Good designs for cardboard?

Wondered if anyone had any good designs or just ideas that would utilize a lot of cardboard?
I recently moved and specifically saved as many “good” cardboard boxes as possible with the intention of prototyping and generally learning how to use the Forge once I get it. First few weeks after the move have been dedicated to getting the house in order (not done!), but this past weekend I spent a few hours in the garage. I’m expecting my Email any day now (save the jokes) and so need to get the shop area ready.
Well, I guess I didn’t realize how big a pile of cardboard I really have. I have a LOT.
Of course I want to make the Globe from the intro video, and prototyping is going to take a cut, but I still have plenty.
So, looking for ideas that would be good for noob training, or just really intrinsicly clever.
{@Jules, I saw on another thread you mentioned a “eco-birdcage”? Can you point me at that?}
Bonus points for project ideas that will help me ramp up in Illustrator, Sketch-up, Fusion 360, etc.


So far my use of cardboard has been to verify parts of a new design and to get a sense of size particularly on larger items. I can take out the tape measure and get an idea, but until I see it in true 3D I won’t cut larger pieces out of the intended material. I have a lot of extra cardboard and have started recycling again. All I save now are the large pieces without a bend in them.


It’s getting hard to find my own stuff now…(talk too much)… :smile:


Thanks!! Love it! Did you use any of those “slicing” software tools to design it?

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Not for that one…I was testing myself and designed the whole thing directly in Illustrator.

(Lot o’ math. Kept a spreadsheet to keep track of the layers - 88 of them in the final version.) :slightly_smiling_face:

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The kleenex box cover I posted the other day is a great use for cardboard. It will work as is with normal .15" cardboard. Just skin it in some nice duct tape, masking tape or fancy contact paper. It’s lightweight and so much better for handing over to the weeping than the heavy wooden boxes.

Prototyping any design is great in cardboard. It’s a good stand in for thin Proofgrade. Just learning how to position things and getting the work flow down without ruining good material is helpful. Yes, you’ll be able to use tested designs right off the bat, but if you get a design from some other source or make one your own, you’ll be surprised at the funny things you discover after the print is done.

I’ve been making some cardboard iterations of my church wine box. They make nice gift boxes for good wine. Once again, just some well placed masking tape, or wet activated kraft paper type box tape works fine to cover the joints.

Folks have been discussing slicing things up and using cardboard, but it seems that there is no simple solution to the issue. From what I read, Rhino is probably best at the moment but Fusion 360 is coming along. I’ve been playing with OnShape today and Kiri Moto to understand what is needed to slice a model efficiently and get it into SVGs. I’m half way there, as in 1/2 of the cardboard slices. Now I have to think through some complex geometries and my mind doesn’t think that way. It’s a matter of tweaking numbers though at the moment. I have a sphere. I slice it with a materials thickness to produce the desired number of cuts. Now I have to go back to the sphere and clone the object and do some booleans to get the other half. I’m sure there are more efficent ways to do this, but learning the geometries of slicing and mating parts is really the most important thing. If I can get the sphere sliced correctly, then I can move on to other shapes.