A while back, in my piece about “close packing” I tried to make the point that if someone wanted to create an unusual package for their product (but still fill space efficiently) there were some shapes, other than rectangular boxes, that could do this.
One of those shapes is the rhombic dodecahedron and that is the basis of the John Edminster box pictured here. Geometrically, you could think of it as half of an elongated rhombic dodecahedron or as a hexagonal prism with a rhombic-dodecahedral top.
I first learned about this box in The Packaging Designer’s Book of Patterns (by George L. Wybenga and Lászlo Roth). The pattern appears on page 498 of my edition and is called the “tri-tuck closure hexagon.”
I tracked John Edminster down (online) and he very generously sent me some samples. Formerly a teacher of packaging design at FIT in the 1990’s, he was perhaps ahead of his time in drawing connections between package design and the emerging science of fractal geometry. Incredibly, his polyhedral package designs have not yet been used in a retail package, which is a real shame because they would certainly set themselves apart on a shelf full of rectangular boxes! Edminster has also authored a Quaker tract entitled, Jesus Christ Forbids War and regularly blogs as “Thy Friend John” at Among Friends.
The dieline of this box differs slightly from the one shown in the Wybenga/Roth book because it includes a tri-fold version of a Himes lock bottom. I love the way Edminster was able to engineer the shape of the tuck flaps to work with these alternative polyhedral geometries—(like a rhombic dodecahedron!)
It’s all well and good to know your way around the construction of a rectangular box, but to envision the possibility of a “tri-tuck closure”—three flaps tucking into one another in way that looks almost woven—that, I think, requires an intuitive grasp of the more exotic polyhedrons.
(See another John Edminster tri-tuck closure box after the jump.)
This box is a true rhombic dodecahedron with tri-tuck closures at each end.
Beach Packaging Design