The role of 3D printing in packaging parts and prototypes

In recent years, the possibilities for the application of additive manufacturing have expanded considerably. From aerospace and infrastructure to energy, many industries harness this technology's power to create innovative, game-changing products. 

When it comes to skincare and cosmetic brands, the story is no different. Traditional manufacturing processes limited the design possibilities and incurred substantial costs for custom molds. 3D printing, however, offers unparalleled design freedom, empowering designers to create innovative packaging. Keep reading to discover how 3D printing has revolutionized the world of packaging:  

  • Rapid prototyping: Faster to market:Trends and consumer preferences constantly evolve in the skincare and cosmetic industry. To stay ahead of the curve, brands need to adapt accordingly. Here's where 3D printing can help. Additive manufacturing vastly accelerates the prototyping phase, as it allows companies to produce prototypes in a matter of hours. This enables brands to test and refine their packaging designs far faster than would be possible with traditional design methods.


  • Reducing waste and environmental impact: An international reporthas confirmed record high levels of greenhouse gases in 2022. It's clear that the climate crisis is worsening. As a result, an increasing number of businesses and individuals are growing concerned with sustainability. 

Traditionally, manufacturing processes generate a significant amount of waste, especially during the prototyping and testing phases. From the prototype stage through to manufacturing the packaging, 3D printing is inherently more sustainable as it generates less material waste. With 3D printing, brands are able to produce packaging parts with precision, minimizing excess material.

  • Cost-efficiency and scalability: When it first entered the market, 3D printing was a costly investment as it required expensive equipment. Nowadays, advancements in materials and printers have made it far more cost-effective.For small to medium-sized skincare and cosmetic brands, 3D printing offers an affordable solution for creating customized packaging parts. As a brand grows, 3D printing can easily be adapted to increased production demands without the need for substantial investments in new molds or tools further down the line.
  • Quality assurance through prototyping: Cosmetic and, in particular, skincare products comprise delicate formulas, often using potent active ingredients. Therefore, ensuring the integrity and functionality of skincare and cosmetic packaging is critical to protect the efficacy of the product within. By using 3D printing, brands can create prototypes, which allows them to evaluate the fit, form, and functionality of their packaging and then make necessary adjustments before committing to mass production.


Here at APG, we’re constantly innovating so that we can create industry-leading packaging solutions. Get in touch to discuss your unique packaging requirements.

3d printingAdditive manufacturingPrototyping