Packaging Strategies recently sat down with HP’s Mariona Company to discuss the role of 3D printing in sustainable packaging.
Company, who is Global Head of Sustainable Packaging and Global Head of Marketing, HP 3D Printing and Personalization, talked about 3D printing in the context of the molded fiber industry.
“3D printing is not a stranger in the molded fiber industry. This industry has been looking at 3D printing for a long time,” Company notes.
However, since the molded fiber industry involves factories that run 24/7 and produce millions of products, “until now, nobody has been able to provide a 3D printing tool that really runs in a production environment.”
That begs the question: Why 3D printing for the molded fiber industry in the first place?
“3D printing responds to a critical pain point. This industry has been advancing on the machinery equipment and the workflow on the fibers. However, the heart of the production process – which is the molded fiber tool – has not advanced for, I would say, the last 50 years,” Company says. “3D printing can solve that. If you can 3D print those tools, not only can you create an advantage in turnaround time, but you also digitalize part of this process and you can ensure quality across all the tools.”
But that’s just one element.
“The second element at HP – not only do we create tools, but we also think about creating tools in a more sustainable way,” Company said. “What they do is produce parts using less fiber while also producing them faster. So fundamentally it translates to more products, less fiber and production of parts in a more sustainable way.”
Check out the entire podcast to learn more about the role of 3D printing, including how 3D printing enables the creation of new and exciting packaging designs that are also more sustainable.