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A Blueprint is a means of recording a structure for automated building, serving as a more advanced version of a Template. While a Template will record a structure, a Blueprint will record the materials used as well as the shape, allowing a Builder to copy it in exact detail.
When crafted, the player starts with a 'Blank Blueprint'; no information is recorded on it. A blank blueprint can be differentiated from a written one by the lack of white markings on its surface in the Inventory.
When printed on the Architect Table, the player can either name the Blueprint, or leave the naming field blank. If so, the Blueprint's name will default to 'Blueprint#n', where 'n' is the number of blueprints printed thus far in that particular Minecraft World.
A blueprint is preferred when a structure must be copied in exact detail, using multiple materials and block types. While more costly in terms of resources, the output is more impressive. A template is better-suited for duplicating simple objects like bridges or stone towers, where only a single material is needed or appearance is not of great concern to the player.