People have been building calculators in Minecraft for over a decade: Ever since the introduction of Redstone (a block that essentially conducts electricity), it’s become a common challenge for players to set themselves. There’s even a wiki page dedicated to it.
Calculators are their own branch of hardware design, even though now they’re incorporated into every device we use, with a fascinating history of upgrades: one of the key innovations being the graphing calculator. The idea for a calculator that could visually represent functions rather amazingly dates back to 1921, when engineer Edith Clarke built the Clarke calculator for General Electric (it was patented in 1925). It was over 60 years later that Casio would release the snappily named fx7000g (1985), the first mass-market graphing calculator and a gorgeously thicc boi—though true fans know that the Texas Instruments TI-81 is the sexiest graphing calculator of all. That screen!
Yes I like maths. Someone who likes it far more however is CommanderRedstone, who two years ago built his first version of a graphing calculator within Minecraft. Essentially, you enter the function and then receive a block-based visualisation of whatever shape it creates. The older version was 2D, relatively slow, and had less functions: but now we’re back, baby, with a 3D graphing calculator map that uses floating decimal points, and is much faster and more accurate.
But look, here’s the important thing: it’s hypnotically beautiful to watch this thing generate shapes.
The creator used a Minecraft feature in datapacks to program the various commands, and now this bad boy is capable of high-speed plotting and showing point values like nobody’s business.
You don’t have to love mathematics or graphing calculators to enjoy this: It’s just an incredible achievement and wonderful to see these shapes being generated. People have been making calculators in Minecraft forever, but this is easily the most beautiful example I’ve ever seen.