Packaging Design in SOLIDWORKS

Packaging Design in SOLIDWORKS

Table of Contents

Consumer expectations have risen over the years to expect high-quality
packaging for all types of retail goods. The type of packaging used may have a
significant effect on brand perception and marketability of the product.
Packaging can also be a significant contributor to overall Cost of Goods. For
these reasons, it makes sense that packaging design should be given priority
as part of the core product design process, rather than an afterthought near a
product launch.

Following SOLIDWORKS trend of enabling concurrent engineering and product
development, I wanted to discuss a workflow for using SOLIDWORKS to virtually
prototype package concepts in parallel with product design. This workflow
allows for more iteration leading to more creative designs, as well as the
ability to compress time to market.




SOLIDWORKS Package Design


The general procedure is as follows:

  1. Determine desired package dimensions based on preliminary product design
  2. Design preliminary folding carton using SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal tools
  3. Export Flat Pattern “dieline” as DXF file to graphic design software for
    artwork creation
  4. Import artwork onto 3D model and perform Photorealistic rendering

This workflow allows a closed loop to quickly iterate different concepts. It’s
worth noting that SOLIDWORKS is not a specialized packaging design software
and the Sheet Metal tools were not intended to represent the box forming
process. A production carton may have complex glue tabs and other features
that would be difficult to represent using this workflow. However, even a
crude mockup of the package can be useful, as zones for the artwork can be
created and the overall shape of the package evaluated, knowing that the
production design will differ in ways that should not be visible to the

The Sheet Metal tools provide a check to ensure the carton will be
manufacturable, but if it’s not desirable to generate a flat pattern, faces of
the model can be individually exported to DXF for artwork creation. Nonplanar
faces can be flattened and exported to DXF using the Surface Flattening
functionality in SOLIDWORKS Premium- particularly useful for curved labels or
other applied graphics.

Photorealistic rendering allows evaluation of different artwork and packaging
designs in detail to make design decisions early on. Custom Scenes and
Environments allow evaluating how the package will look in different settings.
The renders below were performed in the integrated tool PhotoView 360. In this
case, the artwork was exported as PNG files and placed on the SOLIDWORKS model
as Decals. As an alternative, the standalone SOLIDWORKS Visualize renderer
could be used, even by separate departments that do not have SOLIDWORKS access
or experience.

Finished Package Design


SOLIDWORKS configurations can also be utilized to describe stages of a box
forming or carton erecting process, as well as provide instructions on how the
product should be packed.

Package Design Step-by-Step


By developing packaging concurrently with the product, time to market can be
reduced. Once a final package design is selected, only minimal adjustments
should be needed to the artwork to accommodate production. Additionally,
allowing all relevant parties to participate early on minimizes the chance of
surprises related to how much the package will cost, the structural needs of
the package and its manufacturability, and how the product will be presented.

For additional details on how this process and others can be performed, please
check out our
YouTube channel
or contact us at
Hawk Ridge Systems.

Ryan Navarro

Ryan Navarro

Ryan Navarro is a mechanical engineer and an avid SOLIDWORKS user since 2007. As product manager for CFD analysis, he specializes in complex simulations related to fluid flow, as well as structural interactions and mold filling.
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Richard DiDomizio
Richard DiDomizio
2 years ago

Nice demo…I’ve been searching for a SolidWorks video/tutorial for using sheet-metal features to create a realistic paper milk carton or even depict gift wrapping on a rectangular prism (basic Christmas gift box). Perhaps you’ve created this or know how. I cannot have open corners and the like (as shown in a basic folded carton) for obvious leakage reasons. It’s quite the challenge for such a simple request but there in lies the rub. Any help, tips, know-how would be greatly appreciated.

Connekt LLC
Connekt LLC
2 years ago

This is a very good blog on packaging design solidworks. I would like to thank you for all the information you give. It’s really important to choose the best packaging designing. So thanks for the information you give.

Connekt LLC
Connekt LLC
2 years ago

Found your blog. Its really nice on engineering design company. I appreciate your article. Its important to get quality information on engineering designing. So thanks for sharing all that important information.

Mary James
Mary James
2 years ago

Amazing piece of article, Thanks for sharing and keep up the amazing work.

Erika Green
Erika Green
2 years ago

Nice post! I really appreciate your work and wish you luck for more amazing posts in the future.

Dave Sar
Dave Sar
2 years ago

This is really a good piece of information. Our company is working on the auto repair cost estimation sector. We will need this for our day to day business. Thanks for sharing.

Steve Brian
Steve Brian
2 years ago

Wow appreciated . You have done nice work . Thank you for giving us an wonderful idea .