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Lifestyle muesli on the breakfast table with 3D printing

First presented at the Packaging Inspiration Forum in Hamburg, the existing samples have now been expanded to include a tray produced by 3D printing.

The latest PrintCity Alliance project illustrates every aspect of a food packaging on the basis of an intelligent system solution for cereals: food safety and protective mechanisms, handling, branding, finishing and production.

As a result, all the participants in the value chain are equally addressed: brandowners, agencies and designers, printers and converters.

Visualisation and rapid prototyping

3D printing is ideally suited not only to visualising complete concepts in their entirety on a monitor, but also to turning them into “hands-on” reality.

“We’ve only just begun to sound out the possibilities this technology offers in packaging development,” says Alexander Dort, Head Designer of the PrintCity Alliance. “But even this first example demonstrates the enormous potential. The folding cartons only develop their full impact in conjunction with the tray, and the interplay of packaging and tray can already be optimised during the design phase and fine-tuned for subsequent industrial production.”

Multisensory approach and packaging concept

Different kinds of finishing were skilfully combined in production. This deliberately high degree of finishing shows how the intrinsic value of a product presentation can be enhanced by upgrading the product packaging, thus making it possible to attract greater attention at the POS. Cost-efficient production ensures suitability for the mass market and increases profitability.

Lifestyle product

The simplicity of everyday handling and the multisensory approach, i.e. the addressing of several senses, increase the value of the product in the consumer’s eyes:

  • No inner bag; glued-in paper strips as trickle prevention
  • Simple opening mechanism
  • Re-sealing with a pleasant “click”
  • Powerful visual and haptic effects

The first five folding cartons – of different size, content and design – were produced on an offset press at the AR Packaging Group. As with all Alliance projects, all the production parameters and the experience gained are summarised in a Tutorial.

The Airbox from the AR Packaging Group

The Airbox is a primary packaging solution for fine and pulverised products. The critical areas at the top and bottom of the folding carton are sealed on the inside by means of accurately positioned paper strips. This makes the carton trickle-proof without an additional inner bag – and thus ideal for loose products, such as sugar, muesli, cereals and flakes. In combination with various barrier coatings on the carton and the paper strips, the result is very high tightness values and good product safety. Only low-migration inks and coatings are used that comply with the latest European and Swiss laws and targets relating to food safety.

Further highlights:

  • Direct filling as an alternative to bag-in-box applications
  • Pre-glued paper strips permit safe filling on vertical end-load cartoners
  • Only minor modifications required for use on most vertical filling lines
  • Dust- and trickle-proof primary packaging
  • Reliable product protection for very small particles (> 120 µm)

This solution is already being used for sugar and cocoa products.

Project participants:

AR Packaging Group (packaging production, 3D design), Gallus (inline printing and finishing systems), LEONHARD KURZ (hot and cold foil stamping applications, holograms), Metsä Board (folding-carton board), Merck (effect pigments), SAUERESSIG (flexo plates, gravure cylinders), WEILBURGER Graphics (finishing coatings and water-based flexo inks), Hinderer + Mühlich (embossing dies), Marbach (cutting dies)

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