Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Box Invention - Hexagon's Are Not Much Better Than Circles

Odd fact about me -- I don't care much for circles. Don't like drawing circles, don't like cutting circles, don't like dancing in circles. I've learned recently that I may not like Hexagons much better than circles.

This past Tuesday I was feeling adventurous. I needed to make a box. But not just any box, a new kind of box. I drew a picture of a hexagon. It took about an hour to draw a perfect one and yes I am a bit ashamed of that. I had to run a few tests to find the best possible way to adhere the sides of the box. Gluing them straight to the base didn't go over so well. Things were uneven, sides collided. Plan B came into play.

Key Note for Plan B -- When constructing a french tray one must glue the separate sides to the edge of a piece of cloth with ever so specific spaces between them, fold that over onto itself and then glue the extending cloth to the bottom of the base. This permits the sides to wrap around corners without jutting out awkwardly. Gluing the sides straight to the base and then covering with cloth is part of the clamshell formula.

Using the french tray strategy, I glued all six sides to a piece of cloth, prayed and pieced it all together. My theory was a success. Now all I had to do was make three trays identical to one another and make sure I didn't get glue everywhere. This part was mostly a success. As this was my first attempt at a weirdly shaped box (and I haven't even approached the process of assembling the three trays on top of one another yet) I knew there would be some oversized or undersized cuts and spaces. One or two millimeters really make a difference, especially when the items constructed are meant to be stacked.

The Case -- Two sides of each tray would be glued to two walls of a six part case. This would allow the trays to move semi-independently and sit diagonally a step up from each other. After a lot of gluing, clamping and waiting I closed the box. While slightly uneven I thought this was a darn good prototype. In the evaluation process I realized several spacial issues needed to be addressed with the case and then I'd be able to mass produce these boxes. But HOLD ON A MINUTE. Cutting out each hexagon, even with a fresh large olfa blade, is not fun. No more fun than cutting out circles. The six sides are tricksy and finicky. I enjoyed the process and production of something new, but I can honestly say I don't feel very great about hexagons anymore. I'm hoping the Octagon Project will bring better results.