How to review a structural box sample
Reviewing and approving structural samples is an important pre-production step for corrugated and folding carton boxes. Here’s what you should be looking for.
When you receive a sample box from a supplier it represents the structure of the production run of your boxes.
With your sample and your dieline on hand, use this guide as a checklist of what to review before approving a structural sample.
Important: Box samples are cut on a table using a single blade and scoring wheel, whereas the production boxes will be cut using a cutting die. In production, the cutting die applies force to the material, which creates deeper scores and compresses the corrugated board. This means that the sample that you are holding is much more rigid than your production boxes will be.
With the structural sample flat, compare it with your digital dieline, measuring each area of the box.
If you also received a structural sample from an Experts, you can compare the manufacturer sample to that.
Start with the inside of your box facing up. You can tell it's the inside because you'll see the indented side of the score lines.
If your design has perforated lines, those are often used to create a more exact fold, or to fold the material in the opposite direction (away from you).
Tip: Pre-fold each score line to reinforce the fold before assembling the box. If you have any questions about how your box should be assembled, message the supplier.
Boxes are typically measured from the inside. Make sure that the internal width, length and height match the specifications of your item. If you have required external dimensions, measure those as well.
Place your product in the box or insert, and make sure it fits as expected.
If everything looks good, sign the label on the structural sample, take a photo of your signature, and send it to your supplier in a message.
Depending on the supplier, you may be asked to send the signed and approved sample back.