Minecraft in real life

Ben Purdy made this "real life" Minecraft block. Very cool!

Now that I’m working on projection mapping it was only a matter of time before this happened. Thanks to my brother for the inspiration, he mentioned that one of the other projection mapping examples looked a bit like a minecraft block. Once the idea popped into my head I had to give it a try.

There’s a piezo element taped to the box and hooked up to an arduino. The arduino senses the physical impact with the piezo element and sends serial data to my PC. Processing picks up the serial signal and takes care of the projection and interaction (particles, etc).

Minecraft in real life


  1. Oh, man… I almost didn’t click on the video itself just thinking it to be an ottoman or something.

    Not what I was expecting to see at all. Very cool.

  2. Does somebody who plays Minecraft care to explain to those of us who don’t play Minecraft what we’re seeing? Do the blocks in the game fall apart when you strike them?

    1. Pretty much Spencer.  The cracks that appear on top of the cube are exactly like what you see when you keep hitting something.  When the cube breaks it turns into a bunch of little squares that fly up and out (which this can’t quite do).

    2. What happens is, if you attack a block with something, it starts to crumble, and when it breaks, you can pick it up. You need tools to pick up some blocks, e.g. you need a pickaxe to be able to pick up stone

  3. Very cool, 

    I am disappoint to see that it was an external projector, and not being projected internally, to have all 8 sides rendered would be awesome.

  4. Not nearly as cool as this, but I figured some might be interested… I made this for my brother-in-law as a “wrapping” for his Minecraft redeem code we got him for his birthday. Just pluck the flower from the ground and voila! Redeem code get! All it took was 10 minutes, a few printouts, and an old kleenex box.


  5. Processing picks up the serial signal and takes care of the projection and interaction (particles, etc).

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