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DeVILS Proposal Presentation

A Method of Storing Niku Agahian

Fragile Ornaments

Have you ever though about all the crazy shapes glass Christmas tree ornaments come in these days? There are dogs, buses, cameras and just about any other shape
you can imagine. How do you think people store all of these ornaments for the rest of the year?

They are extremely fragile and they don’t fit into the classic uniformly round ornament boxes.

This is a problem that was presented to me by a friend when they were putting things away after the holiday. I could see their conundrum. The ornaments all have very
unique shapes and sizes but are very fragile and will shatter if they bump into each other in a box.

This leaves the user taking up a lot of storage space trying to separate the ornaments.

So, I set out to try to find a solution.

❖ Users & Payers
❖ People Who Store Fragile Ornaments

In this case our users and payers of the storage device are the same.

They are people that decorate with fragile Christmas ornaments that are both different shapes and sizes seeking a method to store these fragile ornaments that do not fit
properly in standard storage bins, are too fragile to wrap in bubble wrap, and can’t be left to rattle around in boxes because they may break.

❖ Interviews
❖ Competing Products
❖ Materials

While researching my Problem Definition Statement I interviewed several people to gain insight into the problem.

First, I spoke with family members and found that they use various cardboard boxes with tissue paper gently stuck in-between each ornament to try to protect them but
because some of the ornaments have fragile arms that can’t be tightly wrapped so they can put very few in each box. The result of their method is that the boxes end up
taking a lot of our storage space on our garage shelves. I also talked to a few other students including, Ana, and she said she often keeps a few of her very fragile
ornaments out on a shelf all year because she’s worried they will break. She doesn’t like this solution but has not figured out what to do with them as a long term
solution. Some of the insights I gained from interviews were that users worry their ornaments will break in storage, yet they are frustrated trying to fit them into standard
storage boxes and taking up more space than necessary because they need padding and extra space around every ornament.

After interviewing these potential users, searched the internet for fragile ornament storage and found many options including boxes that have multiple padded
compartments for ornaments but what they lacked was an option that would allow storage of the varying misshapen ornaments that are on the market today.

I finished my Research by trying to determine what types of materials would work as padding and read articles on polyurethane versus polyethylene and found that the
polyurethane is not only economical but would provide a very soft cushion for the ornaments.

❖ User
❖ Need
❖ Insight

The customers, users and payers are the same and in this case, are adults who celebrate Christmas and decorate with oddly shaped fragile ornaments, as opposed to
the standard spherical shaped ornaments, and have some disposable income to spend on storage and home decor.

These users have a need in that people that decorate with fragile Christmas ornaments that are both different shapes and sizes need a way to store these fragile
ornaments that do not fit properly in standard storage bins, are too fragile to wrap in bubble wrap, and can’t be left to rattle around in boxes because they may break.
Furthermore, there are ornament storage containers already existing on the market; however, they are generally spherical shaped compartments.

The insight I gained is that people who own these types of ornaments often feel frustrated when putting away their ornaments because the ornaments don’t line up in
standard boxes. The customers end up putting very few ornaments in each box to allow padding space, which means they use more boxes than would otherwise be
necessary and therefore, the ornaments take up excess shelf space. Yet they still feel that they are risking finding broken ornaments when they unpack the next year.

Problem Statement

❖ How to protect and store oddly shaped fragile

Christmas ornaments

The problem statement I derived when setting out to solve the problem of storing ornaments is:

How to protect and store oddly shaped fragile Christmas ornaments.

I used this problem statement as my guide through the process of engineering a solution.

❖ Prevent Breakage
❖ Allow for Different Shapes
❖ Allow for Different Sizes
❖ Exterior Size Limits
❖ No Hand Wrapping

In working with the potential users I found the users needed the following requirements:

The design shall avoid breakage of the ornaments during storage.

The design shall allow for storage of different shaped ornaments such as cubes, cones, animals and tubes.

The design shall allow for storage of different size ornaments varying from 8 in. x 2 in. x 3 in. to 6 in. x 6 in. x 3 in.

The design shall have a size no larger than 12in. x 24 in. x 6 in.

The design shall not require hand wrapping of the ornaments for storage.

❖ Lightweight
❖ Easy to Clean
❖ Space Saving
❖ Low-cost
❖ Ease of Use

The customer wants the following criteria included in the design:


Easy to clean surface

Space saving


Ease of use


This is my AHP or Analytical Hierarchy Process which I used to determine the weight of the criteria. I weighted the criteria based upon the customer’s priorities about
what they wanted out of the product. The most important criteria for the customers is space savings followed by low cost and finally ease of use.
Design Alternatives Design A

My first design concept was a cardboard box with slots made out of corrugated cardboard and a foldable lid. The slots are used to keep the ornaments safely separated.
Although this idea is space saving and low cost, my concern is that the cardboard might not be soft enough to protect the ornaments.
Design Alternatives Design B

My second design idea was a plastic container with a snap on lid that has a styrofoam liner. This cube only fits one ornament but would allow you to stack multiple
ornaments uniformly in larger boxes. As it turned out this second idea, all though not my last turned out to be the concept that best fit the requirements of the users.
Design Alternatives Design C

My last concept was a cardboard box with foldable lid filled with packing peanuts. This would allow many ornaments to fit inside one box but the packing peanuts are
messy and if two ornaments find their way to close to each other through the packing peanuts they might break.
Decision Matrix


Decision Matrix
Design A Design B Design C
Criteria Weight Rating Score Rating Score Rating Score
Ease of Use 0.2 5 1 4 0.8 2 0.4
Low Cost 0.3 5 1.5 2 0.6 2 0.6
Space Savings 0.5 2 1 5 2.5 3 1.5
Total 1 3.5 3.9 2.5

After brainstorming about the problem in my DeVILS project, I sketched out those three ideas and then completed an Analytical Hierarchy Process and Decision Matrix to
help make an informed decision about which design would fit my customer's needs. I found the process to be very helpful in Design B, as discussed previously, was a
clear winner, that I could present to a customer with the quantifiable scored data to support my suggestion. Design B is both space saving and easy to use which are
both important criteria to my customer.

I personally would have leaned towards Design A. So, collecting the data helped me to better focus on my customer’s desires and avoid my own biases in the decision
making process.
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CAD Rendering & Function

This is my DeVILS project solution, Design B, that I modeled in Autodesk’s Fusion 360.

It is a storage box allowing users to easily store and pack away fragile, oddly shaped Christmas ornaments. Each storage box is made of polyurethane foam material
with external measurement of 130mm by 130mm by 260mm with 10mm thickness. The lid which is also made of polyurethane foam has flaps that snap down on two
sides to keep the storage box securely closed.

The function of the box is simple. Users easily place a single ornament inside the compartment and snap down the lid. The cubes will allow the user to stack the safely
nestled ornaments uniformly inside a storage container, box or directly on a shelf.

Solving the Problem

❖ Materials/Finish
❖ Estimated Cost
❖ Customer Value

This design solves the problem as defined by the problem statement taking into consideration both the requirements and criteria of the users and payers.

The design has a soft interior polyurethane cushion to keep the ornaments safe while costing under $5/unit as a resale price.

Value was created for the customer by allowing simple, clean and space saving storage that will allow their ornaments to be put away safely during the year.


❖ Wilby, Ryan. “What’s the Difference Between Polyurethane and

Polyethylene Foam in Padding?” Nov. 23, 2017 http://
polyurethane-and-polyethylene-foam-in-padding Web. February 3,
❖ Romano, Gil. “What's the Difference Between Polyurethane and
Polyethylene Foam” Undated.
gymnastics/polyethylene-vs-polyurethane.html Web. Feb. 4, 2019

These are articles I referenced to gain a better understanding of the materials I could use to protect the ornaments.