Dec 10, 2015 | By Tess

Lawrenceville, GA based small business owner Anita Redd, who invented the skin moisturizer Anita’s Balm, has recently and rather serendipitously entered into the world of 3D printed packaging.

Redd, who initially created Anita’s Balm to treat her son’s eczema using natural ingredients, went into business in 2011 and quickly found success as people found that her product effectively soothed and replenished their dry skin and retailers around the Unites States began to sell her product.

Anita and her husband Jason Redd first found themselves using 3D printing technology last year when their packaging supplier decided to discontinue the 1-ounce container they had previously used to package and sell Anita’s Balm. The Redds bought out the rest of the supply, but had to come up with an alternative for their product’s packaging, and quick. They found that additive manufacturing technologies could provide them with the freedom to design and manufacture their own pots to hold the balm, so they invested $2,000 in buying three MakerGear M2 3D printers and Jason Redd got to work designing the pots in AutoCAD.

 

Now, with their own success in 3D printing Anita’s Balm packaging, they are expanding their enterprise and have decided to market and sell empty 3D printed containers to other individuals or small businesses. “We’re beginning to sell them empty, starting now,” explains Anita. “Until now, we’ve only used them filled with Anita’s Balm, so we’re changing to a different business, which is empty containers.”

Using the three MakerGear M2 3D printers the Redds have been able to additively manufacture up to 72 containers a day, and have been making a variety of styles, including cream jars in two sizes (0.25oz and 1oz), carabiners, pots, salt and pepper shakers, treasure boxes, and soap pumps.

The move to additive manufacturing was also out of environmental concern, as the Redds wanted to have more sustainable and eco-friendly packaging options. All their containers are 3D printed from biodegradable PLA materials made from plant substances. “As long as it used the PLA, I was willing to go ahead with it, but I didn’t want to get a printer that was just going to use the same material we’d been using before,” explains Redd.

Essentially, the Redds use clear PLA pellets and colored dyes to create a PLA filament that can be fed into their 3D printers. From there, and once the designs are made, the 3D printers do the rest.

Jason Redd, who designed the containers, says of the design, “It’s got an outer wall and an inner wall and then it’s hollow in the center so that the shape of it makes it pretty strong. You can toss it around.” On the MakerGear M2, it takes them about 30 minutes to manufacture the 0.25oz pot, and 90 minutes to make the 1oz container.

For Anita and Jeff Redd, 3D printing was the best solution for manufacturing the containers they wanted for their own product. “These containers cannot be produced in any other way, so this is the best time– and cost–efficient way to produce them. The individuality of the designs does not lend them to making molds for traditional manufacturing, avoiding the high costs of molds and allowing custom and flexible manufacturing. We believe this is the future of manufacturing – companies of any size can order any amount and have a unique brand.”

The Redds recently showcased their 3D printed containers and designs at packaging expo SouthPack 2015 and received positive feedback. “We received a extremely supportive reception at the show,” says Anita Redd. “We had Georgia and Florida companies inquire regarding us making up to 1000 jars for them.”

Of course, the Redds are not giving up their balm business, in fact they hope that their 3D packaging enterprise will allow them to expand Anita’s Balm as the money made from selling the containers will be reinvested into the company. “I’ll never move away from doing the balm,” says Redd. “My son still has eczema and he still needs products…I will not give it up.”

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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