Prototyping for Packaging Success
The Prototype: Golden Circle Juice Bottle
Heinz wanted to grab consumers’ attention at the grocery store. In order to achieve this, Heinz Australia approached Outerspace Design to evolve their new Golden Circle (GC) chilled juice bottle range. And, of course, part of this redesign involved rapid prototyping technologies to test the new design for manufacturability and brand awareness, helping to streamline time to production.
Two prototypes were required for this project: one as a form study to test aesthetics and CAD drawings, and another function prototype in FDM for in line trials and testing. Prototyping allowed for products testing and design reiterations prior to costly tooling ensuring everything was perfect before the packaging went into production.
The Client: Outerspace
Outerspace design and develop medical, electronic and consumer products and structural packaging solutions from initial concept to reality using industrial design, product development and strategic planning. For more information or to contact Outerspace, click on their logo below. To read the full Outerspace design process case study, click here.
The Rapid Prototyping Process: Plaster and FDM prototypes required
Before entering into tooling which is a costly and precise part of manufacturing, two key prototypes were created to test aesthetics, functionality, manufacturability and tooling considerations.
The first prototype was primarily to establish the overall aesthetic of the bottle from the CAD. The timing was extremely tight and by choosing a plaster/epoxy prototype built using ZCorp technology, a quick form model was produced which was hollow, and capped to resemble the finished product.
“We chose to move with Rapid Pro’s Plaster/Epoxy finish due to its durability and quick turnaround,” says Michael Grima. “This model assisted us in validating the form against the competitive set in real proportions but more importantly determine if the handle concept was functional. We used it for grip and handling tests and found that the handle required some level of modification to make it more comfortable in the hand. This model led to us altering the geometry on this area and opened discussion with both the manufacturer of the bottle as well as the filling plant.”
After several rounds of refinement, a second prototype was requested, this time, a hollow model was needed to conduct filling and pouring tests. For these requirements FDM was the most suitable process. “In the past we would have considered the more fragile SLA process,” says Michael; “However, RapidPro had made huge advancements in the finish they could achieve with FDM, so we were willing to test it on this model. The finish was far smoother and proved to be highly durable.”
The FDM prototype was then used for a dummy line trials to help determine change parts and impact on line speed. The manufacturer used the bottle for reference on troubleshooting potential issues in the blowing aspects of the form. From here the client was able to move far more confidentially as a group to pilot tooling.
The result: Michael Grima, Design Director, Outerspace Design Group said :
“RapidPro’s quick response and quality finish are the primary drivers for regularly selecting Simon and his team for these packaging projects. With timing and pressure so tight on this launch, we still undertook his advice on the FDM Beta model and it more than paid back its investment with the client.”
This innovative juice bottle designed for the Heinz Golden Circle brand of chilled juice recently won a WorldStar packaging award – Beverage at the gala presentation ceremony in Croatia.
Submitted by Outerspace Design on the heels of the bottle’s commercial success; PCA, AIDA awards and Powerhouse Museum Collection piece, this is the first entry, on behalf of the Australian Institute of Packaging, to achieve a WorldStar distinction in 44 years of the event history.
Results speak for themselves: An award winning bottle that is beautifully sculpted unlike anything on the market.