So, with all the recent talk about PAB, I decided to make a thread about the packing techniques I use when I decide to fill a cup. This is something I've put a fair amount of time into researching and studying in order to get my money's worth. However, like with all research, this is certainly not the "final say," as better techniques may arise.
Anyways, one of the most common questions asked is "how many 2x4 bricks can one fit into a single cup. Using the following technique, I can fit about 142:This
is what the cup looks like when filled. Note, in step 4, it would probably be wiser to use 5 2x2s connected into the structure, but since the point was to show how many 2x4s I could fit into a cup, I removed them in favor of the 2 2x4s.
If we do a little calculation using a price of $15 for a PAB cup, we see that we get a cost/piece of $15/142 ~= $.11, which is less than half of the online PAB cost of $.26. And this doesn't even take into account the various smaller pieces that you'll be able to fit into the various cracks along the edges.
Because of the 2x4's large and clunky nature, you can't really fully utilize all of the cup's space, so next I tackled the issue of using filling the cup with as many 1x2s as possible:
Note that the crevice should be filled in like this.
When it is filled, the cup ends up looking like this.
As you can see, I was able to fit about 607 1x2s into this cup.
Doing some more calculation, we see that the cost/piece ratio is $15/607 ~= $.025 (2.5 cents). When we again compare it to LEGO's online PAB price ($.15), we begin to see what a sham it is. I don't understand why LEGO can't set it's prices to be competitive with itself.
So I guess the moral of the story is, if you're going to pick a brick, go to a store and stack wisely. You'll end up with more LEGOs for less coin, and that's something everyone can appreciate.