Lab bricks


Abcam is a Cambridge-based company dedicated to supplying the largest online catalogue of antibodies in the world. Its antibodies are used in microbiology, stem cell research and many other developmental biology activities.

Previously, vials of antibodies would be housed in a plastic container and shipped in an expanded polystyrene box, along with an ice pack to control the temperaturekeep the product cold. Abcam wanted to reduce the overall size of the packaging, improve the design and, if possible, add functionality that would make the containers useful and reusable.

Industrial Design, Mechanical Engineering

Laboratory & Test Equipment

Our approach

We developed numerous concepts for the vial containers and presented them to Abcam for review. High-quality renderings of three chosen concepts followed, before the option finally selected was taken forward to detail design.

The process

The ‘Lab Bricks’ design ticked all the boxes for Abcam, being not just functional but fun, collectable and genuinely useful. Capable of housing multiple vials of different sizes, these multicoloured building blocks can be stacked and clipped together for use as vial holders around the lab.

Thermal modelling

Having investigated Abcam’s transportation requirements, we used thermal modelling to optimise the dimensions of the external box, reducing shipping costs and environmental impact while minimising warming during transportation.

The result

Abcam have now optimised their packaging against their courier's dimension and weight parameters, while simultaneously improving thermal performance. The colourful, branded building blocks have proved a big hit with customers. Consequently, Abcam have built a marketing campaign around the new packaging and are using this to drive sales, generating high volumes of product.

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