Introduction: The Disposable Archimedes Cube

Picture of The Disposable Archimedes Cube

Ice cubes are easy to make! But then they're a pain to get out of the tray, and bump against your upper lip while you're drinking, and make you sad thinking about the Titanic, if it were in the drink. 

I wanted to make a new ice cube, one that wouldn't make you weep into your drink for all those lost souls as tears rolled down your frostbitten upper lip into whatever you happen to be drinking.

I succeeded! With the help of...ARCHIMEDES.

Step 1: The Raw Material

Picture of The Raw Material

FIRST: Fill a plastic cup with just a little bit of water. 

This water will someday be your Disposable Archimedes Cube!

I haven't tested it, but I suspect if you use a glass cup, you may shatter something along the way.

Step 2: Put a Glass on It!

Picture of Put a Glass on It!

That's right...a SECOND plastic cup. No, really...hear me out.



Fill this second glass with enough water to displace the water in your original glass to the level you want the ice cube to be.

I guess you could fill it with gold if you wanted to be classic about it.

Step 4: Freeze It Like Walt Disney's Head!

Picture of Freeze It Like Walt Disney's Head!

Just like that. The ice in the first cup will expand, pushing the first glass upward using some sort of Scientific Force.

Now you may remove the second cup from the first. If you have used plastic, as the instructions stipulate, this will be easy. If you've used glass there will be little shards of glass mixed in with your Archimedes Cube and you will drink bitter sorrow.

Bonus! The ice cube from the second cup can be given to someone less cool than you. It is a fully functional ice cube.

Step 5: Fill With Liquid Victory!

Picture of Fill With Liquid Victory!

Advantages to the Disposable Archimedes Cube: 

--It will not bump against your lip, freezing it
--It will cool your drink circumferentially, maximizing surface cooling area
--It will melt evenly
--It will stabilize your plastic cup, preventing the "overstrong grip spill leak" faux pas

Disadvantages to the Disposable Archimedes Cube:

--None. It is a perfect Platonic form and you may dream of it tonight.


HelenaTroy (author)2013-01-03

Excellent idea, thanks, saved to my "must try one day" list.

Alternative: take the second glass out, put another, empty, glass in, then fill that with drink - the liquid will be cooled by contact with the ice but not diluted as it melts? And the second glass can have another, empty, glass in it as well

Luke White (author)HelenaTroy2013-01-03

An excellent idea! As long as we don't get tempted by Infinite Cups.

HelenaTroy (author)Luke White2013-01-03

lol I think it's limited by how many glasses one oould get upright in a freezer - might be neat to have a short series of shaped ice - maybe have a contest and the loser gets the plain-ice one that was at the top

tn. (author)2013-01-03

i'm going to do this RIGHT NOW bec we have an "ice issue" in this house (ice cubes + 5-1/2yr old = Not A Good Thing and many wet socks)

Luke White (author)tn.2013-01-03

I have the same problem. Except mainly because my dexterity is roughly equivalent to that of an especially clumsy 5 1/2 year old.

tn. (author)Luke White2013-01-03


hogey74 (author)2013-01-03

My heart is filled with gladness and relief. While I can not be sure to dream of your icy magnificence this night, those dreams shall undoubtedly be enjoyable. I raise my suddenly old fashioned glass to you!

Luke White (author)hogey742013-01-03

Your prose bests mine, sir! Well done!

Acceptance (author)2013-01-03

Really?!? Or just store real glasses in the freezer and forego "cubes" completely. Better for the environment, saves water and doesn't dilute drinks.

Luke White (author)Acceptance2013-01-03

Indeed--the overuse of water via wanton ice cube consumption is not just our problem, but one for our children too.

And this is why I usually (and selflessly, for the children) just drink straight from the bottle.

bLiTzJoN (author)2013-01-03

Like Archimedes, did you run the streets naked after the eureka? LOL

Luke White (author)bLiTzJoN2013-01-03

My next instructable will have to be on how to get acquitted on a public indecency charge.

boothby171 (author)bLiTzJoN2013-01-03

Unfortunately, he did. There are blurry photos of the event in the local paper. It was a sad day. Quite sad for Luke, actually, as the blurry bit was rather tiny.

mikerockwell1975 (author)2013-01-03

You know, you could make a jig to hold 4-5 (or more) of these together in a row and not take up much more room :-)

I think I may have to try this!

danzo321 (author)2013-01-03

No, I tried it with gold and it melted the thin cup and ran into the floorboard cracks. Darn!

kooth (author)2015-08-08

Boy am I late to this party! Is Scientific Force one of the Fantastic Four?

Great Instructable, sir!

KayDeedle (author)2013-03-05

Your instructions are hilarious. Love it.

MyMenagerie (author)2013-01-04

This Instructable is way to cool to keep a secret! I am sharing with all my friends... Wait, I haven't any, yet.

Anyway, I was wondering if this would work with several layers of cups instead of just two, and using the deep freezer to accommodate the volume and stack of cups? Can't wait to give it a try. Thanks a lot!

finton (author)MyMenagerie2013-02-26

I have friends. I also have a girlfriend. My girlfriend thinks I'm a stalker: well, she's not my girlfriend yet.

*Not really. I happily married, but the joke's too good to pass up!

Bill WW (author)2013-01-09

Brilliant idea!

Dr. dB (author)2013-01-04

"Eureka" being, of course, the Greek term meaning, "This bath is too hot!"

mugidude (author)2013-01-04

Could you put spacers in the lips of the plastic cups and stack them in the freezer and make 10 or so at a time or would that not agree with Sheldon sience stuff?

kevinlc77 (author)2013-01-03

i am at work and have no time for this rubbish..

danzo321 (author)kevinlc772013-01-03

Yet you have time to mock and deride us, the semi-employed.

kevinlc77 (author)danzo3212013-01-04

i was only joking , actually i thought the idea is pretty cool.

peterochs (author)2013-01-04

if I place another cup inside the top thereby making another Archi^3 and stack enough successful cups to make the cup string a loop and twist the loop one half turn before returning the first cup into the top of the bottom cup, and then freeze = Moebius loop of Archimedes cubes? Now I'm totally confused.

ethan1701 (author)2013-01-03

Great write-up!
The one disadvantage is that the ice is against the circumfrence of the cup, thus making it cold to the touch, and only half of the ice's cooling force is being directed at your beverage of choice.

r_harris2 (author)ethan17012013-01-03

Yes, so wrap the cup in foil (shiny side in) and stuff it in a foam huggie and you have a dewar-wrapped Archimedes drink cooler! Ha ha, mad science, excessive nomenclature and COMFORTABLY-HELD frosty drink all in one! Or perhaps I should say ALL IN OnE!!!11!!

Totally awesome idea and clear instructable, and I am going to try it at home.

spark master (author)r_harris22013-01-04

shiny side does not matter for foil to be useful it needs air space of 3/4 to 1 inch. Reflective technology is very cool and is not an insulator but a heat reflector (at the red end of spectrum I believe).

very useful in livestock barns beer distributors and space craft (everything is covored in gold foil, look at old pics of lunar lander). If you use in roof in very hot places it can cause tar to melt out of the roof tiles, so only good with tin rooves and ceramic ones.

Luke White (author)r_harris22013-01-03

I'm going to try this tonight!

kevinlc77 (author)r_harris22013-01-03

surely there is a freezer at your work.. no? why wait !

bikerbob2005 (author)ethan17012013-01-03

half of the surface is against the outside of the glass keeping the heat from the drink,most times the drink is cold it gets hotter ie your hand holding the cup.surface area is how fast ice cools off liquid also ice is an excellent insulator.

Luke White (author)bikerbob20052013-01-03


fusorx (author)2013-01-03

Couldn't this be used as a glass on it's own? I know it would melt but I feel like that'd be really amazing to drink from a glass made of pure ice.

fusorx (author)lime3D2013-01-03

That go well?

lime3D (author)fusorx2013-01-04

You have to find a place to stash the melting ice, after you drink the drink.

fusorx (author)lime3D2013-01-04

Seems like you could just use it as chunks of ice for other drinks.

Luke White (author)fusorx2013-01-03

Definitely! The inner glass I think has to be smaller to make for thicker ice, but that's easily done. And would make for any number of fantastic drinking games.

fusorx (author)Luke White2013-01-03

Drink the whole glass before it melts maybe? Sounds fun.

mightysoxer (author)2013-01-03

The title of this instructable is misleading. I came here for a cube. Not only does this not appear to produce any sort of cube but I find the way you've mislead people somewhat chilling.

blopez (author)2013-01-03

Nice idea. Brilliant writing. Are you a stand up comic perhaps?

Luke White (author)blopez2013-01-03

Thank you! My job has alas rather more tragedy than comedy, and plenty of ice.

blopez (author)Luke White2013-01-03

Ah, goalie on a hockey team.

Luke White (author)blopez2013-01-03

I have too many teeth! (though no one could tell that from my picture)

vinodhemdev (author)2013-01-03

Would you be able to enjoy whiskey without ice cubes?

benross (author)2013-01-03

Beautiful writing. Well done sir

Seelos (author)2013-01-03

hilarious read. well done. :)

Luke White (author)Seelos2013-01-03


About This Instructable




Bio: Hello! I like to fix people who are broken. Sometimes it works.
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