Introduction: Minecraft 3D Jack-O-Lantern

Happy Halloween all. In this instructable, I'll be showing you how to create a Minecraft-inspired jack-o-lantern using AutoDesk's AutoCAD. I used the current 2014 edition for this project, but almost any edition should be able to accomplish the commands used (at least 2004 and up). Some previous knowledge of AutoCAD will be required for executing commands and understanding how to rotate objects and the display, but the commands themselves, and the logic behind them, will be listed. 

Attached is the .dwg file. 


Step 1:

The first step will be to find a picture of the jack-o-lantern for reference. I found the papercraft picture to be the most useful since it can tell you what the sides and top/bottom look like next to each other, and tells you the dimensions of the features based on the color bits. After you have the reference image, make a box that is 16 units by 16 units (any dimension works, just remember the goal is to 3D print it when you're done) using the line command and the grid and snap buttons(set the grid/snap to 1/16 of your box length/width to make the next part easy). Once you've got the box made, use the line command and your reference picture to draw the face.

Step 2:

Next, by either entering "region" in the command bar at the bottom, or turning on dynamic input, use the region command to highlight the entire face you've drawn. If your view type is in a 3D-based view, it will look like everything is now a solid plane, but its not. The parts of your face that were completely closed paths, are now planes that can be used to make an extrudable face for your jack-o-lantern. 

Step 3:

After creating these four solid planes, we need to make them one easy to use face. Using the subtract command, first select the area you want to have parts subtracted from (the outer box), right click/enter, select the part you wish to subtract out (the eyes and mouth), and press enter/right click.

Step 4:

The last step in creating the face is to give it depth. For a good look, you should use the dimension you specified earlier for the spacing of your grid and snap buttons (since minecraft is based on cubic blocks after all).

Step 5:

Now that we have a face, we need the rest. There are multiple ways of doing this step, so I'm going to be kind of vague and make you decide which sounds easier.

1) One way is to create an outline of the cube that will be your jack-o-lantern, then create boxes(using the box command) and rotate/mirror/move (all commands that can be entered in the command window/dynamic input, or are found in the "modify" tab) the boxes to the correct places. You would then union the separate boxes together to make a cohesive unit.

2) An alternative route would be to go back to step 2 and, instead of subtracting the eyes and mouth out of the face plate, make a box with 16*16*16 unit dimensions and put a box in the center of that one which has 14*14*14 unit dimensions. You could then extrude the eyes and mouth, center them in the "face" of your box, and subtract them out. 

Either way would take just as long, but one way may be easier or more understandable. In the end, the goal is to end up with a perfect box that has two eyes and mouth on one of the faces :P. 

Step 6:

At this point we have a nice box with a face on it. The next few steps could very well be considered optional if you just wanted a simple minecraft jack-o-lantern, though I do recommend skipping to step # and # to see about making the top removable or putting a hole in the bottom for an LED candle. 

For a more decorated version though, use your original template and draw up the sides and top like you did for the face. However, for the sides, you need to do two things differently: 1) You should make two copies of each part and extrude the first more than 1 unit out 2) the other copy should be extruded to 1/4 of a unit. The first copy will be used to make the grooves in the side of your just-finished box, and the other will be the coloration parts that are set in the grooves that copy one makes.

Step 7: Option 1: a Handle

Personally, I like mine without the stem (it might be because I don't like the look of the one I drew, but we'll leave that for another time :P). If you are a stem-on-your-jack-o-lantern-or-else type of person though, have no fear, I have considered you. Since I am so unhappy with mine, all I can say is that you want to create a box that is 1*1*1 unit and begin copying and pasting until you have something you like. Mine should simply be used for reference.  

Step 8: Option 2: Light It Up

A jack-o-lantern's very name intends light to be involved, so for this step we need to add a hole in the bottom for an LED candle (these things will be made of plastic when you're done, so a fire-based candle will be a very bad idea). This step will be very easy and only requires a hole to be subtracted from the bottom of the pumpkin. You should make the hole about 1-2.5 inches in diameter since that's about the size of most standard LED candles. 

Step 9: Option 3: Crack It Open

Finally, the removable top. This one should be pretty easy, since it only uses two commands. The first, is to make a box that has the dimensions of your outer box and the depth of one unit. After you have that, use the chamfer command to make the slanted edges, using the length of a unit for both the chamfer lengths. Once you have the top, make a copy, subtract it from the jack-o-lanterns top, and you're done. 

Jack o' Lantern Challenge

Finalist in the
Jack o' Lantern Challenge