3D printer creates ice sculptures -- just add water

Sean Hollister
S. Hollister|05.03.10

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3D printer creates ice sculptures -- just add water
Paper-mache, candy, and human cells have all been seen flowing through 3D printers for custom fabrication work, but students and faculty at Canada's McGill University have a cheaper prototyping material: plain ol' H2O. They recently modified this Fab@Home Model 1 by replacing the soft goo extruders with a temperature-controlled water delivery system, and set about making decorative ice sculptures and a large beer mug for good measure. While the academic project is officially supposed to explore "economic alternatives to intricate 3D models of architectural objects," we're not sure architects will want much to do with prototypes that drip... but tourism might well get a boost from liquor sold in frosty custom containers. We're thirsty just looking at them.
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