package design software (structure)

What is a good 2d or 3d tool for folding and unfolding with respect to package design? Illustrator is used and there are flat paterns for the download all over. But what about those that want to create their own boxes.

I have heard the word ‘structure designer’ and to an engineer structural designers do air frames in Carbon Fiber.

Not sure what your project is. . .

Assuming your package is derived from a sheetstock, i.e., a 2-D blank:
you may opt for outputting your 2D design onto a large sheet, paste the sheet over your stock and cut out your samples directly.

In the folding carton industry, many designers use ArtiosCAD which is marketed by Esko Graphics. This software is typically linked to (Kongsberg) samplemaking tables. In these cases, you place sheetstock on the table and the table head moves over the sheet, creating creases and cuts on your blank. Then you on to fold up panels to test out your sample - revise it, test it again. . .

ArtiosCAD also offers an add on feature called “3-D” which can provide a picture of how your carton takes shape as panels fold up. Sometimes these images are used for assembly drawings, etc. Personally, I’ve never used it. So far as I know, it doesn’t reflect the action of curved scores, etc. Someone else might know better, though.

Good luck with your project.

Seems to me the sheetmetal tools in Solidworks would work perfectly for this application. Folding, unfolding, etc. You’d just have to play with the parameters a bit as to your material thicknesses and bending tolerances.

I second NURB…any package with a competent sheetmetal capability is perfectly suited for bending/folding cardboard, etc.

before you guys flip and flame me I or design engine is not in anyway affiliated with these guys. < notice they talk of structural design software.

I thought to use solidworks or proe sheetmetal too, but I was looking for what industry uses. Standard in the industry. Hell I would use Solidworks or Pro/E to design my deck but industry standard is AutoCAD.

Now, next question. Is this software so common that print shops can take this native format and prototype boxes from the CAD data? and what other software is out there for the propose of designing graphics on packageing -boxes.?

I’d say industry standard would be illustrator. You could export the flat pattern out of solidworks as a DXF and bring it into illustrator to design the graphics and send to your vendors…

I’m not sure if there is an all-in-one program out there. Surely, someone knows if such a thing does in fact exist.

There are tons of software packages out there for this. I personaly use 3ds Max. We do all of our production drawings in Auto CAD and I impot that into MAX and fold away. It takes a little time but you can render it out nice if you need too. An in my job that is killing two birds with one stone as I do alot of renderings.

If you want a package structural design software there is TOPS, Studio X, and Artios CAD, those are the ones that come mind. These are great if you just looking to see what the structure is.

I just visited a Packaging Design House…and they’re using ArtiosCAD right now, but somebody was right when they said that you can’t do complex curvature in or complex 3D models either, the newest solution that Structural Designers are coming up with are a combination of ArtiosCAD and SolidWorks, they’ve come to an agreement on the importing and exporting back and forth, so if you’re looking for a software that makes boxes very well that is ArtiosCAD, but if you hit a dead end in that package you might need SolidWorks to compliment it and a you would then have a killer combination. I think the latest version of Artios will have seamless work flow between itself and SolidWorks… I think PhotoWorks in SW would be enough to render some really nice packages.

They real clincher is not going to be unfold or fold, or grahics, but seamless integration of Animation in the program…both Artios and SolidWorks can create animations I know, but nothing really substantial enough to really get the WOW factor from those marketing and sales guys.


I’ve just trademarked both of them. They are for sale or licence.

Can you post some images of what your software can do?