Maven archetypes are project templates that allow users create project structure with a simple Maven command. In my company we are using archetypes because provide a way to standardize projects structure. All our projects are built using the same directory structure, all of us use the same version of common libraries like JUnit, Hamcrest, Spring Framework, Mockito, or in case of web applications bundling them with company's approved CSS and Javascript libraries. Also PMD, checkstyle or findbugs coding rules can be stored in distributed archetype.

If each time you start a new project you are of those who copy files from existing projects to the new one, apply DRY principle and create a Maven archetype from existing project.
First thing to do is create your template project with all files to be bundled into archetype. In this example, simple Spring MVC project will be transformed  to be a Maven archetype.

After template project is created and all desired files are added, you should have a directory layout like:

 

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