Undoubtedly, you've been struggling with this pressing question for a long time: What in the hell would a laser-cut ham and cheese sandwich modeled in the form of Vin Diesel look like?
We're pleased to say we now have an answer.
William Osman, a sort of Bill Nye for the Millennial age, has a YouTube channel in which he does "projects that revolve around film tech and robotics." Another way of putting it is that Osman makes himself "look like a moron on the internet." The mechanical and electrical engineer from Ventura, California recently responded to the following viewer request: "Please sculpt a bust of Vin Diesel using laser cut cross sections of laser sliced ham." Rather than dismiss the request out of hand, Osman set to work, using his trusty laser cutter and two large, cheap blocks of ham and cheese. The result is a video that has received more than 100,000 views on YouTube.
MUNCHIES just had to learn more, so we reached out to Osman to find out how this particular project came about, and what exactly became of the world's first ham-and-cheese Vin Diesel sandwich.
MUNCHIES: You explained it briefly in the video, but can you tell our readers why in the hell you decided to laser-cut a bust of Vin Diesel out of ham and cheese and then turn that into a sandwich?
William Osman: A viewer by the username RestroomSounds suggested cutting a bust of Vin Diesel from ham. We twisted that into a sandwich. I love viewer suggestions; they let me place all the blame on them when the idea is truly terrible.
How long did it take you to put the entire sandwich/bust together and how long did it take to create the Vin Diesel model?
CameraManJohn (John Willner) modeled the bust in Autodesk's Maya in about eight hours. This was his first time modeling a real face. The model was sliced with Autodesk's Slicer in less than ten minutes. Their slicing software is totally free, runs standalone, and is incredibly powerful (they're not paying me, I swear). Loading ham slices onto the laser for cutting was the most time-consuming part. We spent an hour cutting and about 30 minutes assembling the stack.
And are you a big fan of Vin Diesel?
I am Groot.
What kind of ham and cheese did you end up using for the sandwich?
The cheapest, largest, rectangular, deli meat we could find. Same with the cheese. We used about 40 6.5 x 4.5 inch slices or $6 worth of cheap ham. I haven't had much time to play with the slicing software, but it didn't populate the ham slices very efficiently; more than half the ham was wasted. You're never going to use 100 percent of the material stock, but I think it could have done better.
You seem to have a lot of videos that feature food. Why do you think that is?
People like destruction, and food is one of the safer things to cut on a laser. Plus it's analogous to the highly requested "cut human flesh"… Some materials produce toxic fumes and you can't ever be sure what you're cutting if you throw a cell phone or battery under the laser.
What would you say your favorite sandwich is?
Actually, I just made a ham and cheese sandwich with the leftover non-lasered ham and cheese. I really like Cubanos, which are basically a ham and cheese sandwich.
Were you surprised with how the entire thing came out in the end?
It came out better than expected. The only issue was with small details on the ears falling apart.
What did you end up doing with the Vin Diesel ham and cheese sandwich? Did you taste it?
It's in my refrigerator still, next to the laser-cut gingerbread trailer from four months ago. People have suggested putting it in a block of clear acrylic resin. I tasted a few of the scrap ham slices for science, and it tastes terrible. The edges are super-heated during laser cutting which causes weird things to happen. Imagine licking a piece of charcoal.
What advice would you give to others who would like to laser-cut the likeness of an actor into food?
Just do it. Don't let your dreams be dreams.
Thanks for speaking with us, William.