Making Boxes

 In Tuesdays lesson we made three different boxes. Below is a picture of me cutting out the design (the small box in front of me is one I had already finished.)


From this exercise, I learnt that it is extremely important to be precise when constructing your packaging. Even if the measurements are out by 1mm, it’s not going to fit together properly and by the end it’s probably going to be another 2/3mm out. This process seemed quite simple, we applied the double-sided sticky tape first, (it’s easier to do it before cutting out and cut it down to the size as the packaging at the same time, rather than trying to fiddle about with it later) we then cut around the nets out using scalpels and put them together. The measurements of the first net we were given were slightly wrong and so it was a bit of a squeeze to fit the flap into the lid of the box. The second net (below) was fine, but the lid of mine seemed to have too much excess card and bent upwards slightly – I need to make sure the bends are precise.


The third net (below) fit together okay but the two of the locking tabs weren’t designed correctly.  


After this we had the task of manipulating the third net using Illustrator. We had to make the width bigger, the length smaller and correct the locking tabs. I found this quite difficult because its hard to picture how a flat net will look when constructed. We started by sketching the net on paper to get a better idea of the measurements and what it should look like before going onto Illustrator. This taught me that when making my packaging, its important to keep printing my nets and putting them together to make sure they work as they should do. I wasn’t sure how to go about this first, but after some trial and error, and some guidance from Chris, it seemed to come together in the end quite well! Here’s how I carried out the task:

I started by making the basic body of the box using the measurements I had already decided on paper. I used guides to help me position the different parts correctly and the shape tool to make the rectangular faces. I found this part the easiest because I already had all the information written down and it was just a case of making it digital. It is important however that everything is placed precisely or else other parts of the packaging will end up incorrect too. Smart guides enable me to do this because it lets you know when the shapes are lined up to the guide.

Adding the tabs was quite easy because as they worked correctly when we constructed the third box it was just a case of copying the tabs from the original net onto my manipulated version. I used the subselect and scissor tool to make sure i was selecting only the parts I wanted. Once they were pasted onto the manipulated net, they needed to be resized to fit. Rather than just stretching them which would have ruined their structure (and probably would have meant the box was less likely to stay closed because the amount of friction would have been affected), I again used the subselect tool to choose only the anchors I wanted to move along and moved them until they lined up with the faces.

1 2

3 4 

I found the folding tabs most difficult. The curved part of the tab (blue arrow) needed to be halfway across the face that its attached to and the straight part below this (red arrow) needed to be half the width of the face beside this (I’ve highlighted these areas in the first picture above because I think it will be easier to understand than me trying to explain their position!) so that when constructed they will come together perfectly. Again, I copied the tabs from the original net onto my version and resized it to the correct size using the subselect tool to grab the parts I wanted to move along rather than stretching them. It took a while for me to work out the right parts to select but once I had figured that out it was just a case of fitting them to the measurements I already had.

Here it is completed. I added the dotted lines to show where the folds are by changing the brush style of the lines to Dashed Line 1.1.


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