Moving to Freedom, .Org(on)

We’re Living In The Future

Today’s linkage is via slashdot, where I often learn about the future.

I’m familiar with Minecraft but I’ve never tried it, partly because it’s almost certain I’d get addicted to it and start neglecting my family, sleep, and personal hygiene.

It’s a video game, kind of, that lets you build anything. It’s like the most awesome virtual sandbox/lego set ever created, from what I can tell.

As an example, Ben Rothman made this model of Northwestern University’s Technological Institute:

Northwester University Technological Institute as created by Ben Rothman in Minecraft

Which might not sound like all that big of a deal, but maybe you’ll be more impressed if I tell you he recreated the entire north campus of the university? It only took 600 hours over 6 months, during which time I’m sure he didn’t neglect his studies or miss a single tooth brushing.

I don’t think I could be as dedicated as that, but I think it’s very cool that he did it. I love stuff like this.

But is it really that futuristic? We’ve had 3D video games and modeling software for a long time now. Well, what if I told you he printed the model? Not on paper, but like this, a five-foot-wide scale model:

3D print of Northwestern University

I know some of you are familiar with 3D printing and will say it’s not all that new either, but when I start seeing cool applications like this one, I find that I’m living in the future. We’re that much closer to ordering “Tea, Earl Grey” from our own little Ronco Replicator-O-Matic.

Check out all the awesome photos of the model!

Ben appears in a reddit discussion of the project and answers questions, including how much it cost to print: between $2,000 and $2,500. The University paid for it and is paying more than that for a display case to show it here:

3D print of Northwestern University (Technological Institute)

That’s the Technological Institute again, as it appears in the model.

Here’s one more close-up:

3D print of Northwestern University (Norris Center)

And there are many, many more pictures and it’s really, really cool.