Hello My name is Lutz Engisch and I work at iP³ Leipzig. As part of our competence network "formplus", we are intensively working on generative production processes (aka 3D printing). In the area of packaging, RP technologies are currently being used in the various stages of packaging development. However, most of the technologies suffer from ther unusual surface and, in some cases, weight, stableness, etc., So often the printed result has not the known properties form classic packing materials. Moreover, the coloring of the 3D printed surfaces is very limited. In some cases, the approach is to use the 3d printed models as a master form for conventional production methods (casting molds, injection molds). This can be interesting for small runs. In the field of packaging machines, partial 3d printed components are already being used today. Here, however, the mechanically restricted properties must also be considered. Many companies have bought "3D printing" technologies in the last few years - but mostly with the Intension to get to know the technology. For special problems / applications, service providers were used, since they have the appropriate know-how and the necessary technology. For further questions please get in touch with me.
Best regards Lutz