What is Cardboard Engineering? From box making to point of sale, hobby and interactive marketing products

What is cardboard engineering? The term does not exist on Wikipedia. Web searches for “cardboard engineering definition” and other similar questions turn up no results. You won’t find “cardboard engineering” anywhere in the US (they call it cardboard, but you can’t find “cardboard engineering” either). And yet, if you put “cardboard engineering” on Google.com, it reports over 3,000,000 results, whereas a search for “cardboard engineers” yields 1,740,000 results.

So back to the original question: what is cardboard engineering? To find out, let’s take a look at these diversified examples: they all produce quite different things, but each area describes itself as being involved in cardboard engineering.

Companies that manufacture cardboard boxes and packaging employ cardboard engineering skills to create products that can range from a fairly ordinary rectangular box to a highly innovative product that acts as a presentation package. The term “cardboard engineering” also seems to cover latch mechanisms with names like shock lock bottoms, side panel locks, and tuck lock tops.

Companies involved in the production of point-of-sale products also use cardboard engineering techniques in the design of point-of-sale units, from giant freestanding displays to countertop dispensers. Larger POS companies employ highly sophisticated CAD design systems, cutting plotters and large format printers in their design departments and work on a variety of materials that can include corrugated cardboard, display board and folding carton board.

There are many cardboard engineers who use their skills as a hobby, creating models and automata. This group is closely related to others with crafts and hobbies interested in paper engineering, card making, hand book making, and origami. These groups actually represent the largest number of participants with millions of enthusiasts around the world.

However, there is one area where cardboard engineering can create quite a stir, especially in the world of business-to-business promotional marketing. Using a combination of skills drawn from the various worlds of paper engineering, promotional packaging, paper crafts, structural packaging, and the technology involved in emerging book design; the cardboard engineered items produced for the promotional and advertising market are perhaps the most intriguing.

Products in this area have the most amazing moves. There are emerging products that work with rubber bands that come in all shapes and sizes. They are often used in direct marketing and jump out of the mailing package to give the recipient a big surprise. There are other products with really fancy movements that enlarge when opened or can twist and turn. There are many interactive products designed to keep the interest of the B2B customer. One UK company with a wide range of examples like these is Whitney Woods.

So what is cardboard engineering? Well, after poring over the top search results for “cardboard engineering”, it seems to boil down to a term that covers the design of any three-dimensional object that is made of cardboard, from boxes to displays. units to the manufacture of models and the production of promotional advertising products.

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