Let's Talk About Packaging

A project log for Mr. Robot Badge Mk. 2

We're back.

benchoffBenchoff 04/05/2018 at 19:142 Comments

This is putting several carts before the horse, but this update is going to talk about packaging for these badges. This is surprisingly hard, and there are a few special considerations I need to take care of.

Last year, the packaging for the MrRobotBadge was simple. It was just an antistatic bag, with each bag loaded up with a badge, lanyard, and sometimes a fidget spinner. It was small, sufficient, but didn't really have the glitz and glam I would like.

This year, I'd like to do something different. The And!XOR guys did a great job with their packaging last year -- it was custom-printed boxes -- and the Crypto and Privacy village can tell you a whole lot about ordering custom printed boxes. This is the gold standard for distributing badges. It's secure, it looks great, and it's actually not that expensive. will do custom printed boxes for about $1/piece. That's right on the money for where I want my packaging expenses to be.

However, there's a problem with boxes. They're big. I'm going to ship 1000 units this year, and that means forty cubic feet of boxes. These need to be shipped out to Vegas somehow, and that's an entire pallet. While my car has a larger cargo capacity, it's just barely big enough. This is a huge, huge volume of stuff. Weight isn't a problem; it's volume.

This brings me around to last year's plan. Anti-static bags. This year is a little different, though, and I have a few requirements:

The obvious solution is bags. Here's what I've come up with:

Uline has some anti-static bubble mailers that would be perfect for the job of holding a badge. This is actually cheaper than the plain silver anti-static bags I can find on AliBaba. This is what I'm using for the MrRobotBadges.

These bags have a problem: they're not opaque. I need a solution to hide a shitty addon, and possibly add some branding. I've come up with a few solutions.

The first is poly mailers from StickerMule. They're opaque, padded, and I can do some custom branding (on only one side, but whatever. I can throw the anti-static bubble mailer in there, a shitty addon, batteries and a lanyard, and call it good.

The second solution is a two-part deal. Uline also has some mostly-opaque bags I can use for the shitty addons. These can be thrown into the padded anti-static bags. For branding, I can get a roll of printed labels for the outside of the anti-static bags. It's not ideal, but it is a good solution that meets all the criteria.

There are a number of things I need to consider, but the most important are cost and size of the packaged product. Between the two, I'm just going to go with the Uline anti-static bubble mailers. That means buying thirty five pounds of bubble wrap. Do you have any idea what thirty five pounds of bubble wrap looks like?

That is what thirty five pounds of bubble wrap looks like.

My solution to hide the shitty add-ons was to buy... dime bags. From Uline. They're ziplock poly bags that are just too translucent.

It's not good. I wanted to hide the shitty addons. I guess I'll just cover it with creatively packing the badges.

That's packaging sorted, now it's time to make a badge.


Ted Yapo wrote 04/05/2018 at 21:24 point

Are you accepting returns?  ESD-safe procedures are only for entities that experience some consequence when their shitty product doesn't work in the field :-)

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deʃhipu wrote 04/05/2018 at 20:58 point

One word of warning. That pink plastic bag is anti-static and not static-shielding, so it doesn't *protect* from static electricity. It just doesn't get charged with static electricity when you rub it, like normal plastic bags do. But you can still zap your parts through it, as shown by Dave Jones here:

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