Mineable Minecraft block

At Hack A Day, we’re pretty big Minecraft fans so you can imagine our interest when we saw [Ben Purdy]‘s real-life Minecraft block. The build uses a projector system to display a block onto a cardboard box and reacts to being ‘mined’ just like in the game.

Block animation is handled by a piezo sensor, an Arduino and a Processing sketch. From earlier posts on [Ben's] blog, we’re going to guess that he used the keystone video projection library his own solution to map the Minecraft block onto the cardboard box. Animation is handled just as in Minecraft – overlaying the breaking animation onto the block and adding some particle effects.

We’ve seen a few Minecraft hacks before, like using it as a 3D design tool, and connecting your redstone CPU to the outside world. [Ben]‘s build follows in the tradition of its forebears and is something we really want to try out. Check out the demos after the break.


  1. Ben Purdy says:

    Wow, I’m honored to be featured on here! Love your site.

    Just a note: It’s not the keystone library. The keystone library doesn’t properly compensate for perspective distortion so I ended up writing my own solution instead. You read a little about it on my blog (and see the problem with the keystone library that I’m talking about).

  2. austin says:

    now project the floor behind it when it breaks off.

  3. Hackerspacer says:

    It seems to turn into a wool block when you break it.

  4. Perry says:

    quote ‘At Hack A Day, we’re pretty big Minecraft fans’

    so do you have a server???

    Also pretty sick project

    • CollinstheClown says:

      I was wondering the same thing!

      HaD minecraft server would rule

      • jzoe says:

        Speaking of which, does ANYBODY have a good minecraft server to recommend? I used to play on one, but after a few griefing incidents and admin efforts to prevent them, the whole world kept getting reset on a regular basis, and new RPG elements kept coming up.

      • trc202 says:

        @jzoe My favorite minecraft server is sacredlabyrinth.net although I am a bit biased because I am one of the admins. We are going to change one of the worlds in the next few weeks but after that we will maintain the same world for some time.

    • Max Weber says:

      Yeah, that’d be awesome. Well, since my server is offline, there aren’t any good left..

  5. skipi says:

    that is so damn funny xD. i love it :D.

  6. brad says:

    you could totally mine that faster if you had diamond tools.

  7. andar_b says:

    I think the last video is the best of the three, it’s hard to tell it’s a projection. Really good work making it look believable.

  8. octel says:

    What’s the point of building something like this? It’s just going to get stolen by endermen when 1.8 comes out.

  9. G says:

    Im going to griefyour project!

  10. hammy says:

    Determining the correct vector-space transforms to get the image to display correctly would be a pretty cool applied math problem for undergrads :3

    extra points for perspective adjustment!

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