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I’m not a gamer myself, but many of my friends are. One of the video games I never tire of watching people play (which is saying something) is Minecraft. I’ve tried playing, but I’m not nearly patient enough for the brick-by-brick building fun — watching those who are, and looking at the impressive worlds they create, is actually fun for me. Probably because it’s less frustrating, since the people I’ve seen go at it tend to be pretty experienced and really know what they’re doing and build far more extensive structures than the cube-shaped house I quickly gave up on when I tried it out.

Minecraft’s popularity, though, transcends the XBox (or other system) gaming world, though, and many enthusiasts have combined it with 3D printing already, either through the creation of characters from the game (like these 3D printed Creepers) or by using the game’s building concept to design outside of the video game realm.

treebuildThailand-based Treebuild Co., Ltd., a 3D printing web app developer and marketplace, is working now on the latest such design application. Treebuild co-founder and CMO Laphat Tantiphipop has informed 3DPrint.com about the “new free app for pixel art lovers,” which will be fully launched soon — and you can try the beta version out now.

“The users can start with a blank canvas or build on selections of fun template; be it avatar, text, or any model of their imagination for free,” Treebuild notes of LUBAS. “Then they can choose to save their work into STL, OBJ, X3D, 3DDOM, HTML, or VRML, or sen[d] them for a 3d printing service which will deliver right to their home.”

The beta version of LUBAS is running now, and it’s pretty easy to use — especially for fans of Minecraft who are already familiar with the pixel art building system based on cubes.

Cube minionWhen you open LUBAS, you have the option of beginning with a blank canvas or starting with a template. Since it’s still in beta, the templates are currently limited — and the trio of options now available are sure to be hits with fans of comics and Despicable Me‘s fan-favorite Minion characters. You can start off with Captain America, a Minion version of Captain America, or a Minion version of Batman. Whether working with a blank canvas or one of the templates, you’re also able to upload your own photo for reference, which is very convenient if you have a specific design in mind.

Controls are easy, and sure to be familiar to most computer users. The mouse wheel can be used to zoom in and out, ctrl-z and ctrl-y are used for undo/redo, and so on. They’re also listed right there so there’s no chance of forgetting; if you already know them and don’t need the reminder, you can also hide the “Tips” in the bottom right corner.Cube dude

When you’re happy with your design, there’s an easy button to validate whether it will be 3D printable — that is, if it’s in one piece, with every box connected. It presents dimensions and a count of the boxes. Then you can export your creation as the file type of choice and it’s ready to be sent to your 3D printer or off to a 3D printing service!

Treebuild notes that “users who send feedback on their user experiences will have perks and freebies waiting for them when LUBAS is launch[ed].” Information about the forthcoming full release of LUBAS is available from Treebuild via their website, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Treebuild also offers other fun apps, with the Easter Egg design app fully launched and, along with LUBAS, a 2D to 3D app and an app called Planter which is coming soon.

Is Treebuild’s LUBAS app one that appeals to you? Let us know if you think this app could get younger designers, or those new to 3D design, interested. Join the discussion at the Treebuild Minecraft-Inspired LUBAS Design App forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

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