Student Hacks: Sub Zero Any Drink in 60 Seconds With This Gadget




Introduction: Student Hacks: Sub Zero Any Drink in 60 Seconds With This Gadget

About: Quick and Easy hacks, made for curious people

My inspiration for today's project was to invent a tool that could really help students cool off quickly, impress their friends and at the same time, have fun building it!

So i made it a goal to make sure i used parts that are totally relateable to the average student. Really, most of the parts in today's project are most likely to be found already lying on your table, if not just scattered 3 feet away from the desk!

Before you go and think this idea is crazy because "i could just add ice to my soda" it's actually meant to chill beverages that aren't so good when diluted with water from melting ice. say for example Beer, wine and most, if not all liquors.

Lewis did a really cool review about "the spin chill" on his channel, unbox therapy! (see his video above)

But first, let me explain the science behind how this "centrifugal chiller" works...

Traditionally, us students would submerge our drinks in an ice bath inside a cooler, typically it would take around 30 minutes to achieve that refreshing temperature we all love.

But this tool we're making today spins the liquid inside the can.

Why you ask? Because in contrast to a can normally submerged in ice, this device cycles all the liquids inside to be exposed to the can's surface which is submerged in ice water resulting in the warm liquid moving out from the center onto the surface of the can, Evenly cooling the whole contents of the beverage. Unlike the traditional way wherein only the outer surface is chilled and gradually reaches the warm core, it would take approximately 30 minutes, if not more to reach an ice cold temperature.. that's gonna take forever when you're thirsty!

Let me quote some great pointers made by great people from the comments section.

"The Motor has to have a RPM of 240RPM Minimum. This will chill a totally warm can to Super Cold in 2 Minutes. 240RPM is not much. so if its a faster RPM motor it would probably cool faster than that (Drill as motor). Less RPM needs more time." -locklarryup this kid is only 15 years old and came up with a well said explanation. i'm waiting to see your first project okay! :)

"Awesome idea! You've got about a quarter of the story as to why this works. The first bit, like you said, is that rotating the can continually exposes "new" fluid to the inside surface of the can, making heat transfer into the ice water more efficiently. In addition to this, the same is happening with the ice water on the outside of the can, exposing "new" cold water to the outside surface." -Radioactive_Legos Yo. you guys have to see lego's page. he has a very deep knowledge in a wide selection of topics based on his very informative comment, i hope to hear more from you soon lego, great advice!

Essentially, we're fast forwarding 30 minutes into just 60 seconds!

And NO. the drink will not explode once you open it because the drink isn't being shaken, it's stirred! So sorry James Bond, this project is definitely not for you.

I entered this project in the dorm hacks contest! If you want to support me, your vote would mean a lot to the channel's improvement!

I try my best to always improve and challenge my DIY and film making skills so i try to find ways to afford better equipment. The macbook would be more than enough to push the channel's quality, it would be a huge leap for releasing some new cool and interesting projects i have in stock for you guys.

Anyway. If you had fun with today's project and you think it could play a big role in your exciting college experience, go ahead. Favorite and Share the tutorial to the closest person you think would enjoy a nice and easy DIY hack today, they'll love it!

Step 1: Grab These Stuff From Your Drawer!

Okay maybe some of them you'll find ON your drawer, but anyway.

Here are the 9 Supplies we'll need to chill your drink!

  1. A hot glue gun
  2. Permanent marker
  3. Plastic ruler
  4. Pair of scissors
  5. A lighter
  6. A motor (From a cheap remote controlled car!) The one i used in this tutorial, i had lying around from my previous robotics competitions (
  7. A spray paint cap
  8. Old Usb cord
  9. A warm canned soda of your choice

(optional: you can add some table salt to the ice bath to chill the drinks around 40% faster!)

This is a 15 minute build, take it easy guys!

Step 2: Measuring the Cap

Okay, this is very simple guys.

Measure 3 cm from the bottom of the cap and mark it with your permanent marker,

Then cut off the marked surface afterwards, make sure it's as straight as possible!

Step 3: Heat Forming the Plastic

Who knew the paths of sticking a lighter to plastic would someday cross

As intimidating as it sounds, it's actually a really cool skill you'll find really useful in the future.

Go ahead and mark the plastic where the lip of the soda can ends with your marker, a good tip is to light it up with your cellphones' flashlight and mark it with a marker.

Spark up your lighter and gradually heat the sides until it starts to sag, that's the time you'll know its ready to be shaped! Don't make the same mistake as to heating it up for too long or it would just melt some holes. it wouldn't look so nice if that happened. Press and roll the edge of the scissor against the softened plastic and it will instantly cool off and take the shape of the can's lip!

As you can see on the last photo, there are marks wherein the plastic cap clips tightly to the can. that's what we want to achieve!

Step 4: Mounting Your Motor and Some Elementary Electronics!

As you might notice, i covered the plastic cap with electrical tape to cover the overheated parts, it didn't look so pretty so i covered it instead. rest assured it sticks to the can, no tape needed.

Mount the motor to the plastic cap first by marking the center with a marker, fix it with a generous blob of hot glue!

Grab your old usb cable and cut off the charging end. in my case, mine was a micro USB cord! strip the red and black wires and solder them directly to the motor, optionally you could add a switch for better control!

Step 5: Mounting It All on a Ruler

I looked hard around my room for something i assumed every student had lying around to use for mounting all the parts of... and it was right in front of me, It was the poor ruler!

Take your ruler and mark it where you'll need some holes to be drilled with a marker, once it's set. drill a hole with a pair of scissors by wiggling it back and fourth till' it forms the ideal sized hole! Fix it in place with the screws it came with afterwards!

(Alternatively:If the motor you're using didn't have a mount like mine did, you could just fix it with a blob of hot glue and you're all set!)

Ideally i designed this to be usb powered so you could plug it on any usb port to chill your drink anywhere you go, let's say with your trusty power bank as a power source! I took the opportunity to use this perfect sized one i had lying around for this project.

Mount it on the ruler with a dab of hot glue and firmly press it in place.

I added a switch as you could see on the last photo, it's totally optional!

Step 6: So How Do I Use the Cooler?

As you probably have asked yourselves "but can't i just add ice to my drinks and it will be cooled off?"

Well that's not the point of this project, this was actually designed to chill beverages people would normally prefer to not be diluted with the melting ice water, say for example: Fruit juices, Beer, Wine, Milk, liquor.

Will the can explode on my face? nope, i guarantee, you're totally safe. the device spins the liquid around without disturbing any of the carbonation inside, thus no pressure is getting built up.

Grab a cup full of ice cubes and submerge it in water in a nice bowl where your beverage could be comfortably submerged in the ice bath. Optionally you could sprinkle a tablespoon of salt to the ice bath to speed up the process by 40%

Start a timer for 1-2 minutes depending on how cool you'd like your beverage to be and just let the device sit on the lip of the bowl and let it do all the spinning!

I hope you enjoyed today's project. I'd love to see your very own version of the rapid drink chiller because who knows? I might have missed a brilliant idea that you probably could have figured out!

send me pictures and feel free to ask any questions, i'll typically reply to you within a few hours guys.

Check out my channel Makersauce for some out of the box DIY hacks and projects!

Brave the Elements 2016

Runner Up in the
Brave the Elements 2016



    • Tiny Home Contest

      Tiny Home Contest
    • Metalworking Contest

      Metalworking Contest
    • Fix It! Contest

      Fix It! Contest

    37 Discussions

    I will definitely try this one next time I run out of cold beer in the fridge. Great idea! I am thinking of using a cordless drill or a drill press (hands free!) to power the contraption. A screw and some washers secured by a nut at the center of the cap would provide a solid axel to connect to the drill.

    I don't think the correct term is "centrifugal" cooling however. This is would be more of a forced convection cooler versus leaving the can in a bucket of ice which would rely on natural convection.

    2 replies

    This reminds me a heck of a lot of the principles behind the Hilsch vortex tube: the only difference is that the drink is only travelling to the edge of the can, rather than down a tube.

    Dude thanks so much for the correction, i'll do some research about forced convection in a few, i already feel like a physicist just thinking about it hahaha

    As for the drill press secured with a simple nut bolt and washer setup... dude tell me how fast it could cool the beverage faster! I'm really curious about it, i don't have much tools here so i couldn't try it out so stay safe okay, peace!

    this is interesting!

    Interesting instructable, thanks for posting. However, it is still not clear to me why the warmer liquid in the can would continually move outward toward the wall of the can, displacing the colder liquid already against the wall of the can. I know you mentioned centrifugal force but why would the warm liquid behave differently from the cold liquid inside the can? Intuitively I would think if anything the colder liquid would be more dense and therefore have a stronger push to the outside of the can than the warmer liquid and so the colder liquid would remain "pushed" against the wall of the can and the warmer liquid would remain relegated to the center of the can. Or is there some special property of liquids that addresses this?

    You could try making a case a little bigger than the can and with enough space for the ice to fit in and have a base as in one that sticks to the can and then spins (with an axle) along with the rest of the can to make it more stable - so you have one spray paint can cap on the top with a motor , the same way put one on the bottom but without a motor and an free axle instead this could make it much more stable and less wobbly

    Awesome idea, I really like the way you got to turn the can. But can't you use a drill for this?

    5 replies

    no drill will spin can faster (higher force momentum)

    Oh and I just realized, not every student has a power drill lying at home. My goal goal for this instructable was to share how to build something that everyone could relate to and find the parts just lying around at home so I do hope it applies in your case! Btw message me if you've finally built your own :)

    I have a drill just lying around, but any motor I have is busy making something else run! I can't relate to anything that calls for me having a loose motor just hanging around.

    I had a hard time following this instructable, but I please tell me if I am right that this is what I need to do:

    1) make a plastic can cover fit onto the top of a soda can so tightly that it can twirl the can around if it twirls

    2) Attach something to the plastic can
    cover that will make it twirl around

    3) put the cap on the can, put the can in a container of ice and water and salt

    4) make the thing attached to the top twirl around for 2 minutes

    5) stop the twirling, pull the cap off the can, and drink the cold soda.

    Do I have it right?


    you followed the steps perfectly! as for using a drill, I advise you to be careful and find the center of the cap so that there will be minimal vibrations so the can wont go flying everywhere. take care and have fun!

    You absolutely can! (no pun intended) in theory, i think you'll be chilling the drink even quicker due to more liquid being exposed to the surface. but do tell me if it works out for you, i love it when you guys actually learn and get curious from my projects! enjoy dude

    Add salt to your ice water and watch how low that temperature will go. :-)

    put salt in the water to make it even cooler faster

    Awesome idea! You've got about a quarter of the story as to why this works. The first bit, like you said, is that rotating the can continually exposes "new" fluid to the inside surface of the can, making heat transfer into the ice water more efficiently. In addition to this, the same is happening with the ice water on the outside of the can, exposing "new" cold water to the outside surface. Convective heat flux is described as h*(T_s - T_infinity), so the greater the difference in temperatures around the area of interaction, the higher the heat flux. But see that h in the equation? That's the convective coefficient, and that also increases when you spin the can. h is proportional (though not linearly) to the relative velocity of the two mediums, so spinning the can thereby increases h as well! If you're interested in the specifics of this, look up Nusselt Number correlations.

    1 reply

    Lego, thank you so much for your advice, i mentioned you in my intro page, i hope i hear more from you again in my future projects! Great advice. much appreciated Lego!

    The Motor has to have a RPM of 240RPM Minimum. This will chill a totally warm can to Super Cold in 2 Minutes. 240RPM is not much. so if its a faster RPM motor it would probably cool faster than that (Drill as motor). Less RPM needs more time. I have the Original Can Cooler exactly like this and it does chill that quick. So quickly that i use a small timer, it only needs 2 min time. Great Project Thanks!

    1 reply

    you're welcome, Larry! thanks so much for that new explanation "more rpm =less time, vice versa" its one of the big things i missed! by the way i'd love to see the original version of my project, great to hear that it's working the exact same way

    does it matter what voltage or amps the battery outputs? The one I'm thinking of using is 5V 4.8A. Also, don't know much about motors. Any suggestion on a model? I think this would be a really fun project. I'm probably going to make a detachable mount for the can holder. I think making one for bottles would be useful. Kinda like a quick release.

    1 reply

    In this project, Steve as long as the motor turns, you're pretty much well off! that's sort of why i made it USB powered so that you could plug it to any wall adapter or appliance around that supports USB. Don't forget to show us what you've made Steve, i'd love to see your version! good luck :)