Post-Pandemic, 3D printed packaging likely to see growth

As the technology develops, the capabilities of 3D printing have moved beyond prototyping. Today, manufacturing industries have warmed up to the disruptive value proposition of the additive manufacturing (AM). Manufacturers from FMCG to healthcare to aerospace and automotive came to position 3D printing as an indispensable tool aside injection moulding. The vast array of 3D-friendly materials and printing technologies all underscore the vast appetite of AM in all end-use industries.

23 Jan 2021 | By WhatPackaging? Team

Nowhere the potential that 3D printing holds is more evident than during the pandemic. Businesses and hobbyists harnessing it to fabricate amazing designs in ventilators is one example out of several. The medical sector has been aggressively unlocked new value in 3D printing: partnerships to reduce the turnaround time for critical medical supplies being a glaring case in point.

Hygiene concern

To laud 3D printed packaging as another indispensable arrow in the quiver for brands to position their products wouldn’t be an exaggeration. The post-pandemic growth of 3D printed packaging has led new product aspects to surface in shaping the consumer perception of packaging. While environmentally sustainable packaging materials isn’t losing sheen, other aspects will be become equally significant for few months down the line. In addition to sustainability quotient, what currently enamors consumers is single-use packaging. In the backdrop of growing science about the cross-surface virus transmission, hygiene concern has spurred single-use packaging to the fore. Further, holistic designs are creating a huge buzz. All these will see consumer see post-pandemic growth of 3D printed packaging in new light.

New consumer expectations

The 3D printed packaging market in post-pandemic world has seen players in the ecosystem focused on meeting these newfound consumer expectations. Tellingly, meeting these aspirations by the packaging industry will expose it to new set of challenges. Together with the challenges, new ways of targeting consumer value propositions attract post-pandemic growth of 3D packaging.

3D printed packaging has already seen the industry players leveraging it for gains such as distributed manufacturing base and freedom of fabricating complex geometries. These gains will become more pronounced with time in post-pandemic growth of 3D printed packaging. The low turnaround possible with AM is another aspect that will spur new product developments during post-pandemic growth of 3D printed packaging. 3D printing will enable packaging companies attempt new designs that reduce the risk of cross-contamination, especially single-use packaging has come to rule the evolving landscape. As the trend of democratising production gains impetus, new entrants will up the ante for the incumbent players in the post-pandemic growth of 3D printed packaging.

User-friendly design

The whole retailing concept has seen reshaped in post-Covid era, with surge in eCommerce. The recent shifts in shopping patterns during the pandemic heightened that expectation from consumers. The multi-billion packaging sector is on the path of actively adopting new 3D fabrication technologies. These enable brands to offer a unique haptic feel to final customers in the value chain. Stridently, 3D printing will witness an incredible pace of integration with the general manufacturing chain of consumer goods companies. For instance, 3D printed packaging is showing vast promise for beauty industry in offering case effective UX design.

Moving the growth wheels

The additive manufacturing technology might be the next game-changing one in charting new engagement narratives for consumers. This might be not just in use of minimal packaging but also in other innovative ways. A case in point is brands pitching new consumer-driven value propositions with the help of 3D printed designs when product visibility moves past different digital channels. Moving forward, post-pandemic growth of 3D printed packaging will see new holistic design strategy attracting collaborations.

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