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SVHEC's R&D Center Collaborates with Virginia Tech on Custom Packaging for Pinnacle Award

asfdtrophyvtbox-webContinuing a successful run of producing beautiful, custom trophies, the SVHEC’s R&D Center for Advanced Manufacturing & Energy Efficiency (R&D CAMEE) has produced the 2015 Pinnacle Award Trophies for the American Society of Furniture Designers (ASFD). This is the second year R&D CAMEE has been asked to produce the custom trophies designed by ASFD designer Mark Tucker III.

This year, in addition to manufacturing the trophies in the Innovation Center’s advanced machining center, R&D CAMEE reached out to Virginia Tech’s Department of Sustainable Bio Materials to produce custom packaging for the trophies. The SVHEC has a long-standing relationship with Dr. Robert Bush, Professor of Forest Products Marketing, and asked for his help in developing custom packaging attractive enough to be a presentation box but sturdy enough to withstand the hazards of shipping.

Dr. Bush advised Virginia Tech students Stephanie Smith and Tyler Matusevich as they designed and produced a packaging system to meet the challenge. Smith and Matusevich exceeded expectations, by designing a unique solution that is not only functional but designed to highlight and complement the trophy. 

The outer box is made of micro-flute corrugated fiberboard.  The unbleached surface faces out to provide a natural look that pairs well with the wood used in the trophy as well as the works of many of the contest winners.  The bright white interior reflects light onto the trophy for dramatic presentation.  A cleverly designed insert eliminates the need for tabs and slots while holding the trophy in place.  The fill material is real wood - aspen excelsior- and the closure is burlap ribbon. The materials for the fill material and ribbon were selected to reflect the natural products often used for furniture and the creative nature of furniture design.  

“This project is an example of the ongoing and increasing collaboration between the Virginia Tech Department of Sustainable Biomaterials and the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center,” Dr. Bush stated. “We share many goals and have ongoing plans to collaborate on student education and outreach.  In particular, we share the goal of clear and barrier-free pathways for students to transition from SVHEC educational programs to our B.S.–level programs in Sustainable Biomaterials and Packaging Systems and Design.  The ASFD project was a fun and educational opportunity to work together.  We hope to do so again in the future,” he continued.

The completed, beautifully packaged trophies were given to winners at the American Society of Furniture Designers 19th Annual Pinnacle Awards on October 20th.

About the SVHEC’s R&D Center for Advanced Manufacturing & Energy Efficiency
R&D CAMEE was established in 2006 as one of the six energy centers established by the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification & Community Revitalization Commission (TICRC). The R&D Center is home to millions of dollars in hardware and software assets including 3 and 5 axis CNC routers, a waterjet, reverse engineering technology and Siemens Go-PLM (product lifecycle management) Team Center. R&D CAMEE provides three core services to small and medium sized businesses: Technology Adoption, Custom Production Runs, and Applied Research.

About Virginia Tech’s Department of Sustainable Biomaterials
The Department of Sustainable Biomaterials, one of four departments in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, is home to one of the leading programs in renewable natural resources science in North America.  The program focuses on the development of future leaders in the sustainable utilization of forest-based and other renewable natural materials. To learn more visit https://sbio.vt.edu/.

About the American Society of Furniture Designers and the Pinnacle Award
Founded in 1981, ASFD is an international, non-profit, professional organization dedicated to advancing, improving and supporting the profession of furniture design and its positive impact in the marketplace. The Pinnacle Award was created to promote design quality and encourage the recognition of furniture designers within the retail home furnishings industry. To learn more visit www.asfd.com.