Monday January 12, 2004

Breaking Down Boxes

Several years ago, our local trash company started to allow just about every type of curbside recycling, including glass, plastic, metal and all kinds of paper - white, colored, junkmail, cardboard. About the only thing they won't take are waxed-paper cereal box inserts, pizza boxes, and milk cartons. I've gotten into the habit of breaking down the light cardboard boxes that used to hold cereal, plastic trash bag boxes, tissues, etc.

Most of these boxes are made from a simple two-dimensional pattern. But some, like the "Glad Tall Kitchen Drawstring Trash Bag" box I broke down this morning, are different. The two-dimensional shape is fairly complex and interesting. It makes me wonder why it was designed that way.

When I was given standardized tests in Junior High and High School, I always loved the ones that asked me to look at a 2-dimensional drawing and pick which three-D shape it would fold into (or vice versa).

A few years ago, I picked up a delightful little book called Structural Package Designs (Pepin Press, copyright 1998, 1999). The book "serves as a reference for structural design. All designs [in the book] have been selected for their functional relevance and acceptability, and can be easily modified to suit specific requirements." It's a 368-page (6"x6"x1") book of 2- and 3-D diagrams of boxes, bags, carriers, liners, and partitions of various shapes, each possible to make from one (or two) sheets of light cardboard or paper. It's one of the more unique and different books in my collection.

Breaking Down Boxes ( in category Random Thoughts ) - posted at Mon, 12 Jan, 10:50 Pacific | «e»