For 3D on the rocks, its latest liquor campaign, Suntory teamed up with Japanese ad agency TBWA\Hakuhodo to offer the world’s first 3D-milled ice cubes. Each creation is the result of a time-consuming modeling process, and are carved to the smallest details with a precision drill. They are then placed at the bottom of a glass of whisky for their first and last journey into this world.
The fruit of such time and effort being bound to melt away might remind some of the ephemeral nature of Japanese beauty, while others may see it as pure obsession with Japanese luxury liquors. Either way, the result is mostly a treat to the eyes – we are not sure how easy it is to enjoy a drink with a Statue of Liberty towering over the edge of your glass, or a torch up your nose.
Subscriptions for the campaign are now closed, but a few lucky participants who submitted their design ideas will have their very own ice cubes milled and served in fine liquor at a secret Tokyo bar. In the meantime, the rest of us can still enjoy pictures of the wild designs created by the agency.
Correction: April 14, 2014
An earlier version of the article described the ice cube-making process as 3D printing, an additive process where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes. The process is actually milling, a subtractive process that relies on the removal of material.