White Paper

Low-Volume Rapid Stretch Blow Molding With 3D Printed Molds

This white paper provides methods and guidelines for using stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed molds in the SBM process to lower costs and lead time during pre-production. From design and workflow considerations to molding conditions, it details the feasibility study from two industry experts, Unilever and Serioplast, to establish a new innovative solution for accelerating product development with on-demand tooling.

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  1. Introduction
  2. How Unilever and Serioplast Accelerate Pilot Testing
  3. Method
  4. Results
  5. Conclusion


Blow molding is a group of long-established manufacturing processes for producing hollow plastic products such as food and beverage containers, cosmetic packaging, medical packaging, and more. It is a rapid mass production method for high-quality, thin-walled parts. Blow molding has very short cycle times, typically between one and two minutes, and is extremely cost- effective for high-volume production. It is usually employed for producing millions of identical parts at low unit costs.

How Unilever and Serioplast Accelerate Pilot Testing

As one of the world’s largest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies, Unilever is constantly developing new products for everyday use, from personal care to home care, nutrition, and more. Serioplast Global Services is one of their major partners for producing rigid packaging for the home and personal care market in PET, PP, and PE bottles through stretch blow molding (SBM), extrusion blow molding (EBM), and other injection and blowing technologies (ISBM, IBM).

To stay ahead of the competition in this fast-moving industry, the two partners have been exploring innovative ways to accelerate prototyping and pilot testing. With this in mind, Stefano Cademartiri, CAD & Prototyping Owner at Unilever R&D Casalpusterlengo Italy, and Flavio Migliarelli, R&D Design Manager at Serioplast Global Services, worked hand in hand to test the viability of 3D printed molds for low-volume stretch blow molding. This white paper reports their process and findings.

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