Let's say you want to ship a PC or a Mason jar or a 3D printed part, and being the normal human being you are, don't have large volume of packing peanuts. If you can model the object, you can make a custom cardboard lattice to protect it!
Where I work, we accumulate incredible amounts of cardboard every week. While we do have recycling, it seems terribly wasteful throwing out flattened cardboard boxes without reusing it at least once. My department, despite having a lot of powerful and shiny equipment for making things, has a laser cutter. It is by far my favorite tool to use. I started with 2D engravings, then moved to 3D boxes and enclosures using all manner of joints. Then I discovered Autodesk 123D Make. Like most folks who have downloaded it, I had a lot of fun designing stack-able objects from cut sheets I had around: soccer balls, a model of DNA, the school mascot, etc. While using all of this scrap cardboard, it really got me wondering... What about non-objects? You know, holes, gaps, voids, hollows, cavities. I could create custom cardboard lattices for shipping delicate items while reusing scrap cardboard!
This Instructable will show how you can use free tools like TinkerCAD and 123D Make to create your own custom cardboard partitions / support ribs for cardboard box interiors. Makers rejoice! You can ship like the pros do!
For this you will need.
1) Your object to be shipped.
2) A box to hold your object comfortably.
3) Some cardboard sheet, preferably all the same thickness.
4) Computer with 123D Make and a browser for TinkerCAD or 123D Design. You can use nearly any CAD software you want, and since 123D Design is still new, these steps are for TinkerCAD.
5) Laser cutter.