Paper Nuts

As seen on Dragons' Den

Our detailed design of the Paper Nuts factory-in-a-box enabled efficient manufacturing and unlocked the potential of this revolutionary startup.

Paper Nuts machine.

Thinking Inside the Box with Paper Nuts

Paper packing peanuts are a revolutionary idea: not only are they more sustainable than the ecologically disastrous polystyrene, but they’re cheaper and even more effective at protecting valuable cargo.

That’s why we jumped at the chance to develop the Paper Nuts factory-in-a-box. The company had tried working directly with machine shops to design and build at the same time, but found themselves disorganized, with a slow, ineffective machine that was not well thought out. And after making a deal with Jim Treliving, Bruce Croxon and Arlene Dickinson on Dragons’ Den, they needed a solution, fast.

Paper Nuts interlocking paper packing peanuts.

The twist in the Paper Nuts allows them to interlock, which cushions objects and prevents them from moving around. The feed/twist proportion is the key to an effective product.

They’re also reusable, fully recyclable, and cheaper than polystyrene.

Developing a reliable machine that could produce thousands of Paper Nuts an hour was crucial to the success of the business.

Paper Nuts transmission exploded.

We designed the Paper Nuts machine to meet precise requirements for the feed and twist proportion, and exceeded expectations on machine appearance, maintenance, and speed.

The design was fully formed in 3D first, where we performed kinetic simulations to verify functionality, and refined the design down to the last nut and bolt for efficient manufacturing.

The detailed 3D model served as a basis for a full drawing package, photorealistic renders, and even a virtual reality design review. The machines were built right the first time and performed better than expected.

The Paper Nuts company now has the ability to manufacture the machine freely, make changes easily, and launch similar products quickly, ensuring long term success and growth.

Technical drawings.

More Work


Mechanical design
Kinematic analysis
Full Drawing package
Renders and animations
Manufacturing support


New machines increased paper nut production by 5 times
Stopped a 2 year disjointed development process and replaced it with a 2 month turnaround, from concept to final drawings

Back to our work
Paper Nuts machine internal render.