So you've been working in Illustrator, or some other design package, designing something cool and you want to do a quick mock-up to test the scale and functionality out...

...The idea may be in the early stages (or too large) to warrant a 3D Print, so perhaps consider using cardboard?

Having worked in concept generation departments in a few companies now, as a Design Engineer, I can say that these sort of 'quick & dirty' prototypes can really engage a team to make a decision, highlight a few critical functional/aesthetic flaws - or even just have some fun, as with this unapologetically retro BoomBox designed and built with my friends at Bare Conductive.


You can just stick on some paper layout buttons - but in actual fact - Bare Conductive Paint (and the new Bare Conductive Touch Board on Kickstarter) allows you to make each of those black 2D buttons a programmable user interface - pumping out all sorts of sounds, via amazing surface-mounted speakers.


- Check out more Design Modelling ideas on my Instructables page or website.
- Take a look at the Conductive Paint and/or Speakers.
- Check out the UI/UX Controller Board - now on Kickstarter!

As well as helping some great friends out with this BoomBox, this is a pretty good demonstration of how to create impact quickly with a scale model. Sure you can add weight and other complexity later on, to make it more realistic, but really being able to feel the concept take shape in a matter of hours is really exciting for any creative team.

Hope the Instructable is clear and some of the design tips are useful.

Let me know how you get on!



Step 1: Print out your 2D concept

1. Print out your design:

Typically 1:1 is a good scale if possible, though arguably architectural buildings should be smaller (though Shigeru Ban would perhaps say otherwise) - and sometimes tiny things can benefit from being scaled up, e.g. Sub-Atomic Structures.

Note - Don't trust a basic printer to print to perfect 1:1 scale!
You may find that when you do print, you may need to first draw a scale line in the programme you are using and then measure this when it prints - this can help you scale it up, e.g. by 102% to correct it if needed. Also, you can be quite economical about printing - as shown, there was no need to print a second speaker, as both were identical.

2. You will need:

- Cardboard. Ideally the 'single corrugated' kind. (Amazon Boxes are great).
- Scalpel.
- Ruler.
- Cutting Mat (large than your piece - A2 is perfect).
- Spray Mount Adhesive*.
- Glue Gun.
Suggested Design Modelling info on Tools/Links, here.

*Please use in well ventilated areas and put down newspaper to protect surround area, as aside from being bad to inhale the fumes, you will have sticky floors for ages and your parents/tutors/flatmates will hate you for it.

<p>my life has never been the same ever since I realized that I could use cardboard to bring ideas to life. you have great skills and tricks to share. thank you very much. </p>
<p>Hey Jude: Thanks for subscribing, I have done the same...I got part of the inspiration for my project: </p><p>http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-A-Cardboard-Binocular-Microscope/ from a link to your site via another instructable. Love cardboard so was naturally attracted to your site. Thanks for posting and as you can see I have done alot of work with cardboard. Your tips on making rebates and scoring or damaging one side of cardboard in order to make it flexible are great tips. One for you is a dedicated cardboard cutter....see it here: </p><p>http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-A-Better-Cardboard-Cutter/ Take care. </p>
Hi Creativeman,<br><br>Really cool box cutter - will have to see if I can make a variant for myself. Inspired by your work - the simplicity is great.<br><br>I will certainly have a go and think about the efficiencies I could make to my process as well!<br><br>I will look out for your stuff.<br><br>Best wishes,<br>Jude
That looks great
Thanks - looks like the Touch Board is almost at its target in only one day!

About This Instructable


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Bio: I'm a Product Design Engineer, currently living in the UK. I have been fortunate to have lived, studied and worked in Hong Kong, Norway ... More »
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