August 1, 2013 AT 1:10 pm

3D Design Inspiration: Structural Packaging: Design your own Boxes and 3D Forms #3DThursday #3DPrinting

Structural Packaging Design your own Boxes and 3D Forms

Each week, I share some of the books and other resources I have found profoundly inspiring in my investigation into 3D design for 3D printing. The full list lives here on the pinboard “3D Design to 3D Print Inspirations” and each #3DThursday I share about those that I most highly recommend.

Structural Packaging: Design your own Boxes and 3D Forms

By Paul Jackson

Author Paul Jackson is well known as an Origami/Kirigami artist and designer, with a number of popular design books that can help you generate complex shapes from flat sheets. While Kirigami might be directly counter to how CAD thinks about digital models for 3D printing, exploring the visual puzzle for how the flat surfaces fold together to produce such elegant forms is a daily sudoku challenge to help you gain a deeper and deeper understanding for how to think three dimensionally.

In fact, learning how to stack a complex series of translations will be the best tool to help you break out of the rigid three-axes constraints for how many design tools, developed from 2D blueprinting tools and tuned for injection mold design, think about three dimensions.

From the publisher’s description:

Unlike other packaging titles, which simply provide templates to copy, this book enables designers of all packaging types to create 3-D packaging forms that are specific to their needs rather than based on an existing design.

It teaches a simple ‘net’ construction system – a one-piece 2-D configuration of card seen when a 3-D package is opened out and flattened – which enables the designer to create a huge number of very strong 3-D packaging forms that are both practical and imaginative. Each chapter concludes with photographs and net drawings of 6–10 creative examples of packaging designs made using the principles outlined in the preceding chapter.

Structural Packaging gives the reader an understanding of the underlying principles of packaging construction and the technical knowledge and confidence to develop a greater number of their own unusual and innovative designs than any comparable book.

“Your job as a designer is not to find all the options (life is too short) but to find the ones that work for you; to limit your options … put simply: to design.”

About the Author

Paul Jackson has been a professional paper folder and paper artist since 1982 and is the author of 30 books on paper arts and crafts. He has taught the techniques of folding on more than 150 university-level design courses in the UK, Germany, Belgium, the US, Canada and Israel. These include courses in Architecture, Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Textile Design, Jewellery, Product Design, Packaging, Ceramics, Industrial Design, Fine Art, Basic Design and Interior Design. He has also taught many workshops in museums, arts centres and festivals and has worked as ‘folding consultant’ for companies such as Nike and Siemens.

Read more.

Structural Packaging Design your own Boxes and 3D Forms

Structural Packaging Design your own Boxes and 3D Forms


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Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!

The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!

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