Case Study: How PepsiCo achieved 96% cost savings on tooling with 3D Printing Technology

3 Mins read
  • PepsiCo was also able to reduced prototype tool development time from 4 Weeks to 48 hours
PepsiCo multinational brand
Above: PepsiCo food, snack, and beverage product line-up/Source: PepsiCo

PepsiCo turned to tooling with 3D printing technology to slash its prototype tooling costs by 96% and cycle times to reap in unprecedented benefits in its manufacturing workflow. It used the best alternative to expensive, time-consuming conventional metal tooling.

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo is an iconic American multinational food, snack, and beverage brand headquartered in New York. PepsiCo products are consumed more than one billion times per day in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. PepsiCo’s net revenue is expected to exceed $79 billion in 2021, thanks to a complementary beverage and convenience foods portfolio that includes Lay’s, Doritos, Cheetos, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Quaker, and SodaStream. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a diverse range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including many iconic brands with estimated annual retail sales of more than $1 billion each.

The Challenge

PepsiCo used tooling with 3D printing technology for drastic cost and time savings
Above: PepsiCo used 3D printed tooling for drastic cost and time savings/Source: Nexa3D

In the consumer goods industry, speed to market is of prime important, as brands strive to develop new bottle and package designs to address ever-changing customer needs and desires. However, traditional metal tooling for bottle blow moulding is an expensive and time-consuming endeavour.

“Once a CAD file of the package design is created, it can take up to four weeks to machine a metal tool, and then an additional two weeks to get a trial unit to do the actual blow molding. It also could easily cost up to $10,000 to produce a single metal tool set depending on its complexity.”

– Max Rodriguez, Senior Manager of Global Packaging R&D, Advanced Engineering and Design, PepsiCo

Many brands have tried to use 3D printing to shorten this process, but previous rapid tooling approaches had flaws as well. A single blow moulding tool made of Digital ABS (an expensive material) would take two to three days to 3D print on a $250,000 PolyJet 3D printing machine. Nonetheless, the resulting tool lacked durability and could only produce about 100 bottles before the mould failed. This prompted Rodriguez and his team to investigate a hybrid approach that combined parts of a traditional metal mould with 3D printed inserts.

“Time and cost are obviously important, but more important is to have the ability to have the flexibility to run through a number of different design iterations at a record pace so that we can evaluate performance in all of the downstream activities. That really is what helps us accelerate.”

– Max Rodriguez, Senior Manager of Global Packaging, R&D, Advanced Engineering and Design, PepsiCo

Tooling with 3D Printing Technology from Nexa3D

Above: How PepsiCo accelerates packaging innovation with 3D printed mould inserts/Source: Nexa3D/YouTube

PepsiCo chose Nexa3D’s xPEEK147 from Henkel Loctite for the 3D printed tool inserts due to the material’s strength and impressive performance factors, including its very high heat-deflection temperature, to effectively solve its long cycle time issues. While this hybrid approach is machine-independent, meaning it can use any 3D printer, PepsiCo has found the ultrafast, high-throughput Nexa3D NXE 400 3D printer and accompanying material performance to be ideal for producing the mould components it requires.

A complete mould set can be created in 12 hours, including 8 hours of 3D printing and 4 hours of curing time. These hybrid-made moulds can then be used for more than 10,000 bottles before failing – at up to a 96 percent cost savings over traditional metal tooling.


PepsiCo is using additive manufacturing as an enabler in various aspects of bottle development, including accelerating and improving performance simulation, advanced system analysis, and the production of high-quality, functional prototypes, using its patented technology and a hybrid approach.


  • Reduction in prototype tooling development time from 4 weeks to 48 hours.
  • Reduction in prototype tooling costs from $10,000 to $350 per mould set.
  • Create long-lasting tooling capable of producing more than 10,000 bottles per mould.
  • Enable multiple design iterations to ensure timely verification of downstream activities.

Originally Published on Nexa3D website

About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online magazine on 3D Printing which publishes the latest 3D printing news, insights, case studies and analysis from all around the world. To stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in the 3D printing world, like us on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Manufactur3D is an Indian Online 3D Printing Media Platform that reports on the latest news, insights and analysis from the Indian and the Global 3D Printing Industry.
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