Two undergraduate students at Cooper Union have built a better box, which could make a huge difference in the packing and shipping business, by saving time, money, and resources, and perhaps causing the shipping industry to beat a path to their door.
While some inventors and innovators are working toward building greener cars, better batteries, smaller computers, or more powerful renewable energy solutions, others are reinventing some of the everyday things that we take for granted, such as the ubiquitous cardboard box.
Chris Curro and Henry Wang, both engineering students at Cooper Union, invented a new type of packing carton, called the Rapid Packing Container, which uses up to 20% less cardboard, is quicker to use for both packing and unpacking, requires no tape, and can be easily flipped inside out for reuse.
The Rapid Packing Container isn't that radically different, in terms of the material itself, but the way that the box is cut out and creased allows their version of the cardboard box to be quickly built and sealed, using just a single motion and a small bit of adhesive. The box can then be opened by the recipient with one simple motion, which allows the box to be instantly deconstructed for storage, reuse, or recycling.
Curro and Wang's Rapid Packing Container was the grand prize winner of Cooper Union's "Invention Factory" contest, which solicited student-created inventions that could eventually be patentable, and received a $5000 award for their efforts. They are currently seeking a patent for their iteration of the cardboard box.