Saturday, April 5, 2008

Modular Caddys

Late last year I created a modular caddy made from two sheets of American Letter sized paper or card. The divider had triangular feet which pointed forwards and were then tucked in with the skin. The skin was then swept upwards and tucked into the triangular pocket at the center top of each end.

I have been revisiting this design because a publisher wants to include it in an upcoming book.

The publisher wanted a large caddy for a photoshoot. This worked better in card weight material than it did in text weight material. Unfortunately, large sheets of decorative heavy weight material of the type the publisher wanted were hard to find. So I tried using lighter material. This was not particularly successful. The large prototype in soft wallpaper required the use of - ahem- glue to keep it from falling apart. Thanks to Paper Mojo, an internet store with a wide selection of gorgeous papers, I eventually found large sheets of paper with the requir
ed qualities that was stiff enough to use successfully. .

This was not the end of the story. The problems I had been experiencing encouraged me to explore ways to improve the original design so that it could be made with softer material. I knew that I had to make the external walls stronger and the tuck in method firmer.

Finally I came up with a model which achieved these ends. I used two large squares of paper and box pleats and some optional pieces of card to provide additional strength to the walls.

The feet, wh
ich were tucked upwards in the original series, are now tucked underneath by being inserted in the box pleats on the base of the caddy. The front flap is also tucked into these pleats instead of being tucked into the top triangle. The side skin is now tucked into pockets on the ends of the internal divider.

The pictured model was made from soft wallpaper. It works!

The central wall
is strengthened with a square of heavy card. You can see this showing as a colored slit in the center of the end wall. If you don't like the look of this it can be covered by inserting a decorative square into the front pockets.

The side walls can also be strengthened by inserting squares in the side wall pockets or, better, by inserting a rectangle (two squares end on) underneath the divider floor which is tucked into the wall pockets on each side. This makes the model extremely sturdy, even when made from floppy vinyl coated wallpaper.

The plastic coating on the paper means that the model can be used in situations where it will get damp or have food dropped on it. You can wipe it clean. You can also poke pencils or pens into the pockets and not worry about the mess these will make.

Here are the crease pattens.

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