The company showcased the RealPro 3D-Packager at Packaging Innovations 2011. It is demonstrated how the software streamlines packaging design and development to dramatically improve product time-to-market, minimising dependence on physical mock-ups and reducing development costs.

Nick Gilmore, Software Business Manager at FFEI, said, The Packaging Innovations show provided the ideal opportunity for us to present this carton visualisation tool to precisely those creative professionals that would truly benefit from its capabilities. Traditionally, 3D printed packaging prototypes are both expensive and time consuming due to the typical costs associated in creating samples, turnaround times from design to product realisation and the logistics of distributing prototypes to customers.

The software greatly reduces all of these overheads and also gives users the freedom to explore new designs variants, such as different substrates and finishes, before a physical mock-up is commissioned. It is an exciting prospect that you can realise your ideas immediately on screen and accurately present these ideas to colleagues and customers alike, in a very fast and cost-effective way.

It allows real-time design that displays 3D visuals with a 360° view, allowing users to animate the folding process at the click of a button. Concepts, designs, and ultimately 3D prototypes can all be shared with customers online allowing key decision makers to benefit from a simplified product design process.

Gill Wright, Artwork & Constructional Design Manager for Chesapeake Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Packaging, UK & Ireland, said, Chesapeake’s global design centres now have the ability to produce fast 3D mock-ups utilising the software. This can prevent costly traditional mock-ups eating into lead-times, and the power of sending a 3D visual across the globe within hours of a marketing meeting is priceless.

With its real-time rendering technology, RealPro 3D-Packager synchronises with Adobe Illustrator software, allowing visualisation of 3D prototypes in parallel with the design creation, without additional steps or rework. This seamless bi-directional interfacing with Adobe Illustrator means users can flick between the design package and RealPro 3D-Packager to see a 3D mock-up of the finished product as it evolves throughout the design stage.

For added user-friendliness, the software automates the creation of 3D objects from imported die-lines. Adding perforations, tabs or cut-outs becomes part of the creative process rather than a complex technical bottleneck and allows direct testing of the visual impact on the final product.

Mark Ridgeway, FFEI Software Product Manager, said that RealPro 3D-Packager belongs to a highly desirable portfolio of FFEI graphic arts software solutions. Our user base takes in a wide array of graphics professionals including designers, printers, converters, brand owners and marketing service providers, and we have a vast network of highly qualified resellers supporting these products but, with their increasing popularity and geographical spread, we’re always interested in new partnerships. The Packaging Innovations exhibition is the perfect platform for exploring these possibilities.