I'd like to get ore, and place it (without command blocks) anywhere near the contraption. My question is could it be possible to do this, and if so how?

Note: it does not matter on the timing the block comes out, as long as I don't have to wait 15 minutes or so.

  • Generally not possible without mods.
    – MBraedley
    Commented Jan 31, 2015 at 23:36
  • 1
    Aside from TNT, that is not a functionality of Vanilla Minecraft
    – Johonn
    Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 0:39
  • @Johonn How would you use TNT to place a block?
    – Spotlight
    Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 0:40
  • 1
    Sorry, I meant TNT is the only block placeable by dispensers. It will also detonate, however.
    – Johonn
    Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 0:41

4 Answers 4


Minecraft with no mods and no command blocks has no way for mechanisms to place regular building blocks at all. There is no way to cause an ore block to be placed in the world.

However, dispensers can place a few specific types of blocks, all of which are somewhat special:

  • Pumpkins
  • Heads
  • Water, lava, and fire (which are technically blocks)
  • Arguably, TNT (since it appears lit, it's an entity and never spends any time as a block, so I would tend to exclude it)

Some related things that are possible, but are not actually placing blocks that were items in a chest:

  • Stone generator mechanisms using water and lava can produce a supply of cobblestone, stone, or basalt blocks one block at a time which can then be pushed where they are wanted by pistons.

  • Plants grow into spaces made available for them, and their growth can be blocked by piston movements and then accelerated by dispensers loaded with bone meal. Melon and pumpkin stems repeatably grow solid blocks, but only adjacent to themselves, and those blocks cannot be pushed (they will break instead). Tree saplings can only be activated once (since the trunk replaces the sapling), but are taller.

  • Dispensers can place boats, which are entities but (unusually) are solid enough to stand on.

  • Hi, could it be possible to place ore? I forgot to say what type of block. Thank you for the answer, no idea you could use bone meal and dispensers!
    – Spotlight
    Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 14:11
  • @awesomebing1 I would think not. You could easily test by creating a creative world, putting an ore block into a dispenser, and pulling a lever.
    – user28379
    Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 15:54
  • As of 1.8.6, dispensers can no longer place command blocks
    – pppery
    Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 14:36
  • boats only on water, tho
    – Maciek Rek
    Commented Feb 18, 2021 at 15:47
  • As of 1.17, powdered snow block can be placed by dispensers.
    – SF.
    Commented Dec 7, 2021 at 14:36

Another feature of a dispenser that is still the case presently [1.16 and later] is they are also able to place shulker boxes. And shulker boxes can be filled and emptied in the same way that chests can be with a hopper/dropper system. So while it doesn't help with Ore placement unfortunately, you could technically clear out one level of the Y axis and replace it with obsidian. Then set a minecart < hoppercart system underneath the obsidian.

Then, dispense lit TNT into the area destroying everything above your obsidian level, and leaving behind whatever to be collected in your minecart < hoppercart system, sorted through hopper/ dropper/ water systems and with dispensers able to place shulker boxes, you could fill the shulkers until full, then break them down with more TNT and water, or pistons. End result being shulk-full of all ore and rock types not completely decimated by the tnt to begin with. =]

Theoretically, of course.


Placing pumpkins doesn't seem to work anymore. The only "block" that I could see possible is cobblestone (by having two dispensers, one with lava and one with water).

  • 1
    I couldn’t help but notice that in the edits correcting grammar, “punctuation” was spelled wrong xD
    – Penguin
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 22:55
  • This configuration still seems to work in 1.16.5
    – creallf
    Commented Jun 23, 2021 at 20:54

In Minecraft, most blocks are impossible to place with redstone. However, you can always use a cobblestone generator to generate cobblestone and use pistons to push it to a certain area if you want.

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