In our childhood we played with lego and other similar building toys. But the makers are constantly coming up with new variety of toys. With the advanced kids today are learning everything digitally. In order to recognize this shift Microsoft Japan has collaborated with a Japanese startup Kabuku to create an educational basic coding and 3D printing program centralized in the environment of the popular sandbox building environment game Minecraft. Hoping to reach the kids in 2016 where they are more focused and attracted towards the digital technology.
Kabuku is a innovative Tokyo-based startup that is exploring new uses of the 3Dprinting technology. The company runs Rinkak that is an online marketplace that helps and lets makers upload and sell their 3D printed design to the consumers straight and is one of the most significant 3D printing hubs in the Japan and the East Asia. The company raised fantastic funds from outside investors like the Global Brain, Digital Holdings, and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance with Kabuku’s Series A with more that $9 million USD in investment in the year 2015.
The project is case of the ICT Dream School Council of the Japanese Ministry of internal Affairs and Communications. The effort here is to provide a fun educational platform to produce the country’s next generation of makers. Thus, they decided to do it with the amazingly popular game Minecraft. The project is called “Digital House Making”. It provides an educational course to the grade six students of the Sarugaku Elemantary School in Tokyo. The course comprises of 10 sessions each of 45 minutes. The main aim of the program is to attract and hold the student’s attention through the Minecraft environment, while teaching them about the basic coding and 3D printing, with a program that is more about problem solving and of playful construction setting.
As agreed through the agreement Kabuku has incorporated their “Rinkak 3D Printing Solution” into Minecraft. It is a 3D printing service of customized gaming avatars and replicas that can be 3D printed and sold through Rinkak. Through the educational program students can 3D print their own full color digital houses that they make for the game. Apart from this Kabuku also provides classes on 3D printing technology, 3D imaging and digital making.
The main goal of Kabuku is to find new applications and methods for 3D printing in different industries. Its initiatives have included the Open Road Project, a partnership to create customized components for Toyota i-Road vehicles, and another service that prints interchangeable parts for Olympus Air cameras. The company will use its new capital to expand its sales and marketing into new countries.
The other aspect of the project is to help the students how the 3D printing structures can help them in understanding the 3D data and the physical world of the 3D technology. While playing Minecraft the students can also learn and improve their designs and help them strengthen their problem-solving abilities. Concurrently Minecraft is also looking at enforcing partnership by bringing in more 3D content providers and improving the delivery service. Also a thought of expanding program nation-wide it can be seen as the most creative and effective way to educate the current digitally spoiled kids.