Using Delcam’s artistic CADCAM software, ArtCAM, has reduced greatly the amount of time needed by Peter Fogarty of Fire and Ice Creations to create ice carvings, including complete bars cut from ice.
A recent project for La Bodega Tapas Bar and Grill, in Regina, Saskatchewan, highlighted the savings. Each year, the restaurant has a sculpted ice bar on its patio from the last week in November to the third week in March to raise money for the Transition House, which helps women and children affected by domestic violence. In 2007, Mr. Fogarty spent ten days manually designing, cutting and assembling the ice bar, which contained logos for ten corporate sponsors. In 2010, using ArtCAM and a CNC ice router, he designed and cut logos for a much more complex ice bar, built from forty blocks of ice with twenty logos, in only seven days.
"I saw ice carving for the first time at a demonstration in 1977 and I was hooked,” Mr. Fogarty remembered. He started Fire and Ice Creations in his garage while he continued his distinguished culinary career but, in 2007, moved into ice carving full time. The company has built an impressive list of achievements, including sculptures for the 2007 Juno Awards, Canada’s main music awards, and a replica of Saskatoon’s 25th Street bridge used for a sushi display at the International University Congress.
The following year, Mr. Fogarty began computerising his ice-carving operation and by 2010 he was producing nearly all of his carvings using ArtCAM and the CNC ice router. "I selected ArtCAM because of its ease of use, particularly in converting existing artwork from clients and sizing, positioning and mirroring logos,” he said. "Another enormous benefit of ArtCAM is that it combines with the CNC ice cutter to cut out the logos faster and more accurately than was possible in the past.”
For the 2010 ice bar, Fogarty received electronic versions of the logos from the ice bar sponsors. "ArtCAM made it easy to produce the files needed to drive the ice cutter,” Mr. Fogarty claimed. "It greatly reduced the amount of time required to size, position and produce a mirror image of each of the logos, which was required because they were cut out of the back of the ice block.”
Another benefit was that the assembly took only six hours, half the time required in the past, because all of the pieces were cut so much more accurately that no additional cutting was required on site.