Our ‘E3D meets…’ blog series shines a light on some of the biggest 3D printing community champions, and then peeks inside their workshop.
By complete coincidence, we bumped into creative technologist and professional problem solver Allie Katz recently. This felt like a great time to learn all about them and what they're up to. And of course, take a look at their creative space, too!
Hello Allie! Introduce yourself a little – where are you from originally?
Hi! My name is Allie Katz, and I run the creative brand Katz Creates. I’m originally from the United States but I’ve been in the UK for nearly 12 years now.
Lots of folks may still know me online as Geeky Faye Art, but I’ve recently made a big shift in online presence, so that name is no more!
It’s Allie Katz! The face of the YouTube channel ‘Katz Creates’ (formerly known as ‘Geeky Faye Art’)
“Lots of folks may still know me online as Geeky Faye Art, but I’ve recently made a big shift in online presence, so that name is no more!”
Have you always been a creative? What’s the earliest project you remember doing?
An enthusiastic yes to this – I’ve always been creative. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to make things, whether it was something like drawing, or building things with Lincoln Logs.
The first significant creative project I can recall was a painting I did at age ten that got featured in an art exhibition at a local university. I kid you not: it was a Cubist rendition of Garfield the Cat. I was maybe a bit of an overachiever, even then.
When did you get involved in 3D printing? What was the first thing you 3D printed?
I got my first 3D printer in 2018, though it took me a while to really get into it. I think one of the first things I 3D printed (besides the test prints on the SD card) was a small Katamari ball from the game ‘Katamari Damacy’. It was meant to be a cat toy for a friend.
Is there a 3D printer that stands out among the ones you’ve used?
I’ve only really used a few, and I only own two myself! Once I got the kinks worked out of it, my Prusa MK3S has been a real rock star and very reliable. It’s very much my go-to 3D printer.
Allie working on a Prusa MK3
Did you know we make the HotEnds for those? On that note, do you have a favourite 3D printing HotEnd?! We noticed an E3D V6 in your logo!
Good eye! 😉 The E3D V6 was the first HotEnd I really got on with, and still one of my favourites. I also chose it for the logo because it’s very visually distinctive, and people recognise it! Designers recognise good design, basically. 😉
Our V6 HotEnd made it into Allie's logo (even the groove mount!)
I’m very torn between whether my favourite 3D printing HotEnd is V6 or Volcano HotEnds. I LOVE the Volcano for its increased volumetric flow; I can print with pretty much the biggest nozzles imaginable for 1.75mm filament, and it never struggles. That said, it doesn’t have the nozzle range the V6 has, and as everyone on the internet already knows, I love me some nozzle variation. I currently have over 15 different V6 nozzles and I’ve used almost every single one.
“The E3D V6 was the first HotEnd I really got on with, and still one of my favourites”
Do you have a dream 3D printing setup?
There are probably quite a few 3D printers that I would love to get my hands on to try, but I think if I had to narrow it down, the ToolChanger is right at the top of the list because it can do SO MANY things, beyond even additive manufacturing. That would also give me an opportunity to get to try out more different HotEnds, like the Revo!
What about 3D printing materials? I bet you’ve seen a few of those in your time.
I LOVE colour, so my prints are often PLA, recycled or eco-friendly PLA where possible. That said, I have a deep love for the wild possibilities of TPU and have been working on mastering the tricky material. I’m looking forward to levelling up with even softer TPU in the future.
We might have an extrusion system hitting the shelves soon to help with that 😉
Tell us more about your clean air necklace project. What was the process to make it? Where’s the worst pollution it’s picked up so far?
The Clean Air Necklace is customisable in what kind of air pollution it’s looking at. I set mine up with PM 2.5, which is a pretty good all-around type of pollution to look at, but you could easily set it up with PM 10 or PM 1.0, or switch out the sensor and monitor CO2 or volatile organic compounds.
So far, the highest measurements have been near cigarette smokers, as even outside the toxins in the smoke don’t dissipate as quickly as you may think. That said, London is consistently bad everywhere! If you want to see the process behind making it, I’ve got a video for that!
Allie’s Clean Air Necklace
“I have a deep love for the wild possibilities of TPU and have been working on mastering the tricky material”
What’s your favourite project so far?
This is a really hard thing to narrow down into a single thing, but I think at a push I might say BMOctoprint, even though it isn’t yet finished. It was a first for a lot of things for me, and since it’s something I intend to share open source for others to make, I’m very keen to make it have a good user experience as well, and I feel like I’ve been readily ticking all these boxes.
Show and tell us your workshop! We love workshops!
My workshop is small but mighty! I’ve put a ton of time and thought into the layout of the space, including getting into 3D software to visualise the space and try out different combinations! Because I live in London, the amount of space I had to work with was tiny; just 4x2 metres, but I think I’ve done an excellent job with it, partly thanks to Billie Ruben and her amazing guide to organising your maker space when you have ADHD (which I absolutely do have).
It’s very much based around a few key bits, including a custom-ish repurposed IKEA kitchen countertop unit, and my lovely little corner desk. Making the most out of the walls has been massively helpful, and a lot of that has been possible thanks to 3D printing. I designed a lot of bits and bobs to accommodate things I have that needed homes, like my tripods and light stands. The space is very full but it’s well utilised. All I need now is more space!
Allie Katz's creative space
Prusa and Creality 3D printers, plus a filament storage box
We bumped into you at Makers Central recently. Will we bump into you at any other shows this year?
Gosh, I do hope so! I had such a brilliant time getting to see people in person for once! I absolutely love in person events and hope to be at some more in the future. Maybe even as a guest or representative! 😉
Do you ever do any commissioned work for people?
Commissions are probably the main type of work I do! I enjoy working with people one on one to either help them achieve their creative vision or create something incredible for them. Since I am a massive generalist and collector of skills, I’m able to offer a huge range of solutions to problems instead of only being able to create one type of design or build. I’m also stubborn and obsessive with my work, meaning I tend to not quit until it’s perfect. A definite perk if you’re hiring me, maybe less good for me and my free time!
One more question: Have you joined The E3D Discord yet?
I have! You can find me hanging out there. I also have my own Discord server so come and say hi there, too!
Don’t forget to check out Allie’s portfolio to see all their work!
Want to learn more about the makers and shakers in the 3D printing community? Keep an eye on the E3D blog!