The Packaging Systems and Design program at Virginia Tech is excited to have a brand-new cutting table for use in bringing to life the packaging designs created by students in their program. An Esko Kongsberg X Edge sample maker was installed this summer at the Brooks Center and represents a significant addition to the capabilities offered to students.

Helping with one of the key aspects of the teaching mission of the packaging program, the digital cutter will enhance experiential learning for the students. Through this equipment, the instruction of package design and prototyping will be improved by allowing our students to try out new designs in a faster, more streamlined workflow. This new cutting table integrates seamlessly with the digital tools currently available for package design students such as ArtiosCAD, Esko Studio and Adobe Illustrator.

The improved quality of the samples created and the extended tooling capabilities of this cutting table present the opportunity to better showcase students’ work at national and international package design challenges.

The packaging program prides itself on emphasizing the development of sustainable solutions to everyday challenges and having a cutting table that allows experimentation with a wide array of materials and designs maximizes the opportunities available. The sample maker is capable of cutting all of the common packaging materials such as paperboard and corrugated fiberboard as well as a wide variety of foamboards, honeycomb boards, and different plastic materials, extending the packaging design students’ experience in developing prototypes for structural and protective packaging.

Multiple other areas of the Packaging System and Design program will also benefit directly from this latest acquisition. The table is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including functions and tools such as precise graphics registration using a laser pointer and automatic tool calibration to ensure simple, yet accurate, operating procedures.

The Esko Kongsberg X Edge digital cutter represents a significant improvement in the equipment available for our students by providing access to one of the most advanced technologies in the market. For years to come, this table can be upgraded as new tools and requirement changes support the teaching and research missions of the packaging program.