marius has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Surrounded by christmas presents of various sizes to send to family in Norway and shot down by "Ask Slashdot", I post my question here:

I'm looking at writing a perl program that given a number of dimensions for a number of boxes will create a 3D array of what the packaging box will appear. The program would ideally calculate the optimal size of box to use, and figure out a way to effeciently put the sub-boxes into it. I'm sure that shipping companies out there have this algorithm, but I can't seem to find it anywhere. Any people out there done 3D Visualization/Representation projects with perl?

I know it would be a matter of brute forcing a number of possibilities, and since I'm a perl cloobie rather than a perl ninja, I don't know where to start. =]

Currently I have a program that reads a file (or STDIN) by way of the diamond that will basically create three hashes: width, height, and length. The keys() to these packages are the package name, which is read from the input. I also calculate what's known to be a "minimum dimension" by using the largest dimension of all the boxes included. That's about as far as I've come so far, and any help would be appreciated.