufacturing content with a particular interest in women working within the industry. She is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM industry.

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