An online company, FigurePrints, is now selling 3D-prints of your minecraft worlds. Upload your map to them and they'll make you a plastic model.
Minecraft's PC players can now have their worlds exported into the real world via a company called FigurePrint. FigurePrint, which also makes models of your World of Warcraft and Xbox Live characters, has turned to 3D printing to make your virtual worlds come to life. Buying a model of your world is a fairly simple process: First, you download FigurePrint's map exporting program, and extract your chosen map. After this, you select what part of the map you want to model. You can pick essentially any part you want, but larger sections will be more expensive. After this, you simply submit your request.
This is a really cool application for 3D-printing.
The models are printed with a special powder. A layer of the powder is spread onto a flat surface. Then resin, used to bind the powder together and harden it, is injected where the solid parts of the model are meant to be. After this, another layer of powder is added on top of the previous one and more resin is added. This process is repeated over and over again, building up the structure bit by bit, until you eventually have a completed model of resin, encased in a block of the powder. The powder is then cleaned away and your model is complete.
3D-printing is a growing industry, and some very complex models, including ones with moveable parts and functioning mechanical systems, can be created easily. Still, beyond product demos and architectural models, you don't hear about a lot of consumer applications of the technology, so it's good news that companies such as FigurePrint are starting to pop up.