Ever had to move house or pack up your items in a box? It can be pretty frustrating as boxes can get pretty unwieldy, not to mention the amount of tape you’d have to put in order to properly secure it, and let’s not forget that boxes are made from cardboard which are in turn made from trees, meaning that assuming everyone recycles their boxes, these boxes tend to go to waste, leading companies to produce new boxes every year. It is exactly this problem that two students at the Albert Nerken School of Engineering have set out to solve which has resulted in what Henry Wang and Chris Curro called the Rapid Packaging Container. A box that is neither wasteful nor hard to piece together (or take apart, for that matter).
According to their research, it has been found that over 100 billion cardboard boxes are made in the US on an annual basis, and that only 37% of a box’s materials can be used for recycling. The Rapid Packaging Container hopes to address that as the students claim that their box uses 15-20% less cardboard, while at the same time maintaining a 260-pound load strength. The box is also incredibly easy to put together and can be done in a matter of seconds, versus a traditional box where it takes a little longer. In fact not only does the Rapid Packaging Container take seconds to put together, but it takes about a second to open up by simply pressing in the middle, causing the box to pop right open.
Of course there are questions and flaws in the design, such as what’s to prevent the box from popping open itself during transit, or if the deliveryman were to press it accidentally? Also how does this compare to bigger companies who might have machines who put these boxes together? However as an idea and as a design, it is a pretty cool one. The students have a patent pending and are looking for manufacturers to help turn it into a reality.