From a Zen Buddhist temple to the Statue of Liberty, each tiny ice sculpture was precisely milled on a “computer numerical control” (CNC) router. The creative team started with Autodesk’s 123 Catch software to capture the 3D image and then transferred that data into the CNC router. According to CNET, the CNC router was stored at below freezing temperatures (19 Fahrenheit) to keep the carving machine from melting the ice.
Since each CNC-milled ice sculpture takes between one to six hours to complete, depending on the complexity of the design, we probably won’t be seeing these beautiful ice cubes in our typical bar drinks any time soon. Still, Suntory gives us a peek into the action with a video of a CNC router cutting away at a miniature ice replica of a Kinkaku-ji temple. A thick drill bit is first used to create the general form before a thinner bit takes care of the more delicate features.
Images © TBWA\Hakuhodo