Instructables
Picture of Snow Arch
After reading about Brunelleschi's Dome, my brother and I had an goal to build an arch out of snow. It doesn't follow his stone chain method, but it is a free standing arch.

Things you'll need,
- Snow of the right consistency. Not too dry, not too wet. Packable.
- Cool temperatures. This arch was built in warm temperature, which led to its short life of about an hour.
- Support braces. We used a series of sawhorses, boards, and snow.
- Ladder
- Block mold. We used kitty litter buckets. It should have flat sides and have a slight taper.
- Some sort of scrapping tool.


Snow Arch from Paul Maiorana on Vimeo.
 
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Step 1: Foundation

Picture of Foundation
Find a flat surface and clear an area about 3'x3' down to the ground. For our arch we had a distance of about 14' from center of support to center of support. As you can see from the picture, I used an ice scrapper to measure an equal distance from a point we wanted as center. Also notice we used a larger form for the first two rows of the arch.

Step 2: Stack and Fix

Picture of Stack and Fix
As you begin filling your forms and making your blocks, try and make them as compact as possible. Any weak areas of the block will eventually make your arch shift, trust me. Let the natural taper of your form begin to slowly form an arch. Do this by stacking every block with the small side of the taper towards the center of the arch. You will see it slowly bend towards the middle.

As the arch builds it's important to step back and adjust the pillars. It's snow, so it will shift and compact. Make sure you help the snow pillars get back to a true state, perfectly straight up and down from left to right. Obviously, keep the arch arching, but the front to back may need to be straightened.
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canida5 years ago
Cool! Now all I need is snow...
gmjhowe canida5 years ago
*hands snow*
canida gmjhowe5 years ago
*makes sad face as it melts immediately* It was 70F here today. Not so good for snow.
jongscx canida5 years ago
Are you Canidian?
Heheh, I'm a Canadian, and I also know it snows in the US.



By the way, I don't live in an igloo, there is only snow here for one of the seasons!
  i live in ottawa canada and there is snow just about 6 months a year and i make a half pipe and an iglu every year!

I love where I live, because the seasons are pretty much balanced. There is basically 3 months of each season.
I live in Texas. And no I don' live in the middle of no where I live in dallas 6th most populated ciy in the US. We get snow about every other winter. in summer this year the highest temperture was 115 degrees F.
awesume, you gave me a good laugh! I lived in Dallas one winter and it snowed all of 1/2". It shut the whole city down! Coming from the northeast, I was in shock at the effect such a teeny little dusting could have on such a huge city. It's understandable, but it was surprising.
Duh! Who is that stupid?
gmjhowe canida5 years ago
And, may i ask, with all your wondrous items e.g. your laser cutter, why do you not have a snow machine? Laser cutter, but no snow machine... doesn't sound good enough to me!
canida gmjhowe5 years ago
See comment above; it would melt as fast as we could make it! Unfortunately we have to drive to the Sierras to get cold snowy weather.
I live in Australia, there are very few places here where it snows. :L
awsome username!
Why thankyou, fellow Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fan.

join my group!

zaphod.jpeg
jcksparr0w2 years ago
reminds me of the old game arch rival. am definitely going to try this winter!!
ssully12104 years ago
Hey, how about for your next project you make a snow Stonehenge?  build it, let it freeze up and then on next warm day, snow on ground will melt off leaving what would look like stone from a distance.  Don't have big enough yard, or I would try it myself!
Except that it'd be called Snowhenge!
finfan74 years ago
I live in tucson, AZ in the middle of the sonoran desert.. If I didn't I would build lots of these. These are awesome.
crestind4 years ago
Damn. My triumphal arch does not compare. Definitely could have lasted much longer with better snow.
snow-arch.jpg
Great while it lasted? You need wet snow probably.
 i was thinking if it's cold enough you could slowly pour water on it, and hope it'll ice up and stay in place... It's supposed to snow a lot this week where i live, and i'm hoping to make an igloo version of this
andrew_294 years ago
 thats awesome man but in my limited experience with snow you have to let it set over night with the support system and take the structure down in the morning this will let the packing snow freeze so it wont fall over :)  sweet Instructable man
coswine4 years ago
Great job!  I wonder how much the warmth had to do with it falling.  The left side (in the photo) has a pronounced kink that likely led to the collapse.  I think with the tension equally distributed your arch would have lasted longer...
luvit4 years ago
 
Calvin&HobbesSnowmen.jpg
ferrari4844 years ago
 My brother made a iglo. It was about 1.5m high and 1.5 wide.  Even had a small arch at the front. It stood almost for week. And the remains are still there. And we made it about three weeks ago. But is freezing a lot. So.
They have something similar here at the St. Louis Science Center but they use foam blocks.
_fatguy4 years ago
Superb idea, and a really well written and illustrated instructable. Thank you.
How many attempts did your first arch take?
DainiusGB4 years ago
 nice Idea! but actually brunelleschi's dome structurally was a perfect half circle, not the pointed arch like you have. The pointed dome that you see on the outside was mainly just a kind of skin and structural support (ive been inside it.) 
thing 24 years ago
You should make it so
that one of the blocks has a stick with string around it!

So that when someone walks under it *yank* it all falls on top of them!
volquete5 years ago
:( no snow in Cali yet........or ever...........
pray for global warmin lol
This is awesome....1 more month until winter!!!!
freaking gorgeous
we built some thing liek this for my aunts community when we visited up north in december and we made an arch/wall thing with the comunnity's logo sighn magig and we and my lil bro just got bored so we did it and the president of the home owner association payed us $50 each for it i wishh i took pictures but my aunt says its still hasnt melted yet so yeah XD
me insted of me**
Berkin5 years ago
Great idea, but you should have used a bit of water in the weak spots and let it freeze into ice. Before it fell, I could already tell which area of the arch was going to fail, because that side was sagging slightly, wasn't built as rigid as the other side. I can also tell that the blocks were more uneven in that area, adding to the potential collapse of the entire structure.
sounds fun, it's supposed to be in the negative 20's where I live tommorow, sounds like a fun snow day project
where do u live tommorow?
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