Here at oomlout we're big believers in reducing the cost of prototyping and custom manufacturing. Many of our in-house tools are produced from low-cost, sustainable laser-cut MDF, and we've even dabbled in using card stock to create project boxes for Arduino boards. Earlier this year, we mentioned Jude Pullen's excellent card rabbet tool for constructing objects from corrugated cardboard, while for complete cardboard-manufacturing beginners Making Society's Mathilde Berchon has recently completed the third part of an introduction into using card in design and even production - as demonstrated by the pictured Google Cardboard virtual reality headset - for ultra low-cost projects. Part One looked at the different types of cardboard available, Part Two on how to cut them, and Part Three on techniques for shaping it. As an accessible, affordable alternative to prototyping and even small-scale manufacturing on laser cutters, 3D printers and CNC mills, it's a guide worth reading.
Cardboard for prototyping presents 3 big advantages: it’s cheap; it’s sturdy; it’s recyclable. It’s one of the most practical skills you can learn for designing products. Almost free, easy to find, easy to manipulate, cardboard prototyping is also super fun.