RE: Idea for research project to solve shipping nightmare

From: Blasch, Larry (
Date: Wed Oct 08 2003 - 23:36:13 EEST

I've used the SLA process to build a "nest" of support structure for
shipping purposes.

I just added the cost of the nest into the quote for the prototypes.

You can automate the process by assembling the parts as they are to be
shipped, and combining them into a single STL file.

If you set the support parameters correctly, you can build the nest with no
saw teeth (and no overlap into the prototypes) to make them fit with
virtually zero clearance around the prototypes.

Create the supports from as many directions as necessary to trap the
prototypes in a rigid structure that can be disassembled.

To get a nest to go completely around a prototype you can create an
additional object for the program to support that is shaped like the
underside of the top surface of the box. The result will be a honeycomb
structure with a cavity shaped like your prototype in it. Split this
structure as needed to allow for assembly.

Box the completed structure in something indestructible so that nothing can
move and you are ready to ship.


Larry Blasch

Lawrence R. Blasch
Design Engineer
CAE Systems Administrator
OPW Fueling Components
P.O. Box 405003
Cincinnati, OH 45240-5003 USA
Voice: (513) 870-3356
Fax: (513) 870-3275

The above correspondence contains, my opinions, and such. If you disagree
with me, send $100 to the address below and I'll consider your point of

-----Original Message-----
From: Charles Overy []
Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2003 2:15 PM
Subject: RE: Idea for research project to solve shipping nightmare


It reminds me of 6 grade science class where we had to package an egg in a
box that was going to be dropped from a flag pole. The person with the
lightest packaging won.

I dont think it was me...

Seriously, back when I was at Martin Marietta I had to ship a complex
sensor back to a different lab. In the central warehouse there was a team
of engineers that did nothing but packaging. I assume if you are going to
pack something for transport on the Suttle you really want to have it get
there. But these guys also did design of packaging for far more mundane
jobs like the sensor.

I would think it would not be too difficult to get data on the average
forces experienced in various shipping scenarios and then look at the
survivability of various RP parts. The default shipping method always
seems to be foam peanuts but sometimes the peanuts can actually cause damage
to the part.

Also we have used the RP process to make fixtures to improve shipping
survivability. Could you make that work into your packaging solution?

The solutions we did find for shipping: we may have found a company that
will provide 3rd party insurance for high value fragile items. Will post if
it works. Also, air cargo, where you drop it off at the airport and
customer picks it up is very cost effective for large items and reduces 3rd
party trucking. However, you do need to be precleared to ship this way due
to new security regulations. Certification takes at least 3 weeks so plan
ahead if you intend to use that method.

Charles Overy

LGM - visualization products for architecture, development and land
planning. 800 448-8808

-----Original Message-----
From: []On Behalf Of
Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2003 8:53 AM
Subject: Idea for research project to solve shipping nightmare

Kenny / Phill et al

Further to the previous thread on Shipping of parts, etc. and having just
received an undamaged, apparently well-packaged box of 2 urgent parts (one
of which was in 6 pieces, the other in 7 pieces...) I have a suggestion for
a future research project....

How about sorting out a definitive packaging solution for waxes / delicate
layer built parts which more often than not end up broken or damaged
(usually only on critical projects!)

Having witnessed over 10 years of trial and error (as both supplier /
customer) using various combinations of: boxes within boxes, eps peanuts,
bubble wrap, sealed air pockets, inflatable bags, cotton wool, shredded
paper, silicone rubber, ceramic etc. there is still no comprehensive
solution for this as far as I am aware.

Geometry and material are the key variables, and I am sure that list members
could provide some suitable test geometries. (Wax turbine wheels for
automotive diesel turbos for starters).

Potential end result could be a packaging solution for delicate parts
available at a premium. If this could effectively guarantee the safe
arrival of your parts, then it would be worth the extra ($10? $50? $100?)
per shipment.

Am I crazy or would this be best solved by a research project approach?

I am tortured by visions of boxes suspended by springs on all sides that
couriers could play soccer with and still not break the part(s) held safely

Any comments / ideas welcome.


Nick Osborn
Fenland RP Ltd
Mobile: +44 (0) 7881 92 00 38
Tel: +44 (0) 1406 350 124
Fax: +44 (0) 1406 350 183
In a message dated 03/10/2003 09:32:47 GMT Standard Time, writes:

Subj:PhD studentship available - UK based
Date:03/10/2003 09:32:47 GMT Standard Time
Sent from the Internet

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