Get 3D-printed armor for Barbie

Posted by Buzz on Fri, Jul 18, 2014
3D printed armor and accessories by 3D artist Zheng3 (Jim Rodda). Source:

3D printed armor and accessories by 3D artist Zheng3 (Jim Rodda). Source:

Spice up your Barbie collection with some 3D-printed armor. Just fork over $29.99 and you’ll get:

Three sets of 3D-printable files for:

Athena Makeover Kit
Faire Play Parade Armor
Faire Play Field Plate Armor

Also included is a squiring guide and a PDF printing checklist.

For a few detail shots, check out the gallery below, or go here for even more.

The project was funded via a Kickstarter campaign that closed April 11, 2014. The campaign cleared it’s $5,000 goal and raised an additional $1,000 as icing on the cake. Be sure to check out the awesome video (see below).



All this is brought to you by 3D artist Zheng3 (aka Jim Rodda of Appleton, Wis.), who’s got a wonderful site full of tips, tricks and how-tos on 3D printing.

We’ll be spending lots of time there.


Images via:

Click thumbnail to zoom. Images are high resolution, so please be patient with load times.

Esther Honig’s “Beauty” project proves work on sites like is mostly crap

Posted by Buzz on Mon, Jun 30, 2014
Horrific photo retouching effort that's typical of what you get from sites like (Click to enlarge...if you dare)                 Photo source: Esther Honig

Horrific photo retouching effort that’s typical of what you get from sites like (Click to enlarge…if you dare)            All photos from: Esther Honig

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few days, you’ve likely seen journalist Esther Honig’s social experiment she conducted in which she asked 40 photo retouchers from all over the globe to use Adobe Photoshop to “make me beautiful.” The request was made via freelancing sites like, and the results were supposed to show how standards of beauty “vary across cultures on a global level.”

It’s an interesting anecdotal study to conduct, and one that’s certainly garnering her lots of mentions from sites like The Huffington Post, InStyle, Us and People among others. Lots of people are trying to extract some deeper meaning from the project, nevermind that it’s fatally flawed because it’s more about what each individual artist’s view of beauty is rather than the society/culture (as a whole) in which they live. 

However, there are a couple of things Honig’s experiment reveals that should be glaringly obvious.

1. The quality of work you get from sites like Fiverr is, by and large, complete crap.

2. If you pay someone between $5 and $30, as Honig did, you get what you pay for.

Now, we’re not trying to say that all freelancing sites are devoid of truly talented artists, designers, photographers, writers, etc., or to go on some rant about the evils of sites like these. Heck, we’ve used Elance in the past and will likely continue to do so. We’ve found it to be a decent resource to introduce our work to new clients, and have received lots of repeat business and formed longstanding relationships with many of them.

However, the vast majority of the work in Honig’s project is just horribly amateurish and heavy-handed (see some of the most egregious examples at bottom of this post — the U.S. entries are particularly awful), and shows that truly outstanding work is few and far between on those sites. This should really come as no surprise since the entire premise of Fiverr is based on getting work done on the cheap, from prices starting at $5, which is where the site gets its name.

How many people who have any amount of experience and talent hang out on that site in hopes of earning a measly $5? My guess is the percentage is extremely low, because their skills are worth more than that. So what you end up with are a bunch of amateurs and hacks, or at best professionals who are just starting their careers, who really have no idea what they’re doing and need more experience using the tools of the trade.

Hey, I understand that business budgets are tight, and everyone’s looking for a deal, but do you honestly expect to pay someone $5 and get a world-class finished product in return? Heck, even middle-of-the-road work for $5? Really?

If you’re in the business world and you or your company are tempted to use sites like Fiverr, please go into it with your eyes wide open. You need to be VERY selective when choosing a provider for whatever service you’re needing performed because the vast majority just don’t have the skills to provide truly high-quality work. You only have to look at Honig’s project to see that’s most definitely true. Vetting providers on sites like these is CRITICAL. Do you due diligence. Otherwise you’ll be paying someone else to come in after the fact and clean up the mess. Then the cost will be even greater than if you’d just hired someone who knows what they’re doing in the first place.

What’s interesting is that Fiverr posted something on their blog about how proud they were of the project, but after seeing the quality of work that came from most of the  “artists,” I’m not sure what they have to be proud of. If anything it exposed a long-known truth best summed up in this quote from Red Adair, the legendary oil well firefighter:


“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional

to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”


Click thumbnails to see enlarged image. I’d say she got her money’s worth.