Why DIY Custom Foam Inserts Really Aren’t So Convenient After All

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a professionally customized foam insert

People often think of DIY custom foam inserts as a convenient option for safeguarding their products. And we get it: DIY avenues offer a sense of ownership over and investment in the process, allowing you to tackle projects on your own time. This prospect can be appealing for custom foam inserts, where it’s often assumed the process will be straightforward and hassle-free.

Unfortunately, a homemade approach to custom foam inserts comes with a number of intricacies and challenges. We’ll use the example of a technician kit to illustrate this.

What Can Go Wrong With DIY Custom Foam Inserts

Creating a DIY custom foam insert for a single technician kit may not seem like a time-consuming process. But if you need 100 of them, you’re looking at a much bigger time and labor investment. 

You have to meticulously plan, measure and cut each foam insert — with no guarantee that the end result will be an exact fit. Even if you do a good job on this front, there’s still a chance for wiggle room as you’re limited by the square size in a DIY insert.

In the case of a technician kit, this extra space can not only cause potential damage to tools; it can cause tools to shift and become disorganized in transit, leaving technicians out in the field to first sort their tools before getting to work.

If an improper fit becomes an issue, the business behind the kit may find themselves back at the drawing board and investing in more DIY custom foam inserts. The fact that it can take several attempts to get the inserts right — and multiplying that by 100 — time and cost constraints can reach new breaking points. 

With such a high quantity of DIY inserts, odds are you won’t have a 100% success rate with a pick-and-pluck approach. There’s likely to be some fallout, and that could mean purchasing 5-10% more inserts to reach that 100 count. This leads to further costs.

Trading in DIY Custom Foam Inserts for the Professional Route

A foam insert precisely engineered to your components’ size and specifications is a worthwhile investment. While you’ll save yourself the time and labor associated with a DIY approach, you’ll end up with a solution that offers a better fit for your products and is more sustainable.

At Cases By Source, we have experience helping customers move away from DIY foam inserts to fully customized solutions. As an example, we worked with a leading provider of environmental monitoring solutions to develop a custom foam insert for their Pelican case. As part of this process, we measured all the provider’s parts and used these measurements to guide the foam insert design. With the switch to a custom polyethylene foam insert, the provider made it easier for their technicians to access the parts and tools they needed on the job, with assurance products would be protected.

To learn more about why it’s beneficial to trade in DIY custom inserts for professional solutions, see this resource.

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