Designing Custom Foam Inserts? Consider These 3 Things

Custom Case Design & Engineering


Have you opened a box after a move and noticed that a few delicate items were broken? Chances are these fragile items experienced some turbulence in transit, and without the proper protection in place, they shifted out of place and were damaged.

In an effort to avoid these same adverse effects, businesses rely on custom foam inserts to complement a durable exterior in product packaging. Whether included in stock cases or custom-designed solutions, these inserts deliver precise protection for delicate products — all while distinguishing your brand in a positive manner.

Before diving into considerations around the design of custom foam inserts, let's take a look at why more businesses are investing in these solutions versus stock foam inserts.

Custom Foam Inserts Vs. Stock Foam Inserts

As the name suggests, custom foam packaging inserts are designed specifically for the products they house — from size, to shape, to the type of products. This high-quality custom fit offers greater protection for products as they remain securely cushioned in transit and arrive to partners and customers undamaged.

While custom foam inserts can seem like an added expense for businesses, they prove to be a far more cost-effective solution in the long run. You’ll save the costs associated with replacing inventory damaged in transit and related delays and, in minimizing these issues, maintain a better reputation in the marketplace that draws new clients and preserves relationships.

What to Consider in the Design of Custom Foam Inserts

Product Weight & Fragility

Weight and fragility are two critical components when designing custom foam packaging inserts for cases. In some scenarios, you may be dealing with delicate, lightweight products — a list that could range from hearing aids to pens. In terms of the type of foam used, polyurethane is likely a good option, as it is designed specifically for fragile products that don’t weigh much.

If we’re talking about a 70-pound airplane brake, you’ll need a more durable, reinforced solution — from the inside out. Custom foam inserts made from polyethylene, a firm dense foam made for heavier products, is a viable alternative.

Positioning & Cushioning Requirements

Imagine a situation where a sales team meets with doctors to pitch their spinal implant products. If the case does not have proper compartments to house each product, its contents can become disorganized (and potentially damaged). This can make the presentation less efficient and less professional.

From a positioning and cushioning standpoint, polyethylene is recognized for its use in custom foam inserts. That’s because this firm, dense foam can withstand moisture and chemicals, and thus won’t deteriorate from continuous use. These custom cut foam inserts can be fitted to the precise measurements of your product fleet, and be easily removed for presentation purposes.

Branding Opportunities

While the exterior of your product packaging should begin your brand story, that’s not where it should end. From materials to colors, your custom foam packaging insert should be regarded as an opportunity to further enhance your brand reputation and educate others about your products.

Let’s use the example of a medical device manufacturer who wants to refresh their display case for surgical products. A professional cherry-lacquered wood case can be paired with a custom foam insert that keeps products at the same height and includes photo-etched aluminum labels for each item. The same sophisticated style on the case's exterior is obvious on the interior, as well.

As a leading provider of custom case solutions, Cases By Source has experience designing and manufacturing a wide range of cases from the inside out, bringing together protection and aesthetic in one packaging solution. Learn more about the approach we take here.


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