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Postby iab » January 14th, 2005, 4:28 pm


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ykh wrote:if the entire tracking system is to be electronic (RFID), then why use an electric printer to create a paper barcode?


I have to agree. As time goes on, barcodes will become obsolete and the carriers you mention will use readers for the RF tags.

Postby dmuren » January 15th, 2005, 9:46 pm

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So as far as the packaging goes, it seems as though there are two directions shaking out of this discussion:

Minimum impact (but disposeable)

re-useable (but you have to store it, which is a pain in the butt)

Both of these directions assume something that is not necessarily true: That the packaging can only be THAT packaging.

I'm not proposing that the Audiophile should save his $3000 speaker box by making it into a super-ghetto coffee table, or that the epoxy foam guy needs to make a cute little epoxy foam ash tray for his grandma (yuck)

Instead, what if there were a material (of course, not quite invented yet, but maybe possible) that was reasonably particulate and homogeneous. And, this stuff stuck to itself, and could be caused to "flow", or pack, or build around an object you wanted to ship. And then, this stuff could be caused to "stiffen" with the application of electricity, or magnetism, or heat, or whatever.

So now, rather than everyone saving all these boxes which are non-standard (because who's going to ship a pair of earrings in the box from those speakers?), everyone can just "melt" or break apart, or dissasemble this packaging each time the get something in the mail. And now, everyone can keep a fairly small bucket (as opposed to a giant load of boxes) of "packaging stuff" in a closet for when they have to ship out christmas gifts.
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Magneto-Rheological fluids

Postby Sam » January 29th, 2005, 11:53 pm


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dmuren wrote:Instead, what if there were a material (of course, not quite invented yet, but maybe possible) that was reasonably particulate and homogeneous. And, this stuff stuck to itself, and could be caused to "flow", or pack, or build around an object you wanted to ship. And then, this stuff could be caused to "stiffen" with the application of electricity, or magnetism, or heat, or whatever.


This stuff is probably an environmental nightmare, but it is a good example of a material changing states when an external force is applied.

Magneto-Rheological fluids

Basically this grey-goo is a solution of tiny magnetized bits that changes in consistency almost instantly when a magnetic field is applied to it.

Postby dmuren » January 30th, 2005, 4:00 am

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The MR fluid was definitely on my mind with that post, but as you said, it would be a cleanup nightmare. The base of the fluid is a silicone oil that just gets into everything and sticks like there's no tomorrow. Plus, the stuff is awfully expensive for just being a packing agent, and it is mostly iron particles, so it would add quite a bit to shipping costs.

I was thinking more on the lines of something like the eurethane foam injected into bags idea for packaging. That's light, formable, and durable for shipping. But it's completely non-reusable.

It might be as simple as little balls of foam with a velcro-like coating so that they stuck to each other, but not the otem to be shipped. Then they could be removed and stored away for next time.
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Postby artur83 » January 30th, 2005, 2:31 pm

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taking a different route, why not have a little device at home a size of a paper shredder (or a toaster) that would re-melt the plastic bags into cubes (like crushing cars into cubes). Then you bring those cubes back to the mall/store and get like 5 cents a cube or something.

There is different plastics for different packaging. I am talking about just the thermoplastic plastics for now, although a similar principal could be applied to thermosets.

Anyway, sorting out plastics and melting similar plastics together becomes the responsibility of the consumer (PE with PE, PS with PS, and so on).
This would not only save space in the recycling trucks, but also educate consumers about different kinds of plastics.

Back at the recycling facility the cubes would undergo a type of 'scan' to see for impurities (paper, metals, paints(that are of a different kind of plastic)) and deal with them apropriately.

Just an idea I though to throw in this brainstorm.

Re: Slam #1: Methods for Product Repackaging

Postby SmVillage » January 31st, 2005, 7:01 pm

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Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 10:19 pm Post subject:

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I heard that some european countries require foreign manufacturers to recieve their packaging back. Does anyone know anything about that?



I LIKE This Idea....[psted by gadget--guy]
i'm sure this has been done before. HP does this with thier empty ink cartridges...I think this idea need to be implemented by those HIGH END DIGITAL COMPANIES...
the inflatable packaging is good too...but I think now we as designers need to help implement WAYS to encourage consumers to ACT ON SAVING/REUSING/RETURNING...packaging that usally aides them in purchasing the product....

RESALE, REUSE, RETURN....
passion + creativity = design

Postby ykh » February 8th, 2005, 6:10 pm


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believe CG mentioned breaking down product into raw material for RP somewhere? sounds like something he could use himself. an automated UPS store in miniature. full-service in a box!

Postby cg » February 14th, 2005, 12:00 pm

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Thanks to everyone for the excellent support and feedback for my design slam topic!

Today is the deadline, and although obligations have prevented me from completing the entry, I'm more than satisfied at having spawned discussion among the design community on the issue!

At the very least I hope this discourse may in some way act as a springboard for your own professional work, or to help raise awareness for sustainability and the changing role of the product life-cycle.

Together we can get this right, and as designers can truly affect positive change! Thanks again, and best of luck, -cg

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