Minnesota man makes two-story ice sculpture with geothermal heating water, computer

For four winters now, Roger Hanson of Big Lake has been making remarkable sculptures in his yard using a computer-directed sprayer that disperses water from his geo-thermal heating system. This year's piece (above) is -- so far -- 65 feet tall and 85 feet wide.

He explains the process
The frame for the ice to collect onto is made from ½” conduit. There are four tiers each 10 feet high. These tiers are hoisted (in sections) from a rope that stretches from two towers 85 feet apart and 50 feet high. The final center conduit pole is pushed up onto the rope to a height of 63.25 feet.

The robot that directs the spray is made from two antenna rotators. One rotator is attached to the other to allow azimuth and elevation motion. These antenna rotators are controlled by a computer using software that I have created. The computer program also uses weather info from a weather station on the top of the house. The weather information such as the wind direction and speed is used to more accurately target the spray.
Below, his works from 2010 and 2008:


c-mon said...


Anonymous said...

I love it. You publish on this on 2/28; City Pages publishes on it four days later, without a mention of you or any other media outlet. More reason to not read CP.


Paul Schmelzer said...

To be fair, TB, I got the story from KSTP (linked in the post). But I hear ya. City Pages is awful at crediting where it gets its stories from. I don't read it frequently enough to comment on how timely it is, though, but four days seems like... awhile.

christina said...

this is awesome!!

Martin Olson said...

That is sweet