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Poll: Would you be interested in an ice lock?
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7 100.00%
Maybe. Concerned about durability/reliability.
0 0%
0 0%
Total 7 vote(s) 100%
* You voted for this item. [Show Results]

Reliable, self-releasing ice lock
Hi all. First post here. I want to share with everyone a simple ice lock:

A stem fits into a cylindrical case. When water is poured in and frozen, the two parts become inseparable. See below for the image.

This lock has several advantages:

1. Relatively fail-safe. It relies only on ice melting. No electronic timers, no elaborate set ups that could fail in many ways, only two simple pieces held together by ice.

2. Self-releasing. Once the ice melts, you're free. There's no need to grab a then-accessible key and release yourself from the locks.

3. Because it's self-releasing, it can be used for very tight bondage scenarios. Most other time-release methods require manual unlocking, which means you need to have enough range of motion to do the unlocking. Not here. If you attach a ratchet pulley to one end and yourself to the other end, you can pull it tight and render yourself totally immobile until the lock opens (also works well as the arm-holding part in a box tie/takate kote because you can have a really tight box tie and have the ice lock auto-release you).

4. Chaining several of them provides backup release as long as they don't all fail at the same time.

5. Mitigation of ice expansion-induced cracking (not seen in the attachment). By incorporating air pockets that don't get filled with water even if you immerse the unit in water (sort of like a flipped over canoe), water freezing into ice will have room to expand to (since air is easily compressible).

You may have seen the ice warden on Amazon, which does the same thing (minus the mitigation of ice expansion). But it sells for $100+. So if you chain 3 together (for backup release), that's $300. So where does this come in?

Option 1: For those who like DIY, just copy this design and get yours printed with a 3D service like Shapeways (I created this design and hereby put this in the public domain, i.e. not copyrighted). Be sure to use a waterproof material. The cost might be around $50 per.

Option 2: Given enough interest, I can purchase a 3D printer and do a small production run for interested people. The cost would be split proportionately among everyone. The materials cost is probably around $2 per unit. The cheapest machine is around $500. So if we get around 20 people, each buying 4 locks, the per lock cost would be ~$8. I've wanted several of these locks myself but it would be rather expensive to find commercial services. So one way out is to gather interested people and produce many locks, thus driving down the per-lock cost.

Either way, I hope everyone gets something out of this.

Let me know if you're interested. Feel free to suggest design modifications.

Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
stemcase.png thumbnail   
I had an idea to make a similar lock but using PVC pipes, but then completely switched to the "ice cubes in a sock" method.
What was the reason? Do you prefer the ice sock or was it just too much hassle?
The reasons are ( ):

o- simplicity and availability
o- price
o- discreetness
o- less spilled water
o- "programmable" time (one ice cube ~= 1h)
o- size

The smaller the ring, the less ice you need.

One downside is thermal protection - you can use such a lock against your skin. This is why I began exploring thermal insulation: But finally decided to adjust my self-bondage sessions to simplify the locking.
I've decided to go ahead and try making some from 3d printing. My printer should arrive in 2 weeks. Will let everyone know how it goes.
So here's a prototype I made today. Did a quick coarse print to get a feel of the strength and insulating ability of the design. Looks good so far.

Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
2013-10-17 00.17.37 copy.jpg thumbnail   
Looks great indeed.

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