Deconstructing growth in 3D-printed packaging market

According to a research conducted by Transparency Market Research (TMR), manufacturers have been adopting 3D printing in packaging, owing to obliteration of tooling. It states that the 3D-printed packaging market is set to grow steadily over the forecast period of 2018 to 2028.

23 Dec 2019 | By Aultrin Vijay

One of the biggest growth factors of the market, according to the study, includes the need to make packaging attractive, since it is important to the millennial population. It’s not only interactive but also exciting and engaging. “The scope of global 3D-printed packaging is limitless in terms of formats and creativity and thus is a favourite with contract manufacturers,” the study stated.

Moreover, pharmaceuticals are said to be utilising the technology to build prototypes that are functional. Several other players are also said to be using the technology for making prototypes of packaging and constructing moulds for thermoforming parts.

According to a press note shared with PrintWeek, the robotics arms used in production also use 3D printing, adding to the growth of the global 3D-printed packaging market.

“All this leads to the market charting a steady CAGR, creating opportunities which are rich and lucrative for global 3D-printed packaging market players. On top of it, the CAGR will contribute to the growth in market worth over the period of 2018 to 2028,” the note stated.

Key developments and dynamics of the market

The study stated that 3D printing has had a troubling history of competing with alternative technologies for price. However, one of the key characteristics observed in consumers is a large affinity towards packaging designs, which are more exciting, engaging, and interactive. 3D printing would enable designers and engineers to do that.

According to the TMR study, the possibilities with 3D printing in the packaging industry are limitless, especially with bespoke packaging formats. The technology is also anticipated to play a pivotal role in the growth of contract manufacturers. It also enables a company to efficiently add real-time innovation to a packaging line.

The road ahead

The study has found that 3D printing would eventually be routinely used as a means of manufacturing products related to end use.

In the recent years, the market has witnessed a growing interest for personalised packaging among brands and packaging manufacturers. For instance, Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign and Nutella’s personalised jars of chocolate spread displaying the name of the consumer.

“Many beverage and alcohol brands are now selling NFC enabled bottles, which can be connected with smartphones, which denotes that the trend of personalised packaging is unlikely to become obsolete anytime soon,” the study stated.

Therefore, experimenting with 3D-printed packaging would be of great interest for brands. However, there are several challenges to be faced down the line. High investment is required for 3D printing equipment, along with skilled operators. Also, mass production of large volume glass bottles is a feat yet to be achieved.