Based on the idea that mass is an emergent property of fundamental particles with potential energy bound in a restricted space, I want to make a macroscopic analogy. I want to put compressed springs in a very light box and see if the mass of the entire system is greater than the components. I know mattresses exist, so I would be making a small, cubic "mattress".
My question is: do the angles between the compressed springs matter (no pun intended)? If I place them haphazardly, would the springs still diffuse their potential energy to the entire box system? Of course I would need to use something to keep the springs compressed, such as the walls of the box, more springs, or tape.