You know you want this. You know do. You know how I know? Because you’re on the internet, and if you’re on the internet then I really shouldn’t have to explain to you why a 3D printable Barbie-ridden tardigrade is a must-have item. Not only is this awesome tardigrade fully 3D printable, but it’s huge, about the size of a regular house cat, and it can be posed in a bunch of positions. Even better, it comes with 3D printable cave woman clothing that will fit a Barbie, because naturally if you’re going to have a large posable tardigrade, it’s going to need a rider who is appropriately dressed. And maybe you don’t have any Barbies, so what, that’s cool, IT’S STILL A FULLY ARTICULATED TARDIGRADE! I shouldn’t even have to sell this to you people, come on.
So what exactly is a tardigrade? Well, it’s only the toughest, hardiest and most indestructible animal on the planet, that’s what. They are microscopic, water-dwelling animals that can be found on every corner of the planet, and they are so durable that they will survive in conditions extreme enough to kill nearly everything else. Tardigrades, also called water bears, can survive temperatures as cold as -458°F (-272°C) and as hot as 300°F (150°C), pressures six times greater than found in deep ocean trenches, and they can even survive in the vacuum of space. Oh, and they can go without food for as long as thirty years. Basically, these things are almost unkillable, so I really can’t think of any creature that I’d rather Cave Woman Barbie ride into battle on, can you?
The giant 3D printable tardigrade is part of Faire Play III, the series of 3D printing projects from Jim “Zheng3” Rodda, who also gave us an amazing 3D printable chariot that can be worn by your cat. Rodda’s, let’s call it charming, obsession with Barbie doll-sized creations started innocently enough when he decided to try and 3D print some My Little Pony glitter cannons for his four-year-old niece. How that morphed into the 3D printable Barbie suit of medieval armor is anyone’s guess, but it led him to launch the original Faire Play Kickstarter campaign, and he was able to successfully raise $6,000. This is his third Faire Play project, and clearly his most ambitious yet.
The fully articulated tardigrade model, that Rodda has named Brenda, is made from about sixty-one individual pieces, and it is a pretty huge project. Brenda is made of five different movable body segments, and eight articulated legs. She comes with a saddle and a mounting bracket for Barbie’s yoga mat, because she’s a fashion doll on the go and may need to stop for a quick stretch once in a while. Brenda also includes a Barbie-sized furkini and matching boots that can be 3D printed using flexible NinjaFlex-type (TPE) 3D printing filaments and a Mongol-style recurve bow and a three-headed flail.
Rodda is releasing Faire Play III as a pay-what-you-like download with a $1 minimum rather than a Kickstarter this time around. Mostly because Faire Play 2 failed to successfully fund, because you are bad people, or more likely because you were afraid of what your cat would do to you if you tried to attach a chariot to them. And to be fair, that is probably a pretty good reason, my cat has been trying to murder me since that notorious bumble bee costume incident of 2007. It turns out that a pet-sized headband with bumble bee antenna won’t just look adorable on your cat, but it will also drive him into a murderous frenzy the ends with broken windows, broken trust and broken skin.
So make sure that you support Rodda this time around by download your very own Brenda. Yes, you will have to paint Brenda to make sure that she looks like the badass tardigrade warrior that she is, but that’s a small price to pay for getting your very own poseable tardigrade. And at $1, it’s literally a small price to pay. Plus as a bonus, the 3D models are all licensed under a Creative Commons license, so you can convert, customize or alter the model as much as you want as long as you give Rodda proper attribution. You can buy your own copy of Brenda, and learn more about all of his projects over on Rodda’s website. Does your Barbie need some of these accessories? Discuss in the Barbie 3D Printed Accessories forum over at 3DPB.com.