Minecraft , the immensely popular PC sandbox game, just got a whole lot more awesome thanks to MIT Media Lab researhers Cody Sumter and Jason Boggess. They created Minecraft.Print(), a Python script that makes any Minecraft object printable so that you can bring it into the real world. While you can't do this yourself (unless you're one of the few lucky people in this world that have access to a 3D printer), it's quite amazing to watch.

The whole thing is a three-step process:

  1. Play it. Make Stuff! You know how to build things in Minecraft. It's really up to you. Just make it awesome, ok?
  2. Prep it. To avoid printing the entire world, it is necessary to specify the region you wish to process. By placing a combination of specific blocks (obsidian, diamond, gold, iron) at two points you can define the 3-dimensional area to print.
  3. Minecraft.Print() then outputs a standard model file for printing to either a professional 3D printer or (MakerBot or RepRap). Now that you've printed out your creation, it's time to show it off. We figure you know how to do this part.

Unfortunately, the script doesn't appear to be available for download. Fortunately, there's a gallery available for you to check out once you've drooled over the following demonstration video:

Earlier this month, Minecraft passed 10 million registered users. There is still no official release date for the game. It was supposed to leave beta status on November 11, 2011 but that date was pushed back about a week since the game's creator, Markus Persson (also known as Notch) wants to find a good venue for MinecraftCon and the date 11/11/11 is fully booked.

Minecraft was originally released (now referred to as the classic version) on May 17, 2009. It entered Indev status on December 23, 2009, Infdev status on February 27, 2010, alpha status on June 28, 2010, and finally beta status on December 20, 2010. When it finally ships, Minecraft will be available for €20.00 ($28.87); right now it's still in beta and goes for €14.95 ($21.58).