Opportunities in packaging

Digital printing is very much a technology-driven business and print providers embracing software enhancements stand the best chance of being successful in a competitive environment. Packaging is definitely a growth industry and there is increasing demand for short run projects and prototyping. After recently speaking to DGS KASEMAKE at the GOA show, it’s evident that print providers already working with rigid substrate printing can transition into packaging opportunities, yet this opportunity is not being pursued by many. So what to do?

Packaging and Prototypes

It may be a natural transition for print providers already working with rigid substrates, yet many of these companies are not packaging experts. This is where companies such as DGS and Esko come into play. They provide software for 3D applications, including packaging. These software programs are dedicated to the design of folded packaging, mainly corrugated boxes and folding carton. They can be used by box designers, box sample makers and die makers. Once the parameters are entered in a specific template, the software automatically takes care of all the structural design and calculations; even taking into consideration the thickness and type of substrate used, explained Robert Rodriguez, President of DGS KASEMAKE. In addition to benefiting the print provider, it also enables the clients to “review and approve before production begins,” explains Larry Moore, VP of Partner Programs, North America, Esko.


Software from DGS KASEMAKE and Esko ArtiosCAD provide extensive template libraries to help create the structural design. The print service provider can place graphics on the design and thereby create a virtual 3D file allowing clients to get a sense of how the graphics will look before creating the prototype. KASEMAKE includes a free animation module that can be used for all structural designs, giving print providers an additional tool for presenting work to clients. Both of these vendors offer a variety of finishing equipment along with the software; all part of a comprehensive solution. This could be very useful to print providers in helping to minimize the learning curve as they develop new market opportunities.


ArtiosCAD is the flagship structural packaging design editor in Esko’s software suite with over 13,000 licenses sold worldwide. “It all starts with structure. The structural design determines the placement of the graphics. The package converting is determined by the structure. Structure and graphics, as well as structure and logistics, are brought together with the use of ArtiosCAD. ArtiosCAD offers end-to-end communication for the entire packaging supply chain,” says Richard Deroo, Esko Product Manager, Structural Design. Esko has recently released Software Suite release 14.1 and helps to bring ease of use with SaaS (software as a service) options, offering more flexibility with software subscriptions and improved support.

Both DGS and Esko offer a turnkey integrated solution to create/print/cut POP displays, packaging and tradeshow booths on-demand using paper-based and other rigid substrates. As innovators in the wide format digital printing industry, DGS and Esko offer comprehensive tech support and consulting as well as competitive prices. The 3D POP systems include professional design software, UV flatbed printers and digital table cutters. DGS also has a full line of cardboard rigid supplies and accessories.