CubeTeam: Browser-based Collaborative Cube Building Lets You 3D Print Your Cubed Creations
CubeTeam is a free online 3D modelling program that allows you to collaborate with friends on expansive 3D environments or create simple 3D objects that can then be 3D printed. Essentially it’s Minecraft smushed together with a simple CAD program and, it’s actually kind of fun.
You essentially get an empty landscape to fill up with cubes of various sizes in any configuration or colour that you can dream up. On the surface it may look as if CubeTeam is trying to sell itself as a Minecraft alternative, but after only a few minutes playing around with the program it becomes pretty obvious that they really aren’t trying to make a video game at all. CubeTeam is a very simple 3D modelling and 3D painting program and seems ideal for easing young people and newcomers into the world of 3D printing. It doesn’t hurt that the program is free, or that you can create 3D models with your friends either.
I don’t really play video games as often as I used to, but even when I was a regular gamer my tastes tended to lean towards the blow stuff up rather than the more methodical games like Minecraft or Little Big Planet. I love that games like that exist and thoroughly enjoy looking at other people’s creations within them but if I can’t throw grenades in a game then I’m probably being forced to play it. However, when given a free game it’s simply rude to not at least try it out, right? Well after playing around with it for a few minutes I was really kind of frustrated and found myself looking for an actual grenade to throw at something. Of course then I watched the tutorials and everything suddenly kind of made sense. I should probably watch tutorials more often. They answered my most pertinent questions, were brief, easy to understand and after spending just a few minutes with them I actually ended up rather enjoying playing with CubeTeam for several hours last night. I made a cube cup. No it didn’t take me a few hours to make the cup, the cup is just the best looking thing that I made. Don’t judge me.
I’ve seen enough Minecraft to recognize the similarities, but they really are more superficial than you would imagine. Of course hiding a simple 3D modelling program in something that feels like an online game is a nice way to distinguish yourself from your competition. As is allowing you to download your 3D models and either print them at home, or CubeTeam can simply print and ship them to you via Shapeways, in any of their available materials. Their prices are a little steep of course, take special note of the size of the cup being printed, but it is a nice option to have.
CubeTeam also allows you to create custom brushes, including 2D pictures and you can upload existing 3D models and the program will automatically convert them into cubed models. I uploaded a 3D model of a prehistoric skull and was pleasantly surprised at how cool it looked when converted to cubes.
I don’t know how much I’ll play with CubeTeam going forward, but it was certainly a lot more fun than I thought it would be. If you want to learn more about CubeTeam take a look at their FAQ, or if you’re bold, just jump right in and start making your own cube cups. Or cube bowls, whatever, you don’t have to copy me.