The structural design software for packaging have many features that make the daily job easier. They share many properties but each one is different form the other, that’s the reason why they attract different types of users: some are more suitable for designers, others for structured agencies or large companies and others are thought to die cutters and printers.
Here it is a brief overview of the most used design software for packaging in the paper industry:
1. Artios CAD
Artios Cad is one of the best design software for cardboard and corrugated packaging that offers a large library of standard ECMA and FEFCO die-cuts. It is a complete solution that allows you to design die-cut templates, 3D models and print-ready packaging layouts (function suitable for die cutters and companies that need to print packaging). The software house, Esko, provide a wide range of plugins which also interface with Adobe suite software.
During the 2D design phase users have access to a series of automated tools that facilitate and speed up the productivity of designers. The Automatic Drafting option automatically performs some alignment steps and doesn’t require the operator construction work.
Artios CAD is designed to simplify the design work and optimize the whole production flow: it integrates itself with palletizing software in order to check that the dimensions of the designed packaging are suitable for the pallet used for the shipment. You will be charged for software updates.
Impact by Arden Software is also a complete solution for packaging design. It allows to create print-ready packaging layouts, displayers and 3D boxes models. You can also realize 3D packaging representations set in virtual shops to compare your packaging with competitors’ packaging. There is also a die-making function useful for die-cuts producers.
Produced by a British software house, Kasemake is conceived for packaging and displayers design according to FEFCO, ECMA, FSDUs. You can import and export AutoCAd and Illustrator files. A module sold separately offers the opportunity to manage workflows to improve and optimize the organization between the sales team and the design team. For example, a salesperson can load the information needed for the project so that the project manager can assign the job to a specific designer and supervise his progress.
4. EngView Packaging Designer Suite
As well as most of the other programs, this software provides a library of parameterized die-cuts for both folding and corrugated carton and a series of complex structures for coated boxes.
A plugin allows designers to apply the graphics – created with Adobe Illustrator – to the structural design. It is possible to create three-dimensional preview images with the 3D module, that also allows the addition of a series of finishing effects (for example hot stamping, bas-reliefs, etc…) for an even more realistic effect.
EngView offers different suites: from the basic to the advanced ones ideal for those who produces die-cut templates, because it allows also to create print-ready packaging layouts.
It’s a software for structural design, 3D models creation and nesting. Designed to manage different types of corrugated cardboard, it allows to add custom materials. It provides a standard template library ready for use and editable. You can also import models from AutoCAD and 3D functionality allows you to apply your graphics to a 3D model.
A good structural packaging design software, as one of those above, is a key tool for complex packaging design. These kind of software are expensive – and some of them could be very expensive! – (depending on the brand and the options offered) and within reach of major advertising agencies or companies with very specific needs such as corporations or packaging and die-cut producers.
Their use can also be highly complex and usually requires advanced technical design knowledge and a training in most cases provided by the software houses.
Packly is the online alternative to manage in a more agile and quick way packaging projects without buying any software. At the moment it offers 40 kinds of die-cut templates fully customizable in size and allows to automatically download templates within the print format 70 × 100 cm.