What are Ti Cubes?
Ti Cubes are solid titanium cubes that can be chilled in the freezer, and then used to chill any beverage without watering down the drink, or imparting any 'off' flavours. Ti Cubes can also be put into hot beverages to keep them warmer longer. For example, keep them in your EDC and when you buy your morning coffee, just slip them into your cup to keep your cuppa nice and toasty on your commute.
Each Ti Cube measures 0.75" x 0.75" x 1", and weigh 1.25 oz (35 grams). They are about half the weight of stainless steel.
Titanium is ridiculously awesome, and I chose this material for many reasons. It's food safe, hypo-allergenic, and can be finished in a multitude of ways for a truly custom product. After consultation with my machinist and custom knife-maker husband, I decided to use Aircraft Grade 2 CP Titanium. CP stands for Commercially Pure, basically 100% pure titanium, not an alloy like the more common and stronger 6AL-4V Grade 5 Titanium. Our product doesn't need the strength, and the extra purity is a nice bonus.
Quite literally, if this project gets funded my husband and I will be able to CNC machine all of the Ti Cubes in our home-based machine shop in Stoney Creek, ON, Canada. We can control all the variables and make sure every cube meets our high standards. All anodizing is also done in-house. A local, family-owned tumbling shop will be giving the Ti Cubes their signature stonewashed finish.
Keeping it local, and mostly at home is so important to this adventure for me. I'm a stay-at-home mum, with an eight-month old and a three year old. When the kiddos are sleeping, or at grandma's house, I can get down to work quickly and efficiently, and make the best products possible for you.
Not your Average Titanium Machinist
I'm probably the least likely person to come up with the concept of titanium chilling cubes. Formerly of museums and historic sites, I'm a full-time country housewife and mum who hadn't machined so much as a bolt before this idea struck. I wanted to solve a problem though; funny-tasting ice cubes. No matter what I would do, or how clean the freezer was, our ice cubes never tasted right. They tasted like, well, pretty much like freezer.
I'd seen other chilling cubes around made from stone or stainless steel, but they never made it into my kitchen. Titanium, on the other hand, was slowly infiltrating it. My daughter drank her juice with a titanium straw, my husband ate his stir fry with titanium chop sticks, and somehow, a titanium spork had appeared in the cutlery drawer. Titanium seemed like the best metal for what I was envisioning.
After one disappointing lunch where my iced tea was sadly sans ice, I popped my head into my husband's machine shop and asked completely out of the blue, "Could we make ice cubes out of titanium?" After a moment of surprise (had his wife finally realized how ridiculously awesome titanium was?), he said "Yes!"
This project is an all-or-nothing adventure for me, and in order to pay for machine time, tooling, pallets and materials, I need to know that there are enough orders out there for me to fill. It's a big, scary, exciting wonderful project to get me started- thank you kickstarter!
Rewards: The Good Stuff
We're offering Ti Cubes in sets of two, however, we recommend pledging twice and getting four cubes. Two to use, and two to keep in the freezer. Of course, the more the merrier, and you can pledge as many times as you like to receive multiple sets.
We have to do it this way because Kickstarter has some new rules in the design category, limiting multiples of the same product as different rewards- otherwise we'd make it easier for you to buy larger sets all at once. No worries- if you're having trouble ordering, just message me and we'll figure it out!
Safety and other important things:
Please don't give these to children, while they are large enough to make swallowing them difficult, it's just not recommended. At all! Also, solid metal hurts (ask me how I know), and can do damage to surfaces, toes etc. when thrown or dropped from high distances.
Ti Cubes (like stone, stainless, or ceramic chilling cubes) cannot cool a drink down as much as regular ice cubes, especially larger volumes of liquid. However, two cubes can lower the temperature of a cup (250mL) of room temperature liquid by about 6-7 degrees F. The best part about Ti Cubes is that they do not water down the drink, nor do they impart any 'off' flavours to the beverage they chill.
Risks and challenges
There are inherent challenges when manufacturing anything, especially products made from Titanium. I have found a supplier of titanium, who assures me that he has plenty to meet our needs, but of course if this project goes crazy (which would be great!) we may have some wait time until he can get more titanium from his suppliers.
The other challenge will also be to balance machine time with my husband's business and use of the CNC mill. If the project exceeds the target considerably, pledges will go towards upgrading the workshop with another mill, tooling etc. in order to meet demand.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)