Picking Apart the Pick and Pluck Foam Strategy

Where Breakdowns Can Happen

  • ISSUE #1

    Room for Error

  • ISSUE #2

    Improper Fit

  • ISSUE #3

    Not Built for Longevity

  • ISSUE #4

    More Waste

  • ISSUE #5

    Takes Too Much Time

  • ISSUE #6

    Generic Impression


Room for Error with the Pick and Pluck Foam Technique

A selling point of pick and pluck foam is how easy it is to pull out the pre-cut square pieces of foam from the stock insert.

The flip side, though, is that it’s also easy to pull out too much foam as you try to guesstimate the size, shape and depth of your item. And once the foam squares are removed, there’s no way to backtrack and effectively start over.

If you don’t get it right, you’re stuck with an insert that doesn’t quite fit. Or you have to buy a replacement, try again and hope for a better result this time around.

Even when you do the measuring and plucking correctly, you’re limited by the size of the squares you can pull out unless you get creative with your own cutting. This means that even a job well done can result in some potentially damaging wiggle room in your case.


An Improper Fit Can Lead to Product Damage

The main reason for using a foam insert in a case is for protection. The material encircles your item, keeping it safe from bumps and jossles as you transport it.

That only works, though, if the foam cavity is the right fit. Using an insert that is even slightly too loose can allow movement. And a fit that’s overly tight can lead to pressure points.

Either of these issues can damage your item and, in a worst case scenario, lead to product loss.

As just one example of this in action: broadcast equipment.

We’ve been working with broadcast companies for more than two decades and know firsthand what goes into protecting cameras, video lenses, microphones, lighting devices and other communication equipment. Both larger, bulky items and smaller, delicate items need to be easily transportable and operational in the field quickly. It’s imperative that they can smoothly navigate the bumps and shocks of transit without damage.

This is true for all equipment, though. The most rugged case won’t adequately protect your items without the proper internal padding.


Pick and Pluck Foam Isn’t Built for Longevity

Pick and pluck foam is versatile, but it isn’t known for its durability.

The pre-cut squares that make it easy to accommodate any number of products in all shapes and sizes aren’t just on the sections you throw away. The entire insert is covered in cuts and holes that you can tear apart.

This means that the low-density pick and pluck foam disintegrates more quickly over time and the foam insert you’re left with has a poorer overall quality compared to a custom-cut insert. So, you end up replacing it more frequently, which costs time and money.


Greater Room for Error Translates into More Waste

Step one: pick. Step two: pluck. Step three: throw away.

Waste is an unavoidable part of the pick and pluck process as all those square cut-outs are tossed to make room for your item. Depending on the size of your product, you can end up throwing away a big portion of the foam. The greater room for error also leads to a less sustainable solution since it can take several attempts to get the right fit.

On top of that, since pick and pluck inserts need replacing more often due to the lack of durability, the entire process has a higher environmental cost.


The Time It Takes to Customize Your Solution

With pick and pluck, you start by laying the parts out on top of the foam insert. Then you trace the shape as best you can. You cut, pluck and repeat until you get a good fit.

The time and effort it takes to customize a single foam insert for one case may not seem like a big deal. But physically performing this process over and over again for multiple cases is exhausting. It’s a big time suck to try to create your own personalized fit multiple times.

Regardless of what industry you work in – from medical to marketing – it’s important to have a case that’s both functional and aesthetic. And very rarely do companies need a single case.

In these instances, it’s well worth considering a custom solution tailored to your needs – the perfect fit, ready to use when you need it.


A General Solution Gives A Generic Impression

Let’s face it, impressions matter.

A case not only protects your products and helps you transport them, but they also act to present those items. Whether you’re at a trade show, making a sale or showcasing a new piece of equipment, that first moment when you open up the case matters.

And the foam insert plays a big role in that initial presentation.

An off-the-shelf foam insert that’s not tailored or styled to your product simply doesn’t have the same ‘wow’ factor as a custom-cut solution.

Custom foam interiors, on the other hand, can be enhanced with color, molded inserts, literature pockets and corporate branding. Why not elevate your product while also protecting it?

A Pick and Pluck Foam Alternative We Recommend…

Fortunately, you’re not stuck with off-the-shelf solutions for protecting and presenting your items.

Custom foam inserts are the best of both worlds in that they offer superior protection thanks to the precise fit while also providing an enhanced aesthetic appeal that’s tailored to your brand image.


Combined with the higher-quality material and better durability that takes into account your specific needs, you get a longer-lasting solution with a custom insert compared to a generic one. And that’s ultimately better for your bottom line by protecting your product and lowering costs over the long-run.

Despite misconceptions about the cost of customization, a personalized foam insert doesn’t have to break the bank. Pick and pluck foam may be cheaper for a one-off case but when you factor in the time saved and added protection, custom foam inserts come out ahead.

Our team at Cases By Source can help design and manufacture a custom foam insert tailored to your needs and specifications. Whether you need a foam for a custom case or you’re looking  for an insert that works with other brand cases like Pelican, SKB, Nanuk orModi, we do it all.

From designing precision cut custom foam inserts to engineered custom foam case interiors, we’ll find the right solution withyou and for you to ensure you have the perfect fit to protect, organize and present your items.

Simplify and Enhance Product Protection with Custom Foam Inserts.

Talk to Cases By Source About Your Needs.