Design Ice & CNC Robotics Case Study

When leading ice sculpture constructor and supplier Design Ice Norway needed a tool capable of working in sub-zero temperatures, creating intricate designs but also robust enough to easily cut through huge ice blocks, they turned to CNC Robotics. 

Design Ice Norway is one of the world’s leading suppliers of constructions, sculptures and buildings made of snow and ice. Working with clients worldwide, they design and produce various ice projects, from event celebrations, product launches, and small sculptures to more large-scale projects – such as working on the famed Ice Hotel each year. Their expertise is creating the most incredible constructions to give their clients the wow factor.


When Norwegian winters drop down to -40 ºC, the ice is ready to harvest by the Design Ice team using specially made cutting equipment. The ice blocks can weigh up to 1500 kg with a melting time of 3–5 days at room temperature. Working in a specially designed freezing hall allows the skilled team to develop and build ice structures and sculptures. Most of the work is prefabricated to save time when out on assignments, but time is of the essence, even in freezing conditions.

The team at Design Ice were looking for a tool that could be flexible given the wide range of designs they are commissioned to undertake; a tool which needed to be accurate to allow for intricate detailing but which could also increase production output times when working in a challenging environment and with a substance affected by heat exposure.


CNC Robotics worked with Design Ice to create a robotic system that could incorporate an electro-spindle head for intricate design detail and an extended 4 ft chainsaw attachment that could cut the large-scale ice blocks down into smaller pieces quickly and accurately. The 6-axis KUKA robot was installed in their freezing hall in Norway and works effectively and continuously in harsh sub-zero temperatures.


Investing in bespoke equipment allows Design Ice to undertake each project efficiently and to a high standard. The Design Ice craftsmen and designers can increase their offering and speed of service to their global customers. Finding new ideas and solutions to give customers more than they expect and in a much quicker turnaround has allowed them to be more competitive and win more customers in the European and North American market.

I chose to work with CNCR because they had a high level of knowledge of robotics… Jason’s ability to understand my need and come up with good and trusty solution was also important. And the way CNCR has supported me after we got our robot cell is top of the lineThomas Orderud, Design Ice.

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