Design and finite element analysis of a 3D-printed packaging insert


  • Ismael Alejandro Muñoz Salazar Posgrado CIATEQ, A.C. Centro de Tecnología Avanzada, Eje 126 No. 225, Zona Industrial del Potosí, 78395, San Luis Potosí, México
  • Isaías Emmanuel Garduño Olvera CONAHCYT – CIATEQ, A.C. Centro de Tecnología Avanzada, Eje 126 No. 225, Zona Industrial del Potosí, 78395, San Luis Potosí, México
  • Mayra del Angel Monroy Plásticos y Materiales Avanzados – CIATEQ, A.C. Centro de Tecnología Avanzada, Eje 126 No. 225, Zona Industrial del Potosí, 78395, San Luis Potosí, México



Packaging insert, Finite element analysis, 3D printing


Packaging inserts play a crucial role in protecting products during transportation. However, their design and production processes often rely on conventional methods limiting equipment capabilities. Moreover, the empirical nature of their design can result in a lack of reliability in the final product. To address these challenges, this study aimed to validate the design of a packaging insert using the finite element method and subsequently create it using 3D printing. The chosen material is a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) filament commonly used in fused deposition filament printers for 3D printing. This process demonstrates the feasibility of using 3D printing to create cushioning inserts for packaging and employing finite element analysis to simulate the insert behavior. The main findings of this research highlight the potential benefits of numerical simulation, revealing the areas where the insert is primarily impacted by weight. Furthermore, the forces load and displacement simulation results confirm that the TPU elastic limit (3.9x106 MPa) is sufficient to handle the weight this insert intends to hold. These tools determine the viability of the proposed design for its intended application. Therefore, this study verifies that 3D printing is a reliable option for producing packaging inserts, offering significant advantages over traditional methods. These advantages include increased design flexibility and the ability to create custom inserts on demand.


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The numerically simulated forces in the insert show that the piece would be bending, returning to its normal position once the load is removed, without any significant risk of collapse



How to Cite

Muñoz Salazar , I. A., Garduño Olvera , I. E., & del Angel-Monroy, M. (2023). Design and finite element analysis of a 3D-printed packaging insert . REVISTA DE CIENCIAS TECNOLÓGICAS, 6(3), e254.