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Written by Sibi 

30/09/2022

E3D meets Andrew Sink

Andrew Sink

TL;DR: Last week we caught up with the one and only Andrew Sink. We spoke about his journey with additive manufacturing, how he got into it in the first place and some of his upcoming projects. Read on to find out all the juicy details he shared exclusively with E3D! 

Hi Andrew, this has been a long time coming! Go ahead and introduce yourself to our community

Hi E3D! My name is Andrew Sink, and I’m an enthusiastic advocate for 3D printing, 3D scanning, and all things related to additive manufacturing technology! 

I work full time as a Senior Applications Engineer at a leading additive manufacturing technology company, and I also run a YouTube channel which focuses on hobbyist 3D printing. I’ve been writing about 3D printing since 2012 and have been working in the additive industry full-time since 2014.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. Tell us about your first-ever experience with 3D printers and what got you into 3D printing.   

My first prints were made on a Stratasys uPrint and a 3D Systems V-Flash, both of which I had access to via the engineering lab at my college. I had no clue what I was doing back then, but I made a 3D scan of my face using 123D Catch (an early photogrammetry app from Autodesk) and printed it out on those machines. It took input and help from many people to get to that first finished model. Right then, I was immediately hooked and wanted to make more 3D prints as well as teach myself everything I could about this fascinating technology. Seeing a model being created in front of me was an absolutely life-changing experience and I haven’t looked back since!

Andrew's first print from 2012
Andrew's first print from 2012

We’ve seen your work on photogrammetry, tell our community a bit about this and how you cracked Google’s facial recognition!

I was inspired to start this project after reading about the $40,000 bounty (still unclaimed!) that FaceTec had put on their facial recognition software. I remembered when I uploaded a picture of my first 3D print to Facebook back in 2012, it automatically tagged me in the picture. 

Inspired by this, I started working on a new 3D model of my face that had been made with a high-end industrial 3D scanner. The new model was printed on my Prusa MK3S (with an E3D V6 nozzle!) and I spent a few months on and off working on making the most realistic mask I could. In the end, Google would consistently identify the mask as me in the Photos app, but I was never able to defeat the FaceTec software and claim the bounty. 

The printed scan of Andrew's face; it fit perfectly
Time lapse video of the face mask being printed
Google Photos automatically recognised the mask as Andrew and tagged him in the picture

We love your 3D Low Poly Generator, tell us a bit more about it and its applications.   

The 3D Low Poly Generator (lowpoly3d.xyz) is a browser-based app for making low poly models from .STL files. I created it for beginners who are interested in making their own low poly 3D models but who don’t have CAD or 3D modeling experience. Just upload a file, reduce the number of triangles, and export when you’re finished! Low poly art is one of my favourite styles, and I wanted to create a tool to make it easier for anyone to make their own low poly sculptures.

The entire app is open-source and written in JavaScript, and uses the three.js library for browser-based 3D rendering. I’ve already had a few pull requests on GitHub with improvements, so feel free to contribute if you have ideas! The Open Source community has driven a lot of innovation in the additive manufacturing space, and this project was my way of giving something back.

A model that has been decimated using the 3D Low Poly Generator
The low poly art style has been a favourite of Andrew for a long time (Photo Credit: POLISHDAN Creative)

What would your dream 3D printer setup be?     

I don’t know what kind of printer it would be, but I know it would have an E3D Revo nozzle!   

What’s your next big project?    

I’ve been talking about making a pizza printer a lot lately, because you can extrude the three main ingredients: dough, sauce, and cheese. I think printing directly onto a metal tray would let you make an interesting (and possibly non-planar) pizza that could be placed directly into an oven! 

Using a design from fellow YouTuber Constantijn, I previously made a 3D printer that was capable of frosting cookies and making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Making a full pizza feels like the next step!

A 3D printer frosting cookies

Is there anything else you'd like to share with the community?   

If you’ve got a compatible 3D printer, definitely check out the E3D Revo! Being able to swap nozzles with no tools has been a huge time-saver for me. In addition, I love the innovation coming out of E3D with the new Revo ObXidian! 

Revo ObXidian Nozzles

Get involved in the E3D community!      

We'd like to thank Andrew for sharing his work and so much more with us. If you want to stay up to date with Andrew's projects, access his 
Low poly 3D generator or buy him a coffee, check out all of his links here

Find lots of other hints and tips from other 3D printing enthusiasts to make your 3D prints better! Join the conversation on Discord, follow our blog, and keep in touch on our socials. Do you have an impressive 3D printing project you’d like us to highlight? Get in touch and we can feature you!