Before you complete a full run, or even a short run, of your product packaging, it is wise to take the time to make and test a sample, including a CAD sample. If you are unsure how to get the most from a CAD sample for your product packaging, follow our tips.
A Refresher on What the Sample Is
As a quick refresher, CAD stands for computer-aided design. CAD essentially refers to creating the outline and overall design on the computer instead of by hand. For product packaging, CAD samples are printed on cardboard and just have the basic outline of your packaging.
The CAD sample will have your material, shape, size, and durability of the finished product, but it will not contain any colors, images, or text. It essentially lets you ensure that the packaging will be the proper size and shape and meet your other requirements, from durability to ease of opening.
So, what should you do to get the most from the CAD sample?
Look at the File Before Printing
When you have a CAD sample done by professionals, they will typically send you a file for approval before they use it to print out the sample. Even if you are short on time, do not underestimate the importance of looking at your CAD sample when it is still digital. This can save you time compared to having the manufacturer print it with easily avoided errors.
Make Sure It Is the Ideal Size and Shape
When you get your CAD sample, the first thing you want to confirm is that it fits your product how you envisioned it would. Take your product and place it inside the packaging, along with any other items you planned to include, from stuffing to paper inserts with coupons.
Remember that you want your product to fit in the box without moving around excessively. If it moves around too much, it may become damaged in transit.
Test the Durability
Since the CAD sample is made with the same material as your final product packaging, you can use the sample to pretest its durability, even before you order a short run. Ideally, you will complete these tests after doing everything else you need to with the sample. After all, if the tests go poorly, you may end up damaging the CAD sample.
Testing the durability should involve putting the sample through the same types of conditions that it would go through on the supply chain, as well as between the store and customers’ houses.
Document As You Test
During all of the testing you complete with the CAD sample, be sure to document it. This includes taking photos and videos, as well as notes. You want to have this media on hand to refer to in the future to reassure yourself that everything works properly. The documentation also lets you share the test results with members of your team that cannot physically be there during testing.