Apr 13, 2018

How 3D Scanning Can Optimize Food Packaging

Swiss specialists Bachmann Forming use Artec 3D scanners to digitize handcrafted chocolate bunnies, so they can create custom food packaging.

Easter is long gone, and your teeth may feel a little tender after scarfing down all that delicious chocolate. But spare a thought for the elaborate packaging of that confectionery, and the modern technology that went into creating it.

One packaging company, Bachmann Forming in Hochdorf, Switzerland, uses 3D scanners to optimize the packaging molds for their client’s chocolate bunnies. An ill fitting cardboard box just isn’t good enough; every curve of these delectable bunnies are showcased in form-fitting blue plastic.

To design them, technicians capture the shape of an object using 3D scanners from Artec 3D, and then use the data to create a master form, which has an identical shape to the source object.

Previously, master forms would be either handcrafted, manually ground, cast with epoxy resin or milled from wood. This is a painstaking process that could take several working days, depending on the complexity of the product.

But the procedure has changed dramatically in recent years thanks to digitization. Master forms are now designed using computer-aided design (CAD) and manufactured from blocks of polyurethane on CNC-controlled milling machines.

Optimizing Chocolate and Food Packaging with 3D Scanning

Bachmann Forming chose Artec scanners for the task because of their ability to capture data without the need for extra orientation points.

Compared to other 3D scanners, they do not need adhesive markers to be stuck over the object for the scanner to maintain tracking and to align scans. This is because algorithms in the software can analyze both the geometry and the color data of the object.

“Especially in the case of chocolate or pralines, it would be pretty hard to stick something on them,” says Jörg Nussbaum, a design engineer at Bachmann.

By using Artec’s technology to create a CAD model of the original chocolate bunny, Bachmann Forming can take advantage of the expedited process of CNC machining the master form. There’s also the added benefit of reducing manual error through hand measurements and machining.

Overall, it takes Bachmann just one hour to complete the entire process.

“We were impressed by the easy usability, and the geometry and texture-based tracking of the Artec Scanner,” Nussbaum enthuses. “Capturing color also makes it easy to create photorealistic visualizations in the design phase.”

Source: New Equipment Digest

License: The text of "How 3D Scanning Can Optimize Food Packaging" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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