Icenberg part 6: Finishing the enclosure.

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Why did I begin to build an ice cream machine?
“I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really… I was alive” – Walter White

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Four bolts to secure the compressor.

Four bolts to secure the compressor.


Compressor hooked up and working.

Compressor hooked up and working.


CNC milling fancy puns.

CNC milling fancy puns.


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Icenberg part 5: Designing a logo and engraving it.

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Because world domination is impossible without a proper corporate identity. The artwork will be CNC machined into the cover of the insulated cooling chamber and I’ll make an inlay for the top lid. Special care was taken with the corners in the artwork – they have to be suitable for milling and inlay work.

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Icenberg part 3: A satisfying first batch of ice cream

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The very first batch has been made: apple banana coconut sorbet with chocolate oat cookie chunks and roasted soybeans. It took way too long to get a good consistency because of the bad insulation but tasted way too good to not continue with the project. Next step will be a waterproof case with proper insulation and a worm gear drive for the paddle. Then motorizing it with a window wiper motor, a PWM or BAM driver and a microcontroller which monitors everything. I plan to measure the current of the motor and establish a correlation of ice cream consistency and current consumption. With a small LUT (Look Up Table) the controller can then achieve a set consistency and hold it – from slush ice over sorbet up to heavy gelato.

A look into the cylinder of joy.

A look into the cylinder of joy.

The final version of Icenberg will have a proper enclosure with an insulated top lid that will guide the axle.

The final version of Icenberg will have a proper enclosure with an insulated top lid with a hole that will guide the axle.

Ice crystals form on the outside immediately after pulling the container out. Don't lick it!

Ice crystals form on the outside immediately after pulling the container out. Don’t lick it!

At some point the cordless drill and hand crank method failed because the viscosity was getting too heavy. The powerful lathe with VFD and transmission could help out with ease.

At some point the cordless drill and hand crank method failed because the viscosity was getting too heavy. The powerful lathe with VFD and transmission could help out with ease.

Cleaning up is quite easy with water and a cordless drill attached to the axle. Memo: Need to make a cap for the little window when mixing with 600rpm.

Cleaning up is quite easy with water and a cordless drill attached to the axle. Memo: Need to make a cap for the little window when mixing with 600rpm.

Icenberg part 2: Upcycling a fridge to an ice cream machine

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Successfully acquired a leftover fridge from fellow hacker friends, now frankensteining the thing together. Next step: Insulation.

Shopping at home depot, unfortunately they don't have any end caps for pipes of that diameter.

Shopping at home depot, unfortunately they don’t have any end caps for pipes of that diameter.

So we machine one ourselves: Rough formatting a piece of PA6 plastic on the bandsaw.

So we machine one ourselves: Rough formatting a piece of PA6 plastic on the bandsaw.

Then turning it down on the lathe for a proper fit.

Then turning it down on the lathe for a proper fit.

Old refrigerator acquired from fellow hacker friends, let's start to rip it apart.

Old refrigerator acquired from fellow hacker friends, let’s start to rip it apart.

Surprise, mold at the top insulation. Many fridges start to build up moisture there over time when the top cover is removable - which makes sense for under-the-counter scenarios.

Surprise, mold at the top insulation. Many fridges start to build up moisture there over time when the top cover is removable – which makes sense for under-the-counter scenarios.

The polyurethane glue is nasty, one can spare to hit the Gym for a week after disassembling a well built fridge. #rawForce

The polyurethane glue is nasty, one can spare to hit the Gym for a week after disassembling a well built fridge. #rawForce

It looks like it peels off easily. Which is so not true.

It looks like it peels off easily. Which is so not true.

Slicing the insulation very thoroughly into small pieces and prying them off to not damage the cooling system.

Slicing the insulation very thoroughly into small pieces and prying them off to not damage the cooling system.

After an hour of slicing and dicing.

After an hour of slicing and dicing.

The whole evaporator unit consists of glued double mild steel sheets with lots of rectangular channels.

The whole evaporator unit consists of glued double mild steel sheets with lots of rectangular channels.

Some hours later. That black mesh is the condenser and radiator. Thermostat hanging out to the left.

Some hours later. That black mesh is the condenser and radiator. Thermostat hanging out to the left.

There's a long track of evaporator tubing in the freezer compartment and only a small loop for the actual large refrigerator box.

There’s a long track of evaporator tubing in the freezer compartment and only a small loop for the actual large refrigerator box.

Frame disassembled, the black thing is the compressor. The little black box contains a relais and a starting capacitor for the motor.

Frame disassembled, the black thing is the compressor. The little black box contains a relais and a starting capacitor for the motor.

Two copper tubes are combined into one, here under the black gooey thing: A little capillary tube from the condenser is coaxially inserted into the backloop copper tubing coming from the evaporator.

Two copper tubes are combined into one, here under the black gooey thing: A little capillary tube from the condenser is coaxially inserted into the backloop copper tubing coming from the evaporator.

Where the magic happens: An expansion valve. From there on the coolant starts to boil and get's a lot cooler.

Where the magic happens: An expansion valve. From there on the coolant starts to boil and get’s a lot cooler.

Evaporator fully extracted and ready for transplantation.

Evaporator fully extracted and ready for transplantation.

Meanwhile I finished the top cap for the ice cream container.

Meanwhile I finished the top cap for the ice cream container.

Due to the lack of proper material insulation and waterproof material for the freezing compartment I used OSB-3 (oriented strand board for interior use) for a quick mockup.

Due to the lack of proper insulation waterproof material for the freezing compartment I used OSB-3 (oriented strand board for interior use) for a quick mockup for now.

Expansion valve again.

Expansion valve again.

Evaporator inside the wooden box.

Evaporator inside the wooden box.

I noticed a cold bridge at the stainless steel threaded axle which sticks out of the freezer and made this insulator out of plastic so that no metal is protruding from the freezer.

I noticed a cold bridge at the stainless steel threaded axle which sticks out of the freezer and made this insulator out of plastic so that no metal is protruding from the freezer.

One side bored and tapped to M16 so that the axle is covered, the other side has got a smaller thread for a hex bolt.

One side bored and tapped to M16 so that the axle is covered, the other side has got a smaller thread for a hex bolt.

The finished plastic insulator. Also visible: The new top lid with a small window - this is where the ice cream consistency can be probed later and where the chocolate, fruit and glitter pieces can be added just before finishing the run :-)

The finished plastic insulator. Also visible: The new top lid with a small window – this is where the ice cream consistency can be probed later and where the chocolate, fruit and glitter pieces can be added just before finishing the run :-)

The hex nuts are redundant now because the plastic insulator can cover their function.

The hex nuts are redundant now because the plastic insulator can cover their function.

First dry run with pure water went well, but definitely lacks a proper encasing and insulation.

First dry run with pure water went well, but definitely lacks a proper encasing and insulation.