3DP – 3D Printed Packaging – How 3D printed tools can help you accelerate your packaging business

You must be well aware of the fact that packaging is the first point of contact with consumer eyeballs. That brings us to the very subject of this discussion. How to aesthetically improve packaging products by overcoming various challenges and saving millions? Answer – 3D Printed Packaging Solutions!

Overview on Challenges Faced By Packaging Industry

Before we jump onto the major benefits of 3D printing in the packaging industries, let us take you on a virtual tour of some of the many challenges that these industries are currently facing and why we need constant design change in this industry.

1. Acquiring Customers

Acquiring customers is a tedious task in today’s competitive market. The biggest challenge that businesses face is delivering a sample prototype before finalizing on the partnership. Important factors that play an important role include, time to manufacture the proto-tooling and the cost incurred to manufacture the same. Often, businesses ask their potential clients to pay for the tooling which ends up losing valuable customers. Unable to deliver a sample quickly, makes speed, one of the biggest challenges in the industry.

2. Tooling Cost

For low volume batch production, the tooling cost poses a serious challenge to convince your clients. Industries are compelled to charge the tooling cost on a per-piece basis that clients refuse to accept many times.

3. Cost Estimation

Cost estimation is directly proportional to the dwelling time of the process. Dwelling time refers to the time a heated sheet of the packaging process clamps on to the die or tool. Besides, the cost of manufacturing increases with design changes. To test all parameters, you might need to make a beta tool to check on the validity of the same. As a result, the overall cost and time to deliver increases.

4. Differentiating product through packaging

To stand out in the market, companies want their packaging to be unique such that any customer could easily identify the product just by looking at it. For low volume production, up to 5000 pieces, changing standardized design might burn your pockets. With vacuum forming, you can achieve this at a very low cost by saving over 70% on your investments.

5. Generalized Standard Packaging

Pulp packaging is an environment-friendly process. However, manufacturing its tool involves multiple processes and consumes huge cost and time. As a result, achieving low volume production becomes difficult with pulp packaging. Hence, companies switch to generalized standard packaging that consumes too much plastic, in the form of foams to save size.

Beyond Prototyping – Role of 3D Printing In Packaging Industry

3D printed packaging tooling can broadly be classified into two main categories namely, 3D printers applications in tooling for paper & pulp packaging & 3D printed tooling for vacuum forming. Let us quickly understand how 3DP helps packaging industries in these platforms.

3D printing finds huge applications in the paper and pulp packaging industry. Shorter lead times and rapid delivery of on-demand customized packaging patterns add immense value to any organisation equipped with 3D printing. As a result, it becomes very easy for manufacturers to market the product quicker and faster.

A typical 3D printed component can be printed in a hollow mesh-like structure and even with special software, top and bottom skins can be made open to let the water/liquid seep through the mould ensuring pulp is drying quickly, as appose to traditional pulp packaging mould needs a complete 3/ 5axis CNC machining and special drilling process and a mesh to gain the similar functionality, here the time and cost-saving is huge when its compared to traditional manufacturing method in case of pulp packaging moulds.

3D printing in Vacuum Forming

As compared to conventional methods, vacuum forming in conjunction with 3D Printing allows you to create a finished part by pressing a heated sheet of plastic over a form/mold. This technology is ideal for low volume batch production for a few hundred to over 5000 parts depending on the MOC and the geometry. Many of the every-day use products such as plastic containers, tubs, sink units, and electrical enclosures use this method of forming parts. 3D printing is a major gateway to print molds required for production in a very short period of time saving valuable resources both on time and money.

As you can see in the above table, 3D printing has the potential to save your overall operations costs by over 80%. In comparison to traditional manufacturing, you can save resources on logistics, time, costs, flexibility issues, custom aesthetic design parts, and many more.

Here are some of the factors that showcase how 3D printing can help boost your business besides booking profits every single day.

1. Rapid Prototyping

Imagine that your sales team receives a lead seeking help for a large number of low volume but customized tooling. If you go with conventional methods, the tooling cost for one design alone will burn your pockets. Now, the lead asks for a sample prototype and you are left with two options – invest in the tooling from your own pockets or charge the potential customer for the same. Both require patience as the vendor might take weeks to deliver the sample to your company. 3D printing can help you with rapid prototyping by printing the sample in a few hours at one-tenth of the cost of conventional methods. With 3D printed packaging, you can delight your customers and boost up their confidence in you by offering them free samples at the first meeting even before sending them quotations. You will always be a step ahead of your competition.

2. Customized 3D Printed Packaging

Suppose you are expanding your business on packaging solutions. Profit and revenue are the key metrics to testify your growth in the long run. With the conventional methods, you need to compete with industry giants and might lose out on a significant amount of money in a very short period, owing to the huge tooling costs. With 3D printed packaging for vacuum forming, you can offer similar solutions with highly customized and complex designs at a very cheaper price. Besides, you can also save money on shipping costs because of the bulky packaging that is offered elsewhere.

3. Design Studio

The packaging is the first point of contact with consumers’ eyeballs. It involves detailed research on appearance and aesthetics. Imagine you are running a design studio for creating amazing packaging solutions for your customers. 3D printed packaging values your inspirations that might come from different sources such as nature, cartoon characters, and many more. With 3D printing, you can play around with your designs by testing multiple samples at a cost of a few hundred to thousands which would have crossed lakhs had you opted for conventional methods

4. Opening up new avenues

Low volume production is the new key. You can now turn all your leads into customers by not letting any order pass by. From 1 part to 1 million part, never let any order go. 3DP and 3D printed technology help you to manufacture tooling at a very minimal cost along with saving your time by 80%.

Want to leverage your packaging business with 3D Printing now?

Traditional packaging industries pose serious design challenges. As a result, customization on low volume orders is insanely difficult when measured with a profit scale. However, with 3D Printing, it’s just a press-button-relax kind of scenario. Hardly any manpower is required, the cost incurred will be cut down by over 70% and most importantly saves you over 80% time.

Besides offering 3D printers and vacuum forming machines, DBZ offers end-to-end solutions, 3D printers services, and on-demand prototyping of highly customized and intricate packaging design at a very competitive price. With over 700+ installations, we are the only Indian 3D printer manufacturing company to hold 3D printing technological patents.

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