We launched our 3D printing platform Threeding.com back in December 2013 and one of the challenges we faced was to convince designers of 3D printable models to sell through us. This business is like chicken and the egg: designers upload models when they see a lot of models, but you get a lot of models from designers. That’s why, in the beginning it was very difficult to get 3D printable designs and we are very grateful to all people that helped us at that time. One of them is Jim Rodda, known with his art nickname Zheng3. Jim joined Threeding’s community in December 2013 and immediately uploaded couple of dozens 3D printable models. He was our 21st registered user and we are very thankful to him. As a gesture, we’ve decided to present him and his art in the form of an interview.
Tony, Threeding.com: Hi Jim. Thank you for accepting my invitation. You are one of our first contributors and it is a great honor having you for this interview. Can you tell our audience more about you?
Jim: Howdy to all my pals at Threeding! I'm very privileged to be here and thrilled to have Threeding hosting my models where they can reach a wider audience. By day I'm the creative director for an indie video game studio - I spend my nights and weekends cranking out 3D printable models for fun. I'm also waging a one-man campaign to stop the 3D printing of Yoda heads. WE HAVE ENOUGH YODA HEADS, PEOPLE.
Tony, Threeding.com: When did you start making 3D printable models and what did it get you to this?
Jim: I've been designing in 3D since before dedicated GPU's were a thing, but I didn't start actually making 3D-printable stuff until a few years ago. I saw a 3D printing demo online and realized I had to get into it as soon as I could.
Tony, Threeding.com: How do you create your models?
Jim: I use Maya, mostly, with pre-production sketches usually done in Photoshop. Every now and then I'll dig into OpenSCAD when I need gears or other mechanical components for a model.
Tony, Threeding.com: Which is your favorite 3D printable model?
Jim: Out of all my models, Robber Rex is my favorite. I've got a lot of respect for Loubie3D's work, and the folks at 3DKitbash are really turning out some fantastic models. DesignMakeTeach is also doing wonderful work using 3D printing to get the next generation of designers excited about the technology.
Tony, Threeding.com: You have more than 80 models available at Threeding and it seems that you have 3D printed most of them. What 3D printer did you use?
Jim: Some of those model photos go way, way back in time to 2012! I generally use my Makerbot Replicator 1 and Type A Machines Series 1. All Zheng3 models are designed to print without supports, because using supports somehow makes the process a little less magical.
Tony, Threeding.com: I remember about Dungeon Blocks at Kickstarter. What happened to it?
Jim: Dungeon Blocks, unfortunately, didn't work out. I still have all the models and the concept work, and I might revisit the concept later when I have access to a 5-axis CNC so I can mill the blocks out of wood.
Tony, Threeding.com: Do you plan to raise funds with another 3D printing project?
Jim: You betcha. I'm working on pre-production for my next 3D printing Kickstarter, and hope to launch sometime in Spring 2016. [Join The Horde](http://horde.zheng3.com) to be among the first to learn about the launch! Everybody who signs up gets a free 3D model that's not available anywhere else.
Tony, Threeding.com: Is there something interesting that you are planning to create?
Jim: Yes! I'm always working on something-- check out zheng3.com for a peek at the latest and greatest from Zheng Labs. Also, we've started working out production snafus for Kickstarter #4 over at Etsy with my new Dice Citadels.
Tony, Threeding.com: What do you think will be the future of 3D printing as an industry?
Jim: This is a really exciting time for 3D printing both at both the hobbyist and industrial level. We'll start seeing hobbyist DLP printers break the $2500 mark soon enough. Bio-printing is an up-and-coming technology, too: just wait until that hits your local makerspace. And when Carbon3D's CLIP technology becomes widespread? Look out, baby. If that process is as awesome as the demos imply, it'll be a game-changer.
Tony, Threeding.com: Anything else you want to share with us:
Jim: Thanks again for the opportunity to speak about my work! I think Threeding's doing a fantastic service for the 3D printing community and I wish you the best of luck in the future. Happy 2016 to you all!
You can visit Jim’s website, his Threeding Store and follow hit at Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.