3D printing is one of those things that I'm not quite sure if I believe in. I mean, sure, I've watched videos of the devices printing, and yes, I've held physical objects that have been printed. But still, come on, it doesn't sound very realistic, does it? Via Alice Taylor, who is currently creating a business around the mystical world of such printing (gratuitous plug for my podcast interviewing her and Cory Doctorow), comes a video of MIT students figuring out a way to print 3D objects created in Minecraft. And via that comes a video of someone printing 3D objects within Minecraft.
Minecraft.print is a project simply dedicated to showing how it's possible to run a small Python script and see creations you've build in Minecraft come pouring out of your 3D printer. (And that's not as unrealistic as it sounds - while the professional ones still cost around £800,000, you can get a home printer for as little as $1300 or even "free".) Here they naturally print a Weighted Companion Cube, because otherwise it wouldn't be geeky enough.
I'm a little surprised by how rough the results look - especially that awful Enterprise - having seen some exquisitely detailed 3D prints can be. But to buoy yourself after that disappointment, check out the video the MIT guys link to from their own page:
This is what he gets done when he's busy.