New Making

Low Poly Mask

Inspired by the low poly glitch in the object below (cocktail base), I decided to try to explore this angular aesthetic more within the context of digital making. At the same time I was also interested in trying 3d scanning. Therefore, for my final artifact I made a low poly mask of my actual face.

After scanning my face I processed the 3d information on Skanect, and meticulously carved away at the model in 3ds Max until only what I wanted was left. I purposely made the mask unsymmetrical both as a practical consideration (parts of the scan were very rough) and as a  A E S T H E T I C  choice.

Then I fired up Meshmixer where I did some digital sculpting just to remove glitches like large pits or high bumps (especially around the edges), and then decimated the model (turn into low poly). I played around with the decimation settings for a bit before I got the size and distribution of the polygons just right. I made sure that the polygons were large enough to clearly show the faceted aesthetic while keeping just enough resolution to still be able to recognized the face on the mask as my own. To get it to actually 3d print I had to give the mask volume, so I took it over to Rhino and 3d offset a 2mm thickness.

I then printed it on an Ultimaker 2+. I would have rather done it on a 3 that way I could simply dissolve away the support structure instead of painstakingly chipping away at it piece by piece by a chisel. Speaking of support structures, the support structure for the mask produced some very interesting coral-like web structures. From what I can tell this is caused by the extruder scrapping by the support as it moves between them, slowly building them up like stalagmites in a cave. This may be attributed to the fact that in a bid to speed up the 2 day print time I dialed down the support density to 10% and a ‘line’ in fill pattern which created these large gaps for the plastic coral to develop.

Finally here is the final thing in all its glory and splendor. Originally I wanted to cut holes for the eyes and possibly paint it, but seeing it now I think it is perfect as it is. The low poly aesthetic works to convey both a sense futuristic abstraction and bone chilling eeriness, making it a great death mask.


All in all this project has tough me a lot about technology, experimenting and just having fun with making. which unfortunately for University projects are not always the case. I can use the skills and experience from this to make even cooler and wackier things.

Chris Chong signing out.