Packaging is becoming an increasingly innovative area within design. Jewellery packaging in particular is a space where there is a lot of room for experimentation. For this week’s “Material Monday: Series 1” entry Seetal Solanki of Ma-tt-er considers the water jet cutting process as a method for packaging.
Using water as a means of cutting has been a part of our manufacturing history since the mid-1800s when hydraulic-mining, used high pressured jets of water to cut and move rock material and sediment, was the cutting method of choice. The 1930s saw the introduction of the narrow water jet industrial cutting device, which was dedicated to softer materials such as paper. Currently this process can also cut stone, metal, plastic, composites, foams, rubbers and is commonly used for packaging.
Jewellery packaging in particular is something that is perhaps not such an obvious choice for innovative techniques due to the small-scale dimensions. However, water jet cutting can achieve such imaginative shapes and forms due to its precision, finish and multiple material choices.
What is more, the wide range of material choices for this process enables for perhaps a more experimental approach. If used in combination to create unique joints and folds, depending on the material, the final packaging may not require any adhesives or fixtures.
Designers such as Sruli Recht have manipulated this process and created a jewellery box with the simple use of corrugated cardboard that left no burnished edges and left the material intact of its intrinsic properties.
Water jet cutting is achieved through a high pressured nozzle which is operated by pumps that releases the water at an immense speed, so much so that it’s one of the fastest methods of cutting a piece of material.
Some of the other benefits of using water jet cutting are:
- The water can be recycled in a closed loop system
- Provides accuracy and intricacy which in turn creates far less waste due to its 0.04 mm tolerance
- No heat is applied which can affect the intrinsic properties of the material
- Produces fewer airborne dust particles, smoke, fumes, and contaminants, reducing operator exposure to hazardous materials
- More efficient use in materials with thickness up to 150 mm
- Obtains the maximum production speed
These attributes mean that jewellery packaging can be designed in a far more innovative manner due to its accuracy, finish, speed and material efficiency making it a process to be reckoned with.
If creating imaginative shapes for your packaging sounds exciting or you would simply like to participate in our event concluding “Material Monday: Series 1”, please do not hesitate to get in touch.