Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Faire Play 2: When in Rome project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound
$3,646 pledged of $15,000 goal
backers
$3,646 pledged of $15,000 goal
backers

About this project

Hello again, my friends! Jim "Zheng3" Rodda here, back with my second 3D-printing related Kickstarter.

This Kickstarter has two, count 'em TWO goals.

1. I need your help to take my operation from "some dude in a basement" to a garage-scale production facility. I'll need some new hardware, software, a second 3D printer, and a bunch of less exciting stuff like workbenches, fire suppression systems, packing supplies, non-prescription sleep aids, and also the cat would like some more noms, please. If the Kickstarter's successful I'll be able to deliver new and fun 3D printed toys and tchotchkes (and their 3D-printable blueprints) to the world for the foreseeable future.

2. It would be nice to melt Facebook and Twitter with this image of a cat pulling a 3D-printed chariot:

Do share by clicking the "share this project" button up top. Click iiiiitt.

The success of my first 3d printing Kickstarter was a convincing argument that yes, maybe I could make a go of running a small 3D print shop. I've got plenty of ideas and I've got a 3D printer, but lack the infrastructure necessary for churning out designs at anything approaching craft-batch quantities. That's where your backing comes into the picture.

Your help, at any level, will help me to realize my lifelong dream of sleepless nights, kvetchy customer service, lower back pain, and an uncomfortable level of intimacy with Wisconsin small business tax law.

With your assistance, Zheng Labs will become a small 21st-century fabrication facility, cranking out artisanal 3D-printed fun and shipping it worldwide. It'll be like that quirky bistro down the street, but with geometry, thermoplastics, and no food.

Designing The Chariot

Faire Play demonstrated that people enjoy seeing Barbie in non-traditional roles, so revisiting the Barbie-as-warrior trope was a no-brainer for Kickstarter #2. But what else does the Internet like?

Cats.

I'm told the Internet likes cats.

Coco just happened to arrive at Casa de Zheng right around the time I was looking for a project hook. A fusion of kittens, toys, and 3D printing became inevitable. Design work began immediately.

First: a cardboard mockup to get a feel for scale and feasibility.

Second, a proof-of-concept print. Can I actually print a chariot big enough to be Barbie-scale? And what to do about the axle? Long, skinny shapes can be difficult to 3D print.

A #2 pencil makes a surprisingly good axle at this scale. With that design problem addressed, the next iteration explored a more fluid shape for the chariot's basket.

And finally, after a month of nights-and-weekends vertex wrangling in Autodesk Maya we've got something close to the final design.

Prototypes and planning are important in a project like this: the lion's head motif didn't read visually once the chariot's arm was attached, so Mufasa went to the slowly fermenting pile of decent but ultimately unworkable ideas, replaced by eagle wings and grapevines.

Here's the back of the basket, which in an ideal world would be upholstered with fine Corinthian leather.

The combat kit is a derivative of the original Faire Play armor, and is still compatible with the Barbie Fashionistas line of dolls.

It's important to reiterate that I'm not affiliated with Mattel in any way, I'm not selling Barbie dolls, and so far, haven't been sued. Let's keep that streak going!

That net is flexible and printable on a home 3D printer. Full disclosure: it's spray-painted metallic silver for this photo.

Here, the laurel is printed flat on my freakishly reliable and accurate Type A Machines Series 1 printer:

...and then warmed up with a hair dryer (because of course Barbie has a hair dryer) for deformation into its final shape:

A Bit About Backer Rewards

A Kickstarter for fifteen grand is a tremendous journey to undertake. It's unlikely that there are enough people who want 3D blueprints or Barbie-compatible chariots as backer rewards, and there's no way I'm offering up the cat.

So what to offer? How can we fund the creation of a production facility that will continue to churn out fun 3D printed designs to the public long after this Kickstarter is a happy memory?

Lithopanes! These little prints are magical when they catch the sunlight and transform from an opaque plastic square to a glowing photographic image.

I'll customize one for you at the $35 backing level! Send me a favorite photo and you'll receive a 3D printed version of it to hang in a window. Just about any photo will work.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Mothers' Day will be here faster than you can say "gas station emergency flower bouquet." Just think about that for a second, and then get your mom a custom lithopane.

If you'd like a different backer reward and a custom lithopane, just add $35 to your pledge. Add another $10 to super-size your print. We'll sort the math out after the Kickstarter's done.

Some of the backer rewards for Faire Play 2 are digital and will be distributed under a Creative Commons license. Backers will be free to modify, redistribute, and even sell the digital files and their derivatives.

Other Credits

Many, many thanks to composers Stephen O'Brien, Brett McCoy, and Michael Wiktorko for making their excellent music available on Soundcloud for anyone to use.

A complete list of sound effects used in the video is available here. Thanks to all the sound designers who put their work up on Freesound.org.

Thanks also to Steve Deffeyes for his excellent Roman font.

Much credit must go to my daughter for Barbie and Sparky's clothing production. Also thanks to Coco who had no idea what she was getting into when she became Zheng Labs' official feline, and who has worn her harness with as much dignity as any kitten could be expected to maintain under such circumstances.

You guys. This cat.

Risks and challenges

No venture is without risks, but in this case they're minimal. Many, many bugs got ironed out the last time we went into the breach.

The digital rewards delivery system has been rebuilt since Kickstarter #1, so the road should be smoother with Faire Play 2. The 3D printed rewards have a low printing failure rate, which will minimize production hiccups.

Fulfilling physical rewards was the most difficult phase of my first Kickstarter, so I'll be working to refine and optimize the process this time around. As Grandma Zheng used to say, learn by doing, and don't bother me when Murder She Wrote is on.

There's a distinct possibility my ovaries will explode if Chris Hemsworth says "Ultron we would have words with thee" during Avengers 2 in May. Barring that sort of massive personal injury, the most likely mishaps to befall this Kickstarter are minor production and shipping delays.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    Meh. I like this project, but not *that* much. Your video was funny though, and worth two dollars so that I can feel something. Anything. Also I'm looking forward to watching you jump the shark with Kickstarter #3 later this year.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    OMG. This project rules, but I have no access to a 3D printer. However, I'd like to feel superior to the people who only coughed up two bucks.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    14 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Emperor Sparky the T. rex will mail you a postcard emblazoned with his image on the front and a personalized thank you message on the back. Fair warning: Sparky is a narcissist and a moron.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $11 or more About $11

    Digital arms and armor: You'll receive the digital files for a Barbie-compatible trident, net, and gladiator armor, as seen in the video.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Best Postcards Ever! I'll turn four of the best stills from this Kickstarter video into quality postcards for your mailing pleasure. Plus, you'll receive Babs' digital gladiator armor and weapons as listed above.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Empress Makeover Kit! You'll receive a 3D printed dagger, laurel, and brooch set compatible with the Barbie Fashionistas line of dolls, as well a pair of combat-ready wedge sandals so that Barbie can stand on her own two feet without falling over. You'll also receive the digital files for these items, and all the digital rewards mentioned at previous backing levels.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    You'll recieve the digital files for the chariot *and* all the digital weapons, armor, and accoutrements listed above. All these files are Creative Commons-licensed, so feel free to print a bunch of chariots and hawk them to the nearest gathering of Roman reenactors.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    13 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Custom Lithopane! Send me a photo and I'll ship you a customized 3D lithopane of your favorite subject. Kids, cats, cars, whatever. Add $10 to super-size your lithopane. Do NOT send me photos of your junk.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Digital files mega-pack! This backing level gets you the digital files listed above plus files for every printable prop designed by Zheng Labs for the video: a Barbie-compatible welding mask, brooches, amulet, laurels, and dagger. Heck, I'll throw in a (digital) Barbie-compatible gladius and shield as well.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    14 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    I have no interest in physical items, recognition, or rewards of any kind but I consider fifty bucks a small price to pay for bending the historical dialectic towards equality. I'll take a sheet of custom Emperor Sparky the T. rex stickers for my niece though, so that she can start her own patriarchy. You'll also receive the postcards and digital rewards mentioned above.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    3D-printed Chariot kit! You'll receive a Barbie-compatible 3D printed chariot that can in theory be pulled by cats, printed at Zheng Labs in golden biodegradable plastic. Some assembly required; I'll include a #2 pencil for the axle. This backing level also includes postcards, Emperor Sparky stickers, and all the digital rewards mentioned so far.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Assembled Chariot! Is your time valuable? You bet your bippy it is. Backers at this level will receive a fully assembled 3D-printed chariot, no assembly required. Leave the adhesives, sanding, shaping, and trimming to the plebes. Open the package and you're off to the proverbial races. You'll get the postcards, stickers, and digital rewards previously listed as well.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    You'll receive a fully assembled 3D printed chariot. A trident. The gladiator armor Barbie's wearing in the Kickstarter video. A net. A 3D PRINTED NET, PEOPLE. A set of postcards. A set of Emperor Sparky stickers. All this *and* all the digital rewards previously listed. You can't lose.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)