The Dial Corporation manufactures a wide variety of consumer products including soap, body wash products, air fresheners, hard surface cleaners and insecticides. Dial is organized into three core product groups: Personal Care, Laundry Care and Home Care. Dial has a design team within its Home Care group that focuses on the packaging of products developed in its department.
Communicating design ideas to other departments within the Home Care group is an essential function of the design team. Models are oftentimes the best way to convey thoughts and ideas during the design process, as they give a clear image of the look, feel and function of the final product. Many of the package designs require multiple iterations to achieve the desired design objectives.
“It is essential that we have the ability to quickly produce accurate 3D models of our packaging for review by our marketing and consumer groups,” said Rick Althouse, senior package engineer, Dial Home Care. “Communicating design ideas to the marketing team and others is a core function of our department. With multiple parties reviewing and providing input, an efficient process for design and redesign is essential.”
Throughout its design process, Dial’s Home Care design team used an outside packaging supplier to create its models. Each iteration resulted in another bill. Model after model, the design team found itself spending an excessive amount on printing costs. In addition to the financial burdens, turnover time was not ideal. It typically required several weeks for the packaging supplier to create a model.
The Dimension Solution
The Dial Home Care design team sought an efficient, cost-effective printer to develop prototype product samples, molds for thermoforms and test component parts. They needed a functional 3D printer that would cut costs, reduce the project turnover time, fit their workspace and require minimal maintenance.
The design team looked at 3D printers from several different manufacturers, and in the end chose a Dimension. “Everyone was extremely impressed with the speed, quality and especially the durability of the models produced by the Dimension 3D printer,” Althouse said.
With the addition of the Dimension 3D printer, the Home Care design team has significantly reduced the time it takes to produce models for review by the marketing and consumer groups. In fact, Althouse estimates that the average amount of time to reach a final design has been cut by six to eight weeks with the addition of the Dimension 3D printer. “The system paid for itself in about two months time and the number of models we now produce has increased tenfold since we purchased the Dimension 3D printer.”
With only one Dimension 3D printer in the department – running 80 percent of the time, including weekends – the design team is looking to add an additional Dimension system.