Thursday, April 1, 2010

Packaging/shipping strategies.....or "How to put all your eggs in one basket without breaking any of them..."

I promised Nikki I'd let her know what was devised for shipping the orreries and I'm sharing it with all of you.

When my son was 13, the science class was issued a challenge: take a raw egg and drop it from the roof of the Administration Bldg without breaking. Surprisingly, (or perhaps not) his team was among the winners. The idea is to keep the egg from hitting the inside of the packaging AND to disperse the energy of the "fall" around it. They used lots of styrofoam, bubble wrap and duct tape.

This "experiment", along with looking at how my ceramic "Snow Village" is packaged, was the basis for our strategy.

See how the house is within a "cell" and, by means of the carved out areas, doesn't move within it? That is the plan. I had several pieces of the extruded polystyrene. You can use something that has been sent to you or it is available in sheets at the Home Improvement store. I believe it is used for insulation on new housing and comes in 2" and 1" sheets. I had it because I used it as a base for my Snow makes nice "snow" and can easily be shaped with a hot tool/wire.

Below are the "hot" tools I used but anything like even a soldering iron or a very sharp knife can be used.

First I cut 2 pieces to the desired shape and siz and then made a "lid".

I measured the size of the object and cut out a hole in the center piece and a small bit out of the bottom to contain the object snugly. Then I stacked this point you could glue the two of them together.

Put the oject in the hole. I didn't show this but I put cut pieces of the small bubble wrap behind it as a cushion. The I put more of the cut up bubble wrap around and over it. Then comes the cover.

Tape the whole thing up and then put it in a sturdy cardboard box with more cushioning. And then mail.

Now to drop it off the Astromony Tower and see what happens. There is one other method I am going to try for items where the "sticking out things" (for lack of a better term) are so delicate that nothing should touch them at all. But that is for the next post....
And always work in a well ventilated area when using a hot wire because the polystyrene does emit fumes which, I am sure, are not good to breathe.



miniannalee said...

I also did the egg drop of a building. I packed mine in marshmellows inside two plastic berry containers. My egg survived the fall.

miniannalee said...

I worked as a styrofoam package designer at my last job. I made my own custom packages for my minis on the CNC machine. I really liked the job but they had a big lay off and I was let go. You did a great job on the packing.

Tabitha Corsica said...

How ingenious, Anna! Though I am not sure about the marshmellows and minis..... :-)


Ara said...

Thanks for showing us this! Good idea! I've had to do the egg drop project many times and I don't think we've ever won so good job to your son!

Debbie said...

Lets hope the packaging works Tabitha. Hopefully it will.. x

Lize said...

Well I think sometimes the postal services treat the packages like the egg being dropped from way up high!

Good thing your package looks ready for the treatment!

Peach Blossom Hill said...

Brilliant! How well you solved that dilemma! Thank you for sharing your how-to!


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Gail Lackey said...

Great packing tip! I think packing is my very least favorite thing in the world!!
HUgs, Gail

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Flor said...

¡Mucha Gracias Tabitha!!
Seguro cada que envie minis, me quedare mas tranquila de que llegen perfectas a su destino ,por mas lejos que este sea. ( =

Mari said...

Wow... Thank you for your great idea. I think that it's very important to know a way to send a delicate miniature without risk ;-)