Even though 3D printing has been around for quite some time, it is only in the last few years that it has begun to make its way into our daily lives more and more. This happens because this technology is becoming less expensive, more mature and more accessible from year to year and can become a real solution to problems for many creators and manufacturers, including packaging manufacturers in the USA.
3D Printers Printing
Printing on 3D printers is still underestimated by many manufacturers. While various media tell us about the benefits, many ordinary people and professionals are rather skeptical and do not notice the huge potential of this technology and its multifaceted possibilities, which seriously question the traditional methods of production and consumption.
A wide variety of materials and production methods allows the production of a very wide range of goods. To dispel myths and fill gaps in knowledge on this subject, let’s see in which areas this technology can be used.
3D printing was only talked about a few years ago, although this technology has been known for quite some time… The first patent application for this technology was filed back in 1984 by three French scientists. At the time, this was referred to in the industry as “additive manufacturing” or “rapid prototype” manufacturing.
Testing As A Prototype
The latter term was given to this type of manufacturing due to the fact that this technology was the only one at that time that allowed creating prototypes, that is, the first copies of a particular product, in a short time. This is a very important stage in production, as the prototype allows you to test, check the viability of the concept and its manufacturability. 3D printing is very economical compared to traditional manufacturing processes. It lacks many of the steps of traditional production methods, such as such as assembly and many others, which greatly reduces the use of labor force and production time.
Manufacturers of goods can immediately move from the idea stage to the implementation of a real object, that is, from a 3D model to the first copy and in just a few hours, not weeks! This opportunity to reduce production time and costs is increasingly attractive to industrialists and entrepreneurs in various fields. Well-known companies such as Renault or Adidas are using this technology to create a rapid prototype. This opportunity to reduce production time and costs is increasingly attractive to industrialists and entrepreneurs in various fields.
Technology Used By Big Companies
Well-known companies such as Renault or Adidas are using this technology to create a rapid prototype. This opportunity to reduce production time and costs is increasingly attractive to industrialists and entrepreneurs in various fields. Well-known companies such as Renault or Adidas are using this technology to create a rapid prototype.
As for the topic of immediate interest to us, that is, packaging, 3D printing can be used to create packaging on demand, according to specific needs. This could significantly reduce both waste and the amount of packaging produced.
Best For The Packaging
In addition, this technology is very good for packaging intended for time-limited events, such as any special sporting or cultural events such as the World Cup or the Olympic Games, which require special packaging for souvenirs.
Also, this technology could allow companies to produce personalized packaging for their customers, choosing from a series of existing concepts or making a completely new personalized design. This includes the entire process, from the label to improve or tweak a concept, to a complete redesign of an existing concept for a particular client. This technology is also very important, for example, for gift manufacturers who could add a name, photo or any other element to the package for their client.
At this stage, 2.5D technology can already give excellent results. For example, Casio’s Mofrel printer can make textured prints using special paper that is coated with a powder that dissolves under near-infra-red light to create texture. As a result, paper can take on the texture of leather, wood, fabric, and other materials, which can allow manufacturers to create interesting designs for their packaging.
Of course, 3D printers won’t become the primary means of packaging production, but they could change the way layouts are designed, allowing packaging designers to make prototypes in a very short time. This would allow the creators to quickly concretize their ideas and resolve emerging technological problems in the shortest possible time. Also, the use of 3D printers would give packaging creators the opportunity to be more creative and interactive, and would allow for faster viability testing.
Used By Logistics Companies
Not only manufacturers and brand creators are interested in 3D printing, but also logistics companies, such large players in the logistics market as UPS or FedEx. Both of these companies have opened 3D printing divisions. Packaging is the main component of logistics, and it is absolutely natural that these transport monsters are developing new technologies. 3D printing technology is also very important, for example, for packaging for small businesses, for companies whose budgets do not allow them to invest in new technologies, including 3D printing technology. In this case, it will be cheaper for them to use the services of their logistics partners.
Energy Drink Industry
The 3D printing technology used for packaging shows that it is not only limited to the creation of new materials or personalization, but it can absolutely revolutionize the functional properties of packaging! A great example is the company that makes Smart Cups. This is a unique range of energy drinks.
The drink cup is 3D printed. Externally, the glass looks like plastic, but it is a biodegradable plant-based packaging containing the ingredients of an energy drink. The consumer only has to add water to release these ingredients. The packaging will even mix the drink itself! And most importantly, the drink does not contain a single gram of sugar and no calories! Manufacturers have made a range of packages for both cold and hot drinks and even fizzy drinks. In this example, we clearly see that packaging can become part of the product itself, and this is already a radical change!
This technology can be used in completely different areas of production, ranging from the food and jewelry industries to pharmaceuticals or medical prostheses.
Have you tried a 3D-printed dessert yet? Try it soon!