With Nintendo Lab the major Japanese company is launching the first gaming console made of corrugated cardboard. Photo: Nintendo / PR
Sturdy and Innovative with Air and Paper
Do It Yourself (DIY) is the latest thing for both men and women – handicrafts and making your own furniture is “in”. Numerous Internet portals provide inspiration and instructions for making those favourite DIY items. Be it home-made liqueur, children’s clothing sewn with loving attention to detail or tailor-made dream beds; what used to be necessary and taken for granted some decades ago is dubbed as hip and sustainable today.
Japanese gaming console producer Nintendo wants to jump on this bandwagon now, too. The developers of the Nintendo Labseries of games probably thought that those keen on gaming are also fond of DIY. Which is why from April this year the equipment for Switch gaming consoles can be handcrafted at home – using corrugated cardboard.
Thanks to sophisticated engineering the cardboard consoles have all the gadgets it takes to make gaming great fun. Photo: Nintendo / PR
For the launch the group, that introduced the first Nintendo console in Japan in 1977, plans to offer two packages. ‘Robo-Kit’ is a “construction kit” for a robot-type suit designed to control the game on the monitor. The ‘Variety Kit’ cardboard can be converted into a house, fishing rod, piano, motorcycle or remote control car. Once assembled gamers simply insert the Switch Controller into the kits and are ready to game. However, there is much more to it than just cardboard. Vibration and movement sensors as well as IR cameras make these DIY sets real high-tech cardboard devices.
Cardboard meets Design
But the packaging classic corrugated cardboard can do much more than this. Even furniture manufacturers rely on sturdy corrugated cardboard structures these days to produce high-end and appealing beds, shelves and lamp shades. After all, this packaging material fuses economic and ecological benefits. Its production is low-cost and its reduced weight also scores points in transport. Thanks to its high waste-paper content and its almost 100% reusability corrugated cardboard is considered an exemplary closed-loop product in different industries.
Designer luminaires made of corrugated cardboard. Photo: Nordwerk Design
The lightweight packaging material does, however, require an elaborate high-tech production process. Various paper webs, so-called corrugated boards and protective layers, are carefully glued in one or more plies in order to transport and reliably protect goods that weigh tons. State-of-the-art equipment can produce per minute up to 400 running metres of these single, 2 or 3-ply corrugated cardboards.
The production process is really hot: the base paper, which is made of 75% waste paper as a rule, is first moistened and then heated to make it elastic and mouldable. Then sprocket type grooved rollers give it its characteristic shape under pressure and heat. Like with round arches in architecture this increases the load-bearing capacity. At the same time, the air-paper combination also serves a buffer function. Like an airbag this material absorbs the impact caused by bumps and falls.
„Retail Ready Packaging“
Corrugated cardboard is also popular in marketing. Packaging made of corrugated board is perfectly suited for advertising messages and consumer information. Flexo and offset printing are used to apply colours; furthermore, the surface can be finished with the help of special foils/films. This allows striking 3D effects and embossing as well as special varnishes or holograms to attract attention at the POS. A matching scent added to the printing ink or speaking sound chips appeal to more than one shopper’s senses. According to a consumer survey in 13 countries, this appears to strengthen brand loyalty. The more senses are appealed to, the greater the shoppers’ attention. When several senses are triggered brand loyalty stands at 60 percent. If just one sense is involved the same value is as low as 30 percent.