Transforming Your World With Tinkercad

Introduction: Transforming Your World With Tinkercad

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While there is already so much you can do inside the game, you can actually do even more to personalize your world using Tinkercad.

You can use MCEdit to import Tinkercad creations into Minecraft. There are currently two working versions (1 and 2). You can try them both out to see what you prefer. After I show you how to use both, I will compare them and you can decide which will work best for you.

To begin, download either version 1 or the version 2.

Once you have MCEdit installed, you can decide what you want to bring into Minecraft. You can create your own models on Tinkercad, or look around the gallery and see what is already available. If you make something specifically to bring into the game, think about the colors you are adding to your model. The program will try to find the Minecraft blocks that are the closest in color. I imported a model of the Palace of Fine Arts from San Francisco, and the program decided to make some of the blocks Lava, which ended up actually being pretty interesting as it flowed down the sides, but you aren't going to want to end up with a house model with a floor made of lava.

I've decided to use a Millennium Falcon model created by Monacle. If you decide to use a model from the website, just click on the model, and click the button to Download for Minecraft. This will create a popup that asks you to make a size adjustment if you wish. I stuck with 1 millimeter = 1 Minecraft block. Click Export to download the file; it might take a little while, just be patient. You can leave it wherever it downloads, just remember the location so you can find it later.

Step 1: MCEdit Version 1

Make sure Minecraft is closed before you start working. Start up the program and decide if you are going to create a new world from here or use Quick Load to bring up one of your existing games. I have chosen to use the world I specifically started to bring the model into. Double click it and give it time to load.

One thing to keep in mind is if you are using an existing game, make sure when you quit that game you aren't standing where you want the model. If you are, and you place the model there, when you load the game again, the model will be on top of you and you'll have to dig your way out. This goes for both versions of MCEdit.

You will appear in the world in the same spot you were last in the game. Use the W A S D keys to move forwards, backwards, left, and right. To change the direction you are looking, use the right mouse button. So, if you wanted to go up, direct your character until you are facing up, and then click W to go forward. You can either click and hold the right mouse button to look around or click with the right mouse button and let go, then you should be able to look around and you just need to click it again to stop yourself from looking around.

The crane icon along the bottom of the screen allows you to import the models you downloaded. Once you click on the icon, make sure you change the settings on the bottom left so you are looking at schematics. Just look in the folder where you left the file (for me this was Downloads). Click to open and bring it into the program. Move it around and left click to place it. Don't worry, you will be able to continue moving it before deciding its final spot.

Once placed, click, hold, and drag any of the sides to move the model around. If it isn't moving the way you want it to, you are probably just in an awkward position to get the right movement. Just move to face the model differently and you should be able to try again with better results. If you want to try placing it all over again, double click on it and it will pick the model back up.

Besides just clicking and dragging it around, some other things that you'll be able to do to the model include: click E to rotate the model around horizontal to the ground, R to roll the model which rotates it up and down vertical to the ground, F to flip it upside down and right side up again, and G to mirror the model. When placing, pay attention to what parts of the landscape your model is cutting into and where the base of the model is. Most likely, you are going to want it to sit as nicely on the land as you can. This would probably make plaines and desserts the easiest biomes to work with. Something you need to keep in mind while deciding placement is that this version of MCEdit is going to cut a rectangle out of your world.

When you are happy with where it is, click Import. Once it finishes importing it, you won't be able to move it, but you'll be able to see what parts of the world it has cut away. You can continue to add more models if you want, or if you are done Save it. Once it is saved, you should be safe to close the program.

Open up your world and see how it looks.

Step 2: MCEdit Version 2

Like with version 1, you need to have Minecraft closed.

To start, you will need to pick the game you want to import your model into. This is the first place you will probably run into an issue. For some reason, it doesn't accurately title the games on the left (it seems like the name of the world selected is below the one actually selected, also, new games may not show up right away). So, you may need to go by sight to find which one is the one you want; there is an airal image on the right to help you find the correct one.

As an alternative, you can click Choose to find the save you want. To make your saves easier to find, I suggest putting a shortcut in finder. This is the easiest way to make sure you load the exact game you want.

When you are ready, click Edit in the bottom right corner; this will bring you into the world. In the menu bar on top, you will find Import/Export. Use the Import option to get your Tinkercad model.

Click to place it and move around the same as MCEdit 1 by clicking and dragging. If your model is right on top of you when you import it, you may not be able to move around. Just move the model away from you and you should be able to move again.

You won't have the same Mirror, Rotate, Roll, and Flip tools that version 1 has, but you can use the Rot X, Y, and Z tools on the left to do some transforming. While you can move it just 1 degree if you wanted, the model will change if it has to fit within the blocky landscape so I would suggest that if you want to rotate it and keep the model the same as it is, stick with using 90, 180, and 270 degrees.

When you are happy with the placement, click Confirm. Save the world when done importing any and all models and you'll be set to quit and play Minecraft again to check out how it looks.

Step 3: Differences Between Versions

Here are my thoughts on both versions after trying them.

Version 1:

  • Easy to use and quick to maneuver around the world.
  • More transforming options.
  • Model cuts out the whole rectangle the model fits in which makes the landscape look funny once you play.
  • If the model is placed in the water, it will displace that water and it won't fill back in when you load the game.

Version 2:

  • Difficult to pick the world you want to import your model into.
  • Maneuvering around the world is slow and clunky.
  • The model only takes up the spaces it takes up rather than the whole square it fits into giving you a cleaner import.

For ease of use, I suggest version 1, but I much prefer version 2 for the results. Try them out yourself and see what you think.

Version 2: I've broken away the dirt blocks to show that the model is only replacing the blocks that are in the way rather than the whole rectangle of space that version 1 does.

Using Tinkercad is a great way to really see what Minecraft can do, but there is still much more than what I've covered in this class. Check out some of these other fun projects on the bottom of the Minecraft Class Page to see what else you can do, and then let your imagination go wild!

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