Instructables

Step 9:

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When you're all done, the ice ball maker should operate like shown above.  Perfect ice balls!

Wondering how I got such clear ice to start with?  Then check out my other Instructable, how to make crystal clear blocks of ice.

Attached are some very basic AutoCAD files of my design.  They contain the original 125x125x75 mm block and the same block with a hemisphere carved into it.  You should be able to import these into your CAM program (like SprutCAM), but I recommend starting from scratch to understand the whole process flow.
 
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Nuclearpwr1 year ago
I am really on a mission to make these really cool ice balls...hope you can help me out here....

I do not have access to any machining equipment and even if I did, I am not a machinist...would you consider making one for me? I would of course pay you for the material, machine time and your time.

Thanks again,

Marko in Mass
Nuclearpwr1 year ago
You are my hero. I've been trying to make clear ice balls for a while and your post does it all...clear ice and the ice ball machine...and a whole lot cheaper than the on-line units.

Question : What size piece of clear ice do you need to use in the unit? Does the size of the clear block of ice matter...assuming it is big enough to fill the sphere...and does the shape of the clear block make any difference.

I found a small mini-version of the on-line model and when I use mine, sometime I get flat spots on the ball...and I think it might be because I am using irregular shapes of clear ice...pieces just broken off a larger pc of clear ice.

Thanks again and great instructional video.

Marko
ToolboxGuy1 year ago
Way cool ! Given that you have a CNC at your disposal, I am surprised that you didn't add any runoff channels/gates, to keep the countertop dry. Since you don't want to corrupt the shape, just make an outer ring around the shape, and an outlet channel.
I would love to make one of these for ice formed whiskey glasses, say four at a time, or perhaps shotglasses in quantity. Shape then freeze until the party. Have to make grips/indents so it doesn't become too slippery.

Perfect for pool parties - and very little to clean up, at least for those of us who drain our glasses.
spcutler (author)  ToolboxGuy1 year ago
That's a great idea! I was originally thinking in terms of having a small hole in the bottom that the water could flow through, but that would, as you say, corrupt the shape. And I'll admit, drilling tiny holes in a nearly-finished project always scares me! Your idea with the channels solves both problems. I was already planning on making some more, and I'll be sure to try that out if I do.

One thing to watch out for when refreezing--because there is still a film of water on the surface, you will tend to get marks corresponding to the container you put them in. So it looks a bit imperfect, though after 30 seconds in the glass the marks will melt away.
spcutler (author)  ToolboxGuy1 year ago
That's a great idea! I was originally thinking in terms of having a small hole in the bottom that the water could flow through, but that would, as you say, corrupt the shape. And I'll admit, drilling tiny holes in a nearly-finished project always scares me! Your idea with the channels solves both problems. I was already planning on making some more, and I'll be sure to try that out if I do.

One thing to watch out for when refreezing--because there is still a film of water on the surface, you will tend to get marks corresponding to the container you put them in. So it looks a bit imperfect, though after 30 seconds in the glass the marks will melt away.
One.1 year ago
I'm not gonna lie, that thing is pretty darn cool. It makes some freaky noises while it's in action, haha
firesirt2 years ago
this is awesome. I think I might try something like this, only casting the aluminum rather than cutting it.
spcutler (author)  firesirt2 years ago
Good luck, and let me know how it turns out! My first thought is that the surface wouldn't be smooth enough. But on the other hand, the surface of the ice ball melts fairly quickly and would probably leave a nice surface in short order. So it might actually work really well. Have fun!
codongolev2 years ago
where did you get the perfectly clear ice?
codongolev2 years ago
this would make an awesome or awful weapon in a snowball fight depending on how you look at it.
you mean weather its flying toward you or away from you?
yeah. I mean, I know there's "that kid" in every snowball fight that packs ice in the center then swears he didn't know it was there, but having an arsenal of pure ice balls would take it to a whole different level.
would it not work better if it was copper?
just wondering cause it has a better heat conductivity than aluminum
Ugifer2 years ago
That's amazing!

Is it really that fast - less than 2 mins to form a ball - or did you speed up the vid? If you did, it's a very smooth edit!

Great idea, beautiful execution and stunning ice balls! What's not to like?

Londonbrig02 years ago
So cool! How much does the top half of the mold weigh? Looks like the video is in real time, and it does the job pretty quickly.
joeuhlik2 years ago
What temperature do you heat the aluminum up to before making an ice ball? Nice work.
microfarm2 years ago
The video is exceptional! As an artist (potter, silk painter, silver), I am just wondering, what do you do with the ice balls? I love the way the aluminum thingie looks and I think it would make a good cookie jar! N
bennelson2 years ago
Hmm, what to do with an ice ball? How about this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFafcjA_p7E
osbock2 years ago
beautiful! Do you heat the blocks before you put the ice in? It looks like it goes pretty fast.
benq2 years ago
COOL