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Make Your Barbie Battle-Ready With 3D-Printed Armor

Ever wish a suit of armor was among Barbie's many outfits? So does 3D printing enthusiast Jim Rodda. His prototype Barbie-fitted armor, called Faire Play, transforms the popular doll into a noble warrior.

Rodda is currently at work refining the designs, and will sell finished prints via a just-launched Kickstarter campaign. The prints are currently scheduled to ship this summer.

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Rodda, also known as Zheng3 in the hobbyist design community, says his four-year-old niece inspired him to design the Faire Play armor.

"Barbie has had many occupations over her long and storied career. Astronaut, veterinarian, pinup and princess more times than I can count," he wrote on his Kickstarter page. "She has not, to my knowledge, cosplayed as Brienne of Tarth until now."

On the Kickstarter, pledging $5 will get you the simple "field plate armor," and $10 will get you the "fancy parade armor" that Rodda is also currently designing.

Rodda is not affiliated with Mattel, the company that makes Barbie dolls. According to the Kickstarter page, the money goes to the plastic used in the prints, as well as the time he spent on design. Both sets of armor will eventually be freely available under a Creative Commons license, meaning people can download, modify, and resell them at will so long as they credit Rodda.

A set of Greek-inspired Barbie armor and weapons, called the Athena Makeover Kit, is already freely available to download from Rodda's website. 

Rodda made the prototype Faire Play armor depicted above by taking photographs of a Mattel Barbie Fashionistas Doll and using them to get the right dimensions. Then he designed the armor in the computer-aided design software Maya and printed them in a low-resolution Makerbot Replicator1. 

Backers of the Kickstarter will receive their finished Faire Play kits and the digital print files in June or July, according to Rodda. People who pledge more will receive the armor in biodegradable plastic. And for top-tier backers who pay $300, Rodda promises a custom-designed shield emblazoned with a heraldic device of your choice.

Of course, computer design-savvy people can do just about all of this themselves by modifying the free Creative Commons files that Rodda hopes to have completed by summer 2014. 

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