A couple of folks have recently developed 3D models for snowmen, but we think this idea could go much farther.
In the image above you can see an example of what’s possible when you mix 3D printing and winter. Taiwan-based Thingiverse contributor Cloud Jhan published the two-part mold for making small snowmen, which proved popular during recent winter weather. There’s been a few other similar projects, too. You can download this design here.
This works for us because snow, in some locales, is a freely available resource eminently suitable for simple molding. It’s far safer than attempting to mold food products with 3D prints, simply because such molds are not foodsafe. Snow molds have no such difficulties.
But let’s talk a bit more about snow mold concepts: imagine snow molds for structural components, like interlocking bricks. With a few such molds a small team could rapidly assemble more impressive snow structures, perhaps adorned with detailed snow sculptures.
By 3D printing molds in sections and then assembling them, one could create much larger snow molds, and thus enable even more rapid creation of unusual snow structures.
The same process can be used for creating ice sculptures too, but this is somewhat more problematic: liquid water could leak through poorly designed or printed molds, and it would take considerable time to freeze. Perhaps a better approach for ice molding would be to 3D print one mold “master”, and then cast it in silicone many times to create an array of silicone ice molds.
In any case, this crazy idea is likely moot in most areas of the northern hemisphere as our sun has begun or will soon melt away our chances of making snow molds.
But there’s always next year.