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Transforms from a flat sheet into a beautiful multipurpose box without tools or adhesives! Sustainable design, made in USA.
Transforms from a flat sheet into a beautiful multipurpose box without tools or adhesives! Sustainable design, made in USA.
223 backers pledged $8,390 to help bring this project to life.

About

Zagbox: Modern Containers With Unlimited Potential project video thumbnail
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$8,390

223

Thanks to all our backers who Kickstarted Zagbox!  Missed the campaign?

What's a Zagbox?

Zagboxes are uniquely designed containers for a variety of uses.

  • Easy to assemble flat-pack design
  • Assembled boxes are awesome and useful
  • Eco friendly and made in USA

The boxes ship flat, and users punch out and snap the pieces together like a 3D puzzle.  Assembly requires no glue or tools, and the pieces fit together with a satisfying click.  The assembled box makes an intriguing and useful multipurpose container.

The boxes incorporate unique design features such as edges made from "living hinges" which make rigid sections of wood flexible, as well as laser-cut dovetail joints. Because the boxes use no permanent fasteners, they can easily be disassembled for transport or storage.

Zagboxes are designed for sustainability and employ eco-friendly materials, minimal packaging, and renewable energy powered production.  You can read more about this in the sustainability section.

Designs:

There are three Zagbox designs, and they share a similar architecture and design aesthetic employing wood living hinges and snap-together dovetail joint construction.  They arrive flat-packed and are easily assembled and disassembled by hand.

Lichen, the smallest Zagbox, can be used as a desk organizer for pens and pencils, or as a coin bank, among other things.  The top of the box has a slit for coins, or its center can be snapped out to enlarge the opening for other uses.  Measures approximately 3” (7.6cm) per side assembled.

Moss can be used as a display container, and is also designed to perfectly fit a standard glass salsa jar, which can be up-cycled as a water and fire proof liner (see FAQ for details).  This expands its uses to include vase, planter and luminary.  Its living hinges are designed to be stretched when the box is assembled, which gives them an intriguing appearance.  This allows light to escape through the slits when it is used as a luminary to cast shifting shadow patterns on nearby surfaces.  Assembled measurement is 3.75” (9.5cm) square and 4.5” (11.4cm) high.

 Fern, the largest Zagbox to date, has a reinforced bottom to ensure strength when holding heavy objects, and features gentle arches cut into its bottom edges.  It is perfect for larger objects such as kitchen utensils or TV remotes, and can also function as a vase if outfitted with a waterproof liner, such as a glass or jar.  It features a coin slot lid insert to allow it to function as an oversize coin bank for larger coin stashes.  Measures 4.5” (11.4cm) square and 6” (15.2cm) high assembled.

The Lichen, Moss, and Fern can easily nest or be disassembled to facilitate transport
The Lichen, Moss, and Fern can easily nest or be disassembled to facilitate transport

Business Card Holder

This was designed as a collaboration with the backers during this Kickstarter campaign! The business card holder is a single piece of material and is sized to hold about 20 standard US business cards (3.5" wide).

Stretch Goal:

If the campaign reaches $9,000, then everyone who has pledged will be able to select birch as an alternate material choice for their box. These will be made of sustainable birch wood and finished with natural shellac, which gives them a wonderful golden glow.

Materials:

Zagboxes are made of reconstituted eucalyptus wood which is FSC-certified from renewable sources, and finished with natural, nontoxic shellac.  The wood has no glue or other binders, and is completely biodegradable!

Because we use natural materials and finishing processes, the color of individual products may vary slightly.

Sustainability:

I have been inspired by the example of companies like Patagonia, which consider customers, employees, and the environment in their decisions, and demonstrate that taking care of all stakeholders can pay off in the end.  Because of this, I have paid a considerable amount of attention to the environmental impact of the boxes and made sustainability a central focus of this project. 

  • Flat-pack reduces packaging and fuel to transport
  • Wood is certified eco-friendly: low environmental impact to produce
  • Natural and nontoxic shellac finish
  • Renewable energy used for box production

I hope to improve the sustainability of Zagbox even further in the future.
See the FAQs for additional information.

Rewards:

Reward tiers for the Lichen, Moss, and Fern are priced for the Lichen design, and backers can add the specified amount to upgrade to the Moss and Fern designs.  

Each box will include easy to follow pictorial instructions clearly explaining how to assemble it. 

Multiple Rewards: to receive multiples, simply add the prices of each item you want. Example for the Holiday Delivery reward: 2 Lichen and 1 Moss = 2*$19 + 1*$29 = $67. 

Why am I on Kickstarter?

Buying materials at retail price and manufacturing in small production runs would make Zagbox too expensive. I set my funding goal at $6,000 to allow me to reach price breaks, as well as to order equipment such as fixtures for more efficient and higher quality production.

I also believe that launching on Kickstarter will help me make the best possible product through community feedback and involvement. I've had a great time developing the current designs, but I need your confirmation that this project is worthwhile, and invite your ideas on how to improve it. I have many more ideas for Zagbox, and am excited to share them if this campaign is successful!

Story:

I made the first box while mentoring a high school robotics team in laser cutting and 3D design. My efforts to inspire them ended up inspiring myself as well! I decided to continue developing the boxes when I realized how beautiful and useful they could be, and that they also had the potential to be both environmentally sustainable and made in the US. This became Zagbox, and I have been developing and tweaking designs at my local Fab Lab, and readying them for production over the past year. About me: I am a mechanical engineer with a passion for great design and responsible business. I graduated magna cum laude from Lafayette College, and have experience in electronics design and manufacturing.

As Zagbox grows, I intend to join 1% for the Planet, which funds environmental causes. As thanks to my community which made Zagbox possible, I also plan to establish a scholarship to fund participation of disadvantaged youth in "maker spaces" such as Tech Shop, to learn engineering and entrepreneurship.  

I hope Zagbox serves as an example to promote sustainable thinking.

Acknowledgements:

I could never have achieved this project without the help of my community, especially the generous access to equipment and knowledge that the NCC Fab Lab and my FIRST robotics team (go Spartechs!) gave me.  Thanks especially to Jeff Boerner, Robert Gaugler, Cliff Buckner, and James Weiler.  Thanks to David Dunn for endless help and business advice, Dave Petrillo and Lisa Glover for great Kickstarter advice and encouragement, Colleen Seace for Photography, Dan Carreon and Scott Kovacs for videography, Patrick Freebern for his awesome graphic skills, Ann Holte, Maggie Pepe, and Anette Nilsson for advice and photo help.  Thanks also to Pat Mitchell, Brian Peacock, Margaret Lydecker, and Ann & Ham Bunge for encouragement and feedback, and everyone else who tested boxes and provided feedback.

Thanks Mom!

Risks and challenges

Design: I have been testing Zagbox designs for the past year and a half. I have made over 100 Zagboxes and incorporated feedback from over 10 people who have been testing them for a year.

Production: Laser cutting reduces the hurdles of manufacturing, and allows tweaks during production without expensive tooling changes. I have laser production prepared for medium batches, and have additional U.S. manufacturers ready if demand exceeds what I can produce.

Logistics: I am manufacturing in the US, so I don't have to import my product from overseas, and I will be overseeing production personally to ensure a high level of quality (a nice benefit of manufacturing locally!).

I recently helped package over 5,000 of the KitRex dinosaurs (KitRex was a really cool Kickstarter from this spring, check it out!), so I have recent experience with shipping products.

If I receive more funding than expected, I will offer additional batches with later delivery times: first come first served!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Receive exclusive updates and a heartfelt thanks!

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    7 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $7 or more About $7

    COASTER: Be a fan and get a limited-edition Zagbox coaster!
    Made using the same material and techniques as the boxes, and engraved with a circular variation of our logo.

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    Ships to Only United States
    3 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    BUSINESS CARD HOLDER: The newest Zagbox! This was designed as a collaboration with the backers during this Kickstarter campaign!
    Holds about 20 standard US business cards (3.5" wide).

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    5 backers
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  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: A flat-pack LICHEN (small) Zagbox at a discount for the first 50 backers. +$10 to upgrade to the MOSS (medium) or +$15 to upgrade to the FERN (large).

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    Reward no longer available 50 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $19 or more About $19

    SECOND BATCH: A flat-pack Lichen (small) Zagbox. +$10 to upgrade to the Moss (medium) or +$15 to upgrade to the Fern (large).

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    14 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $19 or more About $19

    FIRST BATCH: HOLIDAY DELIVERY! A flat-pack Lichen (small) Zagbox before December 25th! +$10 to upgrade to the Moss (medium) or +$15 to upgrade to the Fern (large). Ships to US only.

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 72 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $29 or more About $29

    KICKSTARTER GREEN: Show your true colors with a limited edition green Lichen (small) Zagbox!

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 19 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $39 or more About $39

    PERSONALIZED: A flat-pack Lichen (small) Zagbox with your text engraved into the side. +$10 to upgrade to the Moss (medium) or +$15 to upgrade to the Fern (large).

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 8 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $74 or more About $74

    MATCHED SET: get 10% off all 3 Zagbox designs: Lichen, Moss, and Fern.
    Can't get enough? Add $70 for each additional set.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    33 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $170 or more About $170

    GROUP OF 10: 10 Lichen (small) Zagboxes at 15% off. +$100 to upgrade all to the Moss (medium) or +$150 to upgrade to the Fern (large)

    +$70 to personalize the batch with 2-3 lines of text! Perfect as a wedding party gift, corporate gift, family reunion gift, special interest club gift, etc.

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    Limited 2 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Spend the day with me!
    Come see how we do in the workshop and learn laser engraving from yours truly, and produce your own box!
    We can spend the evening in some of the cool cafes and bars of Bethlehem and talk sustainable design or whatever you like.
    (transportation to Bethlehem, PA not included)

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    Limited 0 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    BESPOKE: I will design a box to your specifications!
    Have a special idea in mind for your box? Tell me what you want (within reason) and we will work together to make it happen!

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Funding period

- (35 days)