Posted 05.27.2019 by Kitty Costello
File this under “Overreaching And Figuring Out a Way to Recover Gracefully”. Our initial concept for packaging inserts involved having forms cut from 1 1/2” thick cork that is manufactured for use as an insulating element on homes and buildings. We thought we would have these profiles waterjet cut or routered on a CNC machine to provide a sustainable and unique bit of presentation and protection for our Brass Family parts. And we even got the diamond logo shape in there.
But it didn’t work out as planned. First off, we just couldn’t get the waterjet parts to look finished enough. Edge quality degrades with thicker materials, which you can see in the photo. Also, waterjet cutting involves garnet (sand) and water and it’s hard to keep these materials, which basically form a silt/dust, off of the materials that are being cut. If it’s a metal, it’s not a problem to wash them afterwards, but the surface of the cork picks this up, it’s very hard to remove- the parts just appear to be dirty. A further attempt to have the manufacturer cut the parts with a router didn’t yield anything usable either.
We finally came to the conclusion that the whole concept was just needlessly costly and complicated for a simple packaging insert that was going into what was already an expensive custom box. Since the boxes can’t be changed, we’d have to figure out and alternative insert.
We eventually settled on buying a digital cutting machine, basically a small printer-type CNC machine that uses a blade to cut fabric, paper, cardboard, plastic, etc. to make some foldable inserts to take up the space. We’ve been experimenting with various thickness of chipboard and finally have something that seems to be working in the short term. And we even managed to keep our diamond logo as part of the new design.
If we had it to do over, we’d probably make the boxes to have a nice tight fit tangential to the two circles contained inside, but it’s just not practical to redo them. Necessity is, indeed, the mother of invention.