Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Cardboard Packaging

Cardboard frame for gift packaging prior to wrapping
  (+3, -1)
(+3, -1)
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Problem: what to do when you are wrapping up a holiday/birthday gift that is in a form factor which allows the giftee to eaisly recognize what it is?

A solution: just put it in a big box with lots of newspaper or foam peanuts or something.

Problem with that: the item may tend to settle to one side of the box allowing a detectable variance in the overall box's center of mass.

My solution: construct a cardboard frame which securely holds the item in the center of the large box, making it ultimately impossible for the giftee to determine if the box contains a small, dense item or a large, not-so-dense item or something in between. My frame design is extensible to any size larger than the item itself, so long as you have enough raw cardboard you can put a DVD into the box that a 27" TV came in.

This idea should be taken to be my specific design for the cardboard frame, which is easy and quick to construct given four equally sized cardboard rectangles of the desired size. simply cut a flap along one side of the long ends of each of the rectangles, all of equal depth, then slot notch the centers to join a top half of the frame out of two of them, and a bottom half of the frame out of the other two, then stick together with lots of tape.

See the two drawings below, item is depected orientated with its edges orthoginal to the spines of the frame, but it can also be done with the item orientated diagonally, which is actually how I implimentated it this last December 24.
JakePatterson, Jan 13 2002

with item http://www.uvm.edu/...tters/fullframe.jpg
frame with an item in it [JakePatterson, Jan 13 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

without item http://www.uvm.edu/...ters/emptyframe.jpg
frame without item, may be more clear [JakePatterson, Jan 13 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Another configuration http://personal.atl...re/tabbed%20box.bmp
Smaller items, fold the tabs. [reensure, Jan 13 2002]

UPS Testing http://www.ups-psi.com/packdesign.asp
re: photo - All the computer in that room is for is word processing, to tell why you failed. The 'Caution Stripes' are actually the side of their 'Conditions Simulator.' The Simulator AKA 'Shaker' merely vibrates for @ 1 hour with occasional turn by hand of packages to simulate package being thrashed around truck for 3,000 miles. Unseen is the 'Drop-Test' Machine - it is simply a hydraulic table with table surface set to drop at 90 degrees very quickly. When it drops - so does the package. The package is dropped on each corner and edge and side to floor @ 30" below. I went to UPS testing facility in Ontario, CA upwards of 20 times. [thumbwax, Jan 14 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Packaging patent http://patft.uspto....eparator+OR+frame))
"Suspension and retention packaging structures and methods for forming same " Not the same design but one that solves the same problem: eliminating motion inside the package. [bristolz, Jan 14 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       I'm already mildly irked that when I order a single DVD from Amazon.com, they put it in a box big enough to hold 20. It's wasteful, and I wouldn't want to do this sort of thing, myself.
Guncrazy, Jan 13 2002

       Well, Guncrazy, if you have the cardboard sitting around and you are going to recycle it anyway, how is this wasteful, exactly? (besides the tape, I suppose)

I wouldn't be inclined to go and buy *new* cardboard to do this.
JakePatterson, Jan 14 2002

       Nice illustrations Jake. I'm Eliminating the oversized joke/guess/gift aspect of the idea and will focus instead on why you MAY have a patentable design.
Are you familiar with the corrugate packaging industry? With UPS Testing requirements/procedures?
thumbwax, Jan 14 2002

       thumbwax: I am not familiar with the packaging industry, but I think a couple of big limitations of my design for use in shipping would be that it offers no protection against some long object piercing the package, and it would be dificult to keep a heavy item in the bounds of the frame (especially in the diagonal orientation) without connecting the item and the frame using tape.
JakePatterson, Jan 14 2002

       Eliminate what wouldn't/couldn't/shouldn't be shipped - they don't belong in the equation. Look at it this way, I received BMG Compact disks on a few occasions - on 2 occasions, there were cracked shells. 1 shipment with 1 cracked CD shell. 1 shipment with 2 cracked CD shells. What I'm speaking of is what can pass UPS shipping tests. (Quite simple, in its own way)
BMG obviously does not use proper packaging. Just as obviously BMG NEEDS proper packaging. BMG pays money to SOMEBODY for packaging. When somebody has a Patented design which is used, the Patent Holder makes money. Did I just hear a *KaChing*?
thumbwax, Jan 14 2002

       Great idea [JakePatterson]. For those who've annotated beyond the scope of the idea, the idea is for gift wrapping, not shipping.
phoenix, Jan 14 2002

       Oh, well, a smaller *ka-ching* is in order, then.
bristolz, Jan 14 2002

       <repetition>//I'm Eliminating the oversized joke/guess/gift aspect of the idea and will focus instead on why you MAY have a patentable design.//</repetition>
thumbwax, Jan 14 2002

       Hey, Jake, I've croissanted this idea. Now design me a way to fit a gift 27 inch TV into a box that will make the recipient think it's a DVD.
beauxeault, Jan 14 2002

       [JakePatterson]: Ah, my mistake, then. I erroneously believed this to be a product for manufacture, as in, "I think I'll go to Wal-Mart and buy a 40-cubic-inch cardboard frame so they'll never guess they're getting a 14-inch lava lamp."
Guncrazy, Jan 14 2002


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