Minecraft’s official release is growing ever closer, but that isn’t stopping fans of the game from enjoying the popular Beta version of the game and creating lots of interesting fan art. We’ve seen Minecraft magnets and even an exhibit where people can play with miniature Minecraft blocks (and enjoy more life-size surroundings inspired by the game). Another creative designer, Ben Purdy, wanted something even more realistic to toy around with, so he created this working Minecraft block.
Apparently, Mr. Purdy was working on projection-mapping when his brother said the project reminded him of a block from the popular game Minecraft. Rolling with that concept, Purdy made this cube which looks and acts much like a block from the game. A piezo element is taped to the box and hooked up to an arduino. The arduino is triggered when physical force impacts the piezo element. The arduino sends data to the PC, which does the rest of the projection work. That’s just the technical stuff, though, and it’s the visual effect that really makes the whole thing outstanding.
As you can see in the video, the block starts out looking like a dirt/grass block. When tapped with an object, the projection changes, making the block gradually deteriorate much like it would when repeatedly impacted in-game. The coolest effect is when the block has reached its “hit limit”, shattering into pieces which tumble down to the floor, leaving only the blank cube behind. Even more interesting is that the designer coded some effects for other blocks as well, since we see him doing the same to a wood block. What appears to be a stone block also pops up momentarily, but doesn’t fall victim to Purdy’s relentless mining. The effect is about as perfect as you can imagine for what it is. It would make a good conversation piece for any Minecraft fan’s computer room and if a smaller version could be made, Minecrafters could keep it on their desk to tap and destroy when desired.