Thursday, 17 April 2014

3D on the Rocks

A Japanese creative agency applies "cutting-edge" technology to chunks of ice to create multidimensional mini sculptures best enjoyed over -- or in -- a cocktail.

3D printing is definitely all the craze these days, creating everything from bike charms to a house. however there is another technology which will produce useful and exquisite shapes that is not obtaining quite as much attention. These "computer numerical control" carving machines take a style fed in by a computer then use sharp tools to whittle a block of fabric like wood or metal into the selected form.

Japanese creative agency TBWA\Hakuhodo recently applied CNC router technology in a very distinctive way to produce a series of beautiful ice cubes for Japanese liquor company Suntory as a part of a completely unique campaign. whereas the agency created its own cubes that includes such styles as a shark, the sculpture of Liberty, and a high-heeled shoe, it additionally ran a contest and asked customers to submit their favorite style concepts. 10 entrants were then elect, shuttled to a secret location in Tokyo (they still will not tell Maine wherever it was!), and given a drink that includes their own miniature ice sculpture.

CNC router was kept chilled to a temperature of -7 degrees Celcius (about 19 Fahrenheit) to keep the cubes from melting

the carving machine takes data from Autodesk 123D, an awesome desktop and iOS app that lets you use your iPhone or iPad to capture a 3D image of anything you'd like, manipulate it, and then print it out using a 3D printer, CNC router, laser cutter, or even a holographic printing proces

the first step in the creation process is for the machine to carve the ice with a thick bit. The intricate detail is then added with a finer tip. After the cubes are made a touch of chilled whiskey polishes the surface of the ice and gives a beautiful shine to the sculpture

If you're thinking of having 3D-carved ice cubes at your next party, however, think again. According to Fujiwara, each cube took between 1 and 6 hours to make depending on the complexity of the design. 


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