I just got back from the LEGO Store. Here's the cup I packed
It's not packed as well as usual, you can see alot of spaces that could be filled with 1x1 plates, but I was in a bit of a hurry.
Let's open it up so you can see the tops of the various stacks, and how it all fits together.
And here's the top. I always put something in the lid stud.
Now we dump out the cup. The brick stack in my hand is the middle that I filled this cup around. This cup was a bit more challenging to pack since it wasn't comprised mostly of bricks.
Taking this brick apart, we see just how much you can cram in a small space. Yep, this is just from the stack that was in my hand in the previous picture!
Here's the other stacks that were in the cup. I had tiles crammed in between the branches and in every nook.
And everything else that was in the cup and not shown in the previous two pictures.
Here's the total of everything that was in the cup
32 2x2 trans windows
60 1x4 grey bricks
2 1x4 black angled plates
1 12x4 black plate
30 2x2 round grey bricks
12 classic yellow flowers
15 flower stems
7 pink flower sprues
18 1x4x6 door frams
12 1x4x6 barred door insets
11 black latice fences
38 1x1 trans cones in various colors
49 1x1 trans light blue round plates
31 Large tree branches
42 small tree branches
146 1x4 reddish brown tiles
506 pieces in total
Not my best performance by a long shot, but not to shabby. Now for the point of this narrative. Now to try and fill the cup as though we were just dropping pieces in at a store. Separating the pieces, putting them in, periodically shaking the cup down hard to make them settle in, I filled the cup just to overflowing and the results are below.
It all fits except:
25 big tree branches
42 small tree branches
1 4x10 black plate
11 1x4x6 door frames
32 2x2 trans clear windows
111 pieces that don't fit. Over 20% less.
I'm sure I could lower that figure a bit by substituting some pieces for others, but I think the result would be close to the same. You can get around 20% more pieces per cup by packing. It probably takes an average of 20 minutes for me to pack a cup. Is it worth it? I've come to enjoy the challenge of packing a cup, but even if I didn't, I'd be willing to spend the time to get what is essentially free LEGO.
Edited by Fugazi, 05 February 2013 - 02:35 PM.