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From Substance to 3D printed packaging prototypes

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Wanting to take packaging designs to the next level, the team at Stratasys offered to demonstrate how product designers and engineers could turn photorealistic, digital 3D images into real-life 3D printed models using the J55 3D printer. This is something that hasn’t been done previously, as the capabilities of both Adobe Substance and Stratasys 3D printers have been developed independently from each other. But now, for the first time, it’s possible to bring these two worlds together and print exactly what’s on screen.

In the past, creating full-color material finish (CMF) models was only feasible as a last step in the design process, if included at all. This is because traditional prototyping methods, as well as outsourcing, created cost and time barriers that impacted time to market — which is not ideal in the fast-paced world of consumer product packaging and merchandising. But without a CMF prototype, it’s difficult to properly evaluate a packaging design’s appeal to consumers before it hits shelves, which can be risky. That’s why Stratasys created the J55 3D printer — so product designers and engineers could test CMF prototypes throughout the entire design process without cost or time setbacks.

The J55 is an in-house 3D printer that can produce more than 500,000 distinguishable color combinations and provide multi-material capabilities that bring even the most imaginative ideas to life — enabling CMF prototypes to be introduced weeks earlier than any traditional methods have allowed. The J55 is also a PANTONE Validated 3D printer, which means you can improve the color fidelity of your prototypes by matching Stratasys CMYK colors to more than 1,900 printable PANTONE colors.

Creating packaging models that look and feel like the real thing is also possible using PolyJet materials that simulate organic textures and surface finishes. Producing these realistic prototypes allows you to correct mistakes and verify designs more efficiently, leading to quicker decisions and a faster time to market. Plus, prototypes and parts printed on the J55 require little to no post-processing, which reduces any manual design labor and makes processes run smoother.

“In the case of consumer packaged goods, the combination of Stratasys 3D printing technology to Adobe Substance 3D Painter (3D painting) and Adobe Illustrator (2D vector graphics) is a true game-changer to mix form and graphics together. The possibilities in terms of colors, pattern, and a real step up in terms of surface texture resolution allow the designer to make design decisions early in the process. Fabricating high-resolution physical twins of pre-concepts in 3D that early will open new fields for creativity for designers as well as reducing project overall costs and timelines”, said Nicolas Paulhac, former CMF Designer and Head of Content Creation at Adobe 3D.

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Andrea Gambini

Andrea has always loved reading and writing. He started working in an editorial office as a sports journalist in 2008, then the passion for journalism and for the world of communication in general, allowed him to greatly expand his interests, leading to several years of collaborations with several popular online newspapers. Andrea then approached 3D printing, impressed by the great potential of this new technology, which day after the day pushed him to learn more and more about what he considers a real revolution that will soon be felt in many fields of our daily life.

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