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I am new to packaging design and this is an interesting field. I need help with a project. My design scheme is final, copy is ready, now all I need is the "dieline" to be set so that the printing stuff can begin.

I am making packaging for a product. There will be multiple dimensions. Some square, some rectangular. Let's call the front panel with logo, flavor, etc. the "front face" (is there a technical name for it?). All I know is: front face width, front face height, and the depth of the box or height of the box.

I need to visualize my box in a flattened out form, so to speak, in order to design each section. Sort of what unwrapping in 3D software does. I've come to understand that this called dieline. I've researched the internet and know essentially how a box is flattened out, I have those reference images. However, for custom dimensions, I don't want to draw based on assumptions and these reference images. I need to know the precise dimensions of each segment (I will manually account for bleed) based on the data I have (previous paragraph): which is essentially three numeric values for each box.

So, my question is:

Is there a tool or formula to find out the dimensions of each segment of a box packaging's dieline based on front face width, front face height, and box depth values only?

Definition of dieline:

A dieline serves as a package template that ensures proper layout for a printed product. It is a diagram that shows all the cut lines and folds of a package in flattened form. They are also used for envelopes, pocket folders and more.

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    Aren't you doing this backwards? Surely it would have been better to get the dieline first, and arrange your content to fit it? Almost any vector or page layout software should suffice. – Billy Kerr Apr 23 '20 at 12:23
  • Get the dieline first? This is a design I am making from scratch and they have no existing packaging currently they've been using stock boxes so far. Or do you mean selecting a standard box packaging and then adapting my design to it? – Abhimanyu Apr 23 '20 at 13:10
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    Cut up out of cardboard fold out viola dieline. In addition to package software most mechanical cad can do this – joojaa Apr 23 '20 at 13:14
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    In that case create the dieline first. As @jooja has said make a mockup using cardboard and a craft knife and rule, score the folds, and make sure everything will fit when folded. Finally open it flat and measure all the dimensions, and then draw it using your design software. Then add your content. Sadly there's probably no easy way to do this using only software, since much will also depend on the thickness of the stock to avoid unexpected overlaps or misfitting when folding. A physical mockup/model is probably the best way to start. – Billy Kerr Apr 23 '20 at 13:32
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    I think now it's time to get in contact with the print company. If your box has custom dimension they probably need to make a special physical punch form for you (=$$$). They have experience with this and can help you create the correct overlaps and account for the thickness of the cardboard. If you already have made other boxes with standard measurements and still have the template, you can make a good guess by manipulating that template to fit your custom measurements. – Wolff Apr 23 '20 at 15:05
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The cut parts should very likely have some overlaps, too and they depend on the structural idea of the package and what keeps the parts together.

If you you know what boxmaker expects, how the paper materials behave and you have access to general CAD software you can well use it. Check this old case. It has some discussion of making a box Dieline image to a box in Three.js It's how to make a box, but it shows some connection between the box and its dielines.

There's specialized structural packaging design software to handle the details for painless cutting and folding and package suppliers surely also offer some standard templates and web services (=input your dimensions, material demands and prints) for their process. You must do some web searches for a start.

Here's a couple of commercial services

https://www.pack.ly/en

https://boxshot.com/dielines/

  • I was gonna say - this is one area where Boxshot shines for folks with limited 3D skills. – GerardFalla Apr 23 '20 at 15:27

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