The Perfect Package
CAD software allows users to quickly make design changes.
A CAD file of the bottle prototype
Jahwa used the Objet Eden350V 3D Printer to prototype this irregularly shaped shower gel bottle. The speedier design process meant the team could prototype up to six bottles in the same time it would take to create two or three by CNC or by hand.
Packaging is the introduction to a product – it sets the stage for the product. This is especially true in the highly competitive cosmetic industry, where striking packaging helps capture consumers’ attention and increase purchases.
As the first publicly listed cosmetic company in China, Shanghai Jahwa United Co., Ltd. strives to grow its share of the country’s booming cosmetic industry through a strategic focus on R&D. The growing attention to packaging led Jahwa to place more emphasis on aesthetic appeal. Redefining its product strategy has proven to be a success for Jahwa; however, meeting the tight schedule of new design development became an increasing challenge. In addition, Jahwa’s design team’s evaluation of the look and feel of packaging containers was limited by relying on traditional prototyping approach and handcrafting.
New Product Development
Jahwa’s packaging models were made mainly by hand or via traditional fabrication methods, such as CNC. These either required a high level of craftsmanship and limited the production volume, or had to be operated by trained specialists and increased the cost of prototype production.
With the company’s new product strategy, Jahwa’s design team decided to introduce a 3D printer in-house to quickly create design prototypes in a timely manner while also retaining design confidentiality. Having evaluated the various available 3D printers, Jahwa opted for an Objet Eden350V 3D Printer in 2012, primarily to create accurate prototypes of glass or acrylic containers.
Leveraging PolyJet 3D printing technology, the Objet Eden350V 3D Printer is cost-effective at creating high-quality cosmetic container prototypes. It offers 12 different print materials including transparent material, which met the designers’ need to prototype see-through containers. Jahwa’s design team can also validate designs with ease - the quick turnaround from design to prototype lets the team touch and feel glass jars and plastic bottles to evaluate their ergonomic features and verify the containers’ volume.
“The 3D printer is not only user-friendly, it also significantly reduces the time required to produce a model,” said Tang Luji, model structure design supervisor of Jahwa’s package design center. The 3D printer completed one model in 12 hours what would have taken three to four days to make by hand or two to three days with traditional equipment.
Streamlined Design Validation Process
Minimized prototyping time means expedited design validation and a shortened development cycle. 3D printing has sped up the development time of a container by as much as 75 to 85% of the original time using previous methods. Moreover, 3D printing allows more flexibility for early-stage design modification and verification.
Improved efficiency has allowed Jahwa’s design team to focus more on innovation, such as products like an irregularly shaped shower gel bottle. Creating this prototype wasn’t simple due to its asymmetrical geometry and transparency. In addition, the bottle had to be hollow to verify its volume capacity. The speedier design process through 3D printing means the team can now build five to six shower gel bottle models in the same period of time that it used to take CNC or handcrafting to create two to three of the same models.
3D printed models have also helped Jahwa’s design team receive utility model patents – including a 10-year-maximum patent granted to certain packaging product design structure in China. Previously, only molds created by traditional methods could apply for and receive this patent. Today, the 3D printed functional prototypes are submitted for patent application, thus enabling the company to capture the benefits brought forth by technological advancement.
“The Eden 3D Printer is one of our greatest investments. It has allowed us to create customized models for testing and produce models efficiently, thereby strengthening our leading position in the industry. We are very satisfied with Stratasys 3D printing solutions and look forward to developing more outstanding packaging designs,” concluded Tang.
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