Cloudmaker: Making Minecraft Real

  • 12 March 2014 - 18 March 2014

Cloudmaker aims to brings the excitement and popularity of Minecraft, a fantasy adventure game with more than 33 million young players worldwide, into the classroom and turn it into a powerful learning tool. LJMU and FACT have been working with our ‘Young Researchers’ at The Studio School in Liverpool using Minecraft as a platform for collaborative design between young people to learn about community issues through a design and build process. This exhibition gives visitors an opportunity to engage in activities, which explore different ways we can leap the gap between Minecraft and the real world with technologies such as 3D printing and interaction technologies.

Cloudmaker aims to brings the excitement and popularity of Minecraft, a fantasy adventure game with more than 33 million young players worldwide, into the classroom and turn it into a powerful learning tool.

The goal of Cloudmaker is to provide tools and teaching materials which make it easy to use Minecraft as a platform for collaborative design between young people. The tools will combine the online gaming environment Minecraft and the latest generation of 3D printing and interaction technologies with a physical making and learning environment. A key innovation of Cloudmaker is to create many new ways to span the gap between Minecraft and the real world using these technologies.

Through a process or working together called ‘co-design’ the project partners will explore the best way to make a rich and challenging learning environment, which aims to encourage young people to collaborate through both digital and physical interaction and learn about community issues through a design and build process. 

Our ‘Young Researchers’ from The Studio School in Liverpool have been working closely with the team to test some of the ideas and process’s that will go on to form a learning resource for others to use. Through the project they have learnt about the design process by used 3D printing, Minecraft and programming to consider how to redevelop disused buildings and land near the school.

This exhibition comes at the halfway point of the Cloudmaker project. It is an opportunity to further our research by making our work available for visitors to try and give us their feedback.

In the FACT Connects space visitors will be able to engage in activities, which explore different ways we can leap the gap between Minecraft and the real world

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Exhibition opening times
Weekdays & Sunday: 12.00pm - 6.00pm
Saturday: 11.00am - 6.00pm

No booking required / Just drop in!

Experience ‘The Minecraft of Things’

The ‘Internet of Things’ is an exciting new idea where a network of objects can talk to people or other objects over the web. We extend this idea to Minecraft by supporting the passing of messages to and from objects in the real world and the Minecraft game. Several examples will show how objects can change the state of the Minecraft game and vice versa. 

Storing Minecraft models on a card

Inside every Visa and Oyster card there is a Minecraft world waiting to be explored. Printcraft's RFID Worlds is an arcade game that lets you fly around the unique Minecraft world inside any RFID or Smart Card. You can also add a selection of models from Printcraft's model library to the world. If you don't have a Smart Card we can print one for you with a Minecraft skin of your choice.

Printcraft is an online service for 3D printing, collecting and swapping Minecraft models: www.printcraft.org

Interact with the Minecraft through 3D printed Models

Students have created many models of buildings in Minecraft and made real 3D printed copies of them using Printcraft provided by our partner Glowinthedark. Using tags we can get these real models to ‘remember’ how they were built in Minecraft. We can then get these real models to rebuild themselves in the Minecraft game by placing the physical model on a table. Removing the models from the table erases them from the Minecraft world.

Use a Robot to build with Real Minecraft Blocks

Technical partner Deferred Procrastination have developed Robotic Construction a robotic design that visitor will be able to control to build digital designs out of physical blocks.

See a short film of the project and the documentation of the research so far

We have been documenting the progression of the project with the Young Researchers. Visitors can watch some of their processes and developments In the space.

While in the space please take the time to answer some of our research questions. Your input is valuable to the development of the project.

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Technical Partners

Paul Harter (Printcraft)/ Ross Dalziel / Adrian Mckewen / Deferred Procrastination / Dr Mark Wright


Education Partners

The Studio School / Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form


Research partners

Liverpool School of Art and Design

Research Funding

Cloudmaker is funded by Research Councils UK’s IT as a Utility Network (ITAAU).

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