With over 35,000 SKUs in an average big box retailer, there is tremendous pressure to develop packaging that breaks through the clutter to capture more sales. Kinetic Vision, a Cincinnati-based design and technology company, has been creating innovative packaging for Fortune 500 companies for over 30 years and shares how they have recently powered up their packaging development process utilizing the new Stratasys J55™ 3D printer.
Kinetic Vision Powers Up the Packaging Process
“Packaging must speak to consumers in a very specific and personal way. Our clients recognize that having innovative packaging is not just a strategic advantage, it’s a prime tool to help shape brand perceptions and build an emotional bond with consumers” said Tony Guard, Director of the Innovation + Industrial Design group at Kinetic Vision.
For Kinetic Vision, packaging development is a wholistic process that integrates multiple technologies. The company not only does the industrial design, but also engineers the products, and then performs modeling and simulation and even computed tomography scanning of the product.
“Our company is very different from others since we are constantly developing and integrating advanced technologies to accelerate innovation. A good example is that we can now design in virtual reality and never touch a sketchpad. This allows us to move instantly to 3D and to create prototypes faster,” said Guard.
Advanced Technology Changes Packaging Development:
A major pain point for Kinetic Vision was getting fast and accurate models of their designs. Prior to using 3D printing for packaging, Kinetic Vision outsourced modeling projects. While many model shops were highly skilled, there was often a struggle when it came to specific patterns or details, especially if the model consisted of clear materials.
Simple design models were easy, but to create highly accurate, complex designs was difficult and very time consuming. “A real breakthrough for us came when the J55 was delivered. Out of the box we were able to produce designs with the fidelity, colors, and textures that rivaled some of the premier model shops in the US. It was a true game-changer for us,” said Guard.
The team at Kinetic Vision unwrapped and installed the J55 inside of an hour – and created their first print in the next few hours. The plug-and-play versatility of the J55 and its small footprint made it ideal for the Innovation + Industrial Design group.
From Zero to Final Product in Two Weeks:
To see the real power of the J55, the Kinetic Vision team embarked on a two-week sprint to concept, design and produce a product for a new beverage brand. The goal was to understand how the J55 could intersect and accelerate packaging design.
“We wanted to see just how fast we could integrate the J55 into our process and go from concept to a retail-ready looking print. We looked at the market, defined an opportunity, developed a strategy, brand, structure, IP, and developed CAD all in 2 weeks. 2 days later we were able to produce various 3D J55 prints that included structures and caps that function and look just like they would on the shelf. Achieving what we did in that timeframe is just ridiculous!” said Guard.
Higher Consumer Research Efficacy
The Kinetic Vision design process is anchored in consumer research – ensuring that critical steps in the design process are vetted and validated by people touching and handling product prototypes. The better the product prototype, the better the accuracy of the consumer research. The J55 and its high-fidelity print capability has dramatically improved the quality of the research for Kinetic Vision. “There has been an impressive impact on our process and specifically our ability to gain higher consumer research efficacy than we’ve ever had prior. The closer-to-reality 3D prints allow us to access better true-life feedback from consumers.
To be able to quickly and easily represent a product in a ‘retail-ready’ form to consumers and to clients has elevated our business,” said Guard. The company’s packaging development process now includes the J55 at critical intersection points in the process. Summarizing his team’s experience with the J55, Guard added, “there is no doubt that the Stratasys J55 has helped us rapidly accelerate our design process.”
About Kinetic Vision
Kinetic Vision integrates advanced technologies to accelerate product innovation within a broad array of industries including medical, consumer electronics, transportation, aerospace, and consumer packaged goods. We serve over 50 of the Fortune 500 companies and work with them as collaborative partners focused on their success.
The company is an industry leader in multiple categories, including smart product and medical device development, packaging innovation, product quality engineering, software/app development, AR/VR/XR, digital twin simulation, industrial scanning and analysis, and visual communication. Kinetic Vision is also a pioneer in artificial intelligence and has developed a proprietary platform to train and optimize machine learning models. Kinetic Vision’s breadth of expertise and full suite of software and hardware tools helps our clients meet their complex product and system development challenges with efficient concept-to production solutions.