Building Excitement About Digital Twins Among Students with Minecraft and Bentley’s iTwin Technology

Winners announced for the first-ever Digital Twin Design Challenge!

June 8, 2022

By Steven Fruhwirth, Senior Program Manager, iTwin Platform

The winners have been announced for Bentley Education’s first-ever Digital Twin Design Challenge!

The contest invited students—aged 12 to 25 years old—to reimagine a real-world location using the popular Minecraft videogame and Bentley’s iTwin technology. Specifically, students were asked to:

• Choose a real-world location
• Design a 3D structure for the location using Minecraft
• Place the structure within the real-world location—using Bentley’s iTwin technology

Impressive Projects and Prizes

The participating students put in a remarkable amount of work for their projects, and they competed for some BIG prizes.

• The Judges’ Choice Winner will receive a prize of USD 5,000. The first runner-up will receive USD 1,000.
• The Popular Vote Winner will receive a prize of USD 2,000. The first runner-up will receive USD 1,000.
• The Top 20 Finalists will win USD 500 each

Visit the contest page and explore these amazing 3D models placed in their real-world locations. Just click on a project’s link, and the reality model and 3D structure will launch in your web browser. You can then use the viewer’s navigation tools to examine the structures—and even go inside them and look around!

And the Winners are:

Judges’ Choice Winner: Jakub Stacho | Simon Fraser University, Canada
The Pebble: A Three-Tower Zero-Emission Apartment Complex

Rendering of buildings in a city


Judges’ Choice First Runner-up: Adrià Portero Martínez | Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain
Coast of Auckland: New Horizon

Rendering of structure on coast


Popular Vote Winner: Juan Andrés Borrero Valencia | Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia
Hotel Alcatraz

Rendering of Hotel Alcatraz structure on coast


Popular Vote: First Runner-up: Felipe Mendonça Chiocchetti | Escola Politénica da Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Sydney Hospital

Rendering of student project of Sydney Hospital building


Why Did We Create this Contest?

Digital twins are virtual representations of the real world, and they combine and visualize data in ways that optimize decision-making and enable effective planning and action.

Digital twin technology has become a powerful tool for current and future engineers, and this contest is a creative way for students to gain exposure to this emerging technology. More specifically, we wanted students to experience how they can combine and visualize different types of digital models—and have some fun while doing it.

We are thrilled by the incredibly thoughtful and detailed projects created by the students, and we think you will be too.

What is the iTwin Viewer?

The iTwin Viewer is an open-source application that lets you visualize digital twins. As part of Bentley’s iTwin platform, you can use it to view 2D and 3D BIM and reality data, and more.

For the contest, we created a custom iTwin Viewer containing pre-loaded locations including Auckland, Sydney, San Francisco, Redmond and Helsinki. Students uploaded their Minecraft structures into the viewer, so they could place them within the real-world locations. The viewer also has special scaling and positioning tools to help the students place their structures into the real-world locations.

Thank You to Aerometrex and Microsoft!

We want to give a big thanks to Aerometrex, who provided the reality meshes of Sydney, Auckland and San Francisco. We’d also like to thank Microsoft for helping us spread the word about the contest. Thank you!

Want to Start Building Your Own Digital Twin Apps?

If the Digital Twin Design Challenge has made you curious about building your own digital twin app, then you can get started by:
– Visiting the Bentley Education Portal
– Taking the free iTwin Developer Accreditation Course
– Visiting the iTwin Platform YouTube Channel
– Reviewing the iTwin Learning Path
– Sign-up for a free developer account on the iTwin Platform Portal