The packaging is one of the largest industries. It provides unlimited packaging solutions like custom cardboard boxes for products, custom size shipping boxes, a folding box, pop counter and other types of custom retail packaging. There have been various shifts concerning design and technology over the past few years. 3D printing is one of the emerging trends. Although it has not established its operations directly in traditional paper boxes packaging, it has made a major contribution to the food packaging sector. A US company Smart Cups implemented the technology to launch a wide range of energy drinks. The company designed 3D printed biodegradable cups which look like plastic. The ingredients of the energy drink are contained inside the packaging. As the customers add water the contents get released. The packaging will itself stir the drink to ensure proper mixing. In addition to energy drinks, Smart Cups is working on hot, cold and fizzy drinks for expansion. The technology shows that 3D printing is not only about on-demand packaging material or customization. Rather it's a complete change of function to make packaging a part of the product. Thus the advancements in 3D printing will change almost everything in the future.
Another work started on July 2015. The experts from management consultancy McKinsey tried to implement 3D printing in the cosmetic sector. They viewed it as pioneering technology which can be the future of cosmetic packaging. They created "Multi Packaging Solutions" which can be manufactured following the customer wishes and prototype. However, till now this approach worked only for glass bottle or other decorative closure, and not for cosmetic boxes. Its mass production is expensive and time-consuming making it a big challenge.
3D printing is one of the latest trends across the packaging industry. Although the process is timely and costly, with the time it may drive consumer demand to a great level.