Learn how the Stratasys J750 PolyJet Colour 3D printer speeds up product prototype production for Quadpack, a global manufacturer of packaging solutions to the beauty industry.
One of Quadpack’s long-term business goals is to increase innovation through enhanced research and development. Coupled with this is the goal to increase time to market for its clients. To achieve these goals, the company recently expanded its design team to create the Design and Advanced Technologies department.
In a step aimed at increasing innovation, Quadpack purchased a Stratasys J750™ – the world’s only full colour, multi-material 3D printer. The 3D printer is now at the heart of the Design and Advanced Technologies department. Much of the work on the J750 involves testing new ideas using three types of models. First, Quadpack develops prototype models for new references in its Q Line range of beauty packaging solutions.
Making Ideas Real
The company also develops samples for clients who need bespoke models. As the team gets closer to production, whether for custom projects or its own product range, it manufactures trial molds to test designs prior to full-scale production.
“Having been limited on colour, materials and production time with our previous 3D printer, we bought the J750 because we needed greater speed and flexibility to produce the three types of models we use,” explained Garrard. “Its unique full-colour, multi-material capabilities give us the freedom we need to test new ideas with ease.
The early stages of design and development are also vastly accelerated. Once a concept is ready to be developed into a product, it all moves at great speed – we create a 3D model, test it using a 3D printed trial mold and we’re ready for full-scale production.
“The ability to address all these areas of design and production with one 3D printer makes for a much better return on investment. When it comes to 3D printing, as far as we’re aware, no one in our industry has 3D printing capability as cutting-edge as ours,” he added.
“The Stratasys J750 is key to achieving faster time-to-market, making visualization of bespoke products easier,” explained Garrard. “For clients, a highly-detailed 3D printed model is a sure way to see what the finished product will look like. You can see it, feel it, touch it. It makes the idea real for our clients and accelerates the decision making process.”
Accelerating Production With 3D Printed Molds
Quadpack is also 3D printing injection molds on-demand, using them across its range of injection machines to run real-life production samples, with the output exactly the same as the finished product in terms of specifications and material types. This provides the company with greater efficiency, allowing it to carry out quality checks prior to cutting steel on the main production mold for the industrialization of the packaging. Steel trial molds are expensive and take around six weeks to produce, but Quadpack will now be able to make them in as little as 24 hours and at greatly reduced cost.
“The trial mold capability of the J750 is exceptional and relevant to everything we do,” said Garrard. “For example, if we develop an ampoule with a snap-off cap, we can try it with full end-product functionality. It is fantastic as it gives us greater efficiency and reduces risk. Everything happens earlier, faster and better, which is key to helping us achieve our overall goals of delivering innovation and improved time to market.”
PolyJet is a powerful 3D printing technology that produces smooth, accurate parts, prototypes and tooling.
Stratasys PolyJet 3D Printers are based on proven technology, which creates precise prototypes that set the standard for finished-product realism. Their fine resolution makes complex shapes, intricate details and smooth surfaces possible. PolyJet 3D Printing works by jetting layers of liquid photo-polymer onto a build tray and instantly curing them with UV light. The fine layers build up to create a precise 3D model or prototype. Models are ready to handle right out of the 3D printer, with no post-curing needed.
“The Stratasys J750 is key to achieving faster time-to-market, making visualization of bespoke products easier.”
— Jeremy Garrard, Director of Design and Advanced Technologies,